Talking Points – AFL Round 18

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Another big weekend of footy has once again provided us with plenty to talk about, as we look forward to an even bigger week of footy coming up for Round 19

4 Genuine premiership threats

18 Rounds into this season and we appear to have four genuine premiership threats, being the Hawks, Swans, Cats and the Dockers. The possibility of a rematch between last year’s grand finalists looks entirely possible, with both sides easily dispatching fellow finals contenders Essendon and Richmond last weekend. Geelong’s season has been sensational and with three more games at the impenetrable Simonds Stadium, Hawthorn’s bogey team is well equipped for another tilt in September.  Fremantle are the final team that should be mentioned as a genuine contender, despite them currently sitting outside the top four in fifth position. The leagues best defensive side has performed for much of the season without crucial players such as Pavlich, Sandilands and McPharlin, and has a strong run home that should see them steal 3rd or 4th spot in the eight.

 Battle for the eight narrows down

The battle for the final spot in the eight appears to be down to a two-horse race between Port Adelaide and Carlton. Adelaide and West Coast’s losses this weekend puts them three wins outside eight position, where both teams must now win all their remaining games to remain a finals chance. They share the same position as both the Kangaroos and Lions who both possess tough draws and have already seemingly accepted their fate. Not to harp on this point again but boy the Roos would be filthy with their much talked about late-game record, as a win or two from those encounters would keep them firmly in the fight for the final position (5 losses by <1goal). After toying around with AFL.com.au’s ‘ladder predictor’ the stage is set for a HUGE round 23 matchup between the Power and Carlton that according to my predictions, would determine who makes the final eight.

Jeremy Cameron for All-Australian

7 goals on the big stage against the Magpies have provided further evidence for just how incredible Jeremy Cameron’s sophomore season has been in 2013. With 50 goals to his name, Cameron currently sits equal third with Jack Riewoldt in the Coleman Medal, with only Josh Kennedy and Jarryd Roughead ahead of him.Cameron’s performances this year have been truly incredible and it’s hard to believe right now just how bad the Giants would be without him. The footballing world knew that the loss of Jon Patton to injury early on in the season would put even more scoring pressure on Cameron but he has thrived being the undeniable #1 option up front. With limited opportunities stemming from a lack of inside 50’s and poor midfield disposal, it’s unbelievable to fathom that Cameron has scored more goals this year than Collingwood heavyweight Travis Cloke, who has the likes of Pendlebury, Swan and Beams delivering the ball on a string to him. His performances of late have drawn great praise, with Buckley post-game even mentioning comparisons to Buddy Franklin in terms of game-breaking ability. I believe that Cameron will be a better player than Franklin, as he is a more intelligent and unselfish footballer than the Hawk star. The possibility of them lining up together next year seems even more tantalizing with his form of late.

Geelong- St Kilda rivalry finished

A couple of years ago, the AFL had St Kilda and Geelong penciled in twice a year, guaranteed to sell out Etihad and push 50,000 at the MCG both times. The legendary rivalry of both young and promising lists since 2004 led to some fantastic duels, none better than the 2009 Grand final. Fast forward to this year and such is the fate of St Kilda that they are in the bottom three, playing in Geelong for the first time in years against a 2nd placed Cats. After scores being even at quarter time, the Cats piled on 15 of the next 19 goals as they displayed the vast differences between two sides that were so close only a few years ago. Much has been made of the recruitment issues at St Kilda across Ross Lyon’s tenure, with a clear gaping hole in their list of 100 gamers contributing to their rapid fall from grace in the competition. Along with the Swans, Geelong is the prime examples of a efficiently operated footballing club, emphasizing the importance on recruitment, development and long-term planning, rather than short-term gain. While it’s sad to see such a rivalry dissipate to nothing, it’s only a matter of time before another takes its place (perhaps Ess v Rich?).

 

 

 

 

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