Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bulldogs down Crows, Swans march over Saints and Dockers thrash Demons - The Australian

Star recruit Kurt Tippett kicked five goals as Sydney strolled to a win over St Kilda at the SCG on Sunday.

Fremantle have cruised to a 95-point AFL win over Melbourne to stay within reach of the top-two teams.

Fremantle have brushed aside Melbourne by 95 points at the MCG, despite a horror facial injury to Aaron Sandilands.

Matthew Boyd, left, and Tory Dickson celebrate a goal during the match between the Western Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium today. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Jarrad McVeigh of the Swans chases down Jack Steven of the Saints during the match between Sydney and St Kilda at SCG today. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Aaron Sandilands comes off the ground with a cut to his head during the match between the Demons and the Dockers at Melbourne Cricket Ground today. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

WESTERN Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson has produced a stunning last-quarter burst to notch a career-best six-goal haul in a see-sawing AFL win over Adelaide.

The 20.11 (131) to 17.12 (114) victory in front of 17,159 fans at Etihad Stadium in Adam Cooney's 200th game, gave the Bulldogs three wins from their past four matches and seven so far this season, just one fewer than the Crows.

Along with Dickson's six, big man Tom Campbell kicked four majors for the Dogs while young midfielder Tom Liberatore amassed 30 disposals to continue his fine season.

The Bulldogs led for much of the day, bursting to a three-goal lead at quarter-time after kicking three goals in four minutes late in the term.

But the Crows lifted the pressure in the second and third quarters.

They kicked two quick goals late in the first half to cut the margin to five points.

Then, after the Dogs again skipped 17 points clear early in the third term, Adelaide put on a run of six unanswered goals in 18 minutes to build a 22-point lead.

They dominated the midfield for the quarter, taking the ball inside their attacking 50m arc 18 times to the Dogs' eight for the term.

Bernie Vince, Richard Douglas and Patrick Dangerfield all had a big quarter, with 24 disposals and nine clearances between them for the term, as Adelaide's hard work in the packs and hard running gave them the ascendancy.

But the Bulldogs kept themselves in touch with goals to Dickson and Campbell late in the term to make the gap nine points at the last change.

It took just three minutes of the final quarter for the Dogs to hit the front, Cooney setting up Daniel Giansiracusa for a major then kicking one himself.

The Crows hit back with goals to Tom Lynch and Ian Callinan to take a seven-point lead.

But Dickson answered with three goals in six minutes, from a clever left-foot snap, a free kick and a mark.

And Mitch Wallis and Koby Stevens quickly made it five in a row and a four-goal lead for the resurgent Bulldogs early in time-on to seal victory.

Ruckman Will Minson was a key for the Dogs, with his tapwork particularly influential in the last-term surge.

Vince and Douglas were two of the Crows' best, while Andy Otten and Ian Callinan were dangerous up forward with three goals each.

Swans march to 59-point win over Saints

STAR recruit Kurt Tippett kicked five goals as Sydney warmed up for a testing final fortnight of the regular AFL season with a regulation 59-point win over St Kilda at the SCG today.

After a tepid opening half from the Swans, Tippett ignited a third-quarter blitz to set the reigning premiers on track for the 18.10 (118) to 8.11 (59) victory that ensured a top-four finish.

With the Swans facing top-two sides Geelong and Hawthorn before finals and their lead at 45 points, Tippett was substituted off late in the third quarter after kicking three goals in the term.

Almost everyone in the crowd of 26,730 greeted the move with a standing ovation, as speedster Gary Rohan took off the green vest and trotted onto an AFL field for the first time since breaking his leg in round 4 last year.

More than 480 days have passed since Rohan's horrific collision with North Melbourne's Lindsay Thomas, but the 22-year-old has lost none of his whippet-like pace.

Rohan's first kick, earned shortly after entering the fray through raw speed, found Ben McGlynn and resulted in a goal that gave the hosts a 51-point lead at the final break.

From there the match petered out, Sydney exerting limited effort in the final quarter and the Saints scrapping to keep the margin respectable.

The game started in a similarly underwhelming fashion, the Swans producing their trademark pressure but lacking polish - especially when it came to delivering the ball into the forward line.

At quarter-time the scores were level, with Sydney's tally of 2.3 (15) their lowest opening-term score since booting 1.4 (10) in a round-seven loss to Hawthorn.

The Swans often booted it long to Tippett, but the former Adelaide ruck-forward usually had at least two defenders to contend with.

Tippett continued to struggle to find space in the second quarter, but the run of Rhyce Shaw and toil of on-ballers Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker helped the home side establish a 14-point buffer at half-time.

The Saints, who had looked so hard to subdue during the opening half, were broken in the third quarter as the Swans kicked seven goals to one and Tippett booted three in the space of nine minutes.

Jesse White finished with three goals for Sydney, while Kennedy tallied a game-high 38 possessions and 13 clearances.

For the Saints, Jack Steven was fantastic, captain Nick Riewoldt worked hard and youngster Tom Curren impressed.

Dockers thrash Demons despite injuries

RUCKMAN Aaron Sandilands was subbed off with concussion in a concern for the AFL premiership hopes of Fremantle, who cruised to a 95-point win over Melbourne today.

Fremantle's 20.13 (133) to 5.8 (38) victory keeps the Dockers only half a win away from second-placed Geelong with two rounds remaining.

Zippy small forward Hayden Ballantyne appeared to suffer an arm injury as he jogged off late in the game in pain in another possible concern for the Dockers.

The round-21 clash, which at times was little more than a training run for the Dockers, attracted a tiny crowd of 13,768 fans at the MCG.

Ballantyne and skipper Matthew Pavlich booted four goals each for Fremantle while David Mundy dominated midfield and athletic big man Zac Clarke was also influential in the absence of Sandilands.

Nineteen-year-old Jack Viney with 28 disposals was one of Melbourne's better contributors as the Demons suffered their 18th loss from 20 games.

Melbourne's 103kg defender Jake Spencer ran with his back to the ball and crashed his forearm into Sandilands' head during a marking contest early in the first term in an incident which will be assessed tomorrow by the match review panel.

The 211cm Sandilands left the field looking unsteady on his feet as blood streamed from a gash on his forehead, which appeared bruised and swollen.

Fremantle led by 27 points at quarter-time after holding the Demons goal-less in the opening term.

The Dockers slammed on another five goals in a six-minute burst to jump out to a 50-point lead at the 17-minute mark of the second term, but the Demons scored the last three goals of the half to narrow the margin to 31 points at half-time.

Fremantle stretched their lead to 58 points at three-quarter time after a five-goal third term to Melbourne's solitary major.

Nathan Fyfe's goal just before the siren, after a frustrated Lynden Dunn crashed into his back and conceded a 50-metre penalty, was one of several disciplinary lapses from the Demons in defence.

Fremantle helped themselves to another six goals in the final term to Melbourne's one behind.

The Dockers host top-eight rivals Port Adelaide next Saturday while Melbourne face Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on the same day.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said he was confident Sandilands and Ballantyne would be available for next month's finals series.

Lyon said Ballantyne had a wrenched shoulder while Sandilands had been taken to hospital for a scan after his head knock.

"It doesn't look great,'' Lyon said.

"It looks like a cheekbone (fracture). We know you can play with them potentially he (Sandilands) could miss one or two (weeks) but he'll certainly be available when the whips are cracking.''

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