Tigers tune up for finals as Bombers’ dismal season ends, Power hammer Crows in Showdown

A Geelong AFL player holds his two daughters before a match.

Essendon is thrashed by finals-bound Richmond in what could be coach Ben Rutten’s last match in charge, while Port Adelaide takes the honours in the Showdown.

Earlier, Geelong, Fremantle and Gold Coast enjoyed wins.

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Bombers vs Tigers

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Power vs Crows

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Cats win in Dangerfield’s 300th match

A Geelong AFL player holds his two daughters before a match.
Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield celebrated his milestone appearance.(AAP: Rob Prezioso )

Injuries to Cameron Guthrie and Jake Kolodjashnij have soured Geelong’s thumping 85-point win over West Coast in Patrick Dangerfield’s 300th AFL match.

Having already secured the minor premiership, the Cats warmed up for the finals with a predictable belting of the lowly Eagles for their 13th-straight win.

Even when the Eagles were challenging for premierships they endured beltings at Kardinia Stadium, and Saturday’s match was no different as a bottom-two team.

Geelong slammed through six opening-quarter goals, won every term and dominated inside-50s 62-27 in the 19.17 (131) to 7.4 (46) rout.

Despite missing star forward Jeremy Cameron (hamstring), Geelong’s forward line functioned superbly as the Cats five multiple goal kickers.

Tyson Stengle continued his push for All-Australian selection, booting a match-high four goals to take his season tally to 46 in his first year at Geelong.

Tom Hawkins entered the match with an opportunity to pinch the Coleman medal off Carlton’s Charlie Curnow but he was held to four goals by star Eagles defender Tom Barrass.

But Cats defender Kolodjashnij will be in doubt to play in Geelong’s first qualifying final after entering concussion protocols.

Kolodjashnij suffered a head knock in the first quarter and was subbed out for Tom Atkins, meaning he will be sidelined for at least 12 days.

Guthrie injured his shoulder early in the second quarter and took no further part in the match but the Cats said that was just as a precaution.

Geelong will have a week before preparing for a qualifying final at the MCG against Fremantle, Sydney or Collingwood.

For the Eagles, a club-worst season comes to an end after going 2-20 to finish 17th on the ladder, only ahead of North Melbourne on percentage.

Dockers stay in race for top-four finish

A Fremantle Dockers AFL player pumps his fist as he celebrates a goal.A Fremantle Dockers AFL player pumps his fist as he celebrates a goal.
David Mundy celebrates a goal for the Dockers.(Getty Images: Mark Nolan)

Fremantle took care of business in its pursuit of a top-four finish, but not without a serious scare against GWS at Manuka Oval.

The 13.11 (89) to 10.9 (69) victory means the Dockers will end Saturday third on the ladder, and hold on to a double-chance should either Collingwood lose to Carlton or Sydney fall to St Kilda on Sunday.

If both win, the Dockers will host an elimination final at Perth Stadium against the eight-placed team.

But it did not come easily in Canberra, with the Dockers trailing by 31 points as the Giants dominated early.

They kicked five straight goals either side of half-time to hit the front early in the second half and looked home in the last when Andrew Brayshaw slotted his second running major, only for two quick Jacob Hopper efforts to turn the match on its head.

But the Dockers had the final say, with the last three goals of the day capped by Michael Walters snapping his third major in his 200th AFL match.

Midfielder Will Brodie led the charge with a stellar 30-disposal, one-goal match but he can thank teammate Caleb Serong for his help, influential in establishing control in the middle with 11 clearances.

The Dockers had been forced to play star midfielder Nat Fyfe out of the goal square after Griffin Logue’s late injury withdrawal saw him join key forwards Rory Lobb and Matt Taberner in missing the contest.

It meant they struggled to score at times despite dominating the inside 50-count 68-45, with GWS defender Sam Taylor one beneficiary with an impressive 20 touches and 12 marks.

It ends Mark McVeigh’s tenure as GWS interim coach with a 4-9 win-loss record, although the side’s increased performance level in the back-half of the season has reportedly made him a genuine candidate for the permanent position.

The Giants end their campaign with a 6-16 record, and face an off-season full of movement as they seek to appoint a new coach and deal with a number of players who are rumoured to want out of the club.

Suns hammer Kangaroos

A Gold Coast Suns AFL player prepares to kick the ball with his right foot during a match.A Gold Coast Suns AFL player prepares to kick the ball with his right foot during a match.
Touk Miller and the Suns won on the road against the Kangaroos.(AAP: Hamish Blair)

Gold Coast was left to ponder what might have been after a club-equalling win against wooden spooners North Melbourne at Docklands.

It was the Suns’ 10th victory, matching the season-best of 2014, but again coming up short of finishing in the top-eight to play in the finals.

Gold Coast set up the 16.18 (114) to 6.11 (47) victory with superior efficiency with the ball, control around the stoppages and a functioning forward line led by veteran Alex Sexton with a career-best six goals.

It was a disappointing collective assessment from the Kangaroos players for incoming senior coach Alastair Clarkson as he watching the game away from Docklands.

Clarkson at least would have been heartened by several individual performances, such as number-one draft pick Jason Horne-Francis with his work in the midfield until he was forced off with a cut head late in the third quarter.

Backman Ben McKay kept Suns’ key forward Levi Casboult goalless and Curtis Taylor picked up 25 possessions and a goal while dulling the influence of Suns co-captain Touk Miller — one of the Brownlow Medal favourites — to a manageable 25 disposals.

North Melbourne really only threatened once with goals from Hugh Greenwood and Luke Davies-Uniacke early in the third quarter.

But the Suns responded to the challenge with five unanswered goals from Sexton (two), Miller, Malcolm Rosas and Mabior Chol to put the contest beyond reach.





Author: Ivan Robinson