Cats outclass Blues at the ‘G, Swans defeat Dockers in the west

A Richmond AFL player tackles a North Melbourne opponent holding the ball.

The Cats took down the Blues with a 30-point win at the MCG, while the Swans beat the Dockers by 17 points in Perth.

Earlier, the struggling Kangaroos caused a boilover with a four-point win over the Tigers.

The Magpies and Lions also enjoyed victories.

More to come.

Blues vs Cats

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Dockers vs Swans

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Kangaroos stun Tigers

A Richmond AFL player tackles a North Melbourne opponent holding the ball.
Richmond’s Jayden Short (left) tries to contain North Melbourne’s Jed Anderson.(Getty Images/AFL Photos: Morgan Hancock)

Caretaker coach Leigh Adams led North Melbourne to the biggest upset of the season in a stunning win over Richmond.

Cam Zurhaar kicked six goals — including the match-winner with less than three minutes left — as the Kangaroos triumphed 14.8 (92) to 11.22 (88) at Docklands.

It snapped a 14-match losing streak in Adams’ first appearance as caretaker coach after taking the reins from David Noble.

The shock result was eerily similar to the Kangaroos’ first match under Rhyce Shaw in 2019, when they upset flag-bound Richmond immediately following Brad Scott’s exit.

It was a blow to the Tigers’ finals hopes, leaving them clinging to eighth spot on percentage ahead of a clash with Fremantle in round 19.

There is doubt over Toby Nankervis’s availability for that match after he was reported over an incident where he roughed up Flynn Perez.

Zurhaar was the Kangaroos’ hero in attack as Jy Simpkin (34 disposals), Luke Davies-Uniacke (28) and Hugh Greenwood (24) played integral roles in the midfield.

Ben McKay starred in defence and Paul Curtis (14 disposals, three goals) was also important.

The Tigers had plenty of strong contributors through the middle — including Dion Prestia (26 disposals), Trent Cotchin and Jayden Short (24 each) — but let themselves down in front of goal.

Veteran spearhead Jack Riewoldt kicked 2.6 and Noah Cumberland 3.4, with Riewoldt (twice), Noah Balta and Shai Bolton all missing chances in the final quarter of what could prove to be a costly loss.

Adams simplified North Melbourne’s attacking plan and implored his players to express themselves by taking the match on.

It was not always pretty — Adams expected mistakes — but it led to the Kangaroos’ highest score of the season.

Zurhaar had five goals from five kicks to half-time as the focal point, helping his side to a 32-point lead on the back of remarkable efficiency.

The Kangaroos’ 10.2 (62) came from 23 forward entries, while the Tigers had 3.12 (30) from 32 entries.

The margin was cut to 10 points by three-quarter time and memories of last round’s big fade-out, when North Melbourne threw away a comfortable lead against Collingwood, no doubt haunted the Kangaroos.

Richmond hit the front when Jack Graham converted a free kick but Zurhaar responded when he gleefully accepted Todd Goldstein’s expert hit-out at a boundary throw-in and snapped truly.

The Tigers had one last chance in the final minute when activated substitute Jake Aarts marked inside-50.

But Aarts played on and eventually saw a snap shot rushed through by the Kangaroos’ desperate defence.

Pies pip Crows to win yet another thriller

Collingwood have celebrated captain Scott Pendlebury’s rare AFL milestone with a comeback five-point win over Adelaide to remain in the hunt for a top-four berth.

The Magpies came from 16 points down in the third quarter of Pendlebury’s 350th AFL game to prevail 14.7 (91) to 13.8 (86) at Adelaide Oval.

Scott Pendlebury smiles as Magpies players get around him to celebrateScott Pendlebury smiles as Magpies players get around him to celebrate
Scott Pendlebury enjoyed a memorable win in his 350th AFL game.(Getty Images: James Elsby)

Pendlebury, the only Collingwood player to reach the 350 game milestone, collected 28 disposals and booted a crucial running goal as the Magpies rise to fifth on the ladder ahead of other games this weekend.

