The Queen’s Birthday long weekend saw the 2010 AFL Season head into Round 12, as teams hit the ovals for some crucial fixtures with another thrilling weekend of Aussie rules taking place.
Geelong went into the round hoping to maintain their dominance at the top of the table, which they did once again, while Richmond impressed at the other end of the ladder in a weekend which saw several thrilling upsets.
Round 13 of the 2010 AFL Season bounces off this Friday night at the MCG when Hawthorn take on Essendon, and sees another great round of fixtures lined up as sides start to tire, and upsets happen.
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Below is a roundup of the weekend’s fixtures.
North Melbourne 97 V Carlton 68
Bouncing off the weekend’s action, the Etihad Stadium saw North Melbourne take on Carlton for their Round 12 fixture which was set to be a one way affair.
However in what was the first upset of the weekend, the home side continued their impressive form of late, beating the then fifth-placed Carlton side by 29 points.
It was a great performance by the Roos, highlighted by a seven-goal booting from Lindsay Thomas in the 14.13(97) to 10.8 (68) win which sees them a spot away from the top eight.
Scott Thompson and Scott McMahon were instrumental in the win for North, while Michael Firrito saw the ball forward throughout the match.
While the Blues were stunned by the Roos’ tirade early in the opening term, they managed to come back and close the score line by the main break, but could not maintain the home side as they saw the crucial four points slip from their hand.
Eddie Betts tried to single handedly take the Blues through for a win and booted five goals, with Jarrad Waite also crucial for visitors as he claimed three goals.
Bryce Gibbs worked hard around the oval ending the game on 33 disposals, as he was moved into the midfield so Jordan Russell could cover the fantastic Thomas.
The win sees North out of the top eight due to percentage, while Carlton drifted further from the top four as they emerge from the weekend in sixth spot – four points out of the top tier.
Hawthorn 124 V Adelaide 77
On Saturday afternoon, the Aurora Stadium saw Hawthorn at home to Adelaide as they battled it out in round 12.
The Hawks confirmed their rise back to form with a 47-point win over the Crows which sees them into the top eight on the ladder.
It was a fifth consecutive win for the home side, which despite being scrappy at times was deserved and resulted in a 19.10(124) to 11.11(77) win.
For the home side it was pivotal performances by Luke Hodge and Cyril Riolo securing six goals and 22 contested possessions between them, which saw the crucial four points theirs.
It was a cat-and-mouse game for the first three terms, which resulted in a fourth quarter powerful opening from the Hawks which they maintained and saw out the match with.
However the visitors certainly put up a fight, not letting the Hawks get away for the majority of the game as they battle to stay in with a chance.
The second and third quarters saw the Crows claw their way back into the match, but just could not keep up with the nifty footwork of the Hawks in the last term.
Kurt Tippett was instrumental for the Crows’ comeback, botting four goals with Patrick Dangerfield and Taylor Walker claiming two each.
Adelaide saw another disappointing result which sees them second from the bottom, while the Hawks’ return to form sees them slowly coming up behind the top eight as we turn to the tail end of the season.
Essendon 83 V Geelong 154
On Saturday night, Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium saw Essendon at home to the in-from Geelong side as they took to their Round 12 fixture.
The home side would have gone into the fixture hoping the injuries to key Geelong players would have helped their cause, but the Cats confirmed their title of the side to beat as they still managed a huge 71-point win over the Bombers.
The opening half of the match saw a close game between the two sides, but as has happened so often this season, the Cats came out in the second half to run away with the score to claim a 23.16(154) to 12.11(83) win.
The Bombers went into the game with all they had, as they opened strong and stayed within the contest going into the opening break 12-points down as Alwyn Davey kept them in booting three goals early on.
Michael Hurley was also crucial for the home side claiming four goals, and in the opening minutes of the second term managed to claw back to a five point deficit but could not hold off the Geelong charge.
For the Cats it was a convincing win with crowd favourite James Podsiadly securing five goals, along with Travis Varcoe, while Steve Johnson booted four.
Once again Gary Ablett was superb, finishing on 34 possessions, while James Kelly ended on 32 and Jimmy Bertel on 28.
The result sees Geelong maintain their lead at the top of the ladder, while the Bombers sit back in tenth place needing a win this weekend.
Port Adelaide 55 V Sydney Swans 93
On Saturday evening, South Australia’s AAMI Stadium saw Port Adelaide at home to the Sydney Swans for their Round 12 fixture.
Port Adelaide needed to secure a win over the weekend to stop their recent slump in form, but the Swans instead claimed the crucial four points as they won the 38 to see them into the top four.
The opening term saw the home side take the lead, going into the first break ahead by four, but the Swans came out in the second term to turn it around and went on to win 14.9(93) to 8.7(55).
