It was a jam-packed day of NAB Cup footy, featuring two narrow wins, two blow-outs and a third game where Gold Coast rallied late to threaten North Melbourne. The most thrilling result was Richmond's eight-point win over Essendon in Wangaratta after former Melbourne forward Ricky Petterd managed a nine-point goal in the dying stages to snatch the win.
A healthy crowd turned out in Wagga and saw the Brisbane Lions come away with a slender three-point win over GWS after the Giants had pushed the Lions all the way. New Carlton coach Mick Malthouse generated excitement among the navy blue fraternity after the Blues humbled Fremantle by 70 points at Etihad Stadium. Earlier, Harry Taylor and Jimmy Bartel piloted an experimental Geelong to a commanding 63-point victory over disappointing Adelaide at Simonds Stadium.
So, with three more matches to come on Sunday, here's the NAB Cup ladder as it stands:
P W L D For Agst PC Pts
Carlton 3 3 - - 204 110 185.4 12
Brisbane 3 3 - - 189 132 143.2 12
North Melbourne Kangaroos 3 3 - - 188 169 111.2 12
em Collingwood 2 2 - - 78 58 134.5 8
Geelong 3 2 1 - 205 158 129.8 8
Richmond 3 2 1 - 160 141 113.5 8
em Port Adelaide 2 1 1 - 92 58 158.6 4
em West Coast 2 1 1 - 87 65 133.8 4
Essendon 3 1 2 - 152 136 111.8 4
GWG Giants 3 1 2 - 181 162 111.7 4
Gold Coast Suns 3 1 2 - 143 188 76.1 4
Western Bulldogs 3 1 2 - 123 166 74.1 4
em St Kilda 2 1 1 - 65 89 73.0 4
Adelaide 3 1 2 - 130 203 64.0 4
Fremantle 3 1 2 - 118 194 60.8 4
Hawthorn 3 - 3 - 114 137 83.2 -
em Melbourne 2 - 2 - 51 68 75.0 -
em Sydney 2 - 2 - 52 98 53.1 -
(denotes teams yet to play)
High-flying Crow ... Jason Porplyzia attempts to take a mark on the shoulders of Corey Enright. Photo: Getty Images
Carlton 0.18.16 (124) Fremantle 1.6.9 (54)
A huge 70-point victory to the Blues. They set up the win with an excellent six-goal first term, and repeated the dose with another six majors in the second quarter to lead by 61 points at the main break. Eddie Betts had a purple patch and booted four goals while Mitch Robinson, Bryce Gibbs, Kane Lucas, Chris Yarran and Andrew Carrazzo had plenty of the ball.
CARLTON 0.6.5 0.12.7 0.14.12 0.18.16 (124)
FREMANTLE 0.1.1 1.1.3 1.5.7 1.6.9 (54)
Nine pointers: Carlton: Nil. Fremantle: G Ibbotson.
Goals: Carlton: E Betts 4 J Garlett 3 B Gibbs 2 M Robinson 2 A Carrazzo A Walker L Casboult M Jamison M Kreuzer M Murphy S White. Fremantle: D Mundy 2 M De Boer 2 H Crozier J Griffin.
Umpires: Chris Donlon, Jason Armstrong, Brent Pawley
Official Crowd: 9,402 at Etihad Stadium
Fremantle's Zac Clarke and Carlton's Michael Jamison get better acquainted. Photo: Getty Images
Q4 - 24.04
Carlton 0.17.16 (118) Fremantle 1.6.9 (54)
Match is in its final stages. Plenty of scoring shots for the Blues, indicating they could have completely obliterated Fremantle. They have managed 35 shots on goal, compared to just 17 for Freo. Uncontested possessions are pretty even but Carlton was easily ahead with contested touches. Final siren due any minute now.
Q4 - 13.04
Carlton 0.16.13 (109) Fremantle 1.6.7 (52)
Two goals to one after 13 minutes of the final term. Blues are cruising towards a big pre-season victory against the Dockers who, it must be said, are badly missing Matthew Pavlich. Eddie Betts hasn't added to his four-goal tally while Mitch Robinson (23) has soared ahead on the possession count.
