Round 7 saw some teams reach new heights, while others hit new lows. There were beltings and thrillers aplenty in a big weekend of footy.
The Inner Sanctum takes you through Round 7, complete from A-Z. The defining highs, lows, and controversies surrounding Round 7 of the 2022 AFL Premiership season.
A is For An Unlikely Goalkicker: Jacob Weitering left Blues fans beaming by delivering an unlikely goal. The defender struck truly in the third quarter, kicking his first goal since Round 2 2018, one of seven for the quarter for Carlton.
B is For Big, Big Statement: Desperately needing to keep their season alive, the Giants made a big statement in Adelaide. Josh Kelly was a standout, having 11 score involvements and collecting 41 disposals, while Jesse Hogan, Lachie Whitfield and captain Stephen Coniglio kicked three goals each to set up a much needed 59-point win against the Crows.
C is For Chol And Casboult Combo: Having both joined Gold Coast in the off-season, key forwards Mabior Chol and Levi Casboult showed plenty once again despite their side’s 25-point defeat to Collingwood. Combining seven goals and 13 marks for the game, the forward pair looked threatening in the air all afternoon. It could have been more too, with Casboult kicking four behinds for the day as well.
D is For Dynamite Defender: There wasn’t much Tom Stewart wasn’t prepared to do to will Geelong over the line against Fremantle. He finished the day with 40 disposals, 14 marks, and nearly a kilometre gained (962m) and will be tough to go past for the three Brownlow votes despite the loss.
E is For Efficient Pies: A blistering opening term from Collingwood set the scene for its fourth win of the season, propelling itself into the top eight. The Pies’ dangerous forward mix was on full display, with their first nine inside 50 entries for the day resulting in nine scores, including seven goals. Brody Mihocek finished the game with four goals, livewire small forward Jack Ginnivan booted three and Darcy Cameron kicked two in what was an efficient day for the Pies in their front half.
F is For Frightful Friday Night: The Friday night stage meant there was nowhere to hide for the Eagles against the Tigers, and after kicking the first goal, they were put to the sword. The 109-point margin was West Coast’s first loss by 100 points or more since 2008. There may have to be more than just soul searching at the Eagles this week.
G is For Greene Machine: He may have missed the first few games due to suspension, but Toby Greene has wasted no time making an impact. The forward collected 17 disposals and kicked four goals in his second game of the season, as the Giants secured their second win.
H is For Hard Landing: Brodie Smith gave Adelaide a rare highlight against GWS, then had it holding its breath after coming off second best after taking a screamer. Thankfully Smith was ok, but will now, unfortunately, likely miss next week’s game for the Crows.
I is For In the First Quarter, We keep it tight: Sydney and Brisbane are two of the more free-scoring units in the AFL, as the last three-quarters of the match amply showed. In the first quarter, however, there were few opportunities and only two were taken, one for each side. 28 further goals in the remaining three quarters proved that the two combatants hadn’t lost it: regular service had been resumed.
J is For Jumping Up The Ladder: Port Adelaide is on the way back up. Two consecutive wins see the Power up to 13th on the ladder and the form sees them just two games outside of the top eight now despite their start. Games against an inconsistent Western Bulldogs, bottom side North Melbourne, Geelong in Geelong and struggling Essendon in the next four could see Port push back into the finals conversations once more.
K is For Kicking Demons Haunt Saints: St Kilda became its own worst enemy on Saturday night, booting a horrid 4.18 as it lost shockingly to Port Adelaide. Max King had 2.2, Jack Higgins 1.3, Jade Gresham three behinds, Paddy Ryder and Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera had two behinds each in the one-point loss.
L is For Letting Robbie Loose…Again: He lives in the nightmares of many, many opposition supporters, but St Kilda fans will again be languishing letting Robbie Gray get on top of them again. Arguably Port’s greatest player in the AFL era kicked the match-winning behind and took the mark to take time off the clock to seal the game on Saturday night, five years after his match-winning goal at Adelaide Oval against the Saints.
M is For Moore of the Same Please: Many were surprised when Dylan Moore was considered an ‘elite’ forward by Champion Data at the start of the season, but he is certainly showing us why this year. Saturday’s game against the Demons was perhaps his best yet: 33 disposals, 11 marks and a goal to be the highest-ranked Hawk on the ground. His efforts allowed his side to get within two goals of the rampaging Demons.
