The Western Bulldogs have clinched a big win on the road, beating Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, while defending premiers Richmond have downed GWS in a thriller at Docklands to cap a big day in AFL.
The Bulldogs and Power swapped six goal quarters in the first half, then the visitors extended their lead in the third term before holding on to win by 19 points.
The Tigers were on the back foot for much of the night against the Giants, with Jesse Hogan booting four goals for GWS.
But Dustin Martin returned to his best, kicking four of his own as his side edged out the Giants by four points.
Earlier, the Swans beat Collingwood by 30 points, North Melbourne got off the mark with a seven-point win over Hawthorn, and Brisbane thrashed Gold Coast by 73 points at Carrara.
More to come.
Port Adelaide vs
Another Marcus Bontempelli masterclass has inspired the Western Bulldogs to a spirited 19-point victory against fellow flag fancies Port Adelaide.
Bontempelli’s 26 disposals featured two goals and seven inside-50s in his side’s 15.6 (96) to 12.5 (77) triumph in Saturday night’s high-class affair at Adelaide Oval.
The skipper’s tenacious teammate Tom Liberatore was also superb, with 27 touches and a dozen clearances as the Bulldogs took top spot on the ladder.
Melbourne can regain top-billing with a win over Carlton on Sunday while Port slip from third to fifth after their third loss of the season.
The Power, apart from a purple patch in the second quarter, were overwhelmed by the slick Dogs who bank an eighth win from nine starts.
The Doggies’ renowned midfield was in top form: Bontempelli, Liberatore, Jack Macrae (32 disposals), Adam Treloar (26), Bailey Dale (23), and Bailey Smith (25) were prolific ball-winners.
Forward Aaron Naughton booted four goals and took a trademark hanger of a mark, the lively Cody Weightman scored three, and Jason Johannisen and Josh Bruce kicked two apiece.
Port on-ballers Ollie Wines (32 disposals) and Travis Boak (30 possessions), and defender Darcy Byrne-Jones (24 touches) were gallant, while Mitch Georgiades, Charlie Dixon and Orazio Fantasia kicked two majors each.
The Dogs blitzed Port early, booting five consecutive goals in a stunning 16-minute burst in the first term orchestrated by the brilliance of Bontempelli and Liberatore’s grunt around the packs.
The visitors led 6.2 to 2.1 at quarter-time despite losing defender Easton Wood to a left leg injury.
But the tide turned Port’s way in remarkable fashion in the second stanza as the home side scored five unanswered goals from five inside-50s in a tick over nine explosive minutes.
The sudden surge gave Port the lead and was only halted when Bontempelli scored his second major from a dubious in-the-back free kick.
Port defender Tom Clurey was substituted out with a jaw injury following an accidental clash of heads as the Bulldogs took a one-point halftime lead courtesy of a late Johannisen goal.
The Dogs then gained a vital edge in the third term, booting four goals to one with Bontempelli and Liberatore again prominent.
Two of the visitor’s goals came from Naughton: one after his head was driven into the ground by a Tom Jonas tackle; the other after he climbed onto Jonas’ shoulders for a spectacular high mark.
The Bulldogs held a 21-point buffer at three-quarter time but, in the last term, Port rallied to twice sneak within eight points.
But the Bulldogs’ Weightman sealed the win: with less than four minutes remaining, he crumbed a pack in the goal-square and snapped over his head, with his teammate Naughton soon adding another.
Richmond vs GWS
Dustin Martin has produced his best performance of the season to inspire Richmond to a thrilling four-point win over Greater Western Sydney.
The Tigers trailed by 28 points midway through the third quarter but stormed home to register an important 13.9 (87) to 12.11 (83) victory on Saturday night.
Only 18,798 fans were on hand at Docklands after Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale vented his frustration about the club being forced to play a home game away from the MCG.
But the faithful who turned up were rewarded with a classic encounter as Martin was awarded a controversial late goal on review and Daniel Rioli kicked what proved to be the winning goal a week after he was involved in a nightclub scuffle.
Rioli had just four kicks for the night but pounced on a loose ball and snapped truly in the dying stages.
Minutes earlier, Martin was judged to have got his toe to the ball on the goal line and cannoned into the goal umpire, who had to be replaced because of a sore shoulder.
Tim Taranto had the chance to snatch a dramatic victory for the Giants but his dribble kick from close range was blocked by a diving Dylan Grimes on the goal line.
Martin finished with four goals from 28 disposals as a host of unheralded teammates stepped up in the midfield.
Liam Baker, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Jack Graham were important contributors as regular defender Nick Vlastuin helped plug a hole in an injury-hit midfield and Toby Nankervis led the way in the ruck.
GWS recruit Jesse Hogan kicked four goals— all of them in the second quarter — as Jacob Hopper, Josh Kelly, Callan Ward and Tom Green helped the Giants get on top in the middle early.
Inexperienced Giants defenders Sam Taylor and Jack Buckley kept Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt quiet for most of the night.
Hogan kicked three goals in a five-minute burst early in the second term to fire the Giants to a 27-point lead before half-time and was involved in a scuffle with Nathan Broad behind play that earned him the ire of Tigers fans.
Martin took it upon himself to drag Richmond back into it and kicked the next two goals before Hogan took another strong mark and booted his fourth major from the goal square after a 50m penalty against Nankervis.
Again it was Martin who sparked a fightback late in the third quarter as he kicked the first of four quick goals that cut the margin back to three points at the final change.
In the end it was the Tigers’ famed pressure and surge game that got them over the line in a frantic finish.
Richmond face another tough task when they take on Brisbane at the Gabba on Friday night, while GWS host West Coast on Sunday.
