Jamarra Ugle-Hagan kicked a career-high five majors as the Western Bulldogs came from behind to get up over reigning Premiers Melbourne in an exhilarating spectacle.
The Doggies getting some revenge for last season’s Grand Final defeat, with a win that moves them into the eight, as their No.1, 2020 national draft pick (pictured below), sealed it.
Speaking on ground to Channel 7, the 20-year-old said “We are all proud at the moment, it was an unbelievable win. You can see the smiles on the boys faces, that is what we wanted from the start; we got it and it was a big game for us as well.”
On his performance, he added “I am happy with that, hopefully it is just a start. I get told all the time “it’s a marathon not a sprint”. It is just going to take little steps at a time and I am going to get better, especially with the group of boys that I have; looking up to Aaron Naughton and Josh Bruce, it is just unreal to be in a good team.”
Geelong are now the outright leaders at the top of the ladder, following the Demons loss, but were seriously challenged by Port Adelaide before coming out on top.
The Cats deadly strike partnership of Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron yielded another seven snags. However, it was the performance of midfielder Tom Atkins that really caught the eye and he was the catalyst in the side getting the job done.
Lance Franklin booted three majors to surpass Gary Ablett Snr on the AFL/VFL all-time goalkicking leaderboard as Sydney put away Adelaide with ease at the SCG.
This latest haul, taking his career tally to 1033, moves him up to fifth spot with Doug Wade (1057) firmly in his sights. It just highlights that the forward still has plenty to offer with lots of speculation in the media about his current contract, which finishes at the end of the campaign, and whether there will be a new deal from the Swans.
Collingwood did it again, winning another close one by a single figure margin to make it nine straight victories as they beat arch rivals Essendon in a thriller.
The 72,403 at the ‘G’ witnessing an unbelievable finish; Harrison Jones could have won it for the Bombers, hitting the post, before play quickly switched ends where midfielder Jamie Elliott held his nerve to score after the siren and spark wild scenes.
Reflecting on that moment and the match, talking to Magpies TV, “Billy” said “It was pretty overwhelming. It is probably number one (moment of his career). I haven’t really taken it in yet; probably will do a bit when I get back into the club and do a bit of recovery. The boys are up about it!”
He went on “It was good to get the win to be honest. It was a tough game, not going our way in the middle of the game. First quarter we had it on our terms and last quarter, I don’t know why we keep doing it, but we are leaving it until the last minute to try and win the game.”
“It is like we thrive on it, we love being down and coming back from it. It would be nice to be 50 points up and win the game comfortably but we’ll take that win as well.”
The competition had its first draw of the season as nothing could separate Richmond and Fremantle, finishing on 52 points apiece, in a tense and low scoring affair.
Both teams went for it in the closing stages, where just a single point would likely have won it, but it was Richmond left the more aggrieved at not getting over the line.
Noah Bolta had an effort blocked, taking too much time lining up on his set shot, and then Noah Cumberland marked 50 metres out but, in the heat of the moment, tried to play on just as the siren sounded; with it went the chance to be the match winner.
Carlton took a big step towards securing their first finals appearance in nearly a decade, putting in a strong finish to see off Greater Western Sydney by 36 points.
Charlie Curnow (pictured below) bagged another four goals, keeping him top of the Coleman Medal table, while there was further good news for the Blues with the return of Mitch McGovern to the line-up following four months out dealing with hamstring issues.
Brisbane supporters have the bragging rights after watching their side notch its eighth straight success over state rivals Gold Coast in a pulsating Q-Clash.
A tight encounter, between two well matched outfits, was on the line heading into the last term but it was the Lions that were able to get on top and see it out well.
Speaking in the presser, a delighted Chris Fagan (coach) said “The game could have gone either way at three quarter time but our players showed really good composure and calmness. They played together as a team in the last quarter, no-one tried to win it off his own boot and it was all done in the right way.”
He added “We stood up to a good pressure test, I reckon. Gold Coast were fantastic tonight; it was a really good spectacle of a game. It was flying in the first three quarters, we had to find a way of slowing it down, which I thought we did, and we played more to our brand that helped us enormously to win the game.”
Despite the state of Tassie being like a second home for Hawthorn, for the first time in club history they experienced playing at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart – they host all their fixtures at the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.
The Hawks will be hoping to play there again soon as their debut at the venue couldn’t have gone any better – they started strongly which laid the foundation for them to go on, lead all afternoon, and hammer bottom side North Melbourne.
Closing out another action packed-round, over in WA, saw Dan Butler have an afternoon out with a career-high five majors as St.Kilda triumphed over West Coast.
It was just the response that Saints coach Brett Ratten was looking for having declared, earlier in the week, that some players were on their “last chance” and others would be “dropped” following their disappointing form since the bye.
Round 18 Results
Richmond 7.10 (52)
Fremantle 7.10 (52)
North Melbourne 11.9 (75)
Hawthorn 19.7 (121)
Sydney 17.16 (118)
Adelaide 12.13 (85)
Port Adelaide 14.10 (94)
Geelong 16.10 (106)
Brisbane 16.14 (110)
Gold Coast 14.9 (93)
Western Bulldogs 17.8 (110)
Melbourne 15.10 (100)
Carlton 13.11 (90)
GWS 8.6 (54)
Collingwood 12.8 (80)
Essendon 11.10 (76)
West Coast 10.2 (62)
St.Kilda 14.6 (90)
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