catherine healey – Michmutters

Western Bulldogs interest in James Rowe, Izak Rankine to Adelaide Crows, latest

The Western Bulldogs are set to be active in this year’s trade period, with another player linked with a Footscray move.

Plus Suns coach Stuart Dew confirms star Izak Rankine has a big decision to make on his future.

Get the latest player movement news and updates in AFL Trade Whispers!

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The Western Bulldogs are reportedly “red hot” on luring Adelaide’s James Rowe away from South Australia for 2023 and beyond.

Rowe, whose father Stephen played for the Crows in the 90s, is out of contract at the end of the year after being snapped up with pick 38 in the 2020 AFL draft.

But the lack of new deal has some speculating Rowe won’t be at the club next season.

“James Rowe is probably not going to get a contract at the Crows, that’s the word,” SEN SA’s Andrew Hayes said.

“The word right now is he’s probably not going to get renewed. This is a bloke who has played 16 games this year and averaging 13 disposals which is marked as above average for a small forward.

What’s happened to King’s kicking? | 01:29

“He kicked two goals on the weekend (against North Melbourne) and was a late addition for Wayne Milera.”

It’s reported the Dogs were initially interested in Rowe back at the 2020 Draft, but due to Adelaide’s bid on Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, they had to cough up enough points to match it.

“The Bulldogs are red hot into him. They were into him a couple of years ago, they were going to draft him, hence why the Crows had to nominate Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to get rid of a lot of their (the Bulldogs’) points,” Hayes said.

“They couldn’t accumulate enough points from draft picks to get to James Rowe so he could be on their list.

“Now it looks like the Bulldogs are set to pounce on James Rowe.”

Fellow SEN host Kane Cornes said Rowe “might get a better offer” from an interstate club that what he could expect from the Crows.

“I still think the Crows will offer him a contract, but whether it will be a bargain basement type set up or whether another club sees a different and a larger role for him to play,” he said.

“He might have a decision to make. It might be good for him to go to another club.

“He’ll be playing AFL football next year, I think it will still be at Adelaide but I wouldn’t be surprised if another club makes him feel a bit more loved than Adelaide has made him feel.”

Rowe played 19 games in his debut season and had featured 15 times this year – plus he was an unused medi sub for the clash with Collingwood in Round 18.

The Dogs have been strongly linked to Fremantle big man Rory Lobb this trade period, while there’s also reports of interest in Dockers swing man Griffin Logue.

How Longmire & Swans ‘disarmed’ Feet | 04:27


Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew has confirmed star Izak Rankine has received a big offer to join a rival club, with the 22-year-old out of contract at the end of the year.

Adelaide are reportedly offering the forward a five-year deal worth as much as $800,000 per season to return to his home state.

Speaking at his post match press conference on Saturday, Dew all but admitted the Suns weren’t able to match what was being offered to Rankine elsewhere.

“We certainly feel like we’ve got a great support system around him,” he said.

“We feel like we’ve put a lot of development into him and he’s starting to show where he can get to.

“When guys get to the end of their contracts, they’ve got decisions to make.

“And he’s certainly been given a big incentive to look elsewhere.”

It’s believed the Suns are offering Rankine around $650,000 per year.

Rankine has played 48 games for the Suns since being taken with pick three in the 2018 Draft.

He was taken the same year the Gold Coast snapped up Jack Lukosius (pick two) and injured forward Ben King (pick six).

“Heartbreak” awaits whoever finishes 6th | 02:27

Also taken in that draft year after Rankine were Connor Rozee (five), Bailey Smith (seven), Nick Blakey (10) and Zak Butters (12).

Just last week the Suns leadership group went public with their pleas for Rankine to remain at the club.

Co-captain Touk Miller made it clear that convincing the “special” small forward to stay was a top priority, having already re-signed Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Ben Ainsworth, Elijah Hollands and Mac Andrew this year.

“I know there’s a lot of speculation around him and his future, but for us we really want him to be at this club. He’s a special person, a special player,” Miller said.

“We’ve gone to him and had a few chats about how much he means to us and means to the club, so whether that plays a part in the decision, hopefully it does.”



Essendon Bombers v Port Adelaide Power, big loss, record, coach Ben Rutten, Alastair Clarkson, David King, First Crack, fan anger, criticism, AFL standard

The Essendon hierarchy will “rue” the decision not to pursue four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, Fox Footy’s David King has warned as the Bombers hit a new low on Sunday.

Players were booed by their own fans as they left Marvel Stadium after the 84-point loss to fellow non-finals contender Port Adelaide.

King said questions needed to be asked of the decision to implement the Ben Rutten handover from John Worsfold back in 2020.

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“For six months, if not 12 months, Alastair Clarkson has been sitting idle ready to be grabbed by a football club,” King said on First Crack.

“Why haven’t Essendon taken that step?

“Right now they lack system, they lack motivation and they lack standards as a footy club and I reckon the Essendon faithful are sick of it.

