Victory – 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!

Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

NEW FIRST CRACK PODCAST — R22 wrap: Why Dons MUST chase Clarko, Swans for the flag?

Listen below or subscribe in Apple Podcasts or Spotify


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.”



Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation telehealth obstacle prevents house-bound from accessing service

On his heyday, Alan Clark was a gun centre-forward who left everything on the field.

Footy was in his blood. He earned best and fairest accolades at almost every suburban club he played for and as a player-coach proudly led the Frankston reserves to a gritty grand final showdown in 1971.

They lost to the boys from Brunswick that day and the outcome still stings.



NRL 2022: Cameron Ciraldo Bulldogs coach, pundits react, Bulldogs roster, Who is the Bulldogs coach?, Matt Burton contract, player signings

Rugby league legend Mark Geyer has made a bold prediction following the Bulldogs’ appointment of rookie coach Cameron Ciraldo — while Fox League’s Andrew Voss is concerned the club’s “gamble” could backfire.

Ciraldo inked a five-year contract to join the Belmore club from 2023 onwards in a deal reportedly worth around $800,000-per-season.

Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

The 38-year-old was the hottest property on the coaching market following the axing of multiple coaches including Trent Barrett, but in the end NRL supremo Phil Gould got his man.

Ciraldo has been Ivan Cleary’s assistant for several years and former Panther Mark Geyer believes his appointment means Matt Burton’s tenure with the Bulldogs will almost certainly extend past 2023 after knocking back his player option for 2024.

“He’ll be the youngest coach in the NRL, 38-years of age and signs a five-year deal as I said it’s a major coup, but what it does is makes Matt Burton, now his signature will be a lot longer, he’ll sign on for longer,” Geyer said on Triple M.

“That means that Kikau won’t get cold feet, it means Reed Mahoney won’t get cold feet, the Fox (Josh Addo Carr).

“It’s a massive signing, a lot of people will be saying look he hasn’t done much but, he’s been an assistant coach but what he’s done is he’s very articulate in the way he prepares.”

Geyer also believes the Bulldogs are set for a “special” rebuild, going as far to say they could be premiership contenders within five years.

“It’s all about the team with Cameron Ciraldo it’s never about him so I think this is a major, major boost for the Bulldogs in the next five years,” he said.

“Cameron Ciraldo will, I’m not going to say it but they’re going to do something special in five years but they’re going to be close I would say.

“I reckon they’re going to be close to pulling off the biggest prize of all within five years.”

The Daily Telegraph’s Buzz Rothfield echoed Geyer’s remarks — but explained assistants who have been mentored by elite coaches don’t always become successful bosses themselves.

“At 38 he’ll be the youngest coach in the NRL but a terrific talent, he’s been a great right hand man for Ivan Cleary at the Panthers with all their success in recent years,” Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast.

“He’s their minister for defense there, he’s the one who designed all the strategies to keep their line intact which has been so outstanding in recent times.

“Look the only thing I will say is just because you’re out of a Penrith system or Melbourne system it doesn’t automatically make you a great coach.

“I wrote this morning about Trent Barrett only having a 40 per cent win record despite the rap on ‘Baz’ (Barrett) when he came out of Penrith and Garth Brennan too.

“You look at guys like Adam O’Brien who came out of Melbourne and had a year under Trent Robinson.

“It doesn’t mean you’re going to be an immediate success but I’ve got this feeling that Cameron Ciraldo will prove that theory wrong, he’s got what it takes.

“I think it’s enormous for Canterbury and that he knows the pathways so well at Penrith, he’s been there over a decade on their coaching staff.

“He knows how to bring young players through, I think it’s a huge move for the Bulldogs.

“Put them (Kikau and Mahoney) in with Matty Burton and the rest of the team I think they’re going to be a real top eight chance next year.”

While many are backing Ciraldo to be a success, rugby league commentator Andrew Voss stated he wouldn’t be “signing a rookie coach for five years”.

Five-year coaching contracts have in the past gone pear-shaped — Anthony Seibold’s short-lived Broncos deal being the most recent.

