horror top trumps

¡¡¡¡It was a round of mixed winners – from the very impressive to the rather unimpressive.

¡¡¡¡But other sides fell flat, bringing into question their finals credentials.

¡¡¡¡Every team¡¯s performance analysed and graded in Foxfooty.com.au¡¯s Round 11 Report Card.

¡¡¡¡Watch the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Every match of every round Live on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

¡¡¡¡Round 12AFLJun 04 7:50pm AESTFTMelbourne97Brisbane75MATCH CENTRE*Odds are current as of 5th June 2021, 4:26pm AESTVIEW ALL SCORESAFLJun 05 1:45pm AESTFTSydney92St Kilda83MATCH CENTRE*Odds are current as of 5th June 2021, 4:26pm AESTVIEW ALL SCORESAFLJun 05 4:35pm AESTAdelaideCollingwoodMATCH CENTRE$1.50$2.60BET

¡¡¡¡*Odds are current as of 5th June 2021, 4:26pm AESTVIEW ALL SCORESAFLJun 05 7:40pm AESTEssendonRichmondMATCH CENTRE$2.60$1.50BET

¡¡¡¡*Odds are current as of 5th June 2021, 4:26pm AESTVIEW ALL SCORESAFLJun 06 3:20pm AESTCarltonWest CoastMATCH CENTRE$1.55$2.45BET

¡¡¡¡*Odds are current as of 5th June 2021, 4:26pm AESTVIEW ALL SCORESAFLJun 06 6:40pm AESTFremantleBulldogsMATCH CENTRE$2.95$1.40BET

¡¡¡¡*Odds are current as of 5th June 2021, 4:26pm AESTVIEW ALL SCORES

¡¡¡¡”Lost our way” – King slams new trend | 01:54

¡¡¡¡ADELAIDE CROWS

¡¡¡¡It was there for the taking. A second straight upset was on the cards when the Crows led Richmond by 24 points in the early stages, and again when they stormed back from 33 points down to cut the margin to just nine. Matthew Nicks¡¯ side couldn¡¯t quite get the job done; still, it was another promising afternoon.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Even with the Tigers regaining many of their midfield stars, the Crows¡¯ midfield won the day, edging out the premiers in the contested ball and controlling the clearances. Reilly O¡¯Brien (14 disposals, five clearances) was excellent while Rory Sloane (29 disposals, 16 contested possessions, 595 metres gained and two goal assists) and Ben Keays (31 disposals and 11 clearances) both starred. Tex Walker kicked 4.3 with 16 disposals as his revival continues.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡There was just a lack of composure from this young group at times. Once the Tigers got going, the Crows were severely outclassed – as you¡¯d expect by looking at the respective pedigrees of the lists. Eight Adelaide players had fewer than 10 disposals as the premiers controlled the footy, with nine different Tigers recording 20 or more disposals.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡C+

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¡¡¡¡BRISBANE LIONS

¡¡¡¡The most in-form side in the competition and by some margin. It¡¯s just firing on all cylinders for the Lions at the moment and it¡¯s a genuine 50-50 against Melbourne next week. A blistering opening quarter of 6.4 to 1.0 set the tone and, while the Giants eventually got their teeth into the game, the Lions never looked like wilting. A simply flawless win and Chris Fagan¡¯s side, after a spluttering start to the year, are in this premiership race up to their eyeballs.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Dayne Zorko or Mitch Robinson for the three votes, take your pick. Zorko finished with 35 touches and two goals as he goes from strength to strength in the absence of Lachie Neale, while Mitch Robinson kicked a career-high four goals to go with 30 touches. Harris Andrews was a rock down back while Daniel Rich launched a couple of long bombs at goal to go with 22 touches. Last but not least, credit to Charlie Cameron not for his one goal but for the work he did in setting up several others.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Not much at all. When you¡¯ve won seven on the trot and by comfortable margins, there isn¡¯t a whole of improvement needed. Melbourne next week should expose any holes they have.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡A+