“Why are they gambling on a coach that is still developing when the absolute finished product is there?

“OK you’ve got to jump through a lot of hoops to get over the line, but if (Clarkson) signs at North Melbourne this week and Essendon could have got him with the list they’ve got right now, I think it’s a mistake they will rule for years.”

Essendon Press Conference | 03:59

Rutten remains contracted until the end of 2023, but has managed just seven wins this season.

The loss to Port Adelaide is their worst for 2022, and both the worst defeat and the most points conceded under Rutten.

King said matches late in a season showed the faith in a coach and the set up at a club when there was nothing but pride to play for.

“It’s very hard to get motivated and that’s when you find out what sort of football club you’ve got,” he said.

“That’s when you find out, can your coach continue to drive standards and continue to enforce non-negotiables?

“I’m looking at the Essendon hierarchy – are they ruthless enough from the top down?

“The 2020 Worsfold handover year, six and a half wins – Rutten was in charge of the tactical side of the game then. They won 11 games last year, they’ve won six this year.”

King showed vision from the second quarter when Bombers players were walking and allowing their opponents to get forward of the ball.

“This is Essendon in a nutshell,” King lamented.

Port Adelaide Press Conference | 03:57

“How lax is this? Have a look at them just standing around, ambling around. This is the forward 50. There’s 10 players within arms reach of this stoppage. That (game style) is going nowhere.

“I can’t understand what they look at when they review games at the moment if that is the output of a weekend.

“We can only judge the actions they put in front of us – that is not AFL standard.”

King said now was the time for “honest conversations” at the club after 2021’s surprising finals finish.

“I’m not just talking about the captain and vice-captain, I mean the whole football club,” he said.

“These guys have signed Ben Rutten – if they have to assess their own role in the football club and move on well so be it.

“When was the last time Essendon were genuinely ruthless as a football club? It was a long time ago.”

Speaking after the shocking loss, Rutten apologized to the club’s fans for the lack of effort on Sunday.

“It was the sort of game that our members and supporters who came to the game or were watching on TV… it’s not the sort of thing they should have to watch,” he said.

“It was an embarrassing effort from our guys. It’s not something we want to stand for and not something our members and supporters should have to watch at any stage.”



Sydney Swans v Collingwood Magpies, Jack Ginnivan, controversy, injury, hamstring, boo, booed, sidelined, Jon Ralph, respect, high tackle, ducking, drop knees

Sydney fans have been labeled “grubs” by Collingwood star Taylor Adams for booing his injured teammate Jack Ginnivan during the Swans’ 27-point win on Sunday.

Ginnivan had been subbed out of the match at half time, moments after winning a high tackle free kick that led to Collingwood’s third goal of the day.

He returned from the rooms with his right hamstring heavily iced and sat on the bench for the final half.

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When his face was put on the big screen, boos rang out from the record crowd of more than 44,000.

Ginnivan’s injured teammate Adams took to social media to slam the treatment of the 19-year-old.

“Imagine booing an injured player. Grubs,” I tweeted.

Ginnivan pulled a pout when he was initially shown on the screen as the boos began before then laughing as he was again shown and the boos increased.

Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph called on those in the crowd to “have some respect” for Ginnivan.

“I just think we’ve got to have a bit of respect,” Ralph said.

“We understand he’s become the pantomime villain of the AFL.

“He’s also said a couple of times now as recently as this week that he’s battled with the mental health issues. You can talk about whether the media has inflated some of that, but I think you need to have a little bit more respect for Ginnivan there, especially when he was injured.”

Commentator Alister Nicholson agreed with Ralph’s assessment.

“I reckon Jack Ginnivan is extremely stiff and its got to be a bit unwarranted that you’re injured and still getting booed by the crowd,” he said.

AFL commentator Dale Thomas said Sydney fans should know better, given the treatment of their star Adam Goodes that led to his early retirement.

Goodes was widely booed at every ground around the country late in his career.

“Even without the Adam Goodes stuff, I think its absolutely disgraceful (the booing of Ginnivan),” he said on 7’s Sunday Session.

“He’s a young kid going about his business, he’s injured and they pan to him on the bench and the Swans fans boo.

“I don’t think that’s the right thing.”

Demons rob Blues on the Buzzer! | 03:03

Ginnivan’s injury summed up a tough day for the Pies that began with star Jordan de Goey a late withdrawal for the match with the Swans with a hip flexor issue.

“This is far from ideal for the Collingwood Football Club at the worst possible time of the season,” Ralph said.

“(Ginnivan) will have to play potentially a qualifying final a day or two short of the perfect 21-day recovery time after he was subbed out with that hamstring soreness.

“The very best case, the Pies are going to have to play Taylor Adams first up off a 30-day break with that groin tear and Ginnivan with a question mark on his body and won’t be sure if either of those players will last out the game.”

