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Aussie Rules: What we learnt from the weekend

Geelong have edged ahead in the race to win the AFL minor premiership as they picked up their ninth win on the bounce and Chris Scott’s side are fast emerging as the team to beat this season.

It was another exciting round of AFL action with some very high-scoring games which shows the competition is in a great place at the moment as far as entertainment value goes.

Super Saturday lived up to its name with a total of 200 points scored in four of the five games, with 196 scored in the other. So the AFL fans are being treated at the moment.

In one of those games Geelong edged past Port Adelaide by 12 points in a thrilling encounter, while the Western Bulldogs beat Melbourne 110-100.

There were also big wins for Sydney, Collingwood, Brisbane, Carlton and St Kilda. We also had a very rare draw as Richmond and Fremantle finished with 52 points apiece on the Friday night.

So let’s take a deeper look at some of the main talking points from the round and what we learnt from some of the results. 
 

Melbourne are not the side they were last season

The Demons are having a rough time at the moment and slipped to another defeat, this time going down to a 10-point loss against the Western Bulldogs.

The jury was out on Melbourne last season until they finished the season strongly to go on and win the minor premiership and grand final in impressive style.

In 2021 they did not lose a game from round 17 onwards. In 2022 they have already lost in round 17 and round 19 so it is fair to assume they are not in the same groove.

It is way too early to right the Demons off but they will need to rediscover their best if they are to go on and win back-to-back flags. Simon Goodwin’s men are priced at 13/5 to win the grand final.

Following their defeat at the weekend they are now second on the ladder, with Geelong four points clear in top spot.

Geelong are now the team to beat

The Cats continue to go from strength-to-strength when grinding out big wins. They have now won nine on the bounce and are hitting form at just the right time.

They are priced at 9/4 to win the grand final and on current form there is no reason they cannot go unbeaten and win the flag just like Melbourne did last season.

Geelong had a tough test at the Adelaide Oval with the game neck and neck heading into the dying moments, but they showed all the attributes of champions when doing enough to get over the line.

They last won the premiership in 2011 and it would take a brave man to back against them breaking the drought in 2022.
 

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has come of age

There has been plenty of hype surrounding the Western Bulldogs starlet since he was taken with the No.1 pick in the 2019 draft.

Coach Luke Beveridge has taken it steady with the youngster, slowly introducing him to the senior side and he has struggled with consistency.

However he produced his best performance yet as the Bulldogs beat Melbourne on Saturday. The young forward booted five goals, including three in the final quarter when the pressure was really on.

He has been compared to AFL great Lance Franklin and is showing signs that he could go down a similar path. The match-winner at the death was certainly Buddy-like.

In just his 17th AFL game Ugle-Hagan also finished with 10 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s.
 

Collingwood are looking good for the top four

Along with Geelong, the Magpies are the form side in the competition as they picked up their ninth win on the bounce against Essendon on Sunday.

It was close to say the least, the Pies winning by just four points, but they are showing they can grind out the wins when the pressure is on them.

The win moved them to fourth on the ladder. Level on points with Brisbane and Melbourne and two ahead of Fremantle, who occupy fifth.

There are some tough games to come against Port Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, before they conclude the regular season with a huge game against Carlton. There may not be enough room in the MCG for that one despite it holding over 90,000.

If the Pies can carry on as they are, the top four is the least they can expect. They are priced at 14/1 to win the flag.

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