Carlton 0.14.12 (96) Fremantle 1.5.7 (46)
A much better quarter by the Dockers who cut the margin to 50 points. Doesn't sound flattering, does it? Fremantle snared three of the last four goals of the term (including the final two to David Mundy) to add some respectability to the scoreline. Freo coach Ross Lyon spoke live on Fox Footy during the quarter and wasn't scared to express his displeasure at tonight's proceedings. Refreshing stuff.
GWS 2.12.7 (97) Brisbane Lions 1.12.19 (100), Wagga
LIONS WIN! Another close finish in the NAB Cup today. Brisbane managed the last four scoring opportunities of the game and a goal from Sam Michael in the 24th minute (the final score) saw them snatch the lead and win by three points. Their biggest contributors included Claye Beams, Jack Redden and Patrick Karnezis while Adam Treloar and Toby Greene were busy for GWS.
3Q - 13.16
Carlton 0.13.7 (85) Fremantle 1.2.7 (28)
Blues well in front by midway through the second term. It's a goal each in the third quarter with Fremantle's Matt De Boar matching the effort of Jeff Garlett as the only goalscorers this term. Marc Murphy has 17 possessions but Bryce Gibbs is racing up the charts.
There's time to re-cap some of the NAB Cup results from earlier today. In Townsville, North Melbourne continued its unbeaten pre-season cup run to hold off a fast-finishing Gold Coast Suns by 13 points. It was the first AFL level match hosted in the North Queensland city and the Kangaroos put in a clinical goal-kicking display early to win 2.13.6 (102) to 1.11.14 (89) in front of 7216 fans in steamy conditions. READ MORE
Q4 - 14.58
GWS 2.12.7 (97) Brisbane Lions 1.11.16 (91)
We're set for a close finish in Wagga. A super-goal to Devon Smith at the seven-minute mark of the final quarter gave the Giants a nine-point lead. The Lions came back to level the scores but another goal to Giant Sam Frost saw them maintain their advantage. Brisbane's Patrick Karnezis is out in front with 24 possessions.
Carlton 0.12.7 (79) Fremantle 1.1.3 (18)
We are the Navy Blues .... Get into song Carlton fans. The Blues have dominated the opening half against the Dockers at Etihad Stadium. Strange to see Freo concede such a big score in a half. Betts has four majors for the Blues, while Marc Murphy is the top possession-winner with 14 touches. The Blues are getting the upper hand on the contested possession count and they are also comfortably ahead on tackles.
Carlton's Bryce Gibbs escapes the grasp of Docker Ryan Crowley. Photo: Getty Images
Q3 - 18.25
GWS 1.9.6 (69) Brisbane Lions 1.9.11 (74)
Brisbane's quarter so far in Wagga. They burst out of the blocks after the break with three goals in four minutes - to Rockliff, Karnezis and Cornelius - to snatch back the lead. Another goal to Cornelius (his fourth) at the 18-minute mark saw them take the lead again. Adam Treloar has 16 touches for the Giants.
Q2 - 12.13
Carlton 0.10.6 (66) Fremantle 1.1.1 (16)
Blues are burning up the Dockers. It's been all Carlton by midway through the second quarter. Eddie Betts has been the main destroyer with four goals, while Marc Murphy, Andrew Walker and Mitch Robinson are sharing the pill around through the middle.
GWS 1.8.3 (60) Brisbane Lions 1.5.7 (46)
A great half by the Giants. A late goal to Jonathan Giles (his second) gave GWS some breathing space on the cusp of the main break. The Giants are spreading the load across their (mainly) youngish midfield group.
Q1 - 16.32
Carlton 0.3.1 (19) Fremantle 0.1.1 (7)
Blues with all the early running at Etihad Stadium but Docker Hayden Crozier pulled one back on 15 minutes to open Fremantle's account. The two Pearces (Danyle and Clancee) have five touches each for Freo.
