24/04/2024
A-Z of Round 14

Many teams proved they still had something to say in season 2022 this week. Pictures @westernbulldogs @essendonfc @PAFC

With the bye rounds in the rear-view mirror, Some teams will need to reset fast, while some are raring to go into the final half of the year.

With the bye rounds in the rear-view mirror, the home straight is approaching. Some teams will need to reset fast, while some are raring to go into the final half of the year.

The Inner Sanctum takes you through Round 14, complete from A-Z. The defining highs, lows, and controversies surrounding Round 14 of the 2022 AFL Premiership season.

A is For ARC Anarchy: The Carlton faithful were left howling when an unbelievable boundary line goal from Jack Newnes was ruled touched by the ARC. The shot, which would have put Carlton within a kick, was reversed, and Shane Edwards kicked the sealer shortly afterwards, breaking Carlton’s spirit.

https://twitter.com/7AFL/status/1537399865470238722

B is For Brynn will be Back: One of the exciting talking points heading into Round 14 was Brynn Teakle’s immediate rise to the senior team after arriving at Port Adelaide just 14 days prior. On debut, Teakle quickly earnt cult figure status, however, his eagerness to compete, whilst applauded by the Power faithful, ultimately ended his day early with a strong bump on Sydney’s Justin McInerney sending the big man to the hospital with a collarbone injury. In a brief cameo, Teakle showed enough for us to believe we haven’t seen the last of him in the AFL.

C is For Cattle Returned: Elliot Yeo had 22 possessions playing across half-back, Dom Sheed had 20 disposals working as an inside and outside mid, and Willie Rioli looked dangerous every time the ball went near him. The Eagles finally look like a team capable of competing each week, and the cattle they had return certainly helped.

D is For Dynamic Duo: Ben Ainsworth and Izak Rankine had a fair hand in the Suns’ win over the Crows. Ainsworth kicked three goals with 20 disposals, and a match-high 12 score involvements while Rankine contributed three goals, two goal assists, and 17 disposals.

E is For Everywhere Man: Harry Himmelberg has undergone a transformation since Mark McVeigh took over the Giants’ coaching role. For so long he was deployed as a marking forward in the front half but since McVeigh has taken over from Leon Cameron, Himmelberg has taken on the role as the Giants everywhere man. Against the Western Bulldogs, there wasn’t a position on the ground that Himmelberg didn’t fill and play.

F is For Fan the Flames: Just as he did in round one against Carlton, Shai Bolton kicked the opening goal of the final quarter to give Richmond a handy break. But it was his taunt directed at Sam Docherty that raised eyebrows and had the Carlton faithful seeing red. Thankfully Richmond would go on to win the game, or Bolton’s jab may have come back to haunt him.

G is For Goals Goals Goals: It was an old-fashioned shoot-out at Giants stadium which made for a Saturday night delight. The contest between the Giants and the Bulldogs was the highest-scoring game of the season, with the teams combining for 35 goals on the night. As much as footy fans loved the shootouts, they would have loved the big individual bags even more with Toby Greene kicking seven goals, both Aaron Naughton and Cody Weightman kicking five goals each and 16 players overall putting at least one major through the big sticks.

H is For Happy Onlookers: West Coast supporters have not had a lot to cheer for this year, but its effort against the Geelong, aside from the Collingwood game, was its best to date. If the Eagles can keep up this intensity and effort for the remainder of the year, a win or two is a possibility. Adding to the onlookers was the 1992 premiership team – the club celebrating 30 years since their first flag, also against the Cats.

I is For Is Dons is good: Arguably its best game in a long time, Essendon caused an upset against a lacklustre St Kilda outfit. Mason Redman collected a career-high 31 disposals, while Massimo D’Ambrosio impressed on debut with 15 disposals. Jake Stringer, Harrison Jones, Sam Draper and Matt Guelfi combined for eight goals as the Bombers recorded their third win of the season.

J is For Jade, The Precious Stone: To say Jade Gresham was a precious commodity against Essendon, is an understatement. The St Kilda midfielder, who was one of only a handful who stood up, collected 28 disposals and booted three goals, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.

K is For Ken Not Done Just Yet: Port Adelaide’s season hasn’t gone quite the way most predicted. Five wins from 12 games had the Power sitting in 12th position on the ladder, and the call’s for a new head coach gaining volume. Backs against the wall, the Power played their best game of the season with a 23-point victory over the Swans, extending their ‘head to head’ winning streak to six, keeping Ken at the helm for the time being.

L is For Look Away Now if you’re squeamish: Western Bulldogs livewire Cody Weightman looked as if his night was coming to a grinding halt in the third quarter when he went up contesting a ball and fell heavily on his elbow. He immediately looked in pain as the camera showed his elbow loose from its socket, an image enough to send even the toughest to avert their eyes at the sight. Weightman though was helped to the bench, got it strapped up and bravely returned to the field to play out the remaining quarter of the game as the Bulldogs recorded a 20-point win.

M is For Marvellous Midfielders: Matt Rowell, Touk Miller and Noah Anderson were pivotal in the midfield battle that took place at Metricon Stadium. In the game against the Crows, Rowell had 19 disposals, 11 tackles, and seven clearances alone. He was joined in the Suns’ best by Miller who had 24 disposals and 10 score involvements and Anderson had 28 disposals.

