Round 9 of the 2010 AFL Season took place over the weekend, with some killer clashes among favourites, and great score lines drawing attention from around the nation.
Richmond went into the weekend still looking to claim their first points of the season, while Collingwood were out to maintain their rise to the top of the ladder and increase the margin at the top of the table.
Emerging from the weekend, Geelong have claimed their elite status, while two other teams are sitting equal on points in what it is a close battle at the top of the table.
Round 10 will bounce off this Friday evening at the Etihad Stadium when Essendon take on the Western Bulldogs, so if you want to get in on the action for this weekend, make sure you head to Ladbrokes.com.au and sign up!
Below is a roundup of the weekend’s fixtures.
Collingwood 50 V Geelong 86
The MCG saw Round 9 of the 2010 AFL Season bounce off as the clash between the top two took place between Collingwood and Geelong.
In what was billed to be the highest scoring game of the weekend, and possibly the tie of the season, the then table toppers were shown a lesson by the title defenders as the Cats won 12.14(86) to 6.14(50).
Geelong are now back where they belong – at the top of the table, although sit equal in points to the Pies and Freo, after coming back from 11 points to beat Collingwood by 36 points.
In front of a huge 88, 115 person crowd, the Cats saw James Kelly return to his fantastic form claiming 32 possessions, while Gary Ablett was once again instrumental in the win with 32 also.
Cameron Mooney was strong for the Cats in his 200th game as he claimed three goals, equal to Mathew Stokes.
For the Pies, Chris Dawes and Travis Cloke could not manage a goal between the two of them in what was a disappointing game for the duo, and instead the home side relied on Dayne Beams who claimed four of the six goals for Collingwood.
North Melbourne 57 V Western Bulldogs 127
Starting Saturday’s action, the Etihad Stadium saw North Melbourne at home to the Western Bulldogs for their Round 9 clash.
The visitors netted their biggest win of the current season claiming a 70-point victory, which sees the Dogs into the top four.
While eyes were on Barry Hall, who was booked for rough conduct just before half time after Scott Thompson broke through the calm facade, the Dogs came away with a 20.7(127) to 7.15(57) win.
Thompson is also facing two reports in a match which certainly brought passion to the fore with five bookings taking place.
The Dogs saw a strong performance by Adam Cooney with 36 possessions and two goals, while Brian Lake and Jarrod Harbrow were also important in the win which was simply unstoppable.
The Roos had little going for them apart from skipper Brent Harvey and Brad Rawlings’ attempting to change the game, but to no avail against a Dogs side which found their top form.
Sydney 63 V Fremantle 100
Over in Sydney on Saturday afternoon, the SCG saw the Sydney Swans take on Fremantle with the duo fighting to claim a spot in the top four.
Freo travelled to NSW not having won at the SCG for 14 years, but managed to come away with a convincing 37-point win over the Swans.
Captain Matthew Pavlich was instrumental in Freo’s win as the visitors claimed a 14.16(100) to 9.9(63) triumph, with six goals scored in the second quarter to set the tone of the game.
Despite a controversial time off the field with the suspension of Michael Johnson, the side seemed focussed on the task at hand.
The Swans felt the impact of injuries as Tadhg Kennelly and Daniel Bradshaw both left the oval due to a medial ligament and knee injury respectively, with Bradshaw’s a possible serious impact on his season.
It was a strong performance by Freo which cements the side in the top four, while the Swans just could not cope with their intensity.
Essendon 130 V Richmond 95
On Saturday evening, the MCG saw Essendon take on Richmond for their Round 9 clash which the Tiger’s were desperate to win.
The Bombers came away with a 35-point win, which is their first consecutive victory this season and never looked threatened by a less than impressive Richmond force.
The first quarter set the game up, with the home side putting away seven goals to none in their 19.16(130) to 14.11(95) win, where they were ahead by 41 points at just 20 minutes into the fixture.