The Power just could not kick the goals, with none of the players finishing with more than a single goal – although can come away from the game with a strong performance by Kane Cornes who claimed 32 disposals.
David Rogan managed just 15 touches as he was held well by the Swans’ Kieran Jack.
Sydney were superb after the first break, with a pivotal performance by Nick Malceski who ended on a goal and 35 possessions to his name.
Adam Goodes booted three goals, while Jude Bolton was impressive with 26 disposals and two goals in the vital win.
The win for the Swans sees them into seventh place, while Port Adelaide now drop to the bottom end of the pack as they sit in 12th place.
Richmond 126 V West Coast Eagles 77
On Sunday afternoon, the MCG saw Richmond at home to the West Coast Eagles as they faced off for Round 12.
Richmond have had a terrible start to the season, although secured their second win over the weekend as they claimed a convincing 49-point win over the Eagles.
There were a couple of standout individuals for the home side on Sunday afternoon, with Jack Riewoldt unstoppable as he scored ten goals for the Tigers with seven contested marks in the 19.12(126) to 11.11(77) win.
The opening term set the pace of the game as Riewoldt booted five of his goals, and with Dustin Martin up front and proving himself as a young up and comer, the Eagles never had a chance.
The visitors seemed to struggle without Darren Glass, although Beau Waters was instrumental as he seemed to play with more passion and determination than his teammates possessed.
Ben McKinley booted three for the Eagles equal to Mark LeCras, while Andrew Embley worked hard to finish with 30 disposals.
The result sees Richmond still at the bottom of the table, although slowly creeping up with the likes of this week’s opponents and Adelaide.
Western Bulldogs 121 V Brisbane Lions 56
On Sunday afternoon, Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium saw the Western Bulldogs at home to the Brisbane Lions for their clash on the oval.
After a disappointing couple of weeks, the home side managed to turnaround their mid season slump and reaffirm themselves as top four contenders as they claimed a 65-point win.
With an impressive performance from Barry Hall who booted six goals for the Dogs, they claimed their seventh win of the season 17.19(121) to 8.8(56), as the Lions continue to slip down the ladder.
The Dogs’ midfield dominated possessions, with Daniel Cross claiming 31 along with Matthew Boyd, and Adam Cooney finished on a huge 30.
Dale Morris was critical for the home side, who kept Brendan Fevola quiet as he claimed just two goals, while Hall got the better of Brisbane’s defender Daniel Merrett.
The visitors were lacking without power forward Jonathan Brown, although Amon Buchanan did manage to boot three goals for the visitors.
The result sees the Bulldogs a spot away from the top four as they climb back into contention, while the Lions are now in 11th spot, slipping further away from the lead pack.
Fremantle 67 V St Kilda 85
On Sunday afternoon at the Subiaco Oval, Perth’s Fremantle were at home to St Kilda for a crucial clash in round 12.
Always set to be a big fixture for the round, the visitors managed an upset win over Freo as they came away 37-point winners.
It was a close finish between the two top four placed sides, but thanks to Stephen Milne who stepped up a gear in his 200th game and booted four goals in the opening half came away with a 12.13(85) to 10.7(67) win.
The Saints secured the lead in the third term, and never let it go, although Freo managed to kick all but one of the last five goals.
Adam Schneider was another in form payer for the Saints booting 14 points, and finishing on 21 disposals, while Brendon Goddard finished on 33.
Freo changed it around after the main break, with Chris Tarrant covering the impressive Milne, and did well as the forward did not score again in the second half.
Anthony Morabito scored two goals for the home side, while Hayden Ballantyne booted nine points.
The win sees the Saints clear of the rest of the table in second spot, a win behind Geelong, while Fremantle cling on to a spot in the top four.
Melbourne 76 V Collingwood 76
Rounding off the action for the weekend, the MCG saw the traditional Queen’s birthday fixture between Melbourne and Collingwood go ahead.
It was an incredibly exciting Aussie rules game to watch, as the two managed the first draw of the season finishing 11.10(76) to 9.22(76).
In the opening stages of the game it all went according to the odds as the Pies piled on three goals to none, although they struggled to convert their chances, with the home side kicking six from seven goals and take the lead for a short period.
The Demons went into the game as huge outsiders, but overcame the odds thanks to pivotal performances from Brent Moloney who finished on 38 possessions and Brad Miller and Matthew Bate who claimed two goals each.
The Pies saw a four goal tirade from Brad Dick in a solid performance for the visitors, while Dane Swan finished on 38 disposals in what was another influential performance from the big gun.
Collingwood’s kicking lost them the match, as they sent many wayward in front of the goals, while the Dees were unlucky not to come away with the win as they took advantage of a side looking a little vulnerable.
The draw sees Collingwood sitting in third spot, while Melbourne need to start winning if they want to creep into the top eight as they sit in 13th.