Fans were on the edge of their seats as another thrilling round of footy graced the nation. The games went down to the wire, had enormous margins, and the undefeated were defeated – what more could you want from round 10?
The Inner Sanctum takes you through the A-Z of round 10 – the defining highs, lows, and controversies surrounding round 10 of the 2021 AFL Premiership season.
A is for Adam Treloar’s health. Western Bulldogs’ big win against St Kilda was soured by an ankle injury to a key cog of their midfield in Adam Treloar. Treloar is believed to have suffered a syndesmosis injury, and how his loss will be felt by the Dogs will be a key talking point ahead of the top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne next Friday night.
B is for Buddy. The Swans loss at the hands of Fremantle was disappointing but Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin had his best game of the year at Optus Stadium.
Buddy kicked six goals, from 18 touches and 10 marks. The goals included several sizzling efforts from outside 50 and Buddy is now just 37 goals away from the incredible 1000 goal milestone.
C is for crowds on Saturday afternoon. Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire last week labeled the traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot for football “kaput”, citing that fans vote with their feet for their preferred timeslots to watch their team play live.
Saturday afternoon’s healthy crowd of 45,741 between Carlton and Hawthorn proved that the traditional timeslot is still a hit with the fans. Given the teams and the venue, the fans will turn up
D is for Deliberate? We will let you be the judge. A nice little welcome to the job for new umpire’s boss Michael Jennings
E is for Escaping the scrutiny. Collingwood has been under a microscope all season for matters both on and off the field. But another team that made the semi-finals last year and slipped out of the eight this year has managed to get off fairly lightly thus far. That team is St Kilda.
By round 10, St Kilda has won more games but had a larger aggregate losing margin of 434 while Collingwood has fewer wins and a lower aggregate losing margin of 153. Does this suggest Collingwood is a better defensive team? Perhaps, but the difference in this statistic and media coverage is perplexing.
Will people be forced to pay attention to St Kilda’s decline after its outing against the Western Bulldogs?
F is for Fired Up. A Lion having a good run of form as of late is Rhys Mathieson. Mathieson had 20 disposals, four marks, and five tackles in his best game yet. But it was his goal near the end of three-quarter time that raised eyebrows, with Mathieson trading barbs with Tiger Liam Baker, then getting right in his face after slotting the goal for Brisbane.
G is for Grundy’s classroom: Collingwood was in control for much of the contest at the MCG against Port Adelaide, mostly due to the form and performance of their star ruckman Brodie Grundy. While Peter Ladhams fought back admirably in the second half, Grundy’s first half was dominant, Collecting 15 disposals, 10 hitouts, 5 marks, and 6 clearances. While it wasn’t enough to secure a win for the Pies, the form of Grundy continues to rise in season 2021.
H is for Hundreds up again. The Bulldogs put together their second 100 point win for the season becoming the 38th club to win two games by 100 points in a season in history.
St Kilda’s 111 point loss is an ignominious point in their season and will be a concern for Brett Ratten and the football club as a whole.
I is for I don’t believe it! After coming in as a late change for Liam Shiels, Hawthorn’s Daniel Howe launched a kick-and-pray shot at goal from outside the 50-metre arc, tucked up against the boundary. He watched on as the ball freakishly bounced past the Carlton defenders manning the goal line and put the Hawks within touching distance on the halftime siren.
J is for Joel’s not done. Joel Selwood showed he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon after a commanding performance against the Suns. With 39 disposals, 10 clearances, seven tackles, and 19 contested possessions, the Cats’ skipper did more than enough to secure the three votes.
K is for Kicking a winning score: After kicking 141 points against North Melbourne, Essendon has now cracked the ton five times across season 2021. The dangerous Dons forwards have put up other scores of 143, 109, 107, and 105, three of those scores coming three weeks in a row.
L is for Lucky bounce. Jeremy Finlayson dodged a bullet as he received one of the luckiest bounces. After playing on from a mark just inside 50, he sent the ball towards the goal square, but explaining what happened next won’t do it justice. Just watch the video.
M is for Martin’s trademark move. No one can fend off and evade tackles as Dustin Martin does, and it’s not often you see him fail three times in a match. His trusty ‘don’t argue’ couldn’t hold off Lion’s midfielders Mitch Robinson, Deven Robertson, and Jarryd Lyons, who wrapped the star midfielder up in flawless tackles and caught him holding the ball.