Voss explained there are only a handful of coaches across the league that could warrant the long-term contract signed by Ciraldo.

“Any five-year deal, there’s an element of a gamble in it, even with a player.”

“But five years for an untried coach?” Penrith Panthers legend Greg Alexander asked.

Voss continued: “What if they haven’t played finals in a couple of years? I think five years is too much.

“Five years for a rookie coach? Trying to think of a coach you’d sign for five years, I think you’ve got to have the runs on the board.

“(Craig) Bellamy, (Trent) Robinson, (Ivan) Cleary, I don’t think there’s too many more.

“I’m not signing a rookie coach for five years.

“But, I wish Cameron Ciraldo all the very best.”

Originally published as Why Phil Gould’s $4 million gamble on Cameron Ciraldo could backfire



AFL 2022 Ben Rutten sacked as Bombers coach; Essendon board meeting, Alastair Clarkson, Paul Brasher, video

Essendon coach Ben Rutten could be sacked as early as today as the club holds a second meeting in the space of 24 hours.

3AW’s Neil Mitchell reports there is a strong belief that Rutten will not coach the final round of the season with assistant Daniel Giansiracusa to take charge of the team.

It comes as Essendon president Paul Brasher is understood to have stood down in the wake of their humiliating loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday.

The 84-point loss at Marvel Stadium looks likely to also spell the end for Rutten as well who was under intense pressure to hold onto his job just a season after leading them back into the finals.

The Bomber board will then decide whether to make a play for Alastair Clarkson.

The Hawks coaching great is the most talked about coach in the competition — and he doesn’t yet have a home, after leaving the Hawks in 2021.

Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Essendon Press Conference | 03:59

The Bombers have a 7-14 win-loss record in 2022 ahead of the final match of the regular season, where they will play Richmond on Saturday night.

Brasher indicated he would step down at year’s end earlier in the season, but their sorry defeat on Sunday has seemingly sped up at that process.

“I think you’re going to see real improvement in the second half of the year,” he said at the time.“

“We don’t want honorable losses. We’re happy about effort, but that is the baseline and we’re looking to improve upon that and not going to take to light about losing to good sides by narrow margins.”

Dud Bombers pumped by Port | 01:39

An earlier internal review is said to have fallen short of what some believe is required, with reporting that there is a push for an external review wanted by some.

Rutten slammed his side’s “embarrassing effort” after fans booed players from Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

“Were bitterly disappointed,” he said.

“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.

“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.”


‘Not going to tolerate it’: Bombers coach apologises to fans for ’embarrassing effort’ vs Power

TALKING PTS: Why Clarko ‘coup’ could open floodgates; star wasted by ‘arrogant’ club

Bombers coach Ben Rutten following their heavy loss at Marvel Stadium against the Port Adelaide Power on August 14, 2022 in Melbourne. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Brasher has been unwavering in his support behind Rutten, but with the president gone a push for Clarkson has been made.

Clarkson has received formal offers from Greater Western Sydney as well as North Melbourne, with the Kangaroos tabling a five-year deal for the respected coach.

The former Hawks coach was said to have wanted to make his decision early this week, but a late push from the Bombers could see Clarkson want more time to make his decision.

On Sunday, Kangaroos great David King hit out at the Bombers for failing to make a serious play at Clarkson.

“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.”

Dons fans heard slamming players | 00:46

King slammed the Bombers for failing to turn up and said some of the players were not playing to “AFL standard”.

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

“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.”



St Kilda Saints urged to put stars on trade table, Leigh Montagna, list management, Brad Hill, Zak Jones, Jack Billings, Jade Gresham

St Kilda great Leigh Montagna has implored the club to trade out some of its star senior players to bring more youth into the club in a “reset”, saying he thinks it “needs to go back to go forward.”

The Saints had their final hopes dashed after losing to Brisbane, falling to 11-10 to continue St Kilda’s drop off after a promising 5-1 start to the season.

Since Round 7 St Kilda has ranked bottom six in the ‘Core Four’ stats — with the footy (15th), without the footy, clearance and post-clearance contest (all 12th).

Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

“They’re in a real predicament … this is 15 rounds of football, it’s a bottom-four profile, so they have really struggled with their game,” Montagna said on Fox Footy’s First Crack.

Asked if their issues lie with personnel or system, Montagna said: “I think it’s a combination of both.”

The Saints’ finals hopes are over (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)Source: FOX SPORTS

It comes after St Kilda has aggressively recruited players via trade and free agency over the last four years, bringing Paddy Ryder (35 years old), Dan Hannebery (32), Tom Campbell (31), Brad Hill, Dean Kent, Mason Wood, Brad Crouch (all 29), Jarrod Lienert, Zak Jones (both 28), Dougal Howard (27), Dan Butler, Jack Hayes (both 26) and Jack Higgins (24) into the fold.

Looking at the age profile of those players combined with the rest of the senior core, Montgana questioned how much upside the Saints’ list has.

“This is the concern for St Kilda supporters when you think about where the improvement is going to come from in the years to come,” he said.

“How much room for improvement have they got these guys? How high is their ceiling? And that’s in conjunction with their core group of Seb Ross, Tim Membrey, Jimmy Webster, Jack Sinclair, Jack Billings, Rowan Marshall and Jack Steele, who are all 26 plus years old as well.

“There’s not a lot of ceiling room within the core group of players on top of that profile… the upside is a very small margin.”

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

Montagna did praise young guns Max King, Cooper Sharman (both 22), Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (20), Marcus Windhager and Mitch Owens (both 19), who’ve joined the club over the same four-year period, but said he had “question marks” on their other youngsters.

He believes St Kilda should follow Port Adelaide’s blueprint from post 2018 and trade out their players with currency to try and bounce back quickly.

“I think they need to go back to go forward,” Montagna said.

“I think they need to trade out some of those players they’ve brought in and bring in some more young talent and reset — Brad Hill, Zak Jones and maybe Jack Billings or Jade Gresham to try and get some other young talent in.

“I look at Port Adelaide — they went through a period for five years where they were mid-table — then traded Chad Wingard, Jasper Pittard and Jared Polec when they were playing good footy — Jack Hombsch, Paddy Ryder and Dougal Howard.

“They made some change and got in those young players — Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma, Connor Rozee and Mitch Georgiades — then all of a sudden played in back-t0-back preliminary finals (in 2020 and 2021).

“I think there’s some concerns there for St Kilda, they need to have a real hard think about where their list is at moving forward.”



Coles shopper loses battle for compensation in court after slipping on lettuce

A Coles shopper has lost her court battle for compensation after she slipped on a piece of lettuce at the supermarket and claimed the fall caused her knee and spinal injuries.

Kanwaleen Bhelley claimed that she suffered a whole person impairment (WPI) of more than 5 per cent following the incident at a Coles store in the suburb Wyndham Vale in May 2020.

The Melbourne woman had told a medical panel that the lower back injury meant she experienced pain after driving for an hour and did not run out of “fear” of her knee and back becoming “painful”.

She said the spinal injuries had also “reduced her attendance at concerts, general socializing, and attendance at her temple, which requires long periods of sitting”, the court judgment noted.

She sought compensation from Coles after supplying a medical report from a sports physician. But the supermarket giant rejected the report and referred the matter to a medical panel who determined Ms Bhelley’s injuries did not meet the threshold required for compensation.

Instead, the panel found Ms Bhelley had suffered age-related degenerative changes to her spine and sacroiliac joints which was associated with rehabilitation treatment of her right knee.

“She can stand for about 10 minutes before she has to stretch her back,” the panel wrote in its report.

“She can walk for about 30 minutes, (but) after about 500m she notices mild right knee pain, so stops walking to sit or stand for about 10 minutes. She can traverse stairs without difficulty, using alternate stair treads for both ascending and descending, with no lower back or right knee issues.”

The panel also ruled her condition was stable.

The 43-year-old then lodged an appeal taking her case to Victoria’s Supreme Court, alleging the panel did not apply or misapplied the guidelines used to determine her impairment.

“Mrs Bhelley submitted that, absent such error, the panel would have determined that her degree of whole person impairment resulting from her spinal injury was 5 per cent, satisfying the significant injury threshold and in turn entitling her to claim non-economic loss damages, ” the judgment read.

