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Snapshot for round 23 of the AFL season


Ben Keays celebrates his game-winning goal, right before the goal umpire deemed it hit the post and would only be ruled as a point. Picture: Matt Turner.

A look at round 23 of the AFL season, where Sydney posted a one-point win over Adelaide in a match that featured a late goal umpiring blunder.


THEY SAID IT: "The thing about your losses, they actually help you more sometimes than your wins. Not taking any credit away from Melbourne but we, and I, botched the last five or six minutes of that game" - Lions coach Chris Fagan believes their heartbreaking round-18 defeat to the Demons has been a turning point in their season.


PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Jesse Hogan was simply unstoppable in the Giants' 126-point mauling of Essendon. The GWS key forward booted 9.1 to go along with 24 disposals, 16 score involvements, 17 marks, and six contested marks in a remarkable display. 


THE MOMENT: Adelaide's Ben Keays celebrated like crazy after kicking what he thought was the winning goal against Sydney. Those celebrations were cut short when the goal umpire deemed his set-shot snap had hit the post. The goal umpire failed to ask for a review in what was a massive blunder, with the AFL later admitting the decision should have been overturned. Sydney went on to win by one point, ending Adelaide's finals hopes. The goal umpire has been stood down for the rest of the season.


TALKING POINT: Who will end up with the wooden spoon and the prized No.1 draft pick that comes with it? West Coast's shock seven-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Sunday means North Melbourne are now last on the ladder. If North Melbourne lose to Gold Coast in Tasmania on Saturday in the final round, they will finish last and have first crack at Harley Reid. If they win, then West Coast will finish bottom unless they can beat Adelaide on Saturday night. It shapes as intriguing viewing, given all the hype surrounding where Reid will end up.


TRIBUNAL WATCH: Collingwood forward Beau McCreery has been offered a one-game ban for a dangerous tackle on Lions defender Darcy Wilmot. Sydney defender Tom McCartin faces a two-game suspension for his high bump on Adelaide forward Shane McAdam, meaning he is out of the Swans' elimination final. Geelong veteran Mitch Duncan's season is over after he was handed a one-game ban for a dangerous tackle.


STATS THAT MATTER: GWS coach Adam Kingsley built up their clash with Essendon as a "virtual elimination final" but it was like only one team knew top-eight hopes were on the line. The ruthless Giants recorded their highest-ever score (162) and winning margin (126) for a valuable percentage boost, while it was the Bombers' fifth worst-loss in their history and the biggest of Brad Scott's coaching career.


INJURIES: T Papley (Syd, hamstring), R Sloane (Adel, eye), C Ah Chee (Lions, back), L McCarthy (Lions, calf), J Ryan (Coll, concussion), N Murphy (Coll, glute/back), E Ratugolea (Geel, hamstring), B Close (Geel, ankle), S Ross (St K, hamstring), M Guelfi (Ess, hamstring), E Yeo (WC, hamstring), T Jonas (PA, head), J Newcombe (Haw, hamstring tightness).


WHAT'S NEXT: North Melbourne host Gold Coast in Tasmania on Saturday in a match that will help decide whether the Kangaroos or West Coast finish last. Brisbane and St Kilda face off at the Gabba later that day, with the Lions looking to lock away second spot. Sydney host Melbourne at the SCG on Sunday, with the Swans still a chance to earn a home final. The final match of the round is GWS up against Carlton. The Giants may need to win to secure a finals berth.


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