18/04/2024
The A-Z of Round 10

Sir Douglas Nicholls Round kicked off in fine fashion this weekend. Pictures: @melbournefc @Richmond_FC @CarltonFC

One of the best rounds of the year, Indigenous Round, produced some truly deadly performances from teams and players alike.

One of the best rounds of the year, Indigenous Round, produced some truly deadly performances from teams and players alike.

The Inner Sanctum takes you through Round 10, complete from A-Z. The defining highs, lows, and controversies surrounding Round 10 of the 2022 AFL Premiership season.

A is For A Young Crow building confidence: Taken with Adelaide’s second pick behind star recruit Josh Rachele, Jake Soligo is now showing what he is made of at AFL level. On Saturday night against the Saints, in his fourth career game, which is arguably his best yet. The 19-year-old had 19 disposals at 74 percent disposal efficiency, two marks, three tackles, and kicked his first-ever goal.

B is For Barometer: Another stellar performance for Dion Prestia and another win for Richmond. 36 disposals and importantly eight score involvements propelled Richmond to victory over Essendon. Richmond wins more times than not when Prestia plays and plays well, and he seems to be a barometer for the re-emerging Tigers.

C is For Clearance king: Everywhere you looked, this was a big game for Clayton Oliver. The premiership Demon continued to plead his case for the Brownlow, collecting a career-high 45 disposals, 621 metres gained, and 13 clearances, five more than the next most: captain Max Gawn with eight.

D is For Defensive Dominance:  Tom Stewart continues to do Tom Stewart things, collecting 27 possessions and eight marks. However, Sam de Koning is quickly becoming the Cats’ second-best defender. De Koning kept Port’s main goal threat in Todd Marshall to just two goals and limited his opportunities, whilst spoiling and intercepting with skill beyond his inexperience.

E is For Exceptional: Dreamtime at the ‘G is always spectacular but this year was particularly so. The Tigers War Cry featured some of their own, with Marlion Pickett, Sydney Stack, and Matthew Parker. While Essendon shared its war cry with the Korri Youth Spears Aboriginal Dance Group. The atmosphere, dances, and lights once again were a fitting tribute to Indigenous round.

https://twitter.com/Richmond_FC/status/1527947434608930822

F is For Final quarter surge: With the relatively low scoring in the three quarters prior as well as the inaccuracy in front of goal for the Crows, the Saints, and the Crows match was looking like it could be a nailbiter. That was short-lived when the sting was taken out of the game after three-quarter time. The Saints kicked the final four goals of the game after prized Adelaide recruit Jordan Dawson took the lead back for the home side which made Adelaide rue its costly misses in front of the big sticks.

G is For Gigantic Torp:  A mark from Jeremy Cameron right on three-quarter time and 50+ metres out meant the good old-fashioned torp was needed, and boy did he get onto it. The goal extended the margin to 26 at the final break and gave the home side the momentum it needed heading into the last quarter.

H is For How much impact? The Bombers’ issues don’t start and end with their midfield, with clearances and centre clearances in the green on Saturday night despite another loss. Although Darcy Parish finished the game with 43 disposals and Zach Merrett with 33. A question that Ben Rutten will be pondering is whether they are getting enough impact from their midfielders, despite their big numbers.

I is For Irresistible Football: Footy fans were treated to a captivating game of football on Sunday afternoon, with both Hawthorn and Brisbane scoring over 100 points in a free-flowing affair. Prevailing by five points, Sam Mitchell’s side had 11 individual goalkickers and produced 27 scoring shots for the day, becoming the first team this season to kick over 100 points against the Lions. Brisbane has now lost its last two encounters against Hawthorn in Launceston, and notably has still not won a game under Chris Fagan when conceding 100 points or more.

J is For Jeffrey Jagging ‘em: Joel Jeffrey, a name not familiar to many outside Suns fans, had a game to remember. Kicking five goals (including one over his head) to help his team almost secure a memorable victory over the Dogs in Ballarat. Believe it or not: he only ever had two career goals in his five games prior.

K is For King of St Kilda: It was a magnificent sight on Saturday night for St Kilda fans with Max King notching up a six-goal haul at Adelaide Oval. Four of the six goals that the Saints had kicked until three-quarter time were kicked by the young tall, keeping his side in the game until that point. He then added two more to truly bury Adelaide’s hopes of a comeback in the last ten minutes of the final quarter.

L is For Little Known James Peatling: James Peatling is certainly not a household name in the competition, not many fans would have heard his name before, but he enjoyed the best game of his young career yesterday, leading all goalkickers on the ground with three, as well as collecting 23 disposals and 11 marks. The effort helped his side look much more dangerous in the forward 50, something that has been lacking thus far this season.