But Judge Andrea Tsalamandris handed down her ruling on Friday finding the panel had not erred in its assessment and dismissed her appeal.

However, she acknowledged that Ms Bhelley could still experience pain or symptoms.

Read related topics:melbourne



Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel handshake sparked wild scenes after Tottenham-Chelsea draw

Tottenham and Chelsea played out a controversial English Premier League draw but that was only half the show as both coaches were sent off in wild scenes after full-time.

After a running battle throughout the match, things got truly heated after the final whistle when Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Tottenhal boss Antonio Conte were both awarded red cards after an intense handshake sparked wild scenes following the 2-all draw.

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Earlier in the match, Conte’s overexuberant celebrations of Spurs’ first equalizer resulted in the two coaches being booked for squaring up.

Tuchel then responded by running down the touchline in celebration when Chelsea retouched the lead through Reece James 13 minutes from time.

But Harry Kane’s 96th minute equalizer meant Conte had the last laugh.

Tuchel was not happy at the Italian for not making eye contact during a handshake at full-time, which sparked another melee between both sets of coaches and players.

Conte looked to be going for a quick shake, while Tuchel held onto the Italian’s hand and dragging him into the confrontation.

Conte could be heard over the pitch mics saying “What do you want?” as both sides returned to the pitch in defense of their managers.

As players and staff rushed in, security was forced to separate the pair and break up the wild scenes on the pitch.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel said the issue was sparked as Conte did not look at him in the eye during the handshake.

“I thought when we shake hands you looked in each other eyes, he had a different opinion,” said Tuchel.

“It (the red cards) was not necessary but a lot of things were not necessary. Another poor decision from the referee.”

Tuchel revealed his main source of anger due to the fact both of the Tottenham goals could have been disallowed.

Tuchel was unhappy the Spurs’ Rodrigo Bentancur sliding challenge on Kai Havertz went unpunished, while Tottenham’d Richarlison was off-side and in the eyeline of Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy in the first goal.

In the second goal, Cristian Romero dragged Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair which led to the corner for Kane’s last-gasp equaliser.

“Both (Tottenham goals) cannot stand. Only one team deserved to win,” Tuchel added.

“We dominated for 90 minutes. We were sharp, we were hungry, it was a top performance. I’m sorry for all my players that we didn’t get the result we deserved.

“There was a clear foul on Kai Havertz and the situation goes on and on. Clear off-side on Richarlison off-side and since when can you pull hair on a football field? It’s ridiculous.”

However, after the match, Tuchel admitted it got too heated on the sidelines.

“It was hot from the temperature and hot between the benches and hot on the field and hot between the spectators,” Tuchel said with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius in the English capital.

“There’s no hard feelings. I feel like it was a fair tackle from him and a fair tackle from me.

“We did not insult each other, we did not hit each other, we were fighting for our teams and from my side there’s absolutely no hard feelings. I’m surprised that we both got a red card for that.”

Conte batted away several questions about his tete-a-tete with Tuchel, but admitted a gap between the sides remains despite Spurs’ improvement.

Chelsea won all four meetings between the sides last season, three of them after Conte took charge in November.

“In my opinion it is better to talk about the game,” Conte said. “Chelsea showed to be a really good team, but compared to last season we did a bit better.

“The difference is clear. This team won the Champions League two years ago, last year won the Club World Cup, got to the final of the FA Cup and Carabao (League) Cup.

“There is a difference between Chelsea and Tottenham but we are here to reduce this gap. Last season we lost three times, this time we drew so it’s a little step forward.”



NRL Rich 100 2022: Props overtake playmakers as rugby league’s best-paid players

Jesse Bromwich is the highest paid prop in the game with the front-rower leading a clear attitude shift over how much props should be paid.

In a game-changer for the code, the front-row position is now the highest-paid position in the NRL.

The second highest-paid prop is Roosters recruit Matt Lodge on $900,000. A portion of his current salary is being paid by former clubs, the Warriors and Broncos.

From the Rich 100, 26 of the top-earners are front-rowers.

