Round four continued as GWS shocked the unbeaten Cats, while Essendon did the same to the Brisbane Lions.
West Coast made it eight straight derby wins over a spirited Freo side.
Richmond got home on the back of some Tom Lynch brilliance and North Melbourne got their first win of the season by embarrassing Adelaide.
Eight straight derbies for West Coast
Fremantle came at them but West Coast once again proved they’re the big birds of the WA sky as they ran out 10.9 (69) to 7.14 (56) winners in The Derby at Optus Stadium.
The match was the first derby for star Eagles onballer Andrew Gaff, after he was rubbed out at the back end of last season for breaking the jaw of young Fremantle midfielder Andrew Brayshaw, and he did not disappoint, racking up 35 touches while Jack Redden and Elliot Yeo were also prolific.
Gaff, was relieved to get the match with Freo out of the way but said playing them in the JLT Series got any awkwardness between him and the Dockers over last year’s incident out of the way.
“To get it out of the way I think helps,” Gaff said.
“The JLT match we played earlier made it less intense. I hope he (Brayshaw) has a great season, he started off really well.”
And while Gaff was happy to get another win in a tough contest he was critical of his own game.
“I’ve been a bit sloppy, a bit sluggish in a few things but these last the last two games have been big for us, so to contribute is great.”
Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy booted three goals each for West Coast, while speedster Jack Petruccelle kicked two.
The Dockers, who were without gun midfielder Nat Fyfe fought admirably in a match where many expected the Eagles to dominate.
Fremantle were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal.
They kicked 0.5 in the opening term to West Coast’s 5.1 and finished the opening half 1.9 to 6.3.
A chief offender was key forward Matt Taberner, who kicked 2.3 and one out of bounds on the full.
The Dockers worked their way back into the match in the third term as they strangled the Eagles in possession and stopped them from hitting their key forwards in threatening areas.
Star signing Jesse Hogan kicked truly in the eighth minute of the term and it was followed by two goals to Cam McCarthy.
The Dockers were coming but late in the term Oscar Allen managed to steady the ship for the Eagles when he kicked truly to extend the lead back out to 17 points.
Still, Freo got as close as 13 in the final term but just couldn’t peg back the Eagles, despite a pair of late goals to Michael Walters.
Sadly for the Dockers they couldn’t jag as many wins as the star that was on the boots of livewire forward Brandon Matera.
Matera wore specially painted boots with Winx artwork that were painted by teammate Ryan Nyhuis.
North surge, Goddard erupts over staging
Winless through the opening three weeks of the season, North Melbourne have rebounded in stunning fashion to topple the Adelaide Crows 9.17 (71) to 8.11 (59).
An ugly opening first half saw the Crows in complete control and looked like North were heading towards yet another loss.
But in the second half the momentum changed and they slammed home six goals to two as they recorded their first win of the season.
Unfortunately the win was marred in the third term by key forward Ben Brown, despite the towering goal kicker taking over with four goals.
During a ruck contest, Brown received a tiny bump but acted as if he’d been hit by a truck as he flung his body wildly through the air.
The acting display worked as he was awarded a free kick and subsequently kicked his third goal of the contest.
But fans weren’t happy with the big man and voiced their displeasure while pleading for the AFL to take a stance over the staging.
Umpire: “You cannot push him off the ball and then go back for the ball.”
— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 13, 2019
Brendon Goddard scathing on these Ben Brown frees on @abcgrandstand “That is outrageous.”
“Umps make a stand and say Ben, stop flopping or staging for free kicks.”#AFLNorthCrows
— Alister Nicholson (@AlisterNicho) April 13, 2019
Umpires need to wake up to players like Ben Brown. #AFLNorthCrows
— Emmee (@blueemmee) April 13, 2019
What is going on with umpiring? If that’s a free to Brown, a crisis … I’m in shock … as @mattricho0 said “outrageous” …
— Mark Stevens (@Stevo7AFL) April 13, 2019
Crows veteran Eddie Betts delivered a vintage performance at the other end after being held quiet in the opening rounds. The livewire forward booted three first-half majors including a mid-air volley in the goalsquare and a trademark banana goal from deep in the forward pocket.
