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Aussie Rules: What we learnt from round 22

Round 22 of the AFL is done and dusted with Geelong crowned as the minor premiers but with one week of the home and away season to go there is still plenty to play for.

It was another gripping week of action in the AFL and we are set up for an exciting final round before we get down to the real business and head into the finals campaigns.

Geelong will be heading in there on a high after they romped to an impressive-60-point win over the Suns on the Gold Coast.

Elsewhere Brisbane boosted their top-four hopes with a victory over St Kilda in the opening game of the round on Friday night before the bulk of the action took place on Saturday.

Melbourne edged out Carlton by five-points in a thriller at the MCG, while Fremantle won the derby in the west when beating the Eagles by 24 points at Optus.

Western Bulldogs edged out Greater Western Sydney by just five points and Adelaide piled more misery on North Melbourne with a convincing victory.

On Sunday Sydney beat Collingwood 77-50, Richmond smashed Hawthorn by 61 points, and Essendon were also hammered 146-62 on home soil by Port Adelaide.

There are plenty of thrills and spills to look back on so what did we learn from round 22?

Geelong are the minor premiers

Geelong’s victory over the Gold Coast combined with results elsewhere means they have been crowned the minor premiers for 2022, picking up the McClelland Trophy.

It is thoroughly deserved as Chris Scott’s side have been the best and most consistent side in the competition for a good few months now.

The last time they lost a game was way back on 14th May against St Kilda and they have since won 12 games on the bounce.

Now the aim is to keep the great form going as they look to go on and win the grand final. They are priced at 9/5 and it looks as though they will take some stopping.

Collingwood’s winning streak is over

Like Geelong, the Magpies have been on a great run of form, but unfortunately for them the 11-game winning streak was snapped at the weekend.

Sydney were the team to do it with a 27-point win at the SCG and now the Magpies must pick themselves up and get ready to go again.

The run of wins has taken them from the lower reaches of the AFL into the top five and they have a chance of snatching second spot with one round to go.

Collingwood have proven they are genuine premiership contenders and no other team will relish the prospect of facing them in finals. They are priced at 9/1 to win the grand final.

Eighth-spot and a place in finals is still up for grabs

With one round to play there are still three teams fighting for the eighth spot and a place in finals for 2022.

Despite an alarming slide down the ladder, Carlton still have the situation in their own hands and a win over Collingwood will confirm their place. Carlton are priced at 21/50 to make the eight.

The Blues are four points ahead of the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda going into the final game. The Bulldogs will fancy their chances of winning at Hawthorn but St Kilda have a tough clash at home to Sydney.

Whatever happens there will be great deal of fingernail chewing going on.

The pressure is back on Ben Rutten

Just when it looked as though Essendon had turned a corner following a poor season, they are back in the spotlight following a horror result on Sunday.

They suffered an 84-point loss to Port Adelaide in front of their own supporters and the knives are back out for under-fire coach Rutten.

The fall-out has already begun with the club confirming that David Barham will take over as president and now there are suggestions he could pursue Alastair Clarkson to replace Rutten. 
 

Alastair Clarkson looks set for North Melbourne job

If Essendon do want Clarkson they will have to move quickly as reports claim that North Melbourne have already offered the four-time premiership winning coach a long-term deal.

The Kangaroos have been struggling for a good few years now and Clarkson is seen as the coach to finally turn their fortunes.

Clarkson is a former player having made 93 appearances for the club and seems ready to take the job on. Although Essendon and GWS also remain in the picture.

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