AFL: Five Things We Learned From Round 20

Sportal August 13, 2012, 11:12 am

'''1. Chris Scott is touchy. '''
Assumedly seething after a narrow loss to West Coast on Friday night, the usually-circumspect Geelong coach let the people of Patersons Stadium know exactly what he thought of them - but in doing so, has only opened the door for even nastier banter from the crowd in the future. Think the way that the injured Tom Hawkins was treated as he received medical attention on the sidelines was bad enough? It's only going to get rougher now that everyone knows what it takes to get under Scott's skin. Eagles fans are no better or worse than any other group in the AFL, and there will always be an element of barbarism from the crowd - particularly at games with high stakes. For a guy who always let his football do the talking, Scott should have known better.

'''2. North Melbourne's on the ball. '''
Meanwhile, the other Scott is loving life. Following Sunday's courageous four-goal win over an Essendon side on the slide, Chris' brother Brad has steered the Kangaroos to five straight wins and has all but secured a spot in the finals. Early injuries to Leigh Adams and Daniel Wells - followed by a last-term knock to Nathan Grima - meant that North were always behind the eight ball, but defied the damage that did to their rotations and held their nerve in a ferocious final quarter to deliver a season-defining 24-point victory. It was what we've come to expect this year from the Shinboners, who must now fancy their chances of upsetting the apple cart in September if they can continue to produce that level of determination - that is, if those three key names shake off those injuries.

'''3. Hawthorn are ruthless. '''
Poor Gary Hocking must have been wondering what all the fuss is about in the first quarter of Port Adelaide's game against the Hawks on Sunday. The Power sprung to a shock 21-point lead early on in Tasmania, flying in the face of predictions that they'd get blown away after the week from hell for the proud old club. In fact, it could have been bigger. As Port missed chance after chance to extend that margin into a potentially game-ending edge, the feeling prevailed that eventually Hawthorn would stop playing around and flick the switch. It happened, in a big way. Thanks to a massive, 11-goal final quarter, what could have been the upset of the season was instead a routine, par-for-the-course 72-point thumping from a Hawks side that is firing on all cylinders right now.

'''4. Tanking talk is nonsense.'''
Guy McKenna and Kevin Sheedy have every right to be offended that Saturday's match between the two expansion sides was tainted with the stigma of tanking. Gold Coast won the game by 30 points, but aside from the moral boost that their first ever win at Metricon Stadium gave them, it's arguable that Greater Western Sydney will benefit more out of the result - the wooden spoon is almost certainly theirs, meaning they get first pick at the draft this year. But to say that either side wanted to lose the game - a topic which dominated the pre-match discourse - is ridiculous. Both teams already have more than enough young talent. The changes both sides made ahead of the contest were legitimate. And given how bad they both are right now, they couldn't throw a game if they tried.

'''5. Patrick Dangerfield is Mark Ricciuto reincarnate.'''
There's a reason why the rising Adelaide star wears Roo's old number. He's practically a clone. Just look at the way he operates. Like Ricciuto, Dangerfield has a god-given talent for not only digging in and finding the football, but then tearing away from the pack with incredible power and pace. Those qualities also come through in his disposal. In the Crows' 28-point triumph over Fremantle on Saturday, an explosive Dangerfield kicked two goals - both booming efforts from beyond the 50-metre arc. The last guy to do that sort of thing on a consistent basis in the Adelaide tri-colours won a Brownlow medal, and you'd have to think at this rate Dangerfield won't be far off one of his own.

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  1. underarm_bowler07:26pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Bulstrode forgot number six, that his real alias is bull (guess what). Another soccer pansy we assume?

  2. Richard04:45pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Don't like either of the Scott twins. Can't stand their long, hang-dog faces all the time. Even when they're trying to be positive they look like whingers. What's wrong with these cry babies? How long do we have to endure their miserable personas?

  3. Andrew03:47pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    One of the most unsportsmanlike player of his era,inherits a top team and still won't stop whinging.If he's really worried about his kids he should take a look at himself and somehow prevent them from seeing any vision of his infamous playing days.

  4. Bulstrode03:46pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    My five things, in no particular order: 1) AFL is gay 2) AFL is played by brain-dead idiots 3) AFL is followed by morons 4) AFL coaches are both brain-dead and morons 5) AFL is the silliest game ever foist upon Australians.

    1 Reply
  5. Col02:49pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    An Adelaide Crows trifecta - pre-season Cup, Brownlow medallist & AFL Premiership in the one season! Never been done before ... we will have to wait and see, good luck boys!!!

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  6. Jazzer02:40pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Seems like Chris Scott always has something to whinge about after every round

  7. Dave02:03pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The Crows will be in the grand final with at least a 50/50 chance of winning it. look out next year for them to win it

  8. Daggers01:34pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    When will the AFL do something about the terrible umpiring? They are already radio'd up, so why cant Bad decisions be overturned immediately. The number of "deliberate"out of bounds decisions was ridiculous. Next week, it will be something else!

  9. Saint01:23pm Monday 13th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yeah, number five was kind of obvious, Dangerfield is an amazing talent for the Crows, he will definitly be a top player in the years to come. Maybe a Brownlow isn't too far away for him.