Fox Footy’s David King said Goey’s Collingwood shouldn’t risk for the clash with Carlton next week – despite the result determining their top four hopes.

“I think it’s a no risk policy for me,” he said.

“I’m not risking losing him for an elimination final next week. If it costs you one position on the ladder, so be it.”

Brad Johnson agreed and said the club should take a “100 per cent fit or not” policy from this point on.



Live stream details, video result, blog

A top-two spot and home qualifying final could be up for grabs on Sunday afternoon as Sydney and Collingwood — two of the AFL’s most in-form teams — meet at the SCG.

The Swans (14-6, 127.5%) are in a strong position to host a qualifying final, especially after Brisbane’s inability to thrash Carlton after threatening to increase their percentage in a massive way. They’ve won six of their past seven games.

But the Magpies (15-6, 106.3%) can put themselves in Position A to finish in the top two with a 12th straight win and skip ahead of Brisbane on the AFL ladder.

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The Magpies were dealt a major blow just hours before the first bounce, with star midfielder Jordan De Goey a late withdrawal due to a hip flexor issue. De Goey has been in excellent touch since returning to the Pies side two weeks ago with 23 and 25 disposals respectively in wins over Port and Melbourne.

De Goey was replaced by Trent Bianco, with Callum Brown named the medical sub. There were no late changes for the Swans, who named Braeden Campbell as their sub.

This match gets underground at 3.20pm AEST from the SCG.

Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 503) from 3pm AEST.

Follow Sydney v Collingwood in our live blog below!


Collingwood had the run early against the Swans but couldn’t put it on the scoreboard before a rare Scott Pendlebury error gifted Sydney the first of the match.

With the corridor kick coming unstuck, the Swans pounced before Lance Franklin unselfishly opted for the pass to teammate Isaac Heeney who nailed the first.

Dane Rampe had Sydney’s second later – his first goal since 2016 – as the home crowd really got going.

But when Jack Ginnivan pounced on a midfield turnover and went the barrel forward, Beau McCreery chased the footy down and got the hand pass over to Brody Mihocek who snapped truly from the square.

“Gee it was hard work for the Pies!” Commentator Brian Taylor said.

“Not sure why (Ginnivan) went the barrel… but they got the goal in the end.”

Mihocek appeared to cop a cork in the process of kicking the goal in worrying early signs for the Pies.

Tom Papley broke a tackle and got the crowd back to their feet with the Swans’ third goal of the day.

In more worrying signs, Brayden Maynard appeared to nurse his right shoulder after the Papley goal. He made his way to the bench only to be sent back into the action.

He then laid a big tackle and was slow to his feet when brought to ground by James Rowbottom.

The Pies dodged a bullet when Ryan Clarke’s goal was denied as the goal review showed the footy shaving the post.

While his brother Nick struggled to get into the action, Josh Daicos narrowed Sydney’s lead to eight points with a goal on the run from stoppage.

“You have to be accountable because if he give him that much room, he’ll kick the goal,” commentator Shaun Burgoyne said.

Young Ash Johnson beat two Swans to take a big grab 25m on the angle, but he couldn’t convert.

Down the other end, Franklin showed why he is the Swans’ marquee man as he roved and goaled on a tight angle.

“He’s the man they all come to see,” Taylor said.

The goal brought Franklin just one shy of the great Tony Lockett on 462 goals for the Swans.

Sam Reid had the chance to extend Sydney’s lead but pushed his set shot out on the full as the quarter time siren sounded.

Papley may have burned his teammate Franklin early in the second term, but Chad Warner made sure he lowered the eyes minutes later after breaking two tackles.

Franklin couldn’t pull in the mark on the arc, but Warner roved brilliantly and got the ball to Will Haywood who goaled from the square.

The Pies just couldn’t win the footy in their front half as Taylor said they were “getting a bit of a bath from the Sydney defenders”.

When Jack Crisp slipped over in the center square, the Swans gathered the turnover and found Logan McDonald.

But the youngster leaned back on it and missed to the near side.

Franklin couldn’t get the bounce when he snapped from the pocket as Collingwood just couldn’t get into the contest in the second.

It took a Jack Ginnivan goal from a high tackle free kick to give the Pies a sniff.

Paddy McCartin was penalized for the tackle and the controversial Collingwood forward slotted it to the boos of the crowd to narrow Sydney’s lead to 15 points.

“It’s immediately high from McCartin,” commentator Jude Bolton said.

“I believe the first one was around the throat. He’s got to go lower.”

But Ginnivan left the field moments later and headed straight to the rooms, leaving the Pies down to just two on the bench while medical staff struggled to stem Will Hoskin-Elliott’s nose bleed from earlier in the quarter.

Ginnivan was subbed out at half time and later spotted on the bench with ice on his left hamstring.

Franklin got the Swans off to the best possible start in the third term when he snapped his 462nd goal for Sydney – drawing him level with Tony Lockett.

