5 Lessons Learned – AFL Round 13

Each and every Monday, we present to you 5 Lessons Learned from the round of footy just gone by, or in this case, almost completed.

Think of it as a five-leg multi of hindsight.

While we can’t cash in on our accounts in this one, we can cash in on learnings and take it into the next round of footy.

1. Champagne Footy

For all the talk of floating fixtures and ensuring the best teams play each other more often, how we’ve only had a handful of West Coast v Richmond fixtures over the past few years is baffling.

Last nights Eagles-Tigers clash was one of the best games of the year.

A tight contest from start to finish brought out the best of the two most recent clubs to win the premiership.

Richmond was able to build a lead of 22-points midway through the final quarter but a rampant West Coast charged home, kicking the last four goals of the game, with Josh Kennedy the hero for the Eagles.

It was a vintage performance from Kennedy, 4.0, six inside 50s and was clearly Best On Ground.

In a classic eight point game, West Coast now sit 7th on the ladder and are only out of the top four on percentage.

Richmond will need to play catch up and hope for a few things to their way if they want to finish in the top four.

Just about every footy fan hopes that these two sides will meet in again in September.

2. Clarko’s still Got It

A surprise 38-point win for Hawthorn against the Swans at the SCG, saw Clarko’s men snap a five-game losing streak in style.

2018 Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell played his best game in years with 34 disposals (16 of them contested), seven tackles and a sausage roll against his old side.

If you had backed the Hawks 1-39 and 30+ Disposals for Tom Mitchell on Friday night, you would have collected $6.50.

For all the talk of the coaching merry-go-round, Alistair Clarkson still can find a way for the Hawks to cause major upsets no matter where they are on the ladder.

Does Hawthorn really want its four-time premiership coach to leave?

Perhaps Friday night’s effort was a nice little audition tape for the top job at Collingwood.

While Ross Lyon is the $2 favorite, Clarko is in the second line of  betting at $7.

The Hawks would be crazy to let him go.

3. The Curse of Cairns

Like Richmond in 2011-12, Melbourne 2020 and now St Kilda in 2021 – clubs have had their finals hopes dashed by playing home games in Cairns.

Yet again, Cazaly’s Stadium played host to a heartbreaking loss for the club that opted to host a game at the venue.

Adelaide failed to score in the first quarter, trailed by 36-points in the wet conditions at half-time but somehow found a way to win by six points in one of the great comebacks.

In what is now a biblical list of St. Kilda tragedies, losing a game where the Saints dominated the first two-and-a-half quarters in Cairns is just another chapter.

A shout out to anyone who backed the Crows at $12 in the half-time live betting.

4. Draws are Good

…especially if you’re one of a handful of Ladbrokes punters that backed the draw North Melbourne v GWS game in Hobart yesterday.

The biggest single bet for the draw was one punter going all out with a $12 outlay for a $804 collect.

Much will be said about the game itself, Giant Daniel Lloyd had the chance to be a hero in the dying stages of the match, as GWS looked to be gone when trailing by 28-points at three-quarter-time.

Naturally, they would prefer all four premiership points on offer, but they’ll bank two instead and at least be in striking distance of the top eight.

We’re not even offering $1.01 that some US-Sport ESPN fanboi with an AFL media platform is going to lobby for extra time in home and away matches because they do it in America.

There’s already been an early payout, before we even took bets.

In the 125+ years of the VFL/AFL there’s been just under 200 draws played, and if you want a proper history lesson, the reason why the behind posts exist in Australian Rules Football is to prevent draws.

A rare drawn game can be the difference in a team making finals or not.

Draws play a vital role in the shape of a season and have produced some unforgettable moments over the years.

We all agree that they are unnecessary in finals, but in the shape of a home and away season they matter.

If you’re planning on making a “stop the draw, we need extra time in footy” hot take on a Monday night footy show, please don’t.

Stick to watching US Sports and enjoy watching them for what they are, not for ideas that AUSTRALIAN sports should be like.

5. The Bucks Stops Here

At the time of publish, Round 13 wraps up with Melbourne hosting Collingwood at the SCG in the annual Queens Birthday Big Freeze game.

It’s a truly special day for Neale Daniher and his Fight MND campaign and the last game for Nathan Buckley as Collingwood coach.

While he may never have experienced premiership success at Collingwood, the man is a legend of the game both on and off the field.

Bucks gave his all and just about anyone who has encountered him speaks highly of the man.

In fact, in the humble opinion of yours truly, Bucks is that likeable it makes you even contemplate that Collingwood is ok.

Much has and will be said about Bucks in the past week and probably for the next few days, if there’s a lesson we’ve learned from him, is that he’s a true dignified professional and a legend of the game.

Let’s hope the Pies have a crack for him today, and the Dees do it for Neale.