The Pies twice were in serious trouble against the unfancied 15th-placed Crows who led 19-0 — a game-high margin — in the first quarter and by 16 points late in the third term.

But a Pendlebury goal on the run reduced their margin to three points at three quarter-time and the Magpies then booted four goals to three in the final term.

Collingwood’s Nick Daicos continued his stunning debut season, clearly best-afield with 40 disposals and three goals.

His teammates Patrick Lipinski (28 touches, 13 tackles) and Josh Carmichael (24 possessions) and Josh Daicos (24 disposals) were prolific ball-winners while Brodie Mihocek and first-gamer Ash Johnson both kicked two majors.

Adelaide’s Taylor Walker booted five goals, Lachlan Murphy slotted three and Darcy Fogarty two.

Midfielders Rory Laird (31 disposals, 20 tackles) and Sam Berry (21 touches, 17 tackles) revelled in wet conditions but the Crows remain in the mire with just five wins — and only two victories in their past 11 games.

Adelaide started strongly and, 12 minutes in, led 19-0 but Collingwood booted the next four majors to take a five-point quarter-time advantage, 4.1 to 3.2.

The Pies’ momentum stalled in the second term as the Crows scored four goals to two to lead 7.6 to 6.3 at half-time.

And Adelaide stretched their advantage to 16 points some 22 minutes into the third term before a Magpie fightback.

Collingwood made rapid strikes with two goals in a minute coming from Josh Carmichael, and then skipper Pendlebury on the run reduced their deficit to three points at the last change.

Daicos capped his brilliant performance with the opening two goals in the last quarter.

The Pies appeared assured of victory when 16 points up 23 minutes into the last quarter before late goals from Adelaide’s Murphy and Walker ensured a frantic final few minutes.

Lions notch crucial win over Giants

Four goals from Hugh McCluggage helped Brisbane take care of business in their pursuit of a top-four berth, seeing off GWS in their first ever trip to Canberra.

After conceding the first goal, the Lions didn’t trail again in the 15.9 (99) to 9.5 (59) win, with not even four first-half efforts from Toby Greene enough to see the Giants hit the front.

Dan McStay hugs Cam Rayner as other Lions players approachDan McStay hugs Cam Rayner as other Lions players approach
The Lions enjoyed a big second half to head clear of the Giants.(Getty Images: Robert Cianflone)

The 40-point win puts them equal-top with Geelong, Melbourne and Fremantle, although those teams are yet to play in round 18.

McCluggage was at his sparkling best with 30 disposals to go with his majors, but they got a huge boost from Rhys Mathieson in his first AFL appearance of the year, racking up 10 clearances among his 23 touches.

Greene looked back to his dangerous self, slotting multiple goals for the first time in four matches, his first-half heroics keeping the Giants in the game as their opponents threatened to break away.

But the Lions had all the answers late, finally capitalising on their territorial dominance with nine of the second half’s first 10 goals to blow GWS away.

Their forwards fired on all cylinders, with Charlie Cameron, Cam Rayner (each three goals), Eric Hipwood and Daniel McStay (each two) kicking multiples, while star midfielder Lachie Neale got involved with 26 touches.

It was a second consecutive lamentable effort from the Giants, having been smashed by 55 points against Port Adelaide last weekend.

Greene had opened the scoring, but the Lions dominated the rest of the opening stanza with 15 inside 50s to six, and kicked the next four goals with McStay slotting two set shots to pinch an 18-point quarter-time lead.

But Greene got rolling with three goals in the second and Josh Kelly helped out with a sensational running effort as the got within seven points at the main break, a brilliant snapped effort from McCluggage highlighting the term for the Lions.

The Lions midfielder slotted two in the third however as they rattled off five goals to one in the third, firmly breaking the game open in skipping out to a 36-point lead.

They were always on top at the clearances with a dominant 49-24 result, converting that into a whopping extra 23 inside 50s.

Key GWS defender Sam Taylor put in a huge shift, racking up 20 disposals to go with six marks and some courageous defensive efforts, while Harry Himmelberg again impressed after shifting to defence with 30 touches.





Author: Ivan Robinson