Johnson couldn’t bridge the gap after some Daicos brother brilliance in the center of the ground.

“He just didn’t get back in his run up,” Burgoyne lamented.

“I’ve got under it.”

If you can’t see the blog, tap here.



Casualty Ward, injury, injuries, team news, update, fitness, round 22, latest news, medical sub

Fremantle expect Rory Lobb to back up against GWS, despite being subbed out of the win over West Coast.

While the Roos are counting the injury toll from a bruising encounter with the Crows.

Get the latest AFL injury news in our Round 22 Casualty Ward!

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FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir has defended the club’s decision to sub Rory Lob out of the win over West Coast late, despite then admitting he expects the star to play next weekend.

Lobb has been carrying a shoulder injury for the past few weeks and appeared to aggravate it in a marking contest in the third term.

But the big forward waved away medical staff and played on, despite clearly carrying his right shoulder.

“He’s sore,” Longmuir admitted post-match. “We don’t think it’s too significant. We’re proud of his efforts after he got injured and halved some contests and remained in the game and kept working his way through it.

“(We) expect him to play (against GWS).

“Players have played plenty of times after they’ve been subbed out.

“He was carrying his arm around so he’s got an injury. He’s been carrying it for three weeks so he got a stinger on it and couldn’t go on tonight but we think he’ll be alright.”

Longmuir said he would enjoy the win over West Coast before contemplating having both Lobb and fellow big forward Matt Taberner unavailable for the away clash with GWS.

“I’ll worry about that when I get home,” he laughed.

“It’s not ideal and I’d love Lobby to play next week. We haven’t really crossed that bridge yet.

“When you see a player out there carrying their arm, you want to protect them so that’s why we subbed him out.

“He’s a fast healer. He played the week after he hurt it the first time from memory. So fingers crossed he gets up. He doesn’t let on when he brings injuries into games and he pushes through it really well.

“He’s 205cm and we needed to contest forward of the ball.

“I’m really proud of his efforts to keep competing, sometimes with one arm.”

Saint in hot water over bump? | 00:41

The call to sub Lobb out of the contest came with just four minutes remaining when the match was all but won.

“The docs went out and checked him and probably decided that he couldn’t go on anymore,” Longmuir said.

“He battled as well as he could for as long as he could. We needed to get him off for his own welfare from him.”

Lobb’s potential absence could hurt Fremantle’s top four push with Taberner already sidelined. skipper Nat Fyfe is no guarantee to return from his hamstring injury in Round 23 with Longmuir adamant the club would take a cautious approach.

“We don’t need to (bring him straight back), but if he’s fit to play, he’ll put his hand up for selection,” Longmuir said.

“If he’s not declared fit, we’re not going to put him out there and risk him. You injure yourself at this time of year and have a repeat injury to that hammy, then your season’s almost done.”

Longmuir said Fyfe may even go back to the WAFL for a second time this year to build fitness heading into finals.

“If it’s not this week, then we’ve got the bye and a WAFL game in the bye so we’ll look at that,” he said.

ST KILDA‘s Jimmy Webster‘s season is all but over after he injured his hamstring in the loss to Brisbane.

With the Saints now only a mathematical chance of finals, Webster is set for scans in the coming days.

He was subbed out of the loss to Brisbane early and was iced up for the remainder of the clash.

Cunnington emotional after huge return! | 02:47

ADELAIDE forward Shane McAdam is in doubt for this weekend’s Showdown with Port Adelaide.

McAdam was subbed out of the win over North Melbourne with a hamstring complaint.

“Forward Shane McAdam injured his hamstring while leading for the ball in the final quarter and was subbed out of the game,” Crows high performance manager Darren Burgess said.

“He will be assessed in coming days ahead of next week’s Showdown.”

NORTH MELBOURNE are counting the cost of a bruising loss to the Crows, with three players injured and young Paul Curtis now racing to be fit for the final match of the season.

jed anderson suffered concussion and won’t play again this season under the AFL’s protocols.

skipper jack ziebell is also likely done for 2022 after suffering a “significant” shoulder injury.

“It didn’t look great for Ziebs in particular,” coach Leigh Adams said.

“It’s some sort of shoulder injury. I think we all know Jack Ziebell is going to put his body on the line every time.

“I’m not sure if its collarbone or a dislocation but for him to come straight off and get subbed off, it must have been pretty bad. He doesn’t come off unless something is wrong.

“Fingers crossed it’s not too bad but it looks like his season is over.”

Kangaroos miss chance against Crows | 01:34

Jaidyn Stephenson will have to prove his fitness to play again this season after coming off with a back injury.

“Stevo’s had a bit of back issues that can come good pretty quick.”

Adams defended the club’s decision to send Anderson back out into the contest, as he was later ruled out with concussion.

“I haven’t seen the vision yet – I’m comfortable our doctors will have made the right decision,” he said.