David Hille continued his strong form claiming three goals on Saturday, along with 26 disposals, which saw his claim the best on ground award.
However Jack Riewoldt was strong for the Tigers after equalling his career best of six goals, and while his side tried for the comeback, never really posed a threat to the home team.
The loss sees Richmond looking less and less likely to get off the bottom of the ladder, with the rest of the pack increasing the point’s difference.
Melbourne 111 V Port Adelaide 110
On Saturday evening, Darwin’s TIO Stadium saw a thrilling clash between Melbourne and Port Adelaide for their Round 9 fixture.
The Dees managed to claim a single point win after being 33 ahead at the final break.
The Power surged in the fourth quarter with a comeback, and were unlucky to lose 16.14(110) to 17.9(111), in what were new conditions for both sides who faced humidity and high temperatures.
The final minutes were truly thrilling as both sides were scrapping for points in what was a less than impressive last five minutes technically.
Brad Miller was impressive for Melbourne ending on five goals, although the Victorian side could not maintain their grasp on the lead they had set up for themselves each quarter.
Jason Davenport kept the Power in with a chance of claiming a win, scoring two goals in the comeback, and with momentum certainly in the visitor’s favour as the final blower went, Port felt the tough arm of defeat.
Adelaide V Brisbane Lions
On Sunday lunchtime, Adelaide took on the Brisbane Lions at the AAMI Stadium for their Round 9 fixture.
The Crows managed their second win of the season over the weekend as they claimed a 12-point win in a tense clash with the early season contenders.
For the Lions it was another addition to the string of unconvincing losses, as they went down 11.15(81) to 13.15(93), after letting several key opportunities go by including a lead in the third term.
The home side’s confidence built as the game continued, and the Crows managed four unanswered goals in the final term to claim the win thanks to a fantastic performance by Taylor Walker who claimed two final quarter goals.
Brisbane fans’ eyes were on Brendan Fevola after pre-game doubts over his fitness, and the forward put those questions to bed with his five goal tally although skipper Jonathan Brown seemed quiet.
It was a confidence boosting win for the Crows after a controversial week off the oval for the side, and with a convincing win over the Lions, will now be looking to truly kick their season off.
Carlton 60 V Hawthorn 110
On Sunday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium, Carlton took on Hawthorn for their Round 9 clash on the oval.
It was about time the Hawks secured a convincing win after a hugely disappointing start to the current season, and came away with a 50-point win over the Blues.
The visitors looked safe throughout the win, although the Blues made a comeback in the third term to no avail, with the Hawks coming away 16.14(110) to 8.12(60) winners.
It was disappointing for the Blues who could have emerged from the weekend equal fourth with the Bulldogs had they won.
Luke Hodge was instrumental for the visitors with 29 touches, while Lance Franklin claimed 5.4 over the course of the game, which left Hawthorn at three wins from the opening nine games.
While the Blues never looked their recently threatening side, they did suffer some key injuries throughout the game with Chris Johnson and Simon White just two who were ruled out during the fixture.
West Coast Eagles 56 V St Kilda 91
Rounding off the weekend’s proceedings, the West Coast Eagles hosted St Kilda at the Subiaco Oval on Sunday afternoon.
St Kilda travelled to Western Australia needing a win to stay close to the top four, and they did not fail to deliver as they secured a 35-point win over the Eagles – reviving their impressive form before the last two weeks.
West Coast were up by 17 points in the third term, and looked to deliver the Saints another loss, although Lenny Hayes stepped up and led his St Kilda side to a 13.13(91) to 8.8(56) victory, claiming nine of the last ten goals scored in the course of the game.
It was not plain sailing for last year’s grand finalists who have suffered since the loss of skipper Nick Riewoldt, although may be back to their early season dominance as other goal kickers stepped up to the plate.
The win puts the Saints into fifth spot, equal on points to the fourth placed Western Bulldogs, while the Eagles hit 14th.