Over the weekend, while six of the AFL sides took their mid season break, the first weekend of Round 13 got underway with another great display of Aussie rules around the nation.
Richmond headed into the weekend hoping to claim their first consecutive win this season as they headed to Brisbane, while Fremantle and Carlton battled it out at the top of the table.
The second weekend of Round 13 starts this Friday night with the clash of the season, with second place St Kilda up against Geelong at the MCG.
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Below is a roundup of the weekend’s fixtures.
Hawthorn 102 V Essendon 86
Bouncing off the weekend’s action, the MCG saw Hawthorn at home to Essendon for their Round 13 fixture.
The home side confirmed their return to form with a 16-point win, their sixth consecutive triumph despite the Bombers making a late comeback.
Lance Franklin put in a performance of the season, claiming five goals in the 14.18(102) to 13.8(86) win, with his versatility around the oval second to none.
Sam Mitchell caused the Bombers some real trouble in the middle of the ground, with several of Essendon’s players attempting to control him, and none able to.
For the visitors, Jason Winderlich was great, ending on 35 disposals and leading the comeback in the second half with some nifty ball work.
The final term was a great display of AFL, with the Bombers claiming the lead for a short period, but with Beau Muston, Jordan Lewis and Michael Osbourne on top form, the Hawks had that little bit extra in the fuel tank.
The win sees the Hawks in the top eight, while the Bombers are edging further away at 10th spot on the ladder.
Carlton 87 V Fremantle 96
On Saturday evening, the highlight fixture of the weekend saw Carlton at home to Fremantle as they took to Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.
With the duo fighting to confirm themselves as top four finishers, Freo managed a nine point win in the thrilling match which saw the Blues’ Matthew Kreuzer suffer a devastating knee injury.
Freo took the game by the scruff of the neck, and looked to have come away with a convincing win, while the Blues came out and booted six goals in the final term to finish with a 14.12(96) to 12.15(87) loss.
Eddie Betts was key in the Carlton comeback, kicking four goals in the last quarter, although sees the Blues suffer a consecutive loss after some haphazard kicking early on.
Fremantle’s defence was paramount in the win, with Michael Barlow helping his Brownlow Medal hopes finishing on 30 disposals, while Aaron Sandilands was also great.
Many labelled Freo’s strong start to the season luck, but Mark Harvey’s men proved why they are threatened as they held off a strong comeback to walk away victorious.
The result sees Freo firmly in third spot on the ladders, while Carlton slip down to seventh with a near win crucial to maintain hopes of a top four finish.
Brisbane Lions 86 V Richmond 105
On Saturday night, the Gabba saw the Brisbane Lions at home to Richmond for their Round 13 clash on the oval.
The Lions came away with some serious work to be done if they want to make the finals after a 19-point loss.
The Tigers took the lead early on and never lost it, as their fight to not win the wooden spoon took a good turn as they came away 15.15(105) to 12.14(86) winners – giving them their first consecutive win of the season.
The Lions were hoping Brendan Fevola would step up in his 200th game, but instead was held to just a single goal, with more wayward kicking coming off his boot.
However the Tigers were certainly deserved of the win, with Jack Riewoldt continuing his great form with three goals, while Brett Deledio was also fantastic finishing on 30 disposals.
The result sees the Lions slipping further away from the finals, while Richmond are now lever with Adelaide and the Eagles with three wins this season.
North Melbourne 129 V Port Adelaide 93
On Sunday afternoon, the Etihad Stadium saw North Melbourne at home to Port Adelaide for their round 13 encounter.
The Power saw their recent slump in form continue, as they went down to a convincing Roo’s side by 36-points and sees their slippery slope down the ladder continue.
The result hands the Power their sixth consecutive loss and the Roos their seventh win of the season, in the 19.15(129) to 14.9(93) victory.
For the home side, the experience of midfielders Brent Harvey and Brady Rawling was second to none, as they ended on 32 and 29 possessions respectively, while Harvey booted two goals.
While Port attempted a late comeback, with Daniel Motlop kicking two goals, it was a case of too little too late as the Roo’s bombed on ahead.
The win sees North out of the top eight on percentage, while Port stay put on 20 points as they take the 12th spot on the ladder.
West Coast Eagles 59 V Western Bulldogs 119
Rounding off the weekend’s action, the Subiaco Oval saw the West Coast Eagles at home to the Western Bulldogs.
The visitors played some of the better footy they have show this season in the 60-point win, as they took to the final term to prove their worth as a top four contender.
The Dogs were ahead at every change and were fantastic in the last stanza, coming away with a 17.17(119) to 9.5(59) victory.
The home side managed to stay within striking distance of the dogs in the opening three terms, but could not hold their opposition in the closing quarter.
Mark LeCras was strong for the Eagles, booting three goals, while Beau Waters and Bradd Dalziell were also strong finishing on 29 disposals each.
For the Dogs, Barry Hall scored the highest number of goals – three, while a total of 11 got their name on the goal scoring sheet, with Lindsay Gilbee pivotal finishing on 32 possessions.
The result sees the Dogs within touching distance of the top four, while the Eagles are level on points at the bottom of the table in contention for the wooden spoon of the season.