More Aussie Rules News:

AFL Mid-Season Review: Brisbane Lions – Biggest test still awaits

Mid-Season Review: Melbourne Demons – Has the Dee-Train hit some bumps?

AFL Mid-Season Review: Fremantle – Can the Dockers make some noise in September?

N is For Not Done Yet… but Here Comes The Test: The Dogs got the win that they needed to keep themselves in the hunt for a finals berth which looked like it was slipping away. But with results going their way, the next stretch of games for the Dogs loom large as ones that will define their season as the ladder tightens right up with nine rounds to go. The Western Bulldogs face Hawthorn, Brisbane, Sydney, and St Kilda over the next month, a stretch of games that will determine whether the Dogs will follow up making the Grand Final in 2021 by missing out altogether.

O is For Other Targets: Are the Sydney Swans too Buddy-centric? It’s a question that’s surfaced aplenty during the star forward’s time in the red and white. Franklin missed his team’s win over the reigning premiers last week through suspension, however, the Swans showcased a dynamic forward line with Sam Reid and Logan McDonald getting their fair share of sight on goal. With Buddy back this week against the Power, the pair that looked so good last week, were back to being ignored in favour of Buddy. Franklin finished the game with one goal and three behinds, whilst Reid had no scores and McDonald just one behind.

P is for Prestia’s Pressure: Yet again proving just how crucial he is to this Richmond side, Dion Prestia was key to victory in the midfield for the Tigers, with 33 disposals (19 contested) and a whopping 13 clearances. The 19 contested possessions are an equal career-high, while the 13 clearances are his best over his career to date.

Q is For Quite the Injury: Gold Coast defender Will Powell had an afternoon to forget after going down with a serious leg injury in the third quarter against Adelaide. Leaving the field after play was delayed for five minutes, he appears to have suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee or ankle when they were caught awkwardly under his body. Another blow soon followed for Gold Coast when Connor Budarick suffered a hamstring injury in the same passage of play as Powell.

R is For Rucking Hell: Many teams this year have struggled when it comes to fielding a ruckman. Especially a number one ruckman. The Giants heading into the weekend had the luxury of selecting two out-and-out ruckmen in their starting 22 and finished the night with none of them. Matthew Flynn was ruled out before the game with a quad injury and Braydon Preuss was substituted out in the second quarter with an ankle complaint. It left the rucking to be shared by Harry Himmelberg, Zach Sproule, and Lachie Keefe against Tim English and will leave plenty of questions as to what the Giants do in the ruck department next week if both starting ruckmen are ruled out.

S is For Spud’s Game: Time 2 Talk. One of the best current initiatives in the AFL is Spud’s Game, which was marked in Friday’s St Kilda and Essendon match. In honour of the late Danny Frawley, people are encouraged to spend two minutes talking to a friend about mental health, to raise awareness. The match itself was delayed two minutes to allow for this.

T is For Two-Headed Monster: Stop one, you still need to stop the other. With Charlie Curnow well held by Dylan Grimes, finishing with one goal from just nine disposals, it fell to Harry McKay to nearly win the game off his own boot, with three goals in four minutes in the last quarter, and five of the last six scoring shots for the Blues.

U is For Ultra-Consistent: Tom Hawkins brought up goal 700 against West Coast, becoming just the third Geelong player in history to do so. The big cat has been ultra-consistent throughout his career, winning the club’s goal-kicking the last 10 seasons. The TomaHawk shows no signs of slowing down either, being just four off the pace in the Coleman this year.

V is For Very Inaccurate: The Adelaide Crows and inaccuracy in front of goal are synonymous this season with the performance against the Gold Coast Suns another example of this fact. Gold Coast ran away with late goals to win by 43 points after Adelaide managed to get it down to 13 points. The goal kicking of the Suns (18.8) faired much better than the Crows (10.13) during the contest.

W is For Wright Stuff: In game 100, Peter Wright could do no wrong. The man they call two-metre Peter kicked four goals, two of which occurred within the game’s final minutes, to help lead the Bombers to victory.

X is For X-Factor Come September: Few would have predicted how significant an impact Tyson Stengle would have on Geelong, but Saturday’s game again showed what a difference he make come finals time. Stengle was everywhere, putting pressure on, getting free in the forward 50, and capitalising on the Eagles’ mistakes.  He finished with 3.2, inaccurate kicking costing him what would have been a perfect day.

Y is For You Never Know: Surely, it couldn’t happen again, could it? Richmond’s win over Carlton was its sixth from its last seven games and saw it move back into the top eight. The Tigers face six bottom ten teams on the run home, and if they make finals, they’ll be as dangerous as anyone in proceedings.

Z Is For Zak-Out: At quarter-time, Port Adelaide’s Zak Butters was the obvious choice for ‘best on ground’. However, the highly touted youngster wouldn’t have the opportunity to turn his early hard work into three Brownlow votes after an awkward tackle, early in the second quarter, forced Butters to sit out the rest of the match with a knee injury. Butters had five kicks, four handballs, two marks, two tackles and a goal before being subbed out.

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