AFTER an elongated round 10 which saw the football spread across four days, the action finally came to a close on Monday with several teams putting their hand up to play in September with others effectively ruling themselves out.
The Tigers stunned the footy world with a comprehensive dismantling of the Dockers, the Roos upset the Eagles down in Tasmania while the Pies did what they normally do on a Queen’s birthday Monday – win.
While punters would have felt the pinch of a big Friday night upset in their multis, there were still a number of opportunities to turn a bit of knowledge and savvy into gambling gold.
How Round 10 unfolded for the punters
The round began on Friday night with the Tigers sensationally upsetting the previously-undefeated Dockers by 27 points at Domain Stadium.
Richmond were ruthless in front of goal in the opening quarter, kicking a miraculous eight goals straight to led Fremantle by 30 points at the first change, and from then on the lead went out to 54 points before the Dockers attempted a comeback before falling short.
The Tigers’ Jack Riewoldt kept his productive season in front of the sticks progressing with two goals; moving him to sixth in the race for the Coleman medal. Sportsbet is offering $12 on the two-time Coleman medallist to become a three-time champ in 2015.
The loss did little to dent the Brownlow medal hopes of Nat Fyfe, who still remains the outright favourite for the award at $1.90 with William Hill. Fyfe was able to accumulate 26 touches and kick one goal despite playing in a losing side, and may have done enough to secure at least one umpires’ vote.
Saturday night saw the Cats completely annihilate a disappointing Essendon to the tune of 69 points at Etihad Stadium. Geelong made Essendon look second-rate at times throughout the night, restricting the Dons to just six behinds in the opening half – their lowest score since 1984, whilst piling on nine goals of their own.
The second half degenerated to an uncomfortable wait for the final siren to see how much the final margin could swell to.
The win inserts Geelong right back into the finals frame, with the $2.31 odds provided by Sportsbet enticing given the way the Cats put their opponents to the sword.
The loss leaves the Dons languishing in 13th position, two games and percentage out of the eight with a road trip west to face the Eagles coming up this week. The $1.25 on offer from WilliamHill to miss the top eight now looks like a wise investment.
A wet and windy Blundstone Arena was the scene for a North Melbourne resurgence on Sunday afternoon, with the Kangaroos getting the points against the Eagles in Tasmania.
West Coast threatened to take the game away from the Roos in the second quarter when they jumped out to a four goal lead, but North stormed back and were able to gain the ascendancy when it mattered late in the game and come away with the victory.
The win leaves North just one game outside finals contention, but with two games against teams currently sitting inside the top four in GWS and Sydney in the coming fortnight, their task to stay within striking distance looks difficult before their bye in round 13.
The $1.95 quote from William Hill for North Melbourne to miss the top eight looks like a sound bet given the Roos’ tough short-term run.
The round closed out on Monday with the traditional Queen’s Birthday clash between Collingwood and Melbourne ending in a 25-point win to the men in black and white.
The stage was set early for the Pies when imposing forward Travis Cloke kicked four first quarter goals, dominating his opponent and threatening to single-handedly tear the game away from Melbourne.
The Dees were able to fight back through inspirational skipper Nathan Jones, who kicked two first half goals, willing his team back into the lead midway through the second quarter after trailing by almost six goals.
Despite the tight scoreline throughout the second half, it seemed the Pies always had their foes’ measure, and were able to kick two vital last quarter goals while restricting their opponents to just three behinds.
There was a bit of synchronicity from Travis Cloke on Monday, with his seven goals moving him to seventh on the Coleman medal tally for the season. The bag of goals moved the Collingwood spearhead to $21 with Sportsbet to win the 2015 Coleman medal, with the burly forward’s ominous form making him an enticing bet.
The big news out of the weekend was the ACL injury to Blues champion Chris Judd that ended the career of one of the greatest players in the competition’s history.
Judd landed awkwardly in a marking contest early in the game against Adelaide on Saturday and scans the next day revealed Carlton’s biggest fears.
The 31-year old retired on Tuesday morning. He won a Brownlow Medal, Norm Smith Medal and premiership while playing with the West Coast Eagles in the first six years of his career, before moving to Carlton, becoming captain of the club, winning a second Brownlow and leading the Blues through three finals campaigns.
Fremantle defender Michael Johnson is set to miss a significant amount of time on the sidelines after he tore his hamstring early in the first quarter in his side’s loss to Richmond on Friday night.
The 200-game veteran was subbed out of the game just minutes into his milestone performance, with scans indicating the Docker defender’s injury was worse than first feared.
The Bombers should have both captain Jobe Watson and former best and fairest winner David Zaharakis available for their club’s vital clash against West Coast next week, but may not see 40-year old defender Dustin Fletcher for another week, who is battling to overcome a groin strain.