AFL Beat 2019 Round 22

This week,

Vroom vroom!!
Happy Tigers
And someone hangs ten…

Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!

Round 22 Recaps and Highlights

This week, we had quite possibly the two best games of AFL in a long time. The matchups of #1 vs #2 and #3 vs #4 lived up to their billing.

However, there were other compelling matches that greatly affected the finals picture. Let’s get right to it!

The first game had absolutely nothing to do with the finals picture as two teams at the bottom of the ladder fought it out to see who could suck less.

As I’ve mentioned a lot this year, the Sydney Swans play a lot better on the road than at home. This game was in Melbourne at the MCG and the opponents were the lowly Demons.

Does that mean that the Swans rolled over the Demons in impressive fashion? Yes, it does. Here are the full game highlights:

Melbourne Demons 42 Sydney Swans 95

The proper Friday Night game had another two teams that had already been eliminated from the playoff picture. To be fair, St. Kilda still had a shot, but a LOT of things had to fall their way.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter. The Blues showed up and demonstrated that they are on the rise and will be threat to make finals next year. In the meantime, I’m not sure the Saints will finish their traditional 10th.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Carlton Blues 78 St. Kilda Saints 68

Later, the first of the marquee matchups took place in Brisbane with the #2 Lions hosting the #1 Cats. It was a tough and close matchup all night with the Cats leading almost all game but never building a large lead.

Brisbane hung in there and were in prime position to take the game late. It came down to the last two minutes:

Here are the full-game highlights:

Brisbane Lions 75 Geelong Cats 74

Even later on Friday night, the Adelaide Crows hosted the Collingwood Magpies in a game that they needed to win to maintain finals hopes. The only problem was that the Pies were getting some key players back from injury.

The Pies took advantage and rolled over the Crows in a comprehensive victory that means they are possibly back to their best and will be a very difficult foe in finals.

Here are the highlights:

Adelaide Crows 48 Collingwood Magpies 114

The first of the two late late Friday night games had two teams on the cusp of finals elimination. Any hope they still had hinged on getting a win and having other results go their way.

Big Ben Brown of the North Melbourne Kangaroos made sure they were the team still in the conversation as he scored TEN goals in what turned out to be a mauling of the Power.

Alas, the other results didn’t go the Roos’ way, but that was a hell of a performance at a critical time. That bodes well for next year.

Here are the full-game highlights:

North Melbourne Kangaroos 144 Port Adelaide Power 58

The last game of the night had the slumping Essendon Bombers trying desperately to hold on to their finals spot and going to Perth to visit the Fremantle Dockers, who still had a flicker of a chance of playing finals.

That flicker, however, was quickly extinguished as the Bombers suddenly remembered how to play their lighting-fast and high-scoring game. The Bombers victory means the Dockers are waiting until next year and Essendon’s finals spot is locked in.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Fremantle Dockers 55 Essendon Bombers 87

The first North American Saturday Night game was the other marquee matchup: #3 West Coast vs #4 Richmond at the MCG.

Like the other marquee game, it was a fiercely fought game that came down to the last two minutes:

It should be noted that Richmond overcame a large first quarter deficit that West Coast built. It was quite an impressive performance. Here are the full-game highlights:

Richmond Tigers 88 West Coast Eagles 82

The second of the Saturday night games had the GWS Giants trying to keep the train from going off the track as they hosted the Western Bulldogs.

It was never going to be easy, as the Doggies have been on a roll and have been steamrollering opponents on their way to the cusp of finals. Well add one more opponent to that list as the Doggies took the points in dominating fashion.

To update an old phrase, if you were to type “limping into the playoffs” on your search engine, the first result would be a picture of the 2019 GWS Giants.

Here are the full-game highlights:

GWS Giants 65 Western Bulldogs 126

The last game of the Round had the Hawthorn Hawks hosting the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium and a rout was expected.

A rout is what we got and all of a sudden, Hawthorn is on the verge of playing finals. All they need is for Western to lose its last game and for the Hawks to win in Perth against the Eagles. Simple, right?

In reality, their season is probably over, but it was a nice way to send off Hawks legend Jarryd Roughead in what could be his final match as a Hawk.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Hawthorn Hawks 118 Gold Coast Suns 48

Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?