“I know he came off with the blood rule and I was told at three quarter time he’d gone into the concussion protocols.”

Adams said the club wouldn’t take any risk with young Curtis after he copped a knock to his shoulder.

“This time of year obviously with one game to go, we won’t take any risk with a young kid like that,” he said.

GWS could be without Lachlan Keeffe after he complained of groin soreness in the loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Caretaker coach Mark McVeigh said the club would take precautions with the veteran.

“We’ll assess Keeffey who complained of a bit of groin soreness. We’ll take precautions there,” he said.

Tanner Bruhn won’t play again this season after entering the AFL’s concussion protocols.

“Tanner Bruhn with the HIA so he’ll enter those protocols which is not ideal for him,” McVeigh said.

the WESTERN BULLDOGS admit skipper Marcus Bontempelli is not fully fit but continues to press on.

“I finished the game off alright didn’t he?” coach Luke Beveridge said.

“He’s struggling a little bit with a niggle or two. I had Marcus and Chrissy Bell in my office yesterday talking through, he’s got a bit of an adductor issue going on.

“Both Marcus and Chris were sure he’d get through the game.

“He’s not 100 per cent. I have pushed through a bit of discomfort today.”

Bulldogs keep finals in sight | 02:53

GEELONG Coach Chris Scott has hinted at resting more players for the final round clash against West Coast.

With top spot assured, the Cats do have one injury concern with Rhys Stanley subbed out of the win over the Gold Coast.

“They tell me he’s got a low grade adductor strain,” Scott said.

“Generally when they say low grade it’s a week or two. It will be unlikely he’ll play next week is the feedback I’ve got but they are not too worried beyond that.”

GOLD COAST coach Stuart Dew says he feels for Sam Day after the forward re-injured his knee.

“Suspected that he’s hurt his meniscus that he’s had repaired last year and it was the same mechanism the way he slid and jammed that joint so we’ve got fingers crossed but unfortunately I think Sam might have hurt his knee which is really unfortunate,” Dew said.

Izak Rankin also remains in doubt for Round 23 after injuring his shoulder.

“He hurt that shoulder a few weeks back… clearly awkward landing/hit and he’s stirred that up,” Dew said.

“We’ll just see how that settles.”

WEST COAST could be without both Nic Naitanui and jamine jones for the trip to Geelong.

Jones was subbed out of the loss to the Dockers with a back issue.

“His back just seized up. We weighed up before the game whether to pull him out … He’s had a big year and carried some injuries. He just couldn’t last,” coach Adam Simpson said.

Simpson also admitted Naitanui was playing through the pain.

“He’s playing because the club needs him,” Simpson said.

“He needs a good break.”



St Kilda Saints v Brisbane Lions, Marvel Stadium, live blog, match report, analysis, preview, teams, photos, videos

St Kilda need a victory over Brisbane on Friday night to keep their final hopes alive, but they’ll be without inspirational mid Dan Hannebery.

The Saints (11-9, 101.1%) have taken a cautious approach with the veteran after he tweaked his ankle in last week’s loss to Geelong.

Brisbane (14-6, 124.2%) have their own injury woes with defender Marcus Adams ruled out with concussion.

The Lions have beaten St Kilda just once at Marvel Stadium in 22 years, dating back to 2000 when it was known as Colonial Stadium.

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The medi subs are Zak Jones (St Kilda) and Ryan Lester (Brisbane).

This match gets underground at 7.50pm AEST from Marvel Stadium.

Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 504) from 7pm AEST.

Follow St Kilda v Brisbane in our live blog below!


The Saints showed their cards early when tagger Marcus Windhager went straight to Lachie Neale for the first bounce.

And despite the Lions doing all the attacking in the opening minutes, it was Jack Higgins who got St Kilda on the board first.

Higgins pounced when Oscar McInerney missed with his hands in the middle of the ground.

The Saint set sail for home from the center square and it bounced through.

“One tiny little handling error and it’s out the back door,” commentator Brian Taylor said.

Neale headed deep forward in a bid to try and overcome the Windhager tag, but had just one touch to his name after more than 10 minutes of play.

“He and the Lions asking the question.. ‘alright you can run around the midfield as a tagger but how do you go as a pure defender if I go forward?’ Good move,” commentator Daisy Pearce praised.

After early misses by Dan McStay and Hugh McCluggage, plus Cam Rayner’s out on the full, it took a brilliant Charlie Cameron contested grab to get the Lions on the board.

McCluggage then added his side’s second a minute later from the center clearance.

The ball just wouldn’t sit for Neale as he streamed inside 50 and the Saints dodged a third bullet as Jack Sinclair was there to bring the ball out of defense.

But the first term was played mostly in the Lions’ front half as St Kilda were unable to clear.

When Jarrod Lienert won a big ruck battle against McInerney, the Saints got forward and Tim Membrey didn’t disappoint with the snap – and he went to Dayne Zorko to let him know about it.

