The last of the bye Rounds is in the books as nearly 15 teams look to make a finals charge in the second half of the season.
Sydney claimed a famous nine-point, come-from-behind victory over Richmond on Saturday afternoon at the MCG in front of 58, 721 fans.
The Swans are looking to do the unthinkable, after sitting 0-5, they are now just one win outside of the top eight. They boast the best record of any side over the past month.
You can’t help but feel for Richmond, losing another close game they could have rightly won. Fans will be hoping these narrow losses don’t come back to bite them.
Melbourne has shot up into fifth position after their 57-point demolition of the Bulldogs. The Demons could challenge for the top four with the form they’re in, set to be boosted by the returns of Max Gawn and Jesse Hogan.
West Coast rejuvenated their season, holding off a fast finishing Geelong outfit to win by 13 points. The win sees the Eagles reclaim their position in the top eight.
Jones, the marking defender?
Since crossing over to Carlton in 2015 from the Western Bulldogs, Jones seemed like a failed project and a waste of uncharted talent. Until now.
Jones has reinvented himself as a high-marking, disciplined defender. Building solid form in the VFL in his new defensive role, Jones has impressed in his two senior games of the season, averaging 13 disposals and 7 marks.
He soundly outdueled Tom Lynch on the weekend, while Carton are undefeated with Jones in their lineup. Brendan Bolton really is getting the best out of all his players.
Bugg the pest
After uploading a contentious Instagram photo pre-game, baiting Jason Johannisen, Tomas Bugg and the Demons were physical with the Bulldogs all day.
One particular moment epitomized Bugg’s performance. He bumped Easton Wood after a Melbourne goal, who retaliated, handing Bugg an easy set shot from point blank range, stretching the Demons lead to 40 points.
Love him or hate him, you have to give credit where it’s due, Bugg backed up his social media slur and was inside the Western Bulldogs players’ heads.
Fans were treated as two of the competitions’ heavyweights were matched up on Saturday afternoon. Arguably the best modern forward, Buddy Franklin, faced off against arguably the greatest contemporary defender, Alex Rance.
It was one of the most entertaining duels we’ve seen all season. Rance kept Franklin to one goal, however Buddy did take a big mark with a minute remaining to ice the game. Ultimately, Sydney walked away with the four points.
Franklin’s lone goal sees him claim first place in the season goalicking tally, just one major clear from cross-town rival, Jeremy Cameron.