Over the weekend, Round 8 of the 2010 AFL Season went underway and saw some more fantastic footy grace the ovals around the nation, resulting in some high scoring and surprising results.
Once again Richmond was looking for its first win of the season to take the side off the bottom of the ladder, while Collingwood looked to maintain its lead at the top end.
As the season starts to build form and see teams establish themselves as dominant forces, Round 8 for 2010 certainly lived up to expectations with some high scoring results.
Round 9 will bounce off this Friday evening as Collingwood and Geelong face each other at the MCG – so in order to get in on the action, head to Ladbrokes.com.au so you can set up your account in time for the weekend.
Below is a roundup of the weekend’s fixtures
Fremantle 97 V Collingwood 133
Bouncing off proceedings for the round was the match between Fremantle and Collingwood at the Subiaco Oval on Friday evening.
With the two sides having such strong starts to the season, the game was certain to be a thrilling affair and the fixture certainly saw the two battling it out to emerge from the weekend as ladder leaders.
However it was the visitors who took the points, claiming a 36-point win in Perth, confirming their status as the dominant force at this point in the season.
It was the Pies’ fifth consecutive win this weekend, with Travis Cloke impressing after booting five goals from six shots in the 20.13(133) to 15.7(97) win.
The statistics all back the scoreline with Dane Swan claiming 31 possessions, Scott Pendlebury 27 and Shane O’Bree 25 in what was Luke Ball’s 150th game.
For the home side it was a disappointing loss – just the second of the season, and saw Aaron Sandilands play well in his fight to secure his ruckman spot over Darren Jolly.
It was a wakeup call for Freo who drew the largest non-derby crowd to the stadium, with fans hoping to see their side hit the top spot for the first time in 16 years – but the ultimate dominance and superior experience saw the Pies edge that bit further from the rest of the pack.
Western Bulldogs 101 V Sydney Swans 63
Starting the action for Saturday, the Manuka Oval saw the Western Bulldogs take on the Sydney Swans for their Round 8 battle.
It was a convincing 38-point victory for the home side, and saw the Dogs into the top four at this point of the season, after the Swans bombed out with a 9.9(63) to 14.17(101) defeat.
All eyes were on Barry Hall for the Bulldogs, who faced his former teammates for the first time in a dominating performance over the Swans since he was traded last year.
Also strong for the home team was Ben Hudson who fed the midfield well while Daniel Cross and Matthew Boyd were also influential.
It was a contrasting story for the Swans, who after some convincing wins early in the season have lacked the ability to capitalize against the big guns on the ladder in recent weeks – and had salt added to the wound as Daniel Bradshaw was a late withdrawal.
Jarrad McVeigh claimed 30 possessions for the Swans in his gallant performance for the Sydney side, while Marty Mattner was also strong.
The Swans will need to up their game for round 9 in order to get their season back on track as they face the in-from Freo team on Saturday afternoon.
Melbourne 46 V West Coast Eagles 75
On Saturday afternoon, the MCG saw Melbourne at home to the West Coast Eagles in what was a low scoring affair on the oval.
Despite not having won at the Melbourne ground for three years, the Eagles came away with a 29-point win, booting five goals in the second half to the Demons single effort.
After beating Hawthorn at home last weekend, it was the first set of consecutive victories for the Eagles as they walked away 10.15(75) to 6.10(46) winners.
Matt Priddis and Mark LeCras – who kicked two goals, were both important for the Eagles, while youngster Nic Naitanui took an impressive mark over Cameron Bruce.
It was a low-scoring game, with only 10 goals kicked in the first half between both teams, and with the Eagles managing to edge away – the Demons could not get back into the contest.
Both sides are now on 3-5 wins to loss ratio at this point in the season, sitting on 12 points, and as Melbourne emerge from the weekend with some injury worries, will need to ask some questions as they head into Round 9.
Brisbane Lions 74 V Geelong 155
On Saturday evening, the Gabba came to life once again as the Brisbane Lions were at home to Geelong in what was sure to be a crowd pleasing fixture.
However last year’s Champions showed the home side why they won the title in an 81-point mauling over the Lions.
It was clear from the bounce off the intentions of the Cats as they led by 26-points in just the first break, and came away with a 24.11(155) to 10.14(74) win which sees them sitting second on the ladder.