Tempers threatened to spill over a few times in the first term as the Saints sat just one-point behind.

“St Kilda are on track to record 100 tackles here,” commentator James Brayshaw said.

“They have come to play.”

Mason Wood then gave the Saints the lead after Mitch Owens broke free from the stoppage and got the handball out.

But St Kilda let the lead slip after the quarter time siren when Hipwood slotted his set shot from 40m out.

The second term belonged entirely to the Lions as they found another gear and kicked away.

A big Brad Crouch bump rocked Lion Darcy Gardiner early in the second term as the Saint crashed heavily into his opponent.

Pearce immediately thought Crouch’s actions would draw at least a week’s ban, but luckily for Gardner he was able to stay out on the field.

Joe Daniher went aerial before kicking his first goal of the night before Linc McCarthy extended Brisbane’s lead to 14 points minutes later.

Like the first quarter, the ball remained locked in Brisbane’s attack as St Kilda’s defense was put under enormous pressure.

Hipwood got out the back and goaled from the square before another big contested grab by McStay pushed the lead out to a game-high 26 points.

Wood gave the Saints some hope minutes out from half time with a big goal from just outside 50.

But by the main break, Brisbane held a 22-point lead.

If you can’t see the blog, tap here.



North Melbourne Kangaroos, Jason Horne-Francis, contract, future, South Australian, homecoming, axed, teams, Brent Harvey, selection, teams, dropped, pick one, draft

Jason Horne-Francis’ failure to complete his “proper ice bath and recovery” is what led to his shock axing from the side to face Adelaide, 7NEWS has revealed.

Horne-Francis was left out of the Kangaroos’ line up for what would have been his first homecoming to play in front of family and friends since being snapped up with North’s first number one draft pick.

7NEWS journalist Mitch Cleary said the prized draft pick was omitted for “disobeying his coach” last weekend.

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“The star teenager was called out by interim coach Leigh Adams and senior players on Sunday for failing to complete his proper ice baths and recovery in front of their very eyes,” Cleary reported.

“I have spent this morning with a dozen teammates training in Melbourne (instead of traveling with the squad).”

He’ll now play in the VFL after failing to live up to the club’s “Monday to Friday” expectations.

With Horne-Francis putting off contract extension talks earlier this year, there’s fears the 18-year-old could be preparing to depart the ‘Roos at the end of 2023 – when his initial two-year draft deal expires.

But North Melbourne great Brent Harvey says the club will not be “held to ransom” by Horne-Francis’ uncertain future.

“I think there’s always a risk (when dropping him),” Harvey said on RSN on Friday.

“He’s going to have the spotlight on him because he’s the number one draft pick… (but) he hasn’t gone out and robbed a bank, he hasn’t done anything bad; teammates love him, staff love him, the coaches love him – he hasn’t done anything bad. This is just part of the development of a young boy to get his preparation right and everybody else. Not just Jason.

“The risk is there (that he departs)… we know the risk, everybody knows the right. Not just Jason. It could be draft pick number five, not number one and they’re from Adelaide or Perth – the going home factor is always going to be there. Same as a Perth club that drafts a Melbourne boy – it’s always going to be there.

“But you can’t get held to ransom for these little things. You’ve got to make sure your culture is number one and that’s what our coach is doing right now and I absolutely love it.”

McRae reiterates hope to re-sign De Goey | 00:36

The decision to ax Horne-Francis shocked the AFL community, with Fox Footy’s Nick Riewoldt labeling the move “strange”, while David King questioned the call given the teen would have motivation to perform in front of his support network.

Brownlow Medalist Gerard Healy even told 3AW’s sports day that Horne-Francis’ non-selection for the Crows game was “a bookend to a pretty disappointing season”.

But Harvey opened up on the decision to ax Horne-Francis, who was also left in the VFL for a week after returning from suspension earlier this season.

“There’s some stuff that we call Monday to Friday, it’s preparation stuff – you need to tick the boxes,” he said.

“This is not just about Jason … (Caretaker coach) Leigh Adams has got very good standards, I’ve got to be a little bit careful … but we’ve got players not playing in our team and I’ll name one right now : Kayne Turner.

“He would run through brick walls for every single one of his teammates and every single one of his supporters – he does everything right.

“If he’s not playing, he’s playing in the reserves at the minute, you’d want to be doing everything right to make sure you’re holding up your end of the bargain. We call that Monday to Friday and if you haven’t got your Monday to Friday in order, that’s just not good enough right now.

Koch keeps Hinkley for 2023! | 02:49

“Was it good enough in Round 3, Round 4, Round 5? Maybe.

“But with Leigh Adams in charge, the standards have gone to another level and players have to play their part. Monday to Friday is just as important as performing on game day for us.

“There’s not just one incident where we’ve just said (to Horne-Francis): ‘Nah, you’re not playing because of this’. It’s not that at all, everything comes into calculations, the form side of it, what he’s doing after stoppage. There’s so much that comes into it.”