The next best grossing position across the NRL is back rowers (15) and locks (14).

Halfbacks (10) are ranked fourth overall for position in the 2022 Rich 100, a possible insight into the death of quality halves currently in the NRL.

Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Bromwich’s $1.05 million salary with the Melbourne Storm will shock league fans, who routinely rate Penrith’s James Fisher-Harris, Eels prop Junior Paulo, Broncos spearhead Payne Haas or Roosters powerhouse Jared Waerea-Hargreaves as the best go-forward merchant in the NRL.

Climbing from a 53rd ranking on the Rich 100 last year to be 13th overall this year, Bromwich has hit pay dirt in his final year in Melbourne on the back of a stellar career at the Storm which has included three premierships and three Player of the Year awards.

The Kiwi International and Storm captain is edging closer to 300 first grade games in what is his final season in Victoria before moving north to become an inaugural franchise player with The Dolphins.

The 33-year-old will take a major pay cut to join the NRL’s newest baby, but could still figure inside the top-50 highest-paid players next year.

The stunning increase in salaries for props is in direct contrast from a long-held view of supercoach Wayne Bennett, who historically refused to spend big-money in his pack.

Lodge has landed at the Roosters for the remainder of this season on a cut-price deal, although his full salary continues to be supplemented by payouts from both the Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors, the latter of whom have paid him out in full for next season.

Lodge is hoping to earn an extension with the Roosters.

A mainstay of the Rich 100, the next highest-paid prop is Andrew Fifita, who will farewell the list at the end of this season.

The off-contract Sharks prop is in the final year of a five-year contract that is valued at $850,000 a season.

His current overall ranking of 19 on the Rich 100, is shared with fellow front-rower Addin Fonua-Blake.

The Warriors scored a coup when they managed to get Fonua-Blake from Manly for the 2021 season.

He was already one of the game’s premier props when he arrived at the Warriors and he continues to lead from the front for a side that has faced plenty of recent adversity.

Locked in until the end of 2026, Fonua-Blake’s challenge will be delivered upon his worth at the back-end of his contract.

Knights prop David Klemmer is the next highest-paid prop. He is ranked 28th overall on the Rich 100 on a salary of $850,000.



AFL news 2022: Essendon Bombers torn to shreds after capitulation vs Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide ended a turbulent week with a statement win against Essendon at Marvel Stadium by 84 points.

The Power kicked nine goals in a row, including seven in a second-quarter onslaught, to put an at times insipid Essendon to the sword and condemn the Bombers to their biggest loss of the season.

Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

It was an emphatic response from Port, whose embattled coach Ken Hinkley was given assurance during the week from club president David Koch that he would remain as coach in 2023, after losing its past four games.

Essendon recorded several unwanted milestones including coach Ben Rutten’s biggest-ever defeat — his most points conceded as Bombers coach and Essendon’s second-biggest loss against the Power.

Rutten slammed his side’s “embarrassing effort” after fans booed players from the ground.

On the Fox Footy coverage, a spectator was overheard screaming: “This is f***ing embarrassing.”

Former Port Adelaide star Kane Cornes told SEN: “Essendon is just been a nice team. At not one point today has someone thrown their weight around. They’re too nice, and that’s been on full display this afternoon. Not one Port Adelaide player will be sore after this game.”

After announcing a record number of members during the week, Rutten apologized to Essendon fans.

“We’re bitterly disappointed,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

Rutten said he couldn’t put his finger on where it fell apart for the Bombers, who had the better of territory and seven shots to five in the first quarter.

But from there it was all the Power, who slammed on 18 goals to six.

The Essendon coach said while the result wasn’t acceptable, it didn’t shake his belief in where his side is going.

“At the back end of the first quarter we got ourselves back into the game,” Rutten said.

“But from the second quarter it was really poor.

“It doesn’t shake my belief in where we’re going. It’s not a great result in terms of tonight’s performance.

“It’s about us being strong and clear on where we’re going and what we’re trying to build because it’s never going to be a clean progression in becoming a great team.

“Performances like that is not stuff we can accept or tolerate, and we won’t.”