N is for Nine and one. After a fantastic nine-round run, Melbourne were unable to record their 10th consecutive win after a one point loss to Adelaide. With 10 minutes to go, many thought the game was done and dusted after the Demons took a 17 point lead. However, a period of dominance from the Crows and three goals – two from Tex Walker, one from Darcy Fogarty got them over the line.
O is for Oliver out of control: One of the biggest individual performances of the year, Clayton Oliver couldn’t have done much more to get Melbourne over the line. He had 38 disposals, including 27 contested, 13 clearances, and kicked 3.1 in the thrilling loss to the Crows.
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P is for Protocols sideline Duncan. Mitch Duncan will miss next week’s clash with Collingwood under the AFL’s new concussion protocols. Until Nick Holman’s fateful tackle in the second quarter, Duncan was in electric form – accumulating 15 disposals, two goals, and five contested possessions. Unfortunately, Duncan was the recipient of unjustified online abuse as he was substituted and did not return to the ground after the incident.
Q is for Quiet Achiever. There has been a lot of discussion about who the best young key forward is – Max King, Aaron Naughton, Oscar Allen, or Ben King? After his performance against the Cats,’ there is a case to be made for Ben King. In a 34 point loss at the Cattery, he was one of their best performers for the day, kicking 3.2, taking four marks, and had six score involvements.
R is for Rory Lobb. When Matt Taberner went down with an ankle injury, Fremantle needed someone to stand up, and Rory Lobb delivered in spades. Lobb kicked four second-half goals from 18 touches and had nine marks including four contested. His marking was critical especially late, and he played a big role in Freo’s tight victory.
S is for Shannon Hurn. In round 10, the Premiership captain played his 291st game, breaking West Coast’s record for most games played, previously held by Dean Cox. In his third attempt to break the record, his celebration was soured after a closely fought contest turned into a 16 point loss. The veteran Eagle finished with 21 disposals, seven intercept possessions, 14 pressure acts, four tackles, and five rebound 50s.
Next stop for Hurn? to become the first Eagle to notch up the 300 game milestone
T is for Thrillers. Round 10 had three games finish with margins of less than a goal. Fremantle (two points), Port Adelaide, and Adelaide (one point each) all gave their fans heart-stopping moments, as they rode their luck for close wins.
It’s another great advertisement for the game with some great matchups, and great comebacks by all three clubs to finish with gritty wins.
U is for Unheralded young star – North Melbourne youngster Tarryn Thomas may not have been able to guide his side to a win, but was a clear shining light rotating through the midfield and forward line. Thomas finished the game with 21 disposals, five marks, five clearances, nine inside 50s, and kicked two goals on the end of smooth chains of play
V is for a very lucky Port. The Power can consider themselves extremely fortunate to come away with the four points on Sunday. Ken Hinkley’s men only hit the lead into time on in the last term after a spirited Collingwood side seemed to have their measure for the majority of the contest.
W is for Walsh’s World. It’s Sam Walsh’s world at Princes Park at the moment. The young Bull continues to enhance his reputation as the best young midfielder in the game after another sizzling display against Hawthorn.
The young superstar collected 30 disposals (20 of them in the first half), had 4 clearances, laid 6 tackles and kicked a booming goal from outside 50 in what was another best on ground display from the 20 year old.
X is for X years of the Giants. Round 10’s clash against West Coast fell three days out from the 10th anniversary of their first match at GIANTS Stadium. Fans in the stands had plenty to smile about as the Giants secured a 16 point victory over West Coast after a gutsy final quarter effort.
Jeremy Finlayson (three goals, six marks, nine score involvements), Callan Ward (29 disposals, six tackles, and six clearances), and young gun Tom Green (27 disposals, 13 contested possessions, and six clearances) were standouts for the Giants.
Earlier this year, The Inner Sanctum’s Tricia Mifsud spoke to Nick Haynes, Stephen Coniglio, Toby Greene, Phil Davis, Callan Ward, and Adam Kennedy as part of her commemorative series ‘Big Big Decade’.
Y is for Young Magpies. A round of applause for Collingwood’s youngsters! A trio of emerging talents stood up and played excellent games against the Power. In the forward line, Beau McCreery booted three goals, leading the day’s goal count, while down back the ever-reliable Isaac Quaynor had 26 disposals, five rebound 50s, and seven intercept possessions. However, Caleb Poulter played his best game yet, amassing 22 disposals, 12 marks, and one goal.
Z is for Zac Bailey: The Brisbane Lions are flying after an early-season hiccup and it’s largely due to the form of Zac Bailey. South Australian’s star continues to rise this season. In round 10, he kicked 4 goals and collected 15 disposals in Brisbane’s big win over Richmond.