1Brisbane Lions165064120.9
2Geelong Cats156060132.4
3West Coast Eagles156060115.7
4Richmond Tigers156060112.5
5Collingwood Magpies147056117.8
6GWS Giants129048111.5
7Essendon Bombers12904895.8
8Western Bulldogs1110044105.6
9Hawthorn Hawks1011040106.6
10Adelaide Crows1011040102.99
11Port Adelaide Power1011040102.98
12North Melbourne Kangaroos91203699.1
13Fremantle Dockers91203694.0
14St. Kilda Saints91203685.4
15Sydney Swans71402894.9
16Carlton Blues71402887.2
17Melbourne Demons51602077.9
18Gold Coast Suns31801261.6

Here is the Balls Graph:

Download (PDF, 262KB)

As we discussed last week, this week’s games were YUUGE for the finals picture. All the contenders have been eliminated except for the Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn Hawks, Port Adelaide Power, and the Adelaide Crows.

The Doggies control their own destiny. If they beat Adelaide, they are in. Conversely, if the Crows beat the Doggies then:

  • The Hawks can get in with a win at West Coast
  • The Power or Adelaide can get in if the Hawks lose and they win by a sufficient enough margin to overcome the Doggies and each other.

It’s getting VERY interesting and there are multiple games to watch on the final weekend that will determine the final seedings.


Footy Tipping Contest

Here is where we are after Round Twenty Two:

Total TipsTotal Margin
3Son Of Spam367121655
5BC Dick458113790
6Dolph Ucker687111680
7Yeah Right628109851
8Why Eagles Why361107650
9Joliet Jake Delhomme637104787
10Game Time Decision340103706

There was quite a shakeup in the standings this week! BFC takes over sole possession of 2nd place after the Litre (the leader, get it?) had a bad week. There was also movement along the middle of the table as Joliet Jake Delhomme, Yeah Right, and Dolph Ucker had strong weeks and moved up the standings.

Remember that we go all the way through to the Grand Final. Given what happened this week, you can see that there is still time to catch the leader and the person in front of you in the standings!



AFL Round 23

Here is the schedule for this week (all times Pacific):

Friday, August 23, 2019

2:50 AM (Late Thursday Night!) – Collingwood Magpies v Essendon Bombers at the MCG

The two teams are locked into the Eight, but the Pies still want to get the Double Chance that comes with a Top Four spot and need the win.

8:45 PM – Sydney Swans v St. Kilda Saints at the MCG

The season is over for both of these teams and, somewhat surprisingly for Litre_cola, the Saints won’t finish 10th.

9:10 PM – North Melbourne Kangaroos v Melbourne Demons at Blundstone Arena in Tasmania

Another two teams that are now looking forward to next year. Look for North to extend the Demons’ horrific year.

11:35 PM – Geelong Cats v Carlton Blues at GMHBA Stadium

The Cats can still claim top spot with a win against the Blues and a Lions loss to the Tigers. It’s felines all around!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

2:10 AM – West Coast Eagles v Hawthorn Hawks at Optus Stadium

The Hawks have an outside chance to sneak into the Eight, but Western must lose and they must win in Perth. VERY outside chance.

2:25 AM – Gold Coast Suns v GWS Giants at Metricon Stadium

The Giants surely won’t drop this game, will they?

8:10 PM – Western Bulldogs v Adelaide Crows at Mars Stadium

This is essentially an Elimination final. If Western wins, they are IN the Eight. If Adelaide wins, they must win big to have a chance.

10:20 PM – Richmond Tigers v Brisbane Lions at the MCG

If you thought this week’s Top Four games were exciting, wait until you see this one! Top Four seeding is at stake.

11:40 PM – Port Adelaide Power v Fremantle Dockers at Adelaide Oval

This game could have meant something, but both teams lost, so now it doesn’t really matter except for tipping purposes. Unless Western loses big to Adelaide and Hawthorn loses to the Eagles. Then Port Adelaide must win bigger than Adelaide beat Western.


That’s all for this week! After next week is the pre-finals bye, so there won’t be a recap, but there will be a Finals Preview with predictions. See you next week!


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That game sucked.


PSA. You can buy guernseys on dhgate now. Thought you guys should know.


I don’t think my body is made for guernseys