The visitors to Brisbane looked unstoppable, dominating with the likes of Steve Johnson kicking goals from both feet and the midfield all claiming 30+ in the possession stakes.
The injury struck Lions certainly struggled, with Brendon Fevola controlled well by Matthew Scarlett, and managed just three kicks and a goal throughout the game.
After a strong start to the season the Lions have now lost four straight games, and looked like a different side to that in the opening games of the year slipping out of the top eight.
North Melbourne 84 V Adelaide 75
Also on Saturday evening, Etihad Stadium was home to the match between North Melbourne and Adelaide which saw an epic battle on the oval.
The home side came away with a nine point win over the Crows who needed a victory to have a reasonable chance to make the finals, but instead suffered their seventh defeat this season.
The Roos went into the final break eight goals up, however with a gallant performance from their guests looked unable to cope with the Crows and were lucky to hold onto a 12.12(84) to 11.9(75) victory.
Brent Harvey was strong once again for the Roos claiming three goals, with the team securing a huge 53-point lead in the third quarter.
However the Crows, despite a lacklustre opening three terms, came back in the final quarter and silenced their opponents, claiming seven goals to the Roos’ none.
Taylor Walker was strong for the Crows booting three goals, while skipper Simon Goodwin managed 27 disposals – eight of which were in the final quarter.
The win takes North Melbourne to four wins from the first eight rounds – just outside the top eight.
Richmond 86 V Hawthorn 89
On Sunday afternoon, the MCG was home once again to Richmond who was host to Hawthorn for the Round 8 fixture.
Both sides have had a less than impressive start to the season, with the home side not having claimed any points thus far, and the Hawks not winning since Round one – which was reflected in the close three point win by the Hawks.
In another match which had a final term with all the action, the Hawks secured a 17 point lead early in the quarter, although only just managed to claim the 13.11(89) to 13.8(86) win,
The visitors have skipper Sam Mitchell to thank, as he tackled Shane Tuck deep in the closing minutes of the game to deny the midfielder a shot on goal.
New boy Shaun Burgoyne was impressive for the Hawks in his first run out for the team, claiming 20 possessions, while Rioli was influential after kicking four goals.
The Tigers’ defence was strong, with Luke McGuane and Will Thursfield reducing the impact of Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin, who managed just four goals between them.
It was unlucky for the home side who still sit at the bottom of the table in search of their first win this season.
Port Adelaide 92 V Carlton 118
Also on Sunday afternoon, the Adelaide’s AAMI Stadium saw Port Adelaide at home to Carlton in their Round 8 fixture.
Carlton has found impressive form in recent weeks, and carried it through to this weekend as they claimed a 26-point win, making their tally five to three this season.
The Power were up in the final break by nine points, but could not maintain the lead in the last term, as the Blues kicked four goals and claimed the 17.16(118) to 14.8(92) win.
For the visitors Setanta O’hAilpin was fantastic, proving his worth as a key forward for the Blues as he kicked three goals, a number also reached by Matthew Kreuzer.
Once again captain Chris Judd was solid claiming 27 possessions, while Kade Simpson made 29, with both players also scoring a goal.
The Power saw Steven Salopek step up and claim three goals in an unexpected turn of events, with Daniel Motlop and Cameron Hitchcock both booting two.
The home side have been noted for their impressive performances in the final terms, although failed against the Blues – perhaps due to overconfidence.
St Kilda 81 V Essendon 93
Rounding off the proceedings for the weekend, Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium saw St Kilda at home to Essendon in their Round 8 fixture on Sunday evening.
In what was an unexpected result, the Bombers dealt the Saints their third defeat for the season as they claimed a 12-point win.
It was a disappointing performance by the pre-season favourites with the Saints side losing 11.15(81) to 14.9(93).
Jason Gram, who has been playing well for the home side lately, looked vulnerable on Sunday and seemed to be dealing with a hamstring injury – while David Hille and Steven Baker looked frustrated, and were written up by the umpire.
However Michael Gardner claimed three goals despite being played as the ruckman, while Justin Koschitzke also claimed three.
Jobe Watson was instrumental for the Bombers, working away in the midfield and claimed 25 disposals, while youngster David Myers was another strong Essendon player.
The loss leaves the Saints at seventh spot on the ladder and they face the West Coast Eagles this weekend looking to get their season back on track.