Some random facts from Round 18 of the AFL season

Three teams playing on Saturday finished their games on 79 points.

None of them won, but two of them didn’t lose…

Geelong 14.16-100 defeated Fremantle 3.13-31 at Optus Stadium

For those of you wondering, it’s Luke Ryan under the towel

Thursday marked the third time from 599 games that Fremantle have kicked exactly 3 goals in a game, with all 3 games occurring against Geelong in rain-affected conditions.

Round 20 of 2004 was the first, Round 22 of 2018 was the second, although Thursday serves as the odd game out, in that Fremantle didn’t finish on 3.7-25, and it was played at Optus Stadium instead of Kardinia Park.

Funnily enough, Thursday was also the third time Tom Hawkins has kicked more goals than Fremantle when he’s played the Dockers.

Tomawhawk first pulled it off in that 2018 game with 6 goals to 3, he did again with 3 goals in Round 8 of last year when Fremantle only kicked 2 goals for the game, and on Thursday night he kicked 4 goals to 3.

It’s the fourth time in the last year that Hawkins has kicked more goals than his opposition.

Richmond 16.10-106 defeated Brisbane Lions 13.8-86 at Metricon Stadium

In his milestone 300th game, Jack Riewoldt, and definitely not Tom Hawkins’ father Jack Hawkins as Brian Taylor accidentally called him, matched Tigers legend ‘Captain Blood’ Jack Dyer and Eddie Betts by kicking a joint-record 6 goals in his 300th game.

It also marks the first time Riewoldt has kicked 6 goals or more in a game since Round 21 of 2018, when he kicked 10 goals against the Gold Coast, in a game that was also played at Carrara.

Of course, with this win and a host of other results going their way….


Port Adelaide 10.14-74 defeated St Kilda 8.13-61 at Marvel Stadium

A game played in perfect conditions under the Docklands roof, and neither team could hit the side of a barn door.

With their previous win against Hawthorn in Round 16, Saturday’s win marks the first time Port Adelaide have won consecutive games at Docklands since 2015, when they defeated North Melbourne in Round 3, then they waited 3 months to defeat Essendon in Round 17.

In the last 15 years, the only other time the Power have won consecutive games at Docklands was 2013-14.

Western Bulldogs 14.6-90 defeated Gold Coast 11.13-79 at Metricon Stadium

In what is one of the Coincidences of the Year, the Western Bulldogs have conceded exactly 11.13-79 in their last 3 games, becoming the first team in 113 years to achieve the ‘Same score conceded’ hat-trick:

That is a genuine contender for Coincidence of the Year.

In one for the individual stats freaks, Jack Macrae finished on 31 disposals, having only needed 29 to become the fastest player to record 5,000 disposals in a career, bettering the mark set by Greg ‘Diesel’ Williams that had stood since 1993:

Melbourne 11.13-79 drew with Hawthorn 12.7-79 at the MCG

It took 96 years and 167 games, 4 of which were decided by 1 point, but Hawthorn and Melbourne have FINALLY PLAYED IN A DRAW!

Perhaps it was fitting that a game with no crowd and no atmosphere ended with no team song after the game.

Funnily enough, this game was also the unofficial 25th anniversary of the epic Merger Game between the teams, which the Hawks won by 1 point ahead of the ill-fated merger attempt to create the Melbourne Hawks, although the game itself was played on August 31, 1996.

This result was also the third time this season that Melbourne, despite retaining top spot on the ladder in the process of somehow failing to defeat the team sitting in 17th, have failed to defeat a team in the Bottom 4, setting a new record in the process:

Melbourne’s record against teams currently in the Top 8: 6 wins, 0 losses.

Melbourne’s record against teams currently in the Bottom 4: 2 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses.

Essendon 13.14-92 defeated North Melbourne 11.8-74 at Metricon Stadium

Essendon have now 7 games in a row against North Melbourne in a streak running back to 2017, making this their longest winning streak against the Kangaroos since 1939-44, when they won 8 games in a row against the Roos with teams that contained two Legends of the game in Bill Hutchison and Captain/Coach ‘King’ Dick Reynolds, plus characters like Reynolds’ younger brother Tom, and Allan Hird Sr, the grandfather of James Hird.

