Friday March 28
Brisbane Lions v Collingwood at the Gabba, 7.40pm AEST
Saturday March 29
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs at the MCG, 2.10pm AEDT
Adelaide v West Coast at AAMI Stadium, 2.40pm ACDT
St Kilda v Carlton at Telstra Dome, 7.10pm AEDT
Fremantle v Hawthorn at Subiaco, 5.40pm AWDT
Sunday March 30
Sydney Swans v Port Adelaide at the SCG, 1.10pm AEDT
Geelong v Essendon at Telstra Dome, 2.10pm AEDT
Richmond v North Melbourne, 4.40pm AEDT
GEELONG v ESSENDON
Sunday March 30, 2.10pm AEDT, Telstra Dome
B: Tom Harley, Matthew Scarlett, Josh Hunt
HB: Darren Milburn, Harry Taylor, Corey Enright
C: Cameron Ling, Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel
HF: Steve Johnson, Cameron Mooney, Paul Chapman
F: Ryan Gamble, Tom Hawkins, Mathew Stokes,
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Corey, Gary Ablett
I/C (from): Travis West, Shannon Byrnes, James Kelly, David Wojcinski, David Johnson, Brent Prismall, Travis Varcoe
B: Jay Nash, Mal Michael, Dustin Fletcher
HB: Adam Ramanauskas, Patrick Ryder, Courtenay Dempsey
C: Alwyn Davey, Brent Stanton, Bachar Houli
HF: Leroy Jetta, Adam McPhee, Nathan Lovett-Murray
F: Ricky Dyson, Matthew Lloyd, Jason Winderlich
Foll: David Hille, Jobe Watson, Mark McVeigh
I/C (from): Courtney Johns, Jason Johnson, Jason Laycock, Sam Lonergan, Angus Monfries, Damien Peverill, Henry Slattery
In: Winderlich, Monfries, Johns, Peverill
Out: Scott Lucas (knee)
Last night was one of those slippery wet weather matches I love so much. OK there's been matches which are more extreme in this regard, still there were a number of desperate ruck situations.
How the match panned out was curious, Collingwood had the Lions all jammed up and were all over them. Brisbane didn't seem to have much left to give, although in the fourth quarter, they ended up dominating the 'Pies.
I was glad that Black stepped up after a quiet start, he is my favourite player.
Essendon and Geelong to meet tonight, can't wait for that.
West coast is not going to finish top 8 this season losing to best midfielders in the comp isnt easy. The new "breed" priddis rosa kerr mcnamara ebert all gotta get on song.
Btw Dean Cox for brownlow medal he's in amazing form.
HAWTHORN has recorded a hard-fought 15-point win over Fremantle at Subiaco Oval on Saturday night to continue its impressive start to the season.
Hawthorn showed that its 104-point demolition over Melbourne was no fluke with the 16.16 (112) to 14.13 (97) win over a desperate Fremantle, after at one stage having a 34-point lead cut to less than a goal in the third term.
In the end, a four-goal burst in the opening 10 minutes of the final quarter was enough to seal the victory.
Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin kicked four each, Tim Boyle added two and small man Cyril Rioli also chipped in with a double.
Clinton Young was superb running off half-back and had 21 possessions and 13 marks before sitting out the final quarter. Brad Sewell worked hard for 27 touches, Sam Mitchell also had 27, Travis Tuck 25, Brent Guerra 23, Xavier Ellis 22, Michael Osborne 22 and Luke Hodge 19.
The disappointing aspect for the Hawks was a hamstring injury to Stuart Dew in the final quarter after he again played well to collect 17 possessions.
Captain Matthew Pavlich was superb for Fremantle. He booted three goals, collected 18 possessions and spent plenty of time in the midfield as well as in his customary forward role.
Peter Bell again worked hard for 26 touches, Josh Carr was also solid with 19, Daniel Gilmore had 19 and Des Headland 31 to be Freo's best.
The Dockers also blooded debutants Rhys Palmer and Chris Mayne, as well as playing second-gamer Garrick Ibbotson, and all showed encouraging signs.
Palmer finished with 22 touches and a goal, Mayne two goals and Ibbotson 12 touches.
The Dockers came out firing after copping a barrage of criticism following last week's loss to Collingwood with the first two goals of the game, but only managed two more for the half as the Hawks got on top.
Ryan Crowley kicked the opening goal and then Pavlich saw Fremantle out to an early lead.