Rutten stopped short of saying whether he would give his players a chance to bounce back next week against Richmond or if there would be wholesale changes, but said everyone connected to the side felt the loss.

“It hurts me, it hurts the players and everyone who is putting in to get us to where we want to get to,” he said.

“I’ll have to have a look at that (making wholesale changes).

“The good thing is there is one week to go for us and an opportunity for us to finish the year playing a brand of footy the way we want to.”

Michael Hurley took another step towards an AFL return by getting through a VFL game on Sunday, and Rutten hinted the veteran swingman could play his first game in more than two years.

“That’ll be a discussion point for us, he got through the game at VFL level, that’s certainly something we’ll be looking at,” Rutten said.

Read related topics:Adelaide



Michael Voss press conference after Carlton Blues loss to Melbourne Demons, fixture, finals chances

Carlton will quickly regroup in preparation for a mouth-watering “final elimination” against arch rival Collingwood next week, coach Michael Voss says.

Voss was trying to take positives out of Saturday night’s heartbreaking loss to the Demons, who stole a five-point victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a classy Kysaiah Pickett goal with 11 seconds left in the game.

Shattered Blues players slumped to the ground on the final siren as Melbourne denied Carlton the opportunity to cement a finals berth for the first time since the 2013 season.

Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Asked where it went wrong, Voss told reporters: “A bit of detail in the last couple of minutes didn’t quite get right, so I guess it’s easy to focus on that two minutes.”

Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd, who was at the MCG on Saturday night, witnessed a frustrated Voss walk towards the Blues’ rooms after the final siren, before he u-turned, consoled his players and walked from the field with them.

“This is as bad as a home and away loss gets … I’ve lost a prelim by a point but this is as close to what you get with a home and away loss,” Lloyd told Channel 9’s The Sunday Footy Show.

Patrick Cripps of the Blues and Michael Voss leave after the loss. Picture: Mark StewartSource: News Corp Australia

“Vossy, he stands on the bench with the players and coaches from down there – he just started charging off on his own, disconsolate, hands in his pockets. He was going to head straight down to the rooms.

“Just as he got close, I reckon it triggered and he thought: ‘I can’t just go off and leave my players there.’ He turned back around, walked 60m back, he tapped every player on the bum, he and ‘Crippa’ (Patrick Cripps) walked down arm-in-arm.

“So I reckon he thought to himself: ‘I’ve got to be here with my players and we’ve got one week to try and salvage and turn this around.’”

With the ninth-placed Western Bulldogs, who are a win behind Carlton, set to start as favorites in their own do-or-die clash against Hawthorn next Sunday, the Blues simply must beat old foe Collingwood to cement a finals berth.

Carlton, vying to feature in September for the first time since 2013, will take on the miracle-working Magpies in a sequel to the thrilling Round 11 affair in which the Pies won by four points.

“It’s really exciting for us,” Voss said.

Patrick Cripps of the Blues and Michael Voss. Picture: Mark StewartSource: News Corp Australia

“I’ve spoken about the opportunity that’s there and it’s about exposure for us playing in these sorts of games. It can only be a good thing for us and how we grow and develop out of this as a footy team.”

Voss said his troops would relish the opportunity to take on the in-form Collingwood in front of an MCG crowd likely to exceed 80,000.

“It’s effectively an elimination final,” Voss said. “We know what the week holds.

“We’ll get back to work and turn up here next Sunday, in what will be a really big game. I’m sure it’ll be really built up.

“The energy that we brought today was just real excitement to be able to play these sorts of games. I hope we bring that same energy.”

Demons rob Blues on the Buzzer! | 03:03

The Blues are likely to regain Adam Cerra, who was a late withdrawal because of groin tightness but Voss conceded his side wouldn’t have the luxury of bringing fellow midfielders George Hewett and Matthew Kennedy back into the line-up despite the high-stakes nature of the clash.

“(Close) just couldn’t quite get going this morning,” Voss said.

“George (Hewett) is starting to get going a bit, but I think the prognosis for him is that if he does actually start to train it might be more towards the finals.”

— with NCA Newswire