Q2 - 11.51
GWS 1.5.2 (41) Brisbane Lions 1.3.4 (31)
Giants taking it right up to their more credentialled opponents. Jeremy Cameron and Jonathan Giles are among the goalscorers for GWS. Giants have booted all four goals in the second term (including a super-goal to Cameron) to steal the ascendancy.
Essendon 1.10.9 (78) Richmond 2.8.20 (86), Wangaratta
TIGERS WIN! A super-goal to new Tiger Ricky Petterd on 25 minutes put Richmond in front and effectively put the game beyond Essendon's reach. It was close throughout and finished in a thrilling manner. A great hit-out for the Wangaratta locals after they missed out last year ...
Q4 - 23.30
Essendon 1.10.9 (78) Richmond 1.8.19 (76), Wangaratta
It's a thrilling finish with the Tigers applying the blowtorch to Essendon. Just a couple of minutes left and Richmond is peppering the goals, threatening to steal the match.
North Melbourne 2.13.6 (102) Gold Coast 1.11.14 (89), Townsville
In the end, it was a respectable loss for the Suns. They booted the last five goals of the game to narrow the final margin to just 13 points. Thomas and Black snagged three goals each for the Kangas, while Brown and Swallow managed two each for the 'home' side. Sam Gibson led all-comers with 23 possessions.
Q3 - 20.45
Essendon 1.8.7 (64) Richmond 1.6.11 (56), Wangaratta
It's been Essendon's quarter thus far but Luke McGuane snagged the last goal on 20 minutes to keep Richmond within striking distance. Stanton, Baguley and Goddard are getting plenty of the ball for the Bombers.
Q4 - 17.22
North Melbourne 2.13.6 (102) Gold Coast 1.9.13 (76), Townsville
Suns have mounted something of a comeback but time is destined to beat them. David Swallow (20) and Harley Bennell (18) are the big ball-winners for Gold Coast, but Sam Gibson (23) is miles ahead for the Kangas.
Plenty of NAB Cup action around the country on Saturday. AAP reports that old hands Harry Taylor and Jimmy Bartel piloted an experimental Geelong line-up to a commanding 63-point victory over disappointing Adelaide in the pre-season Cup clash at Simonds Stadium on Saturday. READ MORE
High-flying Crow ... Jason Porplyzia attempts to take a mark on the shoulders of Corey Enright. Photo: Getty Images
Essendon 1.5.4 (43) Richmond 1.4.9 (42), Wangaratta
This match is close on numerous counts with Richmond's (slight) inaccuracy costing them. The Bombers lead by one point at the main break, and also have had one extra possession. Essendon has nudged ahead with contested possessions while the Tigers have the advantage on clearances. Get set for a tight second half.
Q3 - 23.30
North Melbourne 2.12.5 (95) Gold Coast 1.5.9 (48)
Kangas are maintaining their ascendancy. Lindsay Thomas has three goals in the kit-bag while teammate Sam Gibson has 18 touches.
Q2 - 26.20
Essendon 1.5.4 (43) Richmond 1.4.9 (42)
The match is tight up in Wangaratta. New Bomber Brendan Goddard leads the way with 14 touches, with Tiger Dustin Martin on level pegging. It's all individual goalscorers with Leroy Jetta and Matt White scoring the two super-goals.
Gold Coast 1.3.7 (34) North Melbourne 1.11.5 (80)
Third goal to tall forward prospect Aaron Black sets up a huge lead for the visitors.
Summer country footy at Townsville. Photo: Ian Hitchcock
Patrick Ryder thrills the big Wangaratta crowd. Photo: Getty Images
Richmond 1.3.7 (33) Essendon 3.3 (21)
21 inside 50s to 11 for the Tigers, who are not putting their ascendancy on the scoreboard. Tuck snatches the ball from a throw-in and snaps an overdue major.
Richmond 1.2.6 (27) Essendon 3.2 (20)
Five behinds in a row to the wasteful Tigers, with a too unselfish Jack Riewoldt the latest villain, centreing wide of a teammate instead of snapping at goal. Jake Carlisle is continuing his rise with a good job on the mercurial Tiger full forward.