Jeff Farmer then put the Dockers back in front heading into time-on, but that would be the last lead Fremantle experienced. The first four goals of the second term saw the gap open up to 26-points and it was 27 at the main break.
When Franklin kicked his third to start the second half the Hawks looked well on the way to victory but the Dockers were desperate to not let the game slip and put up a fight to the end.
Fremantle piled on five of the next six goals and closed within three points when Josh Carr kicked truly. Luke McPharlin also went forward to kick two goals after spending the first half on Franklin, with Bell and Mayne chipped in with majors.
Roughead then ran onto a ball in the goalsquare that Fremantle's defenders kept alive to get his third and that restored a 10-point lead for Hawthorn at the last change.
Hawthorn again got a goal within the first minute of the final term when Cameron Stokes snapped truly. Roughead managed his fourth soon after and the margin was back out to 27 after Franklin turned on the magic to get around Josh Carr and Grover to boot his fourth.
Robert Campbell then marked and goaled a minute later to stretch the lead to 33 points, but Mayne kicked his second and Palmer a superb running goal for his first in AFL football to reduce the final margin to 15.
Fremantle remains in Perth the next two weeks to take on West Coast in the derby and Richmond, while Hawthorn takes on North Melbourne next Saturday at Telstra Dome.
Hawthorn: L Franklin 4, J Roughead 4, T Boyle 2, C Rioli 2, M Osborne 1, C Stokes 1, R Campbell 1, T Tuck 1
Fremantle: M Pavlich 3, L McPharlin 2, J Carr 2, C Mayne 2 , R Crowley 1, J Farmer 1, A Sandilands 1, P Bell 1, R Palmer 1
After some violent mid-week weather, the skies are supposed to clear somewhat. The outlook is for a mostly sunny day with a top around 21 degrees and a light breeze.
LAST TIME THEY MET
R3, 2007 - Geelong 15.19 (109) d Melbourne 8.9 (57)
This was the day the ‘Tomahawk’ announced his arrival to the footy world, with teenage Cat Tom Hawkins booting four first-half goals to help lead Geelong to an easy win over the Demons.
Twice as many scoring shots told the story as Geelong dominated the match, with Jimmy Bartel and Brent Prismall prolific through the middle of the ground.
The clubs’ starts to 2008 couldn't be more contrasting.If one had just returned from a month-long excursion in Antarctica, the betting for this week’s game would give you a fair indication of just how the Demons are travelling.
Two mammoth losses isn’t the kind of start any side aims for – especially when its next assignment is the reigning premiers on their home turf.
The Cats, in two swift weeks, have shown they have lost none of their appetite for victory. A trip to Port Adelaide saw them return with mission accomplished, while last week’s belting of the Bombers further fine-tuned this smooth-running machine.
* Melbourne has won just five of its past 30 games (for premiership points) at Skilled Stadium. However, the Dees’ recent record at the venue isn’t that bad, drawing at the ground in 2006 and winning by a point in 2005.
* Russell Robertson has booted 14 goals in his past four games against the Cats, including seven in the Dees’ thrilling one-point win in 2005.
* Fresh from an equal career-high 38 possessions against Essendon last week, Jimmy Bartel turns his attention to Melbourne, a team against which he has averaged more than 27 touches in his last five outings.
* Geelong’s greatest winning margin over Melbourne is 127 points (R1, 1996).
Mark Blake v Jeff White
Who says Mark Blake is simply a tap ruckman? He showed last week he’s also a running goalkicker, capable of jumping and taking a grab close to the sticks. The big man’s development continues to be fast-tracked with Brad Ottens missing. He faces another big challenge this week in Jeff White, the high-leaping Demon who was not his team’s worst against the Bulldogs last week.
Darren Milburn v Russell Robertson
The job could even go to second-gamer Harry Taylor but, whoever gets it, he’ll need to be on his toes. Robertson, while not in the best of form, has hurt the Cats before and could do so again. Andrew Mackie (quad) would have come into calculations for the gig had he been fit, but the wily, dependable veteran Milburn might be the first port of call.
Cameron Mooney v Brad Miller
A rare, quieter game for Big Cam last week. The fact Geelong was still able to win without a big influence from him speaks volumes, but he’ll be primed for a big one. Brad Miller is yet another struggling Demon and with Dean Bailey likely to bring in more attacking options, don’t be surprised to see Miller go back for the two hard nuts to go at it.
WHAT THE CLUBS SAY
“You look at their (the Demons’) line-up, it’s still quite a strong line-up. Sure, they haven’t played the most competitive football but you know that they’ll come out of their cycle.