¡¡¡¡Betts lights up Sir Doug Nicholls round | 00:40

¡¡¡¡CARLTON

¡¡¡¡It was a game the Blues desperately needed to win, and some of their stars played like it. But too many didn¡¯t, and in the end they proved unable to stop the exciting young Swans from prevailing by 22 points. Now languishing at 4-7, David Teague¡¯s side can take solace in the fact it has lost to six top eight sides; but those losses look like they¡¯ll stop Carlton from joining those teams in September.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡This was the game where Patrick Cripps reminded us all that he¡¯s still the Batman to Sam Walsh¡¯s Robin. The co-captain was immense, tallying 27 disposals, three goals, seven clearances and 18 contested possessions – he was realistically best on ground, but it¡¯s very hard to win any award like the Goodes-O¡¯Loughlin Medal in a losing effort. Coleman medal fancy Harry McKay had a real ¡®nearly¡¯ game, kicking 3.5 with eight marks. A bag from him could¡¯ve been the difference on the day.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Nine of the 13 lowest-ranked players on the ground in the AFL Player Ratings were in navy blue, and even included Sam Walsh, who faded after a fast start. There were just too many passengers and with no-one in the side to stop Isaac Heeney, he ran rampant. Despite breaking even in the clearances and contested ball, Carlton conceded 58 inside 50s to 44, which just isn¡¯t good enough.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡C-

¡¡¡¡Heat on high priced Blues recruits | 02:32

¡¡¡¡COLLINGWOOD

¡¡¡¡Don¡¯t let the 10-point margin fool you; the Magpies were woeful on Saturday. The only thing that kept it close was Geelong being similarly but not quite as bad. They were kept goalless to halftime and essentially half of their score came in junk time. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Chris Mayne had a heck of a day – according to the Official AFL Player Ratings, it was his best ever game for the club – tallying a game-high 32 disposals, 11 marks and six intercepts. Jordan De Goey was dangerous with 26 disposals and two goals while Darcy Moore was a wall in defence (21 disposals, six intercepts) while also launching several attacks with his athleticism.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡On the stat sheet things looked OK. Good, even. But we know how bad the Magpies¡¯ ball movement has been in the last 18 months, and it was simply horrendous against the Cats. Their defence has turned the ball over at an alarming rate all season but it¡¯s as if to combat that, the Magpies tried to play stupidly safe. It looked like every time a defender took possession, their first choice was to look down the line, and if there was any sort of risk they¡¯d go elsewhere. Is that Nathan Buckley being devoid in confidence in them, or are the players the problem? Yes, they¡¯re playing plenty of kids, but they¡¯re still too experienced overall to be producing that.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡D

¡¡¡¡Grundy cleared of serious damage to neck | 00:27

¡¡¡¡ESSENDON

¡¡¡¡It¡¯s hard to think of a more significant victory by the Bombers since their famous 2013 win over West Coast in Perth ¨C the night Jobe Watson was vociferously booed by Eagles fans. Just under eight years later against the same team in the same state, Essendon proved it has a finals-like edge and class as it handed the Eagles their first home loss of 2021. West Coast threatened to run away with the game in the second term after booting five straight goals to take a 29-point lead. But the Bombers showed great grit, determination and speed with ball in hand to kick seven of the last eight goals of the game and overrun West Coast.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish are quickly becoming one of the most reliable one-two midfield punches in the competition. Parish was brilliant with 36 disposals, 17 contested possessions and 11 clearances, while Merrett racked up a game-high 37 touches. Kyle Langford continued his rise with 28 disposals and nine score involvements, while 75 per cent of Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti¡¯s disposals were score involvements. Jake Stringer came up clutch to kick three crucial second half goals in three big moments, while skipper Dyson Heppell was awesome in defence with a game-high six intercept marks.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Not much to see here. Outside of the Eagles¡¯ five-goal blitz in the second term, it was an unforgettable night for the Bombers in a win where they showed ¡°huge spirit and character¡±, according to coach Ben Rutten.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡A+

