Adelaide's Rory Sloane tries to kick the ball forward while being tackled by Harry O'Brien. Photo: Getty Images
A summary of today's AFL highlights:
- Richmond dominated Hawthorn for a breakthrough 62-point victory at the MCG. Jack Riewoldt found form with six goals. Shane Tuck gathered 35 touches while Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin had 32 possessions.
- Collingwood booted five goals to zip in the final quarter to get past the Crows and inflict Adelaide's first defeat at AAMI Stadium this season
- St Kilda blew out the candles for midfielder Lenny Hayes' 250th AFL game by blowing away Sydney by 28 points. David Armitage and Jack Steven led the way for the revitalised Saints.
- Barely 12 months after becoming Gold Coast's first scalp, Port Adelaide ensured history did not repeat and gatecrashed the Suns' home ground birthday party with a 48-point victory.
- Essendon claimed top spot on the ladder with a 66-point win over Greater Western Sydney in the first match at Skoda Stadium, but it was nowhere as easy a triumph as the margin suggests.
Essendon's Jobe Watson asks GWS veteran James McDonald to check on his cut ear. Photo: Getty Images
Details from tonight's matches:
COLLINGWOOD 3.2 5.6 5.10 10.15 (75)
ADELAIDE 3.1 4.5 6.10 6.13 (49)
Goals: Collingwood: D Beams 2 S Sidebottom 2 T Goldsack 2 A Didak H Shaw S Pendlebury S Wellingham Adelaide: K Tippett 2 B Smith J Petrenko M Wright R Henderson
Umpires: Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith, Jordan Bannister
Official Crowd: 44,238 at AAMI Stadium
ESSENDON 3.1 8.1 13.8 18.11 (119)
GWS GIANTS 0.5 2.9 4.11 7.11 (53)
Goals: Essendon: A Davey 3 S Crameri 3 T Bellchambers 3 A Monfries 2 P Ryder 2 D Zaharakis J Melksham J Watson M Hurley T Colyer. Greater Western Sydney Giants: J Cameron 3 A Treloar D Shiel J Giles J McDonald
Umpires: Stephen McBurney, Heath Ryan, Brendan Hosking
Official Crowd: 11,887 at Skoda Stadium
FINAL: GWS 7.11 (53) Essendon 18.11 (119)
A victory as expected for Essendon. Zaharakis (32), Howlett (27) and Stanton (27) the big possession winners on a night that wouldn't have entirely pleased the Essendon coaching staff.
FINAL: Adelaide 6.13 (49) Collingwood 10.15 (75)
The siren sounds at AAMI. Adelaide suffers their first loss on home turf this season. A gutsy win for the 'Pies who improve to a 7-2 record .... almost without anyone noticing.
Adelaide 6.13 (49) Collingwood 10.15 (75) - Q4 33.51
GOAL! The Magpies are running away with it. Sidebottom scores from a tricky angle. Nathan Buckley is stoked in the coaches box.
GWS 7.11 (53) Essendon 18.11 (109) - Q4 28.55
This game drawing to a predictable conclusion. Essendon's 5.3 in the last quarter so far. Giants will walk off with their heads held high.
Adelaide 6.12 (48) Collingwood 9.13 (67) - Q4 23.14
GOAL! Didak with a thumping kick from the arc. What a throwback to yesteryear! The margin is the greatest of the game - 19 points.
Adelaide 6.10 (46) Collingwood 8.13 (61) - Q4 17.40
GOAL! Wellingham gives the Pies some breathing space. This is a fighting effort by the Magpies. It's fast becoming the decisive quarter of the game.
GWS 6.11 (47) Essendon 17.8 (110) - Q4 18.05
Essendon's four goals to GWS's two this quarter. Zaharakis surges to the top of the possession count with 27 touches.
Adelaide 6.10 (46) Collingwood 7.12 (54) - Q4 16.39
Magpies edging ahead but the match is ultra-tight. Collingwood winning the contested possessions in the past 10 minutes. Game on.
Adelaide 6.10 (46) Collingwood 6.11 (47) - Q4 8.09
Injury blow for the Magpies. Keefe has gone down in a lot of pain, grasping at his knee. This is more bad news for the injury-depleted Collingwood. He's going off on a stretcher.