Harvey, who played 432 games for the Roos and was a premiership winner in 1999, said the club needed to instill the best culture possible in Horne-Francis and the Kangaroos squad moving forward.

“The end of the day, we’ll always come back to what’s best for the football club and what’s best for the culture,” Harvey said.

Cripps free to play, ban overturned! | 00:35

“He’s 18 years old, there are going to be little mistakes along the way.

“Any draftee that comes is not perfect, they are never perfect… he’s come over from interstate, straight into an elite environment.

“Our job is to teach them. Then they’ve got to learn themselves.

“I think he’s done fantastic in his first year away from mum and dad.

“(But) if you compromise on your culture, things go pear shaped real quickly.”



Brisbane Lions, defense, Harris Andrews, Marcus Adams, finals, pressure, David King, Mark Robinson, AFL360, bruise-free

Brisbane’s defensive woes have been laid bare just two games out from finals, with one star in particular accused of playing “bruise-free footy”.

In the past six weeks, the Lions are ranked 13th for opposition scores per inside 50, and 14th for pressure, midfield intercepts and opposition from defensive 50 to inside 50 – with only Richmond’s pressure worse for any team in the top eight.

“I think they’ve got massive problems down back… huge problems that are going to render their campaign done,” Fox Footy’s David King has warned.

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What could ladder look like at finals? | 02:58

And King singled out Lions star Harris Andrews for some brutal criticism, demanding he “play like a man.”

“The first move down there being Harris Andrews, he’s playing bruise-free footy at the moment. He’s not playing with physicality,” he said.

“Forwards are just leading around him too easily, there’s no engagement, there’s no body checking, no blocks – there’s nothing. It’s pure intercept or he gets beaten.

“But he’s playing against big boppers in the AFL now and your big boys need to play big boy footy and I don’t think he is.

“He’s a two-time All Australian. We know what he can be, but this is too easy. He’ll get beaten more often than not with that sort of intent.”

Absolute scenes! Cunnington to play AFL | 02:57

Andrews is leading the way for the Lions in a number of areas including intercepts (129), marks (127), disposal efficiency (89%), one percenters (180 – 71 more than the next closest in Marcus Adams) and time on ground , and second in contested marks (24 – one behind Dan McStay).

But on AFL360, King showed vision of Andrews allowing opponent Harry McKay to dictate terms – and the two-time premiership winner called for coach Chris Fagan to put a stop to it.

“He doesn’t deny him anything,” King said.

“They are giving up too many luxuries.

Harris Andrews has to play like a man. You can’t have a guy 200cm play like that – that takes you nowhere.

“That beats some teams during the home and away season and you have a nice year, but you don’t win prelims or grand finals and they continually come up short and that’s why.

“All time Swans great” Emotional goodbye | 03:24

“So fix it or move aside.”

Andrews will be left to hold down the Lions’ defensive end this weekend with teammate Marcus Adams now sidelined under the AFL’s concussion protocols.

AFL360 co-host Mark Robinson said Fagan had spoken about the Lions’ backline efforts more than a month ago and was concerned it doesn’t appear to have been addressed.

“He’s been talking about that, the coach. They spoke about it and that’s still the profile six weeks later,” he said.

“Why aren’t they fixing it? (They’ve) gotta get nasty.”

The Lions have a tough final two games against St Kilda and Melbourne as they remain in the fight for a top four finish – a feat they’ve achieved for the past three years but never made the grand finale.



Carlton Blues, Patrick Cripps, court, appeal, suspension, ban, bump, Callum Ah Chee, West Coast Eagles, Willie Rioli, Matt Rowell, appeal

Carlton needed to use the Willie Rioli defense in a bid to free skipper Patrick Cripps to play in this weekend’s must-win clash with Melbourne, according to Jonathan Brown.

Like Cripps, Willie Rioli was banned for his mid-air collision with Sun Matt Rowell as the Eagle’s impact sent the midfielder crashing into the turf.

Rioli was given a one-match ban for the heavy bump, but was successful in overturning the suspension at the court by arguing his actions were not “unreasonable”.

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Cripps has been hit with a two-match ban for his similar action that left Lion Callum Ah Chee concussed on the Gabba turf.

Brown believes a “precedence” was set in Round 1 – with the difference being Cripps’ has been graded as high impact and not medium like Rioli’s.

“The end of the day, the precedence has been set for my belief when Willie Rioli was let off with Matty Rowell in Round 1. I don’t think there’s been a rule change,” Brown said On the Couch.

“To me, it looked like Willie Rioli was later (in making contact).

“Yes, you can argue that it was a marking contest however it was an aerial contest. One was in play, one was a marking contest.

Longmuir confident yet coy on Freo | 03:48

“They were both scenarios where the player’s had to leave the ground. I don’t think Patty Cripps could do much. I actually think that (Rioli’s) looks worse and was let off.”

