If you enjoyed one 17th vs 18th ‘Spoonbowl’ game involving North Melbourne and another team wearing vertical stripes…
WHY NOT HAVE ANOTHER!
St Kilda (11th) vs Geelong (4th) at Marvel Stadium, Friday 7:50pm AEST
Assuming nothing untoward happens and captain Joel Selwood plays his 318th game for Geelong, then the Selwood brothers will reach a collective 750 AFL games; Adam Selwood played 187 games for West Coast, Scott Selwood played 169 for West Coast and Geelong, and Troy Selwood played 75 games for the Brisbane Lions.
Assuming Joel makes it to game 321 in a couple of weeks, then the Selwoods will overtake Terry, Neil, Anthony and Chris Daniher on 752 games for the most games by a set of brothers:
Troy Selwood, there’s a player the kids of today will think was a figment of our imaginations… Probably because he’s the only Selwood brother who didn’t play for West Coast or Geelong.
Sydney Swans (6th) vs Collingwood (16th) at the SCG, Saturday 1:45pm AEST
This is the first time the Swans and Magpies have played in the afternoon since Round 21 of 2009, when they played on a Sunday afternoon at the MCG.
Amazingly enough, the last time the Swans and Magpies played an afternoon game at the SCG?
Round 10, 1999, the very game in which Tony Lockett kicked his 1300th goal.
Another random fact for Saturday – Magpie Jack Crisp plays his 150th consecutive game, having not missed a game since Round 17 of 2014, when he was still at the Brisbane Lions, with whom he played the last 6 games of 2014 before he was traded in the Dayne Beams deal, and subsequently hasn’t missed a single game (143 out of a possible 143) while wearing black and white.
Jack joins the esteemed list of players who have played at least 150 consecutive games; Jim Stynes (244), Adem Yze (226), Adam Goodes (204), Jack Titus (202), Brett Kirk (200), Jared Crouch (194), Jock McHale (191), Andy Collins (189), Kane Cornes (174), Marcus Ashcroft (170), Tony Liberatore (165), Matthew Pavlich (160), Kade Simpson (158) and Rohan Smith (153).
Hawthorn (17th) vs North Melbourne (18th) at University of Tasmania Stadium, Saturday 2:10pm AEST
Appropriately for a game involving the two worst teams in the league, the age old rivals Hawthorn and North Melbourne are the 17th and 18th ranked scoring teams respectively, with the Hawks averaging a mere 70.1 points per game, and the Kangaroos averaging 56.9 after rounding.
However, they can’t quite complete the quinella of crapness by simultaneously ranking as the two worst defensive teams, as Hawthorn are only 16th in points against (95.3 per game), with Essendon in 17th (97.3), and North in stone motherless last at 108 per game.
For North, the losing streak is now up to 16 in a row, the fourth-longest in the club’s history, and David Noble is the first coach to lose his first 8 games in charge since Mark Neeld lost his first 9 games in charge of Melbourne in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have gone goalless in the first quarter in their last two games, which marks the first time they’ve had consecutive goalless 1st Quarters under Alastair Clarkson, and the first time it’s happened to a Hawks team since Rounds 5 and 6 of 1966, when they kicked 0.1 against both Foostcray and Essendon.
That was so long ago that the Hawks were a few months removed from their most recent wooden spoon (1965), and their coach was former captain Peter O’Donohue, who ended up lasting just one season before John Kennedy Snr returned.
In fact, the last time Hawthorn kicked a goal in the 1st Quarter was this weird goal from Tom Phillips against Adelaide at UTas in Round 6:
The Pineapple Grapple – Gold Coast (12th) vs Brisbane Lions (5th) at Metricon Stadium, Saturday 4:35pm AEST
It’s the 20th edition of the
Q-Clash Pineapple Grapple, and it’s amazing to think that we just recently passed 10 years since the inaugural Suns-Lions clash at the Gabba, which the Suns won by 7 points in a rather high-scoring contest (124-116), as Nathan Krakouer kicked 5 goals at one end for the Suns, and Ash McGrath kicked a perfect 6 goals in a losing cause for the Lions.
Ever since the younger sibling sprang an upset on that Saturday night, the Lions have taken the ascendancy, winning 6 out of the last 7 meetings to race ahead 13-6 in the head-to-head.
Going through the lists, it looks like there may only be two players from the inaugural Pineapple Grapple that feature in the 20th edition – David Swallow for the Suns, and Daniel Rich for the Lions.
Sam Day is still with the Suns, although he’s out injured, and Jarrod Harbrow also featured in the inaugural game, and has played a record 17 Pineapple Grapples, although he played in the VFL on Thursday night, after being omitted following Round 5.