Richmond 1.2.4 (25) Essendon 3.2 (20)
Lively, entertaining opening at a packed country ground in fine weather at Wangaratta. Orren Stephenson shone in the ruck for the Tigers, the former Cat and North Ballarat big man forcing four clearances himself in the first term. Youngster Nick Vlautin had six touches and laid two tackles to continue his good pre-season form.
Brendon Goddard had ten touches for the Bombers in the first quarter, and set up a goal when resting deep in the forward line. Mature-aged recruit Nick Kommer had five touches and booted a goal.
Gold Coast 1.3.7 (34) North Melbourne 1.10.4 (73)
When Ben Cunnington goaled at the 19 minute mark, the difference was 48 points. Gold Coast had the next four scoring shots, but a late major to Levi greenwood blew the margin back to 40 points.
North big man Daniel Currie has booted two goals, and fellow lesser lights Will Sierakowski, Aaron Mullett and Sam Gibson have been prominent for the Roos.
Steven May has taken four grabs for the Suns. With Harley Bennell and Gary Ablett not as prolific as usual, David Swallow and Jaeger O'Meara have been amongst their bigger ball-winners.
Richmond 1.2.4 (25) Essendon 2.2 (14)
Gold Coast 1.3.7 (34) North Melbourne 1.10.4 (73)
Townsville Q2 22.00
Gold Coast 25
North Melbourne 67
Wangaratta Q1 15.21
Simonds Stadium Full Time
Daniel Currie and Zac Smith compete in the ruck at Townsville. Photo: Ian Hitchcock
Greg Broughton resists the trapeze efforts of Kangaroo Lindsay Thomas. Photo: Getty images
Don't tell them it's just a pre-season game. Dejected Crows after their ten-goal belting by a sub-strength Geelong at Simonds Stadium. Photo: Getty Images
Q1 Wangaratta Essendon 6 Richmond 15
Robin Nahas marks on a tight angle near the behind post and converts with aplomb, curling through a kick across his body.
Frizzy-haired 22-year-old Nick Kommer doesn't lack confidence. After kicking Essendon's opening goal, he remontsrated with his Tiger opponent in 1970s style.
Q1 19.37 Wangaratta, Essendon 6 v Richmond 9.
The long awaited game in Victoria's north is finally underway, a year after the Bombers failed to materialise when taking an airplane in a storm instead of catching the bus. It may have been a warning sign to the club that it was trying too hard off the field, but we'll leave that alone...
Umpire Ray Chamberlain is presiding in his first game after missing the 2012 season through injury. Typical of Ray to be in charge in front of a packed house in a fever pitch atmosphere. Northern Victoria loves its footy and this game was sold out long ago.
Q2 Gold Coast 9 v North Melbourne 53
Ruck back-up option Daniel Currie kicked the first goal of the second term four minutes in.
Young midfield star Jaeger O'Meara has picked up six touches for the Suns.
FULL TIME Geelong defeated Adelaide by 63 points.
Taylor Hunt kicked the final goal after the siren. Great signs for a Geelong team packed full of youngsters; worrying semaphores bright and insistent now for Adelaide, which brought its strongest outfit and was outplayed from the outset.
Midfielder Patrick Dangerfield was the standout for Adelaide, with 31 touches. It says a lot about the game that he was matched by Geelong's full back, Harry Taylor, who had 31 touches, took nine marks and laid three tackles.
Quarter-time: North Melbourne 1.6.2 (47) Gold Coast 0.1.2 (8)
Kangaroos off to a flyer in Townsville. The first goal came courtesy of Aaron Black after just 50 seconds. Lindsay Thomas has two majors, including his second at the 23-minute mark to give the Roos a 39-point lead.
Ryan Bastinac has won the ball seven times and ex-Demon Jordan Gysberts has six disposals.
Q4 5.00 Geelong 119 Adelaide 57
190cm full-forward Shane Kersten bags his third goal for the Cats with a well-measured banana kick on the run from the pocket.
Dirty day: Taylor Walker took his first mark deep in the last quarter. Photo: Scott Barbour
Q4 9.00 Geelong 113 Adelaide 56
Taylor Walker, thrashed all day, takes a couple of belated grabs, but can't kick goals, hitting the post with his second attempt from a set shot...