The win also puts the Bombers in the Top 8 for the first time at any stage of this season, thanks mainly to GWS blowing a 35 point lead against Sydney this evening.

Carlton 13.13-91 defeated Collingwood 9.8-62 at the MCG

You can hear a big ‘Fark yeah!’ from someone in Navy Blue

In a performance to honour Sergio Silvagni, today marked the first time Carlton have defeated Collingwood since Round 7 of 2017, and after it took the Magpies 40 years to reclaim the lead in the head to head duel between the old rivals with their win way back in Round 2, the Blues have tied it back up at the first time of asking.

Funnily enough, the exact same thing happened in 1979 and 1981, the last two times prior to this year that Collingwood had taken the lead in the head to head.

In ’79, the Pies went ahead 86-4-85 thanks to a win in Round 21, only for Carlton to tie it again when they next played in the Grand Final a month later, then in 1981, Collingwood reclaimed the lead 89-4-88 with a win in Round 16, only for the Blues to tie it back up by winning the ’81 Grand Final.

And, on the timeless subject of player heatmaps looking like a sausage with two Jatz crackers, this was Sam Walsh’s heat map for the game, which is probably a fair reflection of how most Blues supporters felt watching him dominate in the last quarter.

West Coast Eagles 14.14-98 defeated Adelaide 8.8-56 at the Adelaide Oval

Despite going goalless in the 1st Quarter, the Eagles defied their recent craptacular form to comfortably win Nic Naitanui’s 200th game, which makes this the first time all season in which the Eagles have won a milestone game for one of their players, albeit from a small collection.

Brad Sheppard played his 200th game when the Eagles lost to St Kilda in Round 4, a game in which Shannon Hurn also equalled Dean Cox’s former club record 290 games, only to get subbed out at quarter time when he injured his calf, only to come back in Round 10 to play his record 291st game, only for the Eagles to lose to GWS.

The next milestones for the Eagles could be another double-up in Round 20 against Collingwood at the MCG, which could be Tom Barrass’ 100th game, and Hurn’s 300th game, although with the state of this country, who on earth knows where that will be, or if it’ll even go ahead.

In the absence of Josh Kennedy, Jamie Cripps kicked 5 goals for the Eagles, just the second time the small forward has ever kicked 5 goals in a game, which he’d previously managed in Round 1 of 2015 against the Western Bulldogs at Docklands – In the 6 years since then, he’d kicked 4 goals on 5 separate occasions, but didn’t kick a handful until today’s game.

Sydney Swans 15.8-98 defeated GWS Giants 11.6-72 at Metricon Stadium

Because a game that had already undergone 3 venue changes because of coronavirus outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne before it went ahead, just needed a few more headaches barely an hour before it was due to begin:

As it turned out, despite only needing to win to jump into the Top 8, and despite leading by 35 points in the 2nd Quarter, the Giants were totally overrun by their former cross-town rivals, who kicked 12 out of the last 14 goals in a 61 point turnaround, leaving the Swans just a game and percentage off the Top 4, and the Giants down in 12th.

Still, it wasn’t the biggest comeback win the Swans have had during John Longmire’s tenure, because they were 36 points down in the 2nd Quarter against Richmond in Round 13 of 2017 before winning by 9 points, and they were 41 points down in the 3rd Quarter against Essendon in Round 1 of 2015, only to kick the last 8 goals of the game to win by 12 points.

In the process of kicking 4 goals to move on to 981 for his career, Lance Franklin’s 3rd goal of the night in the 3rd Quarter saw him join Tony ‘Plugger’ Lockett as the only players to kick at least 400 goals for two different clubs, with the pair of them both achieving the feat while playing for the Swans.

Buddy kicked 580 goals for Hawthorn and now sits on 401 for the Swans, while Plugger kicked a record 898 for St Kilda, then kicked a further 462 goals for the Swans to finish his career on the all-time record 1360 goals.

It was also the 131st game of Franklin’s career in which he’s kicked at least 4 goals, breaking a tie with Gary Ablett Snr for 5th place on the all-time list, leaving him behind only the four other 1000+ goalkickers in league history; Plugger, Jason Dunstall, Gordon Coventry and Doug Wade.

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