Richmond (8th) vs GWS Giants (9th) at Marvel Stadium, Saturday 7:25pm AEST
This may not surprise you, given the Grand Final result barely 2 years ago, but the Tigers have never lost to the Giants in 6 meetings in Melbourne, although they’ve never previously played each other at Docklands prior to Saturday night.
As a comparison between the Melbourne venues, the Giants have played 21 times at both the MCG and Docklands – They’ve won only 5 times at the MCG (3 of them being against Collingwood), but by comparison, they’ve recorded 8 wins and a draw at Docklands.
Port Adelaide (3rd) vs Western Bulldogs (2nd) at the Adelaide Oval, Saturday 7:10pm ACST
The Port Adelaide Football Club celebrated their 151st anniversary on Wednesday, and so the story goes, it was John Rann, Richard Leicester and George Ireland who founded Port Adelaide as a football and cricket club, although it shouldn’t be confused with the Port Adelaide Cricket Club, which was officially formed in 1897, although they both nicknamed themselves the Magpies and played at Alberton Oval for the century prior to Port enterting the AFL.
Moving on to the present day, and as if presenting themselves as a model of consistency, the Power have the same record through 8 games as they did in 2020 (6-2), and they’ve also won the exact same amount of quarters through 8 games as they did this time last year – 21 out of 32, which is currently tied for the most quarters won by any team, alongside Melbourne.
For the Bulldogs, this is the first time they’ve sat in the Top 2 after 8 rounds since 1998, when they were on top of the ladder, and it should be noted the Dogs never dropped out of the Top 2 at any stage of the ’98 Home & Away season…. only to encounter a bad case of Déjà vu and play the Crows in a Preliminary Final.
Last week’s 14 point 3/4 time comeback against Carlton was also the first time in 35 years that they’d come from behind at 3/4 time to defeat the Blues – Round 9 of 1986 at the Western Oval was the last time the Dogs pulled that off, although on that occasion it was only from 7 points down in a low scoring game, as both teams kicked 4 goals apiece through the opening 3 quarters.
And, one final fact – The Footscray/Western Bulldogs are only one win away from bringing up their 900th VFL/AFL victory, having recorded 899 wins through the first 1987 games, to go with 22 draws and 1066 defeats.
Essendon (15th) vs Fremantle (10th) at Marvel Stadium, Sunday 1:10pm AEST
A stat you might see brought up this weekend is this: The Dockers have only defeated the Bombers once at Docklands in 13 previous attempts, which came on Easter Sunday of 2010 (Round 2) by 44 points, which shouldn’t be that surprising, given the Bombers finished Bottom 4 that year and the Dockers played finals.
In fact, Fremantle have as many wins against Essendon at the former Waverley Park (From their only meeting in 1998) as they do at Docklands.
Back to the present, and despite sitting down in the Bottom 4, the Bombers attack is of no concern, sitting at No.2 behind the Western Bulldogs as the best scoring teams in the league, although the obvious problem is they’re 17th in points conceded.
The Bombers are the first team since the 2015 Western Bulldogs (Round 23 and the Elimination Final) to lose consecutive games despite scoring 100+ points, and Saturday’s defeat against GWS was the 11th time in the last 5 seasons that they’ve been involved in a game decided by under a goal.
They have a 2-9 record in those games.
Melbourne (1st) vs Carlton (13th) at the MCG, Sunday 3:20pm AEST
Melbourne have won the last 5 clashes against Carlton dating back to 2017, and the last time the Demons won 6 consecutive games against the Blues was the peak of the Norm Smith era – 1955 to 1958, when they won 8 in a row.
That said, 3 of those 5 games Melbourne have won in recent years were decided by single digits, including the last two games by a mere 5 points in 2019, and 1 point last year.
The Demons’ 10 game winning streak is also something they haven’t achieved since the Norm Smith era, and a win on Sunday to go on to 11 in a row would also match the equal 2nd-longest winning streak in the club’s long history, although it’s still a long way off the record of 19 in a row between 1955-56.
West Coast Eagles (7th) vs Adelaide (14th) at Optus Stadium, Sunday 2:40pm AWST
Fresh off their first win in Victoria since Round 20 of 2019 the Eagles return to Perth for their 50th clash against Crows, with the Eagles leading 28-21 through the first 49 meetings, and going back, the head to head was level at 13 apiece after the Eagles won the 2005 Preliminary Final, avenging their defeat in the minor premiership decider in Round 22, and since then it’s been mostly blue & gold in this all-bird clash.
In fact, the Eagles’ biggest win in club history came in their 9th meeting against the Crows in Round 19, 1995, when they handed the South Australians a 135-point hiding at Subiaco, which stood as the Crows worst-ever defeat until 2004, when the Lions handed them a 141 point hiding.
And, Scott Cummings also kicked a West Coast record 14 goals against the Crows at the WACA in 2000, a game the Eagles won by 114 points: