An undermanned Hawthorn overcame injuries to beat the Swans in an eight-point crunch game.
Two late changes meant that Hawthorn lost another two defenders, Campbell Brown and Tom Murphy, from an already undermanned back line. Robert Campbell and third-gamer Ryan Schoenmakers did their best to fill holes in the defence. Then it lost one of its best playmakers, Cyril Rioli, during the first quarter, and Luke Hodge and Xavier Ellis carried injuries through the game. A gutsy team effort was needed in circumstances that favoured the Swans stoppage style of play. Lance Franklin (DT92/SC99) and Jarryd Roughead (95/139) returned to form, and a badly underdone Hodge played with heart all day. Beau Muston returned to earth with a thud, and the Hawks won the day despite scoring 100 less in both DT and SC. Hodge and Buddy may prove to be excellent choices for those fantasy coaches upgrading in the next few weeks.
Earlier in the day the Crows beat the Bombers in a high scoring game, and Tyson Edwards (166/136) celebrated his 300th match with a BOG. To be honest, I expected him to slow down this season. Perhaps the most amazing fantasy player of the round was Kurt Tippett (130/136). Those who kept Taylor Walker (31/22) over Mitchell Brown would have been disappointed.
For Essendon, Scott Lucas returned to the team and form, rattling out 4 goals and a DT/SC ton. Patrick Ryder continued his form in the ruck and Hayden Skipworth rewarded those coaches who sat him on the bench for five weeks.
In Perth, Geelong did the minimum possible to beat a determined West Coast Eagles. Fantasy coaches hoping for a scoring rampage would have been disappointed, with only 4 DT tons and 8 SC tons. Despite coming into the game with an injury question mark, Gary Ablett jnr (155/175) was the star player, with Dean Cox (131/147) doing his best to inspire his team. Steve Johnson (62/38) was tagged closely by Tyson Stenglein (69/78).
How’s your round been so far? Have you already slotted Ryder into backs? Can Tippett only get large scores against an undersized Essendon? Is it too late to pick up O’Keefe? Was picking up Steve Johnson this week a mistake?