Star Lion is even better than his Brownlow year

IN THIS week’s 9 Issues We Discovered, we uncover that point has caught up with West Coast and the Pies’ workmanlike huge forwards are greater than adequate, plus extra spherical seven classes. 

1. The Eagles must hit the draft of their rebuild

It is plain to see, West Coast’s premiership window is nicely and actually shut. For the reason that Eagles’ 2018 flag, they’ve progressively slid out of competition, lacking the finals final yr and it appears like they’re utterly bottoming out in 2022. By circumstance, they’ve uncovered 37 gamers on their record in 2022, however not one participant of their line-up for the horror loss to Richmond on Friday night time was youthful than 21. The Eagles are the one membership that hasn’t had one top-10 draft choose previously decade both. West Coast urgently wants an injection of high quality younger expertise and it should use their possible sturdy draft hand to regenerate its record. – Ben Somerford

Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn stroll off at half-time in West Coast’s conflict with Richmond in spherical seven, 2022. Image: Getty Pictures

2. It is time for an additional assembly, Saints

St Kilda’s spectacular kind thus far in 2022 has extensively been attributed to a brutally sincere player-led assembly held final yr after the Saints endured a string of significantly disappointing losses. Whereas 5-2 hardly compares to the doldrums of final season, the Saints seemed devoid of each confidence and ability towards Port Adelaide on Saturday night time. The circumstances in Cairns might have been slippery and humid, however the Saints did not adapt to the surroundings and have been unable to capitalise on possibilities once they had them, lacking photographs on aim and making poor selections with ball in hand. With a Mom’s Day date with the undefeated reigning premier looming, the Saints want to determine what went fallacious towards Port and rectify it or the season may begin slipping away. Higher guide that convention room for Monday morning, Ratten and co. – Sophie Welsh

St Kilda gamers stroll off the bottom after dropping to Port Adelaide in spherical seven, 2022. Image: Getty Pictures

3. Collingwood has the spearheads to get to the finals

They won’t be family names and the Magpies will likely be trying to find extra ahead ammunition within the free company and commerce interval this yr, however Brody Mihocek and Darcy Cameron proceed to spearhead the Magpies’ ahead efforts. On Sunday towards Gold Coast, Mihocek booted one other 4 targets, backing up his effort final week towards Essendon, whereas Cameron additionally kicked two whereas shouldering extra of the ruck load with Brodie Grundy lacking. With small ahead Jack Ginnivan buzzing at their toes and Jordan De Goey amongst all of them in between, the Pies have scoring means to get to the finals. – Callum Twomey

4. Lachie Neale could be higher than his Brownlow yr

When Brisbane wanted a solution to Buddy Franklin’s third-quarter rampage, one man put the Lions on his shoulders – Lachie Neale. Whether or not it was successful centre clearances, gathering floor balls in his defensive 50, or utilizing mushy arms in congestion to arrange a aim for Dan McStay, Neale did all of it to arrest his group’s slide. Though his 2020 Brownlow Medal-winning yr was unimaginable, there’s an argument to say the 28-year-old goes even higher this season along with his energy operating, clear arms and injury within the entrance half. – Michael Whiting

5. The Canines have discovered one other one out of the VFL

Robbie McComb might not have discovered his approach to the Kennel the normal manner, however he and the membership could not care much less. McComb, who’s a Footscray VFL greatest and fairest winner, VFL Group of the 12 months member and dual-premiership participant with Jap Soccer League powerhouse Vermont, appears to be like like he can play on the highest stage. After ending with 11 touches on debut towards the Crows in spherical six, the 26-year-old was among the many Canines’ greatest in their 32-point win towards Essendon. McComb tallied 21 disposals and kicked two targets, to go along with 18 strain acts, 4 rating involvements and three stoppage clearances. Taken with the membership’s second choice within the 2021 NAB AFL Rookie Draft, McComb is difficult at it and appears determined to make each recreation rely, now that he’s made it to the highest. – Trent Masenhelder

6. Hawks’ younger operating machine may need discovered his area of interest

Sam Mitchell dropped Finn Maginness on Thursday night time, then recalled him late when Harry Morrison was compelled out because of harm, earlier than handing him a vital position tagging Melbourne star Ed Langdon on Saturday night time. The younger Hawk produced a stellar efficiency, holding the most effective wingmen within the AFL to simply 9 disposals – three uncontested possessions, as identified by Mitchell post-game – down from his season common of 25.7 disposals and 18 uncontested possessions. Langdon hadn’t had single digits since spherical 18, 2018, again when he was nonetheless taking part in for Fremantle. Hawthorn fell simply in need of Melbourne on the MCG, however loads of Hawks produced spectacular performances, none extra so than Maginness. – Josh Gabelich

7. This man holds the important thing to Freo’s flag hopes

If Fremantle is to tug off the seemingly unattainable this yr and hoist the premiership cup, it will be in no small half down to at least one man. And his title just isn’t Nat Fyfe (although he will probably be essential). Alex Pearce, the stand-in skipper in Fyfe’s injury-enforced absence, is the glue that holds the Dockers’ defence collectively. On Saturday, Geelong received the inside-50 rely 54-47 however it was Pearce’s duel with Tom Hawkins that was pivotal within the large confidence-boosting win on the Cattery – solely the membership’s fourth victory on the venue in 19 makes an attempt – and which places it deep within the premiership dialog. Pearce conceded two early targets earlier than preserving the Cats spearhead quiet for the remainder of the sport. The defender has battled fixed accidents over his profession but when his physique holds up, is as essential as anybody to the Docker’s possibilities. At 6-1 and with video games to return towards North Melbourne, Gold Coast (away) and Collingwood, the boys in purple could possibly be on the verge of one thing actually particular. – Brandon Cohen

Alex Pearce and Tom Hawkins battle for the ball throughout the R7 conflict between Fremantle and Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on April 30, 2022. Image: Getty Pictures

8. There’s gentle on the finish of Leon’s tunnel

Successful would not remedy every thing, however Better Western Sydney’s 59-point conquer Adelaide on Saturday certain does make Leon Cameron’s life barely simpler. Stress was constructing on the Giants coach over the primary six rounds of the season as his facet failed to fireplace, slumping to 1-5 with their solely win coming towards Gold Coast in spherical three. However GWS seemed like a distinct facet in spherical seven, with its spectacular efficiency towards the Crows a reminder of simply how good this group will be when all of the elements come collectively. Cameron, who comes out of contract on the finish of the season after teaching the Giants since 2013, appeared to be on shaky floor going into spherical seven, however waking up on Sunday morning, his future is somewhat brighter. Nevertheless, the actual take a look at now comes towards top-eight sides Geelong and Carlton within the subsequent two weeks. – Sophie Welsh

BARRETT Proud duo defy non-public nightmares, Saints’ unhealthy behavior

9. Carlton now has one other gear, and it is harmful

Carlton got here into its match towards North Melbourne with a woeful latest document, having received simply certainly one of its previous seven video games towards the Kangaroos. The Blues obtained off to a quick begin on Saturday night time, however the Roos closed the hole to simply eight factors on the essential break. The Carlton of outdated would have been susceptible to falling in a heap, however Michael Voss’ Blues attacked the second half with willpower, pace and a ruthlessness we’ve not actually seen pre-2022, galloping away to a 50-point win – Sarah Black


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