3QT: Adelaide 6.10 (46) Collingwood 5.10 (40)
Time for the final break at AAMI. The Magpies have had a stack more handballs in this contest but the Crows are out-tackling their opponents.
3QT: GWS 4.11 (35) Essendon 13.8 (86)
Stay awake footy fans! This match is drawing to an inevitable conclusion. A comfortable - yet not enormous - victory to the Bombers. Crameri with three goals with Power, Ward, Treloar and Scully the top possession-winners for the Giants.
Adelaide 6.10 (46) Collingwood 5.10 (40) - Q3 29.25
It's still the close one! The scores are tight. The statistics are close. It's low-scoring and hard fought in close. The reins have been pulled on Beams and his possession output has slowed. Big last quarter coming up.
GWS 3.11 (29) Essendon 12.7 (79)
Bombers out by 50 points. Four goals to one this quarter. The game is a bit of yawn really. Perhaps appropriate for a venue that is more used to Easter Show festivities.
GWS 3.11 (29) Essendon 10.4 (64) - Q3 17.42
Bombers just can't quite shake the plucky Giants. They'll win but it may not be a shellacking. Dempsey, Dyson and Lovett-Murray picking up the touches.
Francis Leach offers up the following on Twitter about Adelaide-Collingwood:
@SaintFrankly: How sad & tired does AAMI Stadium look these days? Warm the bulldozers up! #AFLCowsPies
Adelaide 5.8 (38) Collingwood 5.8 (38) - Q3 8.26
Gee, it's tight over at AAMI. Goldsack the multiple goalscorer for the Magpies. Crows still on top on the tackle count. Beams with 23 possessions.
GWS 2.9 (21) Essendon 9.1 (55) - Q3 3.22
Commentators talking up the importance to GWS of No.1 pick Patton. They are saying the Giants desperately need him! Steady down, fellas. He won't make the difference between making the finals or not.
GWS 2.9 (21) Essendon 9.1 (55) - Q3 0.57
Bellchambers drills an early goal for the Bombers, replicating Essendon's rapid-fire start to the match in the first quarter. Looks like Hird may have delivered a bake at the main break.
Some of the banter on Twitter about the Giants-Dons clash:
- @Reidy_777: Richo on Hurley : "A lot if forwards would be disappointed by that delivery into the forward line" yeah but not all are sooks. #aflgiantsdons
- @grace_747: No line in the ladiea bathroom! That doesnt even happen at manuka oval! #aflgiantsdons #bestever
Half-time: Adelaide 4.5 (29) Collingwood 5.6 (36)
Scoring has really dried up but Goldsack snagged a late goal to give the visitors a slender seven-point break. Dayne Beams running hot with 21 possessions to half-time.
Half-time: GWS 2.9 (21) Essendon 8.1 (49)
Giants on top ..... with shots on goal! Seriously, GWS has been pretty good but you can't expect them to hold court with the Bombers for a full four quarters. Cameron Ling interviews GWS assistant Mark Williams at the break and you'd swear that Choco was about to jump down this throat. Lingy couldn't quite get the question out right.
Adelaide 4.5 (29) Collingwood 4.4 (28) - Q2 21.36
We've got the close one! Goals are hard to come by at AAMI. Beams still going on his merry way with accumulating touches. Crows on top on the tackle count - 14 ahead to this point.
GWS 1.9 (15) Essendon 6.1 (37) - Q2 20.47
Shiel was the goal-scorer. He creates history by snagging the first major at the brand new AFL venue. I think Sheedy was just happy to didn't miss!
GWS 0.9 (9) Essendon 6.1 (37) - Q2 16.34
Brian Taylor just said about a passage of play involving Tayte Pears: 'Pears has got nothing on.' They are also obsessed with the new 'Giant scoreboard' at the venue. Gee whiz. It's nice but settle down fellas! Giant players just can't kick straight at the minute.
Adelaide 4.4 (28) Collingwood 4.3 (27) - Q2 11.19
It's tight in Adelaide. Tippett the first multiple goal-scorer with two majors. Beams stepping up nicely in the Collingwood midfield with the absence of Luke ball, et al.