M is For Master And Apprentice: With Lance Franklin well held by his regular Carlton sparring partner, Jacob Weitering, it was his successor in waiting who stood up against the Blues. Logan McDonald had 10 marks to go with his 14 disposals and kicked 3.3 for the match: arguably his best game to date.

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N is For New name, same Demons: It was a temporary rebrand off the field of its name to Narrm, the Aboriginal name for Melbourne, but it was the same old Dees on the field. Although North Melbourne hung on in there for a long time, Narrm’s inside 50 dominance, and eight goals between Tom McDonald, Kysaiah Pickett, and Bayley Fritsch, eventually saw it to its 10th win in a row, and first at Marvel Stadium against the Roos.

O is For Offensive Eagles Footy:  Goals have been hard to come by for the Eagles this season, but signs were positive on the weekend. The boys from out west managed 13 goals, more than their last two games combined, and it was pleasing to see youngster Isiah Winder lead the way with three, as well as Hugh Dixon snagging two.

P is for Problem? Not for this Houston: If it wasn’t for the game of Port Adelaide defender Dan Houston, the margin may have been much larger. Houston had a game-high 11 marks and with many of those direct intercepts of Geelong kicks, he seemed to be reading the minds of the Cats’ midfielders better than the Cats’ forwards were. He ended up with 30 disposals, four inside 50s, and five rebound 50s, ending up the highest-ranked player on the ground.

Q is For Quality Dog’s Captain: The Bont was back to his best. 24 touches, eight marks, and three goals were the difference in the game in a tightly fought contest against the Suns. With a lack of tall forward options until Josh Bruce’s return, the Dogs’ skipper may need more games like this to help them stay in the finals race.

R is For Rising Star?: Emerging Hawthorn midfielder Jai Newcombe continues to push his case to become the Rising Star for 2022. The 20-year-old collected 27 disposals (14 contested), had 12 score involvements, and kicked a long-range goal against a seasoned Brisbane midfield. The boy from Poowong also isn’t afraid to do the hard yards defensively, encapsulated by a game-saving tackle on Zac Bailey in the dying seconds to seal the win.

S is For Sir Charles’ Second Batch of Six: Harry who? Charlie Curnow is making the Carlton forward line his own as he ascended to the lead in the Coleman Medal race with another six-goal haul against Sydney. With five goals to halftime, Tom McCartin well and truly lowered his colours to the Carlton spearhead, who now has 33 goals in 2022.

T is For The Real Deal: Carlton has faced and seen off yet another challenge to add to its credibility in 2022, with a nine-goal second quarter seeing them out to a big lead, and the defence absorbing a late charge by Sydney. The potential finals rival is the Blues’ biggest scalp so far, and there are plenty more opportunities like that to come.

U is For Unfortunate Sun: Rory Thompson limped off with a sore knee at the end of the first quarter and did not return to the game. Coming off two knee reconstructions, fingers crossed for the Suns’ key defender that it is nothing serious.

V is For Very Essendony Coaches Box: With Leon Cameron’s departure, Mark McVeigh took the reins and had Dean Solomon and James Hird in the box to assist.  The three former Bombers made an abundance of changes pre-match and during the game. Most notably, Harry Himmelberg started at full-back and Stephen Coniglio played the whole game in the middle, ending up with a game-high 36 disposals. The huge win would have left the ex-Bombers trio very happy.

W is For Welcome Returns: Hawthorn was boosted by the inclusions of Tom Mitchell, Changkuoth Jiath and Liam Shiels in its huge upset win over Brisbane. Mitchell did what he does best, finding the footy 36 times and laying seven tackles to give his side the ascendancy through the middle of the ground. Jiath offered run and dash off half-back in his first game back from injury, while Shiels held Lachie Neale to just the nine disposals in the second half in a well-executed lockdown role.

X is For X-Citement Machine: Death, taxes, and Jeremy Howe taking hangers. There have been many changes across the last 11 seasons of AFL football, but Jeremy Howe has always loved a hanger, and his latest stepladder was Fremantle’s Matt Taberner, one of Howe’s three marks to go along with his eight intercepts and 13 disposals.

Y is For You don’t mess with the Zurhaar: In a grim year for North Melbourne to date, Cameron Zurhaar remains a highlight. The forward continued his strong recent form, with another bag of three against Narrm in the opening half to keep the Roos on par, but it wasn’t enough, as they went down by 47 points. Zurhaar has now kicked 13 goals from his past five games.

Z Is For Zero Answers: After consecutive significant losses against lower-ranked opposition, Fremantle has a lot of questions, but no answers as of yet. Conditions haven’t helped, but the Dockers have now kicked 44 and 33 over the last two weeks, well below their season average of 82. Perhaps dry conditions will allow the Dockers to get back on the winner’s list next week.

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