¡¡¡¡Baby Bombers shock Eagles at home | 02:57

¡¡¡¡FREMANTLE

¡¡¡¡If you¡¯re a glass half-full Freo fan, you would¡¯ve loved your side¡¯s fightback, kicking six goals to Port Adelaide¡¯s two during a key period of the game stretching across the second, third and fourth terms. If you¡¯re a glass half-empty Freo fan, you would¡¯ve lamented another slow start and another horridly wayward night in front of goal. The facts are the Dockers have now lost four of their past five games and sit 11th on the AFL ladder after going down to Port Adelaide by 46 points.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡The Dockers¡¯ comeback was inspired by a big lift from their midfield brigade across the second and third terms. Adam Cerra had 18 of his 27 disposals across those two quarters, while David Mundy (16), Andy Brayshaw (16) and Caleb Serong (11) were also influential. James Aish also showed great determination, finishing the game with 25 disposals and eight intercepts, while Luke Ryan had 21 disposals, a kicking efficiency of 93 per cent and 530m gained.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Here we are at Round 11 still discussing Fremantle¡¯s same costly issue, with the Dockers finishing with more behinds than goals for the ninth time in 11 games. The Power only had one more scoring shot yet they won by 26 points. They¡¯re improving around the contest with every game, but their inability to convert on the scoreboard is a major problem. Their first terms are also an issue, losing their seventh opening quarter of the season on Sunday night to the Power. They conceded 7.5 and kicked 0.7 in the opening term. Individually, Brennan Cox looked a little shaky in defence, while Michael Walters¡¯ topsy-turvy season continued with one goal from 13 disposals.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡C-

¡¡¡¡GEELONG CATS

¡¡¡¡Cats fans are used to this story. Since that incredible demolition of Richmond back in Round 8, Chris Scott¡¯s side has recorded another three consecutive wins – not a single one of them impressive. Despite keeping Collingwood goalless in the first half, the Cats managed to only win by 10 points, which is almost as impressive but in the wrong way. Still, wins are wins, and they see Geelong safely ensconced in the top four mix.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡This wasn¡¯t a game about the big three; it was about the reigning Coleman medallist. Tom Hawkins was a presence up forward, collecting 21 disposals – he¡¯s only had more than that in a game six times – while kicking 3.2 and assisting Jeremy Cameron on another. Meanwhile Brandan Parfitt (30 disposals, five clearances, three goal assists) was the best of an injury-hit Geelong midfield, and Zach Tuohy (27 disposals, 616 metres gained) continued his impressive season. Late inclusion Rhys Stanley (16 disposals, one goal and a goal assist) was much closer to Good Rhys than the Bad Rhys that pops up enough to see him on the outer of the 22.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Losing Cam Guthrie and Mark Blicavs an hour before the bounce didn¡¯t help, but you still expect a lot better from this very experienced Geelong side against a Collingwood group that is full of players either out of form or too young to be good yet. Against almost any other forward line, kicking 8.13 would¡¯ve been very costly; it¡¯s just that the Pies were even worse, kicking 6.15. The defence was very good but everything else was just… there.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡B

¡¡¡¡Which King twin would you choose? | 00:52

¡¡¡¡GOLD COAST SUNS

¡¡¡¡Finally the Suns power their way to a win they¡¯re expected to have. They looked on from the opening bounce and, even as Hawthorn made charges, continued to keep their distance on the scoreboard. All their big-name players were able to perform and it was a step in the right direction. Hopefully after the week off they¡¯re able to hit the ground running and make up for lost time.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Izak Rankine was fantastic early on and while he did get a couple of balls bounce his way it was the boost he needed to have. Touk Miller is one of the most undersold players in the competition and is putting in an extraordinary string of performances in leading the side. Brandon Ellis and Jack Lukosius both had good games, while up forward Ben King and Alex Sexton were great.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡They had their foot on the throat of the Hawks in the first term and then let them put a run of goals together to only go into the quarter-time break with a nine-point buffer. It happened a couple more times in the match, but credit to them for keeping their nerve and seeing out the game.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡A

