We are in the second half of the 2022 season and things are starting to get really interesting. As Melbourne slipped again, freo hype is now impossible to ignore.
Welcome to the AFL Round-Up, where we spent the week that was.
A cause for concern about the Melbourne demons?
Two weeks ago, we threw ourselves into the next four Melbourne matches at the Round-Up and indicated that the biggest demon test of the season was approaching.
In fact, we said the coming month would offer “the final verdict on how far Melbourne is ahead of the pack.”
The Dees are only in the middle of this run, but an early verdict has already been reached. They’re probably not as far away as we thought.
And maybe it’s not even the demons going back to the pack, although without the cold hand of Steven May, who was driving the ship in the back, he definitely looks like another beast.
The big difference may be the steps taken by teams like Fremantle and Sydney, both of which have now recorded a definitive victory over Melbourne at MCG.
At the beginning of 2021, the Swans had an engaging victory over reigning champion Richmond, which saw the full capacity of their young offensive arsenal. It was similar, only the show needed to be even more coherent and mature.
It was difficult to divide the teams by looking down at the statistics, but what stood out was Sydney’s big victory in the number of matches that ended in 75:53.
There was a determination to match Melbourne in this competition – it was not easy, especially when Max Gawn played the most dominant game of his season so far.
Sydney’s ability to attack and move with the ball in open space has not been discussed. But it is this paved edge that raises the ceiling of the Swans for the second half of the year.
What about Melbourne? No need to panic. But if they are now fighting for two weeks in a row against teams that can match them and attack at pace and taste, they will have to find quick improvements for the matches against Collingwood and Brisbane.
If you were to identify the two hallmarks of this Fremantle team – one that has fans who dare to dream and amass thousands of Flagmantle preventive tattoos – it would be a defensive structure and complete, unwavering intransigence.
You have no time off against Fremantle. They won’t even take a quarter to get your breath back. They come with the same heat, the same poor defense, four quarters.
In the first half, they played rope-and-dope foot against Brisbane. The Dockers did not fire many shots with an offensive game, and the Lions definitely held control in terms of possession of the ball and possession of the field.
But they could not find a way. And when the Lions dropped a little, the Dockers suddenly came to life.
Like them against Melbourne, Fremantle set fire to Brisbane at halftime. Will Brodie, Bailey Banfield and Michael Frederick were all fantastic and the defense of the Lions could not match the resilience of their opponents.
This is very real for Frea now. Most people have taken small steps to realize what they are capable of. But as they continue to collect great works around them and as much of the ladder remains in motion, their claim to the throne is as strong today as anyone else.
Around the land
The cakes did it again. Another whistle on the MCG, another critical victory for the team, which is now legitimately chasing the finals. Hawthorn’s regrouping and fighting were impressive, but the sloppy first half proved expensive.
There is now an absolute cluster of teams trying to break the first four. They may not be the best of the pack, but Geelong might be most likely to win third or fourth place. Their facilities are quite friendly and the experiences begin to tell the Cats every week.
It was a demanding patrol on Saturday afternoon in Adelaide Oval. The West Coast managed to lose by only five goals, which means a clear and depressing improvement. Adelaide played a good quarter, which is basically everything they needed to do.
This season, the Gold Coast has dropped several times to the level of lower opponents, and soon there was a fear that the same thing was happening against the North – but not for long. The sun is still learning how good they can beand their hunt for the girls’ final bed could be the most compelling story of the second half of the season.
In the clubhouse
Here we balance who is leading the race for the individual awards of the season.
The first of the farewell weeks means that some of our rising star contestants had their feet up, but many others had taken serious steps.
Nick Daicos played the best game of his career so far for 36 knocks out of Collingwood’s win Jai Newcombe The other half was almost enough for the Hawks to win.
on Friday evening, Sam De Koning was fantastic in defense for the Cats, replaced the shaken Stewart, and kept the key Bulldogs invaders quiet enough.
So who is currently leading? We still had last week Nic Martine upstairs and probably not fair to start it without playing the game. But the three nominees are now seriously breathing down his throat.
Quite a slow bike on the hangers, so we’ll give a sign of the week Taylor Walker and move on fast.
The goal of the week goes to Jason Horne-Francis. Most of the highlights of this season’s number one were defensive activity, so it’s good to remember how powerful an offensive force can and will be.
Ed Langdon remains the leader of GOTY and Cam Zurhaar still leads the MOTY race.
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