N is For No Fear For Freo: The Cattery has a historic reputation as a graveyard for opposing teams, and Fremantle was no exception to the rule, only winning three of its fifteen games prior to Saturday’s game. But if the Dockers had any fear, they didn’t show it, pulling away in the third quarter and holding firm in the last quarter to record a massive win, just their fourth at Kardinia Park in 27 years.
O is For Opportunity Missed By The Suns: Still sitting on just two wins for the season, Gold Coast will be rueing a lost opportunity to claim a big scalp on the road. With Collingwood losing Brodie Grundy to injury last week, Gold Coast failed to take full advantage of Jarrod Witts’ dominance in the ruck over debutant Aidan Begg. Conceding a flurry of goals in short spaces of time throughout the match proved highly costly for Stuart Dew’s men.
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P is for Pummelled Again: The Bombers may have lost to the Dogs by 32 points with some face-saving in the last quarter, but it doesn’t hide their 1-6 record. With high expectations coming into season 2022 after a surprising finals campaign: Essendon has struggled in most key areas, even with their big-name players racking up plenty of the ball, and there’s little chance now of them returning to September in 2022.
Q is For Quite The Debut For Carroll: On Saturday night Jack Carroll donned the Carlton guernsey for the first time and looked right at home. He had 19 disposals, eight marks and a goal in a decent return from the debutant. His goal was the first of the match and with that, he joined the first kick, first goal club.
R is For Rioli By Three: On the Friday night stage, three members of one of football’s most famous families took part. While Willie and the Eagles had a night to forget, with the forward getting subbed out, Maurice Jr chipped in three of Richmond’s 25 goals, and Daniel had 23 touches and seven marks in the big win.
S is For Skipper Sicily: In game 100, James Sicily captained the Hawks and did everything he could to keep his side in the game. 13 marks across half-back and nine rebound 50s amongst his 26 disposals gave his team every chance of causing a huge upset. There are certainly no signs of his knee injury hampering his performance this season.
T is For Two Hundred Tom: Tom Lynch feasted on the West Coast backline in his milestone game, taking marks and having shots at will. He finished with an impressive seven goals and five behinds, from 14 marks and only wayward kicking kept him from inflicting more punishment on the Eagles in game 200.
U is For Undeniable #1 Ruck: Max Gawn started the season slowly, bringing some to question whether Big Max was still as dominant a force in the game as he had been in previous seasons. His performance in the last month, capped by an amazing game against the Hawks, silenced the pundits and still showed he is undeniably the game’s number one ruckman. 29 disposals, 35 hit-outs, two goals and six marks. He was amazing.
V is For Very Late Changes: Saturday night’s game between the Blues and the Kangaroos featured late changes on both sides. Aidan Corr was missing through health and safety protocols with debutant Miller Bergman replacing him for the Kangaroos. Bergman had an early finish to his first game suffering a right shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Zac Williams was the late out for the Blues replaced by Lachie Plowman, who gathered 13 touches.
W is For What Missing Players? Few would have predicted that Fremantle would be one of the early bolters in 2022, especially with captain Nat Fyfe yet to take the field in 2022, and Sean Darcy and Matt Taberner joining him on the sidelines this week. But in their place, others have risen, with Lloyd Meek leading the hit-outs against Geelong, and Blake Acres having arguably his best game to date with 27 disposals, six marks, and this ripper goal from outside 50.
X is For X-tra Special Moment: Mitch Wallis showed us all that life really is bigger than footy. The medium forward was back in the side after his mother-in-law was sadly killed in a car crash and paid tribute with a kiss to his black armband with an early goal in the first quarter. He had an influence on the game before a late injury.
Y is For You Think I’m Done? Any thoughts that Buddy Franklin’s career may have been winding down were put to rest in a scintillating burst early in the third quarter. After Sydney posted only two goals to halftime to trail by 33 points, Franklin took it upon himself to haul his team back into the contest with four goals in the first 10 minutes of the third term. The Swans could not get the match won, unstitched by the Lachie Neale-inspired Lions, but Franklin finished with six majors in an indication that he is still a huge drawcard in this league.
Z Is For ZZ-Tops: The early arm wrestle in the Sydney v Brisbane battle was broken open by an early second-quarter burst from Brisbane’s captain and talisman Dayne Zorko. Zorko kicked the first two goals of the second term to give the Lions the momentum. Although Sydney came at them hard at various stages, it was a break that they were not to surrender as they completed a meritorious four-goal win.
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