With the AFL’s Trade and Free Agency period now well under way one thing has become patently clear, the system is a mess. I say it has ‘become’ clear but that isn’t really accurate, it’s been clear it was a mess from the moment Free Agency was first implemented in Australia’s indigenous game a couple of years ago. The issues were largely passed off then as ‘teething’ problems that would be ironed out over time, but they haven’t been and in fact are getting worse as clubs look to exploit the gaping loopholes available.
Hawthorn 14.10 (94) defeated Geelong 11.5 (71)
It was a tale of two halves in a battle between two premiership fancies at the MCG last night, the Cats got out to the hot start and led by 31 points at halftime before being completely overwhelmed by the Hawks in the second half. The Hawks would eventually run out 23 point winners after at one stage kicking 10 goals in a row in a stunning turnaround, Geelong seemingly had no answers once the Hawks got going in a result that will provide some concerns for Geelong coach Chris Scott as the two sides are likely to meet again in the first week of the finals.
North Melbourne 16.12 (108) defeated Hawthorn 13.10 (88)
We should have known.
Defeated by cellar dweller Brisbane last week, it was just like North Melbourne to come up and beat the top placed Hawks on Friday Night Footy. And beat them they did, on the back of 5 goals from Drew Petrie and a dominant aerial performance from Lachie Hansen the Kangaroos ran out 20 point winners over the reigning premiers. Both Kangaroo key forwards found some form, with Aaron Black kicking 3 goals in a display that must have pleased coach Brad Scott.
North Melbourne v Hawthorn
Etihad Stadium, Friday July 4, 7:50pm AEST
The opening game of Round 16 sees a clash of two teams who couldn’t have had more contrasting results last weekend, top of the ladder Hawthorn versus 7th placed North Melbourne.
The Hawks come off a strong win over the Gold Coast Suns at Aurora Stadium. In a game that was competitive for much of the first half the Hawks put their foot on the gas just before half time and blew the Suns away, scoring 57 points straight without the Suns hitting the scoreboard at one point. The only negative to come out of the game was yet another serious hamstring injury to star small forward Cyril Rioli, who looks set to miss at least the next 2 months.
Hawthorn 17 14 (116) defeated Gold Coast Suns 10 3 (63)
On a wet and miserable Tasmanian afternoon at Aurora Stadium the Hawks flexed their muscles on an up and coming Gold Coast team to earn a 53 point win, the only downside for the Hawks was what looked to be yet another hamstring injury to Cyril Rioli.
Gold Coast’s nickname may be the ‘Suns’, but they saw very little of it literally or figuratively on an afternoon of driving rain.
It started out so differently. The Suns were very competitive early, going goal for goal with the reigning premiers and perhaps beginning to dream of an upset as halftime approached. In a slog of a first half scores were level at 30 points a piece with just over five minutes of playing time remaining in the first half.
Photo Getty Images: Matt Roberts
Saturday afternoon sees Hawthorn taking on the Gold Coast Suns at Aurora Stadium in Tasmania. The 2nd on the ladder Hawks are coming off a strong win over Collingwood, their 10th for the season.