... And he hits the post for a third time moments later.
One of those days. Even gifted Crows forward Jason Porplyzia could not grab hold of the pill against Geelong. Photo: Getty Images
Q4 13.00 Geelong 113 Adelaide 55
A couple of hopeful moments for the Crows as young midfielder Kerridge lays a strong tackle and kicks a goal from outside 50. The Mckernan takes the first mark for the day by a tall Crows forward...
But he kick out on the full from 40 metres with the breeze.
Yes, that's right. Taylor Walker has not marked the ball today for Adelaide. He's had a shocker.
Q4 15.00 Geelong 113 Adelaide 46
Frustrated players were turned away from the bench at the end of the third quarter, when the allotted 20 interchanges were exhausted. The players were exhausted as well.
Q4 16.30 Geelong 113 Adelaide 46
Dangerfield (26 touches) goals from a free kick, then sends the Crows forward at the subsequent centre bounce.
Poll: Where will Adelaide finish on the AFL home and away ladder in 2013?
Total votes: 89.
You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.
Poll closed 31 Mar, 2013
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Q4 20.37 Geelong 113 Adelaide 40
Bartel takes another strong mark forward of centre and the forward thrust ends for the second time with the burly Kersten receiving a pass 15 metres out and running in to boot a major. Kicking into the breeze does not shape as a problem for the Cats in this quarter against the beleaguered Crows.
Q3 0.30 Geelong 107 Adelaide 40
The Cats have broken the Crows, Bartel adding his second goal for the quarter after a strong mark close to goal.
Q3 1.30 Geelong 101 Adelaide 40
Fine snap out of a pack on the left foot by George Horlin-Smith. Eleven score assists for the promising midfielder, who has mostly played forward of centre.
Q3 5.00 Geelong 94 Adelaide 40
Blicavs, the ex-athlete, takes a strong mark 30 metres out and converts his set shot for Geelong. He has held his own against Sam Jacobs, a pretty good achievement for such an inexperienced player. He's very lean, but can obviously cover the ground, and has a good leap.
Q3 8.00 Geelong 87 Adelaide 40
The Crows again ran into a dead end when going forward, with no player inside 50 as they defend desperately against the breeze. Johncock eventually kicked laterally and the ball ran out of bounds 75 metres from goal. Demoralising footy.
No respite for Crows fans at the cricket, with the struggling Aussies looking crestfallen already, at 3/57 after 16 overs in Hyderabad. Good news is the spinners have not yet taken a wicket. Bad news is that the seamers have taken all three wickets! (Ashwin has bowled three consecutive maidens to start his sopell).
Q3 11.54 Geelong 87 Adelaide 40
Taylor Walker is the architect as the Crows rebound into an empty forward line. He shares the ball with Dangerfield and waits until his well-weighted left-foot pas can find Johncock sprinting into an open goal.
James Kelly won 15 touches in the first half. Photo: Getty Images
Q3 15.00 Geelong 87 Adelaide 34
The Crows have not leaked goals as they did in the first term when Geelong had the breeze, but their poor disposal means they are unlikely to score themselves.
Shaun McKernan has replaced Josh Jenkins in the forward line.
HALF-TIME Geelong 80 Adelaide 34
Geelong led by 48 points after their first quarter with the breeze, mixing slick ball use in close through the corridor, with precise long kicking.
The listless Crows were less efficient with the wind behind them in the second term, bombing the ball at outpointed key forward Taylor Walker, though they did kick consecutive goals with five minutes left in the half. They look sluggish and unfocused, and the absence of a genuine second tall forward target appeared to be having an impact.
Tall defensive sweeper Harry Taylor dominated both quarters, with 20 touches to half-time. he leads nine Cats with 10 touches or more. Adelaide has just four players to have recorded that many possessions. Of the lesser lights, Geelong has been well served by pacy flanker Jordan Murdoch (6 disposals, two goals), classy utility George Horlin-Smith (10 touches) and forward Billy Smedts (9 touches, three marks, two goals). Josh Caddy has been steady, if not spectacular in gathering nine possessions.