AFL: Adelaide Crows forward Eddie Betts has a pocket named after him at the Adelaide Oval. But at Marvel Stadium, Betts wound back the clock with an outstanding banana goal deep in the pocket.
Another North loss would surely have intensified the pressure that was steadily building on 10th-year coach Scott, who swung four changes to his 22 after the Roos posted losses to Hawthorn, Brisbane and Fremantle The Roos benefited from the return of Jed Anderson from injury and fellow onballer Paul Ahern
Lynch erupts to lead Tigers
AFL: Richmond outscored Port by a goal and a behind to get a much-needed win out at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
Richmond travelled into South Australia without a single member of their leadership group, but managed to emerge victorious in a thrilling shootout against Port Adelaide.
The teams traded goals in a back and forth final term, but it was the Tigers who held on to claim the 15.9 (99) to 14.8 (92) victory.
Fourth game Power player Xavier Duursma had a chance to hand his side the lead, but made a meal of his set shot from only 20m out.
The Tigers went the other way and the ball ended up in the hands of Tom Lynch who went back and slotted his sixth goal and sealed the result.
One of the great wins #AFLPowerTigers
— peter ryan (@petryan) April 13, 2019
Without Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance, it was high-priced superstar recruit Lynch who stood tall.
The towering forward ended the match with six goals and played arguably his best quarter in the AFL in the final term to get the job done on the road.
Lynch joined Richmond ahead of the 2019 season on a seven-year contract worth a reported $6 million.
Richmond now move to 2-2 on the season after snapping a two-game losing streak and will return home to take on Sydney next Saturday night where they’ll welcome back Martin after serving his one-game suspension.
Tom Lynch worth EVERY SINGLE CENT. #AFLPowerTigers
— Sam McClure (@sam_mcclure) April 13, 2019
One of the great wins by Richmond. Tom Lynch is on another level #AFLPowerTigers
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) April 13, 2019
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said the 2017 premiers used their status as underdogs heading in to their advantage.
“It’s the ability for our guys to take that and then play with the intent that they did,” he said after the game.
He made particular mention of 18-year-old Jack Ross, who impressed with 25 disposals on debut.
“It’s his poise with the ball and his ability to get the ball and distribute the ball,” he said.
“He’s been wanting to play AFL footy for a long time and they’re the guys you love to coach.”
Giants roar as trouble looms
AFL: GWS Giant Callan Ward is forced from the field with a suspected knee injury in the first quarter of the side’s meeting with Geelong, after falling awkwardly in a contest.
GWS rolled into Geelong with the return of their inspirational skipper Callan Ward, but minutes into the opening term his left knee crumpled.
His day and potentially season were over as the Cats took control of the contest and ran out to an early 20 point lead. But it was the Giants who surged late to steal a huge victory away from home, 11.13 (79) to 11.9 (75).
THERE IT IS!!! We win by four points at GMHBA Stadium!!
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) April 13, 2019
Despite their dominance the Cats have cause for concern after superstar Patrick Dangerfield was caught clipping tagger Matt De Boer behind play.
The grainy footage shows Dangerfield swing at De Boer who is hunched over and falls to the turf.
But after the halftime break, the wheels began to turn for the Giants and they stormed back into the contest.
A six goal to three third quarter brought the margin back to a single point and it was the Giants who had the momentum behind them in the final term.
Gun midfielder’s Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly led from the front with a combined 66 disposals, while up forward it was the Jeremy combination of Cameron and Finlayson kicking six goals that helped the Giants secure the win.
— Ashley Browne (@hashbrowne) April 13, 2019
Massive win from GWS. Attacked w composure by lowering eyes. Had far more run as the game wore on. Cats coming