“If we don’t respect with as much respect as other teams … we’re not much that better than Melbourne that we can afford to do that.” – Geelong coach Mark Thompson
“It’s a great challenge for the club and a great challenge for our players. Geelong at Skilled Stadium is a tough assignment but we’ll find out whether our players have got their heads switched on this week.
“In the game last week against Essendon they (the Cats) were very good at the stoppage. Whenever there was a turnover the Geelong players really worked hard for it, pushed hard forward and got the rewards.” – Melbourne coach Dean Bailey
THE WESTERN Bulldogs pulled off a stunning comeback to record their first win over St Kilda in four seasons, finishing runaway 19.11 (125) to 13.9 (87) winners at Telstra Dome on Friday night.
St Kilda fell asleep after quarter time as the Bulldogs slammed on 18 goals to six in the final three quarters to notch the 38-point win after trailing by 37 points at the first change.
With the Saints' dominance of their head-to-head record in recent years thanks largely to the dominance of their big forwards, the first quarter of tonight's match suggested that trend was set to be followed again.
St Kilda blitzed the Bulldogs 7.3 to 1.2 in the first term, with star forwards Justin Koschitzke and Nick Riewoldt looking too strong for their respective opponents Cameron Wight and Dale Morris, to kick two goals each.
But that was pretty much where it stopped for the Saints' tall towers – although Koschitzke added a consolation goal late in the game – and their side as a whole, as the Dogs worked their way on top and took over the contest in the centre of the ground.
With Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen and exciting youngster Josh Hill providing a huge lift through the midfield and up forward, the Bulldogs started a scoring avalanche of their own.
They outscored the Saints 5.4 to 2.3 in the second quarter to draw within three goals, then booted the first five goals of the third term to steam to a 13-point lead and never look back.
Saints midfielder Luke Ball narrowed the margin to seven points from a free kick late in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs burst out of the blocks in the final term to boot six of the first seven goals of the term to bury their opponents.
Cooney gathered a ton of the ball to lead the midfield revival, after the Bulldogs were thrashed in that area in the first term. The former No.1 draft pick topped of a terrific performance by kicking two goals and took best-afield honours.
He had great help from Griffen, who also fought hard for the ball in the centre square, as well as kicking two inspirational goals in the second quarter to help spark his side's fightback.
The first of those was a match highlight, Griffen receiving a handball from Cooney in the middle of the ground, weaving around opponent Jason Blake and sending through a running shot from outside 50m.
It sparked a four-goal run for the Dogs, with Griffen also kicking the last of those, to bring the Dogs back within striking distance.
Hill followed up his Rising Star nomination-winning performance against Melbourne last round with a vital contribution, kicking a goal in each of the second and third terms, as well as taking some important marks and winning his share of the ball on the ground.
Then he produced a highlight of his own early in the third term, having a pass to full-forward Scott Welsh spoiled by Saints defender Max Hudghton, but gathering the crumbs himself and speeding past an opponent to fire through a running shot.
Daniel Cross, Daniel Giansiracusa and Scott West also deserved credit for their midfield work which helped their side take over the match.
Half-forwards Robert Murphy and Mitch Hahn provided important sparks up forward, after their side struggled to find a winner in attack early.
Morris was superb on Riewoldt after quarter-time, preventing him from having an impact, and Wight also grew in his impact on the game, after struggling early on Koschitzke.
For the Saints, Sam Fisher was clearly their best, keeping Bulldogs skipper Brad Johnson scoreless and providing a lot of rebound himself, with ex-Sydney recruit Adam Schneider finding plenty of the ball around the ground.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.2, 6.6, 11.9, 19.11 (125)
ST KILDA 7.3, 9.6, 10.8, 13.9 (87)
Western Bulldogs: M Hahn 3, R Griffen 3, J Akermanis 3, A Cooney 2, J Hill 2, J Harbrow 2, R Murphy, W Minson, S Welsh, C Wight. St Kilda: J Koschitzke 3, N Riewoldt 2, L Ball 2, S Milne 2, J Gram, F Gehrig, L Montagna, A Schneider.
Western Bulldogs: A Cooney, R Griffen, J Hill, D Cross, D Morris, R Murphy. St Kilda: S Fisher, A Schneider, J Gram, N Dal Santo, L Ball, R Harvey.
Western Bulldogs: N Eagleton (ankle) replaced in selected side by J Harbrow. St Kilda: M Gardiner (calf) replaced in selected side by R Clarke.