¡¡¡¡Slick Suns dust Hawks at SCG | 01:24

¡¡¡¡GWS GIANTS

¡¡¡¡The Giants had been showing so much in recent weeks and, be it through a horror build up or the allure of the bye next week, they were simply demolished in the opening term and it proved the difference even as they steadied after quarter-time. Hopefully it¡¯ll prove an aberration for them once they come back from the week off.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡For all their struggles, the Giants actually won the clearance count and it was thanks to the likes of Tim Taranto, Callan Ward, Jacob Hopper and Tom Green. Josh Kelly continues to hit the scoreboard in 2021.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Simply blown off the park in the opening term and it proved the difference as the side held their own for the most part from then on. They were just picked apart defensively and gifted the Lions shots at goal, which were duly taken. They were ok after quarter-time, but regardless of the players they¡¯re missing they can¡¯t afford to start like that again.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡D-

¡¡¡¡HAWTHORN

¡¡¡¡You¡¯d be hard pressed to find a worse 10-15 minutes of footy than what the Hawks dished up to start their game against the Suns. From then on they managed to hold their own somewhat, but the Suns aren¡¯t exactly flying and to concede 113 points (the best score the Suns have had under Stuart Dew) is yet another alarming sign for Alastair Clarkson as he and those around him quickly realise just how big a task lies ahead.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Liam Shiels was one of a select few who stood up with 27 touches, eight clearances, seven inside 50s and six tackles. The tall forwards managed to hit the scoreboard for the most part and Chad Wingard had some good moments, but it was a dour night for the side.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡As Luke Hodge said during the game, the Hawks just weren¡¯t willing to take the game on for most of the night. Long kicks down the line were frequent and rarely successful. They leaked goals with staggering frequency – Izak Rankine kicked three in the opening minutes of the match, Alex Sexton kicked three and Ben King kicked four. Conceded 14 more inside 50s to their opposition and lost the contested possession count by 20 despite the calibre of players in the middle.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡F

¡¡¡¡Dees the real deal over Dogs | 02:08

¡¡¡¡MELBOURNE

¡¡¡¡If you weren¡¯t convinced about Melbourne¡¯s flag credentials prior to Friday night, you would be now. Inspired by an awesome six-goal first quarter, the Dees produced a clinical 28-point win over the Dogs to usurp them on top of the ladder at the halfway point of the season. it was a brilliant coaching performance from Simon Goodwin, who implemented a plan that disallowed the Dogs from moving the ball through the corridor and forced them into making uncharacteristic turnovers.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Another big game from Clayton Oliver, but this time in a winning side. The on-baller continued his brilliant form, finishing with a 33 disposals and kicking the ball at an eye catching 85 per cent efficiency. Christian Petracca was strong around the contest with 24 disposals, while Jake Lever did as he pleased across half-back with 13 intercepts from 16 touches. James Harmes had a terrific game, restricting Tom Liberatore to 16 touches while having 23 himself, while Tom McDonald, Bayley Fritsch and Sam Weideman kicked eight goals between them.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Nothing to see here. When you win by 28 points and keep the No. 1 scoring side in the league to a 59 points for a game, that¡¯s arguably a complete performance.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡A+

¡¡¡¡NORTH MELBOURNE

¡¡¡¡It was another loss for the Roos, but another game where they showed promise for one quarter. North trailed St Kilda by 43 point at the final change but kicked five goals to one in the fourth term to ensure the margin looked a little more respectable at the final change. Nonetheless, the Roos have now lost 10 of 11 games and the prospect of claiming the 2021 wooden spoon is becoming more of a reality.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Despite being tagged by Luke Dunstan, Ben Cunnington played with fierce determination to finish with 23 disposals and nine clearances. Tarryn Thomas continued his rise, kicking two goals from 17 disposals and six tackles, while Jack Ziebell added two majors from 23 touches and kicked the ball at 90 per cent efficiency. Aaron Hall had more disposals (33) and gained more metres (852) than any other player on the field.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡While the Roos showed great spirit in the second half, they are still chasing four quarter consistency. They only managed five goals for the first three quarters before having a five-goal final term ¡ª too little too late. Jack Mahony had just nine disposals, while Lachie Young looked shaky at times in defence.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡C-

