• Staff Writers

AFL Round 17 wrap


The big men fly at the 'Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday

A look at round 17 of the AFL season, in which COVID-hit Brisbane suffered an upset 10-point loss to Essendon.


THEY SAID IT:

"We missed an opportunity today ... but we didn't do our work in the first half and we definitely didn't do it in the second half where we let ourselves down. That's the frustrating part."

- St Kilda coach Brett Ratten saw his side fail to cash-in on favourable results elsewhere as they blew the chance to reclaim a top-eight spot in the 41-point loss to Fremantle.

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Essendon spearhead Peter Wright's five-goal haul proved crucial in lifting his team to a 10-point win over COVID-hit Brisbane. Four of his goals came in the second half, with his performance keeping the Lions at bay.

THE MOMENT: Noah Anderson's after-the-siren winner for Gold Coast. It capped a remarkable comeback after the Suns trailed Richmond by 40 points just after halftime. The Suns came home with a wet sail to win by two points and keep their dream of a maiden AFL finals berth alive.

TALKING POINT: Can Richmond overcome a growing injury list to hang onto a top eight spot? The Tigers were already missing Dustin Martin, Noah Balta and Trent Cotchin heading into Saturday's game with the Suns at Metricon Stadium and came away from the two-point loss with Tom Lynch (hamstring), Ivan Soldo (broken thumb) and Toby Nankervis (knee) all hurt. Coach Damien Hardwick is going to have to be creative with his selections to stop the eighth-placed Tigers from missing the finals for a second successive season.

STATS THAT MATTER: 12.9 (81) is North Melbourne's highest score this season but it still wasn't enough for a much-needed victory against Collingwood. The Magpies finished full of running in the final quarter, kicking 5.5 to 0.2 to overcome the Kangaroos by seven points.

TRIBUNAL WATCH: The match day report laid against Sydney forward Tom Papley for his front-on contact against Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley was thrown out, with the AFL match review officer saying Papley was merely contesting the loose ball.

INJURIES: A Scott (WB, concussion), C Oliver (Melb, fractured thumb), T Lynch (Rich, hamstring), T Nankervis (Rich, knee), I Soldo (Rich, broken thumb), P Davis (GWS, hamstring), A Pearce (Frem, calf), Massimo D'Ambrosio (Ess, corked thigh)

WHAT'S NEXT: There's a finals flavour to Friday night's Western Bulldogs-St Kilda clash as both sides try to gatecrash the top eight. Saturday night has an even greater September flavour, with Carlton-Geelong and Fremantle-Sydney featuring sides that are all on track to play finals. Melbourne meet Port Adelaide in Alice Springs on Sunday in another key match.