GWS 0.7 (7) Essendon 6.1 (37) - Q2 9.48
Bombers finding their rhythm. Out by five goals midway through the second quarter. Channel Seven commentators talking up the 'spectator experience' available at the Showgrounds. But it has been described as more like a 'NAB Cup' game by one fan in attendance in western Sydney.
Quarter-time: Adelaide 3.1 (19) Collingwood 3.2 (20)
Pretty even in Adelaide. Beams and Sidebotton suffering early leather-poisoning while Scott Thompson getting a stack of touches for the Crows. Magpies dominated with uncontested possessions.
Quarter-time: GWS 0.5 (5) Essendon 3.1 (19)
Lacklustre start by the Bombers. Giants up and running on top of the ground early. Some Essendon players seemingly treating the game as a mid-season break. Might sound harsh but the've got to stay up.
GWS 0.4 (4) Essendon 3.1 (19) - Q1 26.18
Some speculation Hardingham injured his calf during the warm-up. He dropped out of the team Slattery, originally an emergency, came into the team and started as sub.
GWS 0.2 (2) Essendon 2.1 (13) - Q1 20.45
Thumping kick from Shiel misses to the right for the Giants. Quick reminder to footy fans out there that Israel Folau was a late withdrawal with a hammy. Rested? Hidden?
Adelaide 2.0 (12) Collingwood 3.1 (19) - Q1 19.02
Dangerfield hot early and Sidebottom continuing impressive early season form. All individual goal-scorers so far at AAMI Stadium.
GWS 0.1 (1) Essendon 2.1 (13) - Q1 15.57
Giants have steadied and have contained the Bombers. Sheedy has just done an interview straight to the Channel Seven commentators in the box. Ground-breaking stuff. We didn't know that was coming. Sheeds hinted at wanting to break even with the Bombers in certain areas. That would indeed be an acheivement.
Adelaide 0.0 (0) Collingwood 2.0 (12) - Q1 6.22
Magpies snare two early ones in the blockbuster clash. It's not on free-to-air so let us know if you want any special updates, or instant analysis.
GWS 0.0 (0) Essendon 2.0 (12) - Q1 3.26
GOAL! Bombers again. This time Davey. Plenty of early talk about the 'spongy' centre square at Skoda Stadium, the same venue for Sydney's Easter Show not that long ago. Commentators eagerly looking for any remnants from the wildlife scattered on the surface.
GWS 0.0 (0) Essendon 1.0 (6) - Q1 1.04
Early goal to the Bombers through Ryder. Blow the siren! That call didn't come from Bomber fans, merely those new Giants supporters who would happily take a narrow defeat.
FINAL: St Kilda 16.15 (111) Sydney Swans 12.11 (83)
ANALYSIS: Great win by the Sainters! Two weeks ago St Kilda enjoyed a big win over Carlton and their fans went nuts, voting feverishing for the club to win the flag. What will tonight's result mean? Simply another unexpected result in a topsy-turvey season? Or a sign of St Kilda's potential after they were freed from the binds imposed by Ross Lyon in recent years. Time will tell.
St Kilda 16.15 (111) Sydney Swans 12.11 (83) - Q4 26.44
GOAL! Lewis Jetta for the Swans. Too little too late.
St Kilda 16.15 (111) Sydney Swans 11.11 (77) - Q4 24.42
GOAL! Milera snags one for the Saints. The win is absolutely safe. Just a couple of minutes to play.
St Kilda 15.15 (105) Sydney Swans 11.11 (77) - Q4 22.05
This match grinds on and the Saints have done well to stifle any hopes of a Sydney revival. This result says plenty for St Kilda's hopes in 2012. Their win over Carlton in round seven raised eyebrows, they were gallant against West Coast on a tough road trip last week and now they've taken care of one of the early-season flag fancies.
St Kilda 14.15 (99) Sydney Swans 10.9 (69) - Q4 12.34
Two quick goals to the Swans gives them a flicker of hope as they cut the margin to 30 points. There's about 10 minutes left so the deficit is surely too great.
Greater Western Sydney - Essendon: pre-match - 6.58pm
Israel Folau is a late withdrawal with a hamstring injury for the Giants' opening match at the Sydney Showgrounds (Skoda Stadium). Jacob Townsend takes his spot in the GWS lineup.