¡¡¡¡Port too powerful for Dockers | 02:08

¡¡¡¡PORT ADELAIDE

¡¡¡¡While the finish was far from convincing, the seven-goal opening term was breathtaking and ultimately enough to power Port Adelaide to a crucial pre-bye victory over Fremantle. The Power kicked seven goals to zip in the first term then led by as much as 50 points midway through the second term, only to see the Dockers fight back and reduce the deficit to 21 in the fourth term. Ultimately the Power had a bit more polish and ability to finish their opportunities.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡According to the AFL Player Ratings, the top six players on the ground were all Power players. Peter Ladhams topped the list as he had a big game, booting two goals from 20 disposals while nine of his 21 hit-outs were to the advantage of a teammate. Usual suspects Ollie Wines (35 disposals) and Travis Boak (31) were massive, while Robbie Gray, Sam Powell-Pepper and Charlie Dixon booted eight goals between them. Karl Amon had 16 disposals alone in the first term as he set the tone for his side, while Aliir Aliir, Trent McKenzie and Lachie Jones were terrific intercepting the ball in defence all night.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡The Power no doubt set the blueprint for how they want to play in the first term. Unfortunately, they couldn¡¯t maintain that intensity across the next two quarters as the Dockers got back into the contest. During those second and third terms, the Power lost the contested possession count by -17. Individually, Willem Drew had 12 touches and went at 33 per cent by foot.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡A-

¡¡¡¡Tigers too strong for plucky Crows | 01:35

¡¡¡¡RICHMOND

¡¡¡¡Just when we thought we were off them they pull us back in. The defensive lapses that cost them in the opening term were quickly rectified and the Tigers bounced back incredibly well to prove yet again we can never write them off. The lesser-known names thriving is a big positive for them, particularly given the absence of Tom Lynch, with the side doing just enough to keep themselves in the top eight. Essendon at Optus Stadium next week all of a sudden looks like a great test given the form of the Bombers.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Jack Riewoldt, take a bow. His last quarter was simply extraordinary. From that mark to the three goals, he was everywhere and powered the Tigers to victory against a fast-finishing Adelaide outfit. Callum Coleman-Jones with four goals in his second career game would¡¯ve sent tongues wagging, while Mabior Chol also had periods of dominance in the ruck with great follow-up work. Shai Bolton picked up where he left off, Josh Caddy got a lot of the ball, Dusty and Jayden Short performed well … it was all coming up trumps for the Tigers by the time the final siren sounded.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡What happened in that first term? The Tigers looked shot given how the Crows were trampling all over them, doubling them in the inside 50 count and piling on six goals. Again in the final term they were pegged back rapidly before Jack Riewoldt took control of the match. Worrying stints defensively for a side that has been rock solid in that area for half a decade now.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡B+

¡¡¡¡St Kilda bounce back over Kangaroos | 01:04

¡¡¡¡ST KILDA

¡¡¡¡It was a much-needed win, but a far from convincing one. The Saints responded to their humiliating Round 10 loss to the Bulldogs with a hard-fought win over North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night. They dominated territory for the first three quarters of the game to hold an unassailable 43-point lead at three quarter-time. The fact the Saints conceded five goals to one in the fourth term, however, left coach Brett Ratten far from fulfilled at full-time.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡There was ample discussion around the Saints¡¯ selection decisions, but ultimately most of their inclusions made significant contributions. In just his third game from the past two seasons, Luke Dunstan played a crucial role in restricting Kangaroos star Ben Cunnington to 23 disposals while finishing with 26 disposals, 13 tackles, eight score involvements, eight inside 50s and seven clearances himself. And Mason Wood kicked three goals against his old side. Co-captain Jack Steele was terrific with 24 disposals, 15 contested possessions and a game-high 10 score involvements, Brad Crouch continued his promising recent form with 26 disposals and Paddy Ryder was awesome as the Saints¡¯ sole ruckman.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Plenty, hence the lower grade you see in the next section. The Saints conceded five goals to one in a final term that saw them thumped ain disposals (-22) and contested possessions (-8). Coach Ratten post-game was filthy with his side¡¯s last-quarter performance, declaring: ¡°We¡¯ve got to be better than that.¡± Ratten, though, defended the form of Bradley Hill, who was heavily tagged by Bailey Scott. But the fact the aerobic beast could only muster a season-low six disposals is a major concern. Max King also struggled, booting 0.2 from eight touches.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡C+