Lions roar in Q-Clash rout of Suns
Brisbane Lions have destroyed Queensland rivals Gold Coast to keep their top-four charge on track after a 73-point win over the Suns.
The Lions extended their winning run to five matches in a one-sided match at Carrara, charging to a 19.10 (124) to 7.9 (51) victory.
Big forward Daniel McStay kicked a career-best equalling four goals for the visitors, with Charlie Cameron picking up three majors.
McStay had a day out as the Suns’ defence went to water, claiming eight marks in a dominant tall forward display.
Lincoln McCarthy, playing his 50th match for the Lions, kicked two goals and took several big marks while Eric Hipwood, Joe Daniher and Zac Bailey also booted two majors in the rout.
While the forwards hit the scoreboard there were plenty of stars for the Lions across the park with captain Dayne Zorko (34 disposals, one goal, nine marks), ex-Sun Jarryd Lyons (38 disposals, nine clearances, nine tackles) and Hugh McCluggage (23 disposals, eight marks) bossing the midfield.
Lyons’ display was enough for him to be awarded the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best on ground.
The game was blown apart in an eight goals-to-none third-quarter as the Lions kicked 14 unanswered between the Suns’ third and fourth goals of the match by which time Brisbane had opened up a 91-point lead.
Four late goals added some gloss to the scoreboard for the Suns but the truth was they were comprehensively outplayed.
Gold Coast missed the hard work of suspended Touk Miller but there was no excuse for the Suns’ lack of contest, especially in a dismal third quarter.
The defeat is the Suns’ fifth-straight loss to their local rivals and leaves them 13th on the ladder with just three wins from nine matches.
Brisbane didn’t leave Carrara unscathed however with milestone man Ryan Lester subbed out in the first quarter of his 150th AFL match with a hamstring injury while Darcy Gardiner’s night ended with a dislocated right shoulder late in the third term.
Defender Jack Bowes was also subbed out with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter for the Suns, who next face a daunting trip to Geelong to play the Cats next Saturday.
The Lions are at home next Friday against defending premiers Richmond.
Kangaroos beat Hawks for first win of 2021
North Melbourne have broken through for their first win of the AFL season with a stirring comeback over fellow cellar dwellers Hawthorn in Launceston.
The last-placed Kangaroos came from 32 points down on Saturday afternoon to snap a losing streak stretching back to round nine last season.
Cameron Zurhaar was inspirational in the 13.9 (87) to 12.8 (80) victory, slotting four goals including crucial majors either side of three-quarter time.
Hawthorn’s Luke Breust set up a thrilling finish when he reduced the margin to six points with a running goal inside the final two minutes.
But the Kangaroos held on to give David Noble his maiden win as an AFL coach on his 54th birthday.
Jy Simpkin topped the possession count for the match with 33, while North Melbourne teammate Ben Cunnington was next best with 29.
After scoring the opening point of the match, it took until the beginning of the fourth quarter for North Melbourne to regain the lead.
The lead changed hands twice during the final term, with Tasmanian Tarryn Thomas notching a crucial major for the Kangaroos to open up an 11-point lead with seven minutes to play.
It was a remarkable turnaround after a red hot start by Hawthorn which was spearheaded by Chad Wingard, who kicked two majors from tight angles and had two goal assists in the opening quarter.
Hawthorn opened up a 33-7 point lead at quarter time and were ahead 54-32 at the main break.
The Kangaroos, who found themselves behind by 32 early in the second quarter, mounted a third-term surge, booting four goals to one.
They entered the final term just a point behind after a Zurhaar snap moments before the break.
Taylor Garner was another shining light for the Kangaroos, picking up three goals.
Swans too strong for Magpies at SCG
Sydney Swans have overcome a sluggish start to bank a 30-point AFL win over Collingwood at the SCG, where returning young gun Isaac Heeney kicked three goals.
Both sides struggled to find free space and move the ball freely, with a swirling breeze and lots of pressure ensuring the turnover-riddled game was not much of a spectacle.
Jordan De Goey helped the Magpies shoot out to an 18-point lead early in the first quarter, but the visitors failed to boot a single goal in the second or third terms.
The Swans worked their way into the scrappy contest, seized control in a dominant third quarter and eventually triumphed 10.12 (72) to 5.12 (42).
Lance Franklin was restricted to two goals as Magpies Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore and Chris Mayne combined to ensure the four-time Coleman medallist was rarely a go-to option.
Heeney and small forward Tom Papley combined for five goals in the low-scoring tussle, while Franklin’s understudy Hayden McLean grabbed a game-high five contested marks.
Heeney, who missed the club’s tight loss to Melbourne at the MCG last weekend because of an ankle injury, also had 22 possessions and six marks in a productive comeback.
Sydney ruckman Tom Hickey finished with a game-high eight clearances, while Callum Mills, Justin McInerney and Jake Lloyd were also influential for the hosts.
Heeney’s third goal, coming in the 17th minute of the final quarter, proved the sealer as Sydney made it a 6-3 start to a season in which they were widely tipped to finish outside the top eight again.
In a match with limited fodder for the end-of-round highlight reel, Papley’s second goal stood out as due reward for a spectacular piece of hard work.
The 24-year-old took possession of an in-dispute ball on the half-back flank, danced past a would-be tackler, fended off Steele Sidebottom then had a bounce as he sprinted through the middle of the ground.
The Sherrin passed to Sam Wicks and McLean before returning to a hard-running Papley, who nailed his set shot after holding a mark in the forward line.
The Swans next face Fremantle, Carlton, St Kilda and Hawthorn as they seek to clamber into the top four, while Collingwood’s finals hopes are fading fast as they prepare to host Port Adelaide at the MCG.