Adelaide's best were usual suspects Patrick Dangerfield and Scott Thompson, though both alcked their usual potent impact. Several of the players competing for apparent vacancies in the line-up had forgettable first half performances - Andy Otten, Luke Brown, Brodie Martin, Josh Jenkins, Matthew Jaensch and Aidan Riley did not impress.
Q2 2.00 Geelong 80 Adelaide 33
Bright spots for Crows? Riley has laid three strong tackles and won a free kick for one of them. Kerridge has won seven disposals, and Brodie Martin's fine pass set up a goal for Douglas.
Billie Smedts had eight touches and four shots at goal (2.2) in the first half. Photo: Getty Images
Q2 8.50 Geelong 74 Adelaide 32
Adelaide wins two centre bounce clearances, and boots two goals, via Nathan van Berlo and Richard Douglas. The Crows are gradually, belatedly starting to mount a realistic challenge with the breeze.
Harry Taylor had ten touches in the first quarter. Photo: Getty Images
Q2 8.50 Geelong 74 Adelaide 20
Kersten races forward into an open forward line and gets a good kick from Podsiadly. He gathers and goals from six metres out.
Geelong is running hard and using handball in the centre square to break the lines. Adelaide's effort has improved in this term, but not their skills - several times they have burnt clearcut opportunities going inside 50 with poor kicking, and their work has lacked the system of the effervescent Cats.
Q2 20.00 Geelong 61, Adelaide 12
The first score of the second quarter, as Adelaide takes over with the strong breeze, goes to Geelong, after a horrendous kick-in mess-up, pounced on by Kelly. This is shaping as the full disaster for the Crows at the moment.
Smedts, Horlin-Smith, Varcoe (playing at half-back) and Harry taylor were the standouts in the first term.
QUARTER-TIME Geelong 54, Adelaide 12
Porplyzia receives a slightly fortuitous free kick at the top of the goalsquare in the last minute, and converts. In keeping with the tenor of the quarter, the Cats were storming into attack through Smedts as the siren sounded. Huge quarter from geelong, wind or no wind.
Q1 14.06 Geelong 22, Adelaide 0
A 50-metre penalty yields a major for Mackie against Porplyzia. The breeze is stif, but Geelong have been completely eclipsed early.
Q1 3.09 Geelong 54, Adelaide 6
Smedts misses a set shot, then earns a free kick for a hold against Reilly, just outside the goalsquare, and he converts with a hooking kick from close range.
Second later, he finishes off another crisp Cats move and you can hear the groan from punters who made Adelaide favourite.
Q1 7.14 Geelong 37, Adelaide 6
Star half-forward Paul Chapman adds another 'super' goal in response to Adelaide's opening major from Patrick Dangerfield.
Long and direct game style working for the Cats.
Q1 9.00 Geelong 31, Adelaide 0
Pacy youngster Jordan Murdoch marks in traffic, plays on and spears through a 45 metre drop punt for another Cats goal.
For those of you who like your cricket, as well as footy: Australia has won the toss and is about to start batting in the second Test against India at Hyderabad. Victorian Glenn Maxwell is making his debut. And maligned spinner Nathan Lyon is out...
Q1 18.20 Geelong 10, Adelaide 0
Chapman and Varcoe pounce on a Crows midfield turnover and Varcoe delivers a long, low nine pointer as the first major score of the game.
Adelaide has named highly-rated young midfielder Brad Crouch as its substitute. The sun is shining, and the wind blowing, with temperatures in the mid-20s at Simonds Stadium.
The bookmakers have installed the Crows as heavy favourites, based on the strength of the squad they have named. Interesting that Sanderson wants to give his 'A-team' a run this early - most clubs don't unveil something like their round one line-up until the final two weeks of pre-season.
The Cats will kick with the stiff breeze in the first term.
Jimmy Bartel is in number 17, not his usual 3, and there is not too much else familiar about the Cats line-up. Names such as Murdoch, Kersten, Hamling, Hartman and Bathie are wearing the hoops today.