St Kilda 14.15 (99) Sydney Swans 8.8 (56) - Q4 7.30
The result is safe now. No goals to either side in the final term and the sting has gone out of the contest somewhat. Swans have generated three more Inside 50s in the past 10 minutes of play.
3QT: St Kilda 14.14 (98) Sydney Swans 8.6 (54)
ANALYSIS: A cracking quarter by the Saints. Eleven goals to four since quarter-time. Few would have seen their revival coming after Sydney dominated the opening 15 minutes of the game. Armitage and Steven leading the way but, in truth, the St Kilda is getting good performances from a spread of players. A big (and impressive) win looms.
Q3 - 24.26: GOAL! Saints are red hot. Dal Santo drills a major from 40 metres directly in front. The Saints are focusing on percentage now! St Kilda 13.13 (91) Sydney Swans 7.4 (46)
Q3 - 20.29: GOAL! Siposs scores a blinder from deep in the forward pocket. That's the only kick of the game thus far from the substitute! Saints out by 39 points. What a turnaround. Less than eight minutes left in the third quarter but the Swans look gone. G-O-N-E.
Q3 - 13.36: St Kilda clearing ahead again. Seven more Inside 50s than the Swans in the last 10 minutes. It's their night at the moment. Inaccuracy may yet be a factor - 2.5 on the scoreboard in the third term so far.
Q3 - 6.40: Saints still holding the ascendancy but the third quarter has been pretty even so far. Swans have edged ahead on disposal efficiency and the tackle count but St Kilda is still ahead on overall disposals and clearances.
Analysis: A fantastic turnaround by the Saints in that term. Five goals to one speaks plenty. They've taken some weeks to find their feet under new coach Scott Watters but are seemingly playing with renewed zest. Swans have a bit of an issue with forward Sam Reid - just four touches for the key forward and only one mark to the main break. St Kilda 8.7 (55) Sydney Swans 5.4 (34)
Q2 - 28.50: Saints holding a 20-point lead after a stellar second quarter. The Inside 50 count is 28-15 in the home team's favour. This performance with Armitage, Steven, Gram and Hayes leading the way will have the St Kilda faithful on their feet at the main break.
Q2 - 19.05: This match has changed complexion. Sharply. Five goals in 19 minutes to the Saints and they've raced to a 19-point lead. Armitage, Steven and Blake getting plenty of touches. St Kilda has gotten on top in the past 10 minutes with seven more Inside 50s than the visitors.
Q2 - 10:06: A frenetic fast-scoring start to the second stanza. The Saints have put three goals on the board to Sydney's one to snatch the lead. St Kilda has clearly had the better of the first 10 minutes of his term with 250-gamer Lenny Hayes leading their possession count so far.
Quarter-time: An impressive quarter by the Swans but they only lead by nine points. Josh Kennedy was typically prolific while McVeigh was another significant contributor. The contested possessions are even by the first break. St Kilda 3.1 (19) Sydney Swans 4.4 (28)
Q1 - 25.18: GOAL! Dal Santo gets one back for the home team. He slotted the goal from 50 metres on an angle. The Saints have steadied in the dying minutes of the opening term.
Q1 - 19.50: GOAL! The Swans again. Josh Kennedy threads the needle from the forward pocket. He's having a stellar season and was a dead-eye-dick with that kick. Swans comfortably on top but only lead by 16 points. St Kilda 1.0 (6) Sydney Swans 3.4 (22)
Q1 - 11.16: Swans off to a flyer. They are winning all the statistical categories and are well on top for overall disposals. McVeigh and Bolton are making a mark early.
Q1 - 8.08: One goal each in a fast-paced opening at the Docklands. Another wet and miserable day in Melbourne but they are playing under a closed roof so the spectators are saved any pain.
4.39pm - There are no late changes for the St Kilda-Sydney clash. Farren Ray, Nick Dal Santo and Terry Milera to start on the bench for the Saints, with Arryn Siposs the substitute. For the Swans, Nick Malceksi, Luke Parker and Lewis Jetta to start on the pine and Trent Dennis-Lane is the substitute.
4.35pm - The footy community is coming to terms with Richmond's ground-breaking 62-point victory over Hawthorn at the MCG today. More details very soon ...