Fellow panelist Nick Riewoldt agreed that the Blues needed to use Rioli’s appeal as the basis for their challenge, should they decide to make one by 11am AEST on Tuesday.

“Whether you are jumping in the air in a marking contest or to intercept the ball from a handball is irrelevant,” he said as Brown added: “It should be irrelevant.”

“So they walk in (to the court), you press play on the Willie Rioli tape and you walk out five minutes later – that’s how it should go down,” Riewoldt said.

Brown felt Rioli’s argument that his conduct was “not unreasonable” should apply to Cripps as well.

“The argument for Willie Rioli (was) he couldn’t reasonably expect contact in that situation and obviously had to brace – but so did Patty Cripps.”

Fans were shocked back in Round 1 when Rioli escaped sanction for the hit on Rowell, with some calling on the Eagle to “buy a Lotto ticket”.

Koch statement awkward for Hinkley? | 01:36

Gerard Whateley said the Blues were in the process of preparing for an appeal on Monday night, but didn’t think the Rioli comparison was as “cookie cutter” as some believed.

“First they have to show it’s not a bump. The second part is there an alternative?” he said.

AFL360 co-host Mark Robinson agreed with coach Michael Voss that it was a “split second decision” for Cripps.

“My flinch reaction was: ‘You’re gone Patrick Cripps’ … but I said the same with Willie Rioli,” he said.

“We were gobsmacked at the time they appealed and got off. I don’t think the court can suspend him if they put up the Rioli (vision).

“But my gut feels is you can’t have that in our sport anymore.

Feet rebound from cap scandal | 02:10

“He didn’t mean to do it – but what’s more important? He didn’t mean to do it or the health and safety of Ah Chee?”

On the Couch host Garry Lyon believes Cripps’ actions are worthy of suspension, claiming it was “not a great surprise” the Match Review handed down a two-game ban on Monday.

“It’s a hold your breath moment,” he said.

“I don’t think in this state that we are in and the game we’ve got, if that goes unpunished, then we are kidding ourselves.”



West Coast Eagles vs Adelaide, Josh Kennedy shakes hands of Crows players, retirement, final game, guard of honor

Josh Kennedy goes down as West Coast’s greatest ever goal kicker, but it’s the veteran’s humility and class that has won praise from his opposition for more than a decade.

After being chaired from the ground on Sunday, as his eight goals fell just short of dragging the West Coast to victory over Adelaide, Kennedy then showed why he is one of the game’s most humble stars.

Kennedy turned back to the Crows and then took the time to shake hands with every player and staff member who joined the Eagles in forming the guard of honor.

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The “classy act” just epitomizes the Eagles’ great who bows out after 293 games and 723 goals – with a premiership, three All Australian jumpers and two Coleman Medals.

And he remained humble through his final press conference too.

“The boys fed me a fair bit. There was probably a lot of ball that came my way that it shouldn’t have,” he said.

“There was a few times pre game, at half time and at the end there where there were moments you know it’s finishing.

“I love being a part of those games, whether you win or lose, I love being a part of those close games.”

Kennedy kicks EIGHT in his finale! | 01:25

Kennedy admitted to feeling nervous in the match and a “little numb” after departing the Optus Stadium turf for the final time, in front of more than 50,000 fans.

“It’s interesting finishing your last game for a while. I’ve never experienced it,” he said.

“You (coach Adam Simpson) were probably yelling in the box but someone handballed over to Boots (Shuey) and he was shoulders out, he had JD (Darling) long inside 50 but he looked inboard to try and handball to me and Liam ( Ryan) ended up stuffing the kick.

“I just thought, ‘boys let’s chill. We need to win this game. Let’s not focus on me’.”

Kennedy even overcame the emotion of losing his best friend’s nana, whose funeral was just days ago, and a woman who helped him as a kid in Northampton.

Josh J. Kennedy gets chaired off the ground in his final game. Picture: Daniel CarsonSource: Getty Images

“She grew us all up back in Northampton. She loved the Eagles. It was a special one for her,” he said.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson was full of praise for Kennedy’s performance in his final match.

“Can you imagine kicking eight in your last game?” I have laughed.

“Unfortunately in that last bit we couldn’t get the four points. But outside that, we tried our hardest.”

Even pre-game Kennedy was at his humble best, stating he just wanted a win for the boys.

“I don’t care if I don’t get a kick, I just want to win and to sing the song one more time in here,” he said.

With his final address as an Eagles player, Kennedy took the time to thank the fans for bringing a “tear to the eye.”

“We as footballers, we’re out there to perform and it feels sometimes, I recognize the consensus is we give a lot to the fans, but they give us so much. They make our game great,” he said.

“They are the reason why we play football.

“And it’s not just home ground – all the fans of the AFL.

“I’ve been so lucky in my carer… it brings a tear to my eye. I can’t thank them enough.”