¡¡¡¡SYDNEY SWANS

¡¡¡¡The top four remains a live possibility for the season¡¯s big surprise packets, after the Swans ran away from Carlton late, prevailing by 22 points. The win keeps them two games clear inside the top eight, and they¡¯ll likely only need to go 5-6 in the back half of the season to return to September. For this talented group that seems entirely likely.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Isaac Heeney was a fair recipient of the Goodes-O¡¯Loughlin Medal after collecting 22 disposals, 14 marks and three goals, but he was ably assisted by Tom Papley (15 disposals, three goals) and Buddy Franklin (13 disposals, three goals) who remains on track to crack 1000 goals this season – perhaps in the finals. Luke Parker (23 disposals, eight clearances, three goal assists) and Josh Kennedy (19 disposals, two goals, 13 contested possessions) were also excellent.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡It was a tight game for most of the afternoon, with the Swans only kicking away in the final quarter. They could¡¯ve been too far back if Harry McKay had simply kicked straight; he still dominated, but his eight scoring shots produced only three goals. That, and an inability to stop Patrick Cripps, were concerns.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡B+

¡¡¡¡Swans pull away late against Blues | 02:20

¡¡¡¡WEST COAST EAGLES

¡¡¡¡A win for the Eagles on Saturday night could¡¯ve put them back in top-four contention. Instead, they lost their first home game at Optus Stadium for the season ¨C and it¡¯s left spot in the top eight on shaky ground. West Coast skipped out to a 29-point lead in the second term and appeared destined for another cruisy victory on its home patch. Cue an epic Bomber blitz the Eagles couldn¡¯t contain and a 16-point win for Essendon.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Nic Naitanui couldn¡¯t have done much more for his side. The ruckman finished with 20 disposals and six tackles, while 17 of his 40 hit-outs went to the advantage of an Eagle. Dom Sheed (43 disposals) and Andrew Gaff (31) had a mountain of the ball, while Tom Barrass (14 disposals, 7 marks, 13 spoils) was strong in defence and Josh Kennedy (3 goals) couldn¡¯t have done much more inside 50.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Adam Simpson again put it on his players in his post-match media conference, saying his side was ¡°not tough enough for long enough¡±. The fact they won the hit-out count by +41 and Naitanui had 17 hit-outs to advantage yet the Bombers broke even in clearances is a concerning sign ¨C although they lost Tim Kelly early in the second term, while Luke Shuey remains sidelined. And ultimately their reliance on efficiency was too great. They kicked 9.0 to break away from the Bombers, but weight of numbers eventually killed West Coast, which lost the inside 50 count by -12 and had 11 less scoring shots than Essendon. Jack Darling and Liam Ryan were both held to just one goal each, while Brendon Ah Chee went at 25 per cent by foot and Jack Redden had just two clearances for the game.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡C-

¡¡¡¡Umpires calling ‘play on’ too fast? | 01:28

¡¡¡¡WESTERN BULLDOGS

¡¡¡¡A reality check for the pre-Round 11 premiership favourites, courtesy of arguably the post-Round 11 premiership favourites. The Dogs were held to less than 60 points for just the second time this season as Melbourne recorded a 28-point victory at Marvel Stadium. While the Dogs challenged sporadically throughout the game, the Demons had a response every time to leave Luke Beveridge with ample to think about post-game.

¡¡¡¡In the votes

¡¡¡¡Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli had a mountain of the footy, finishing with 36 and 30 disposals respectively, while Bailey Dale provided ample drive with 30 touches, 10 marks and 588m gained.

¡¡¡¡Room for improvement

¡¡¡¡Much was made of the Dogs¡¯ poor kicking and decision-making coming out of defence. But ultimately, Beveridge¡¯s troops were thumped at the coalface, losing the contested possession count by -18 ¡ª an area the Dogs ranked first in heading into Round 11. The Dogs had more inside 50s, yet kicked just eight goals shots from their 52 entries. Individually, Tom Liberatore was tagged by James Harmes and held to just 16 disposals. If rival teams are going to send a tagger to Liberatore when they come up against the Dogs for the rest of the season, the inside midfielder needs to find a way to overcome the attention.

¡¡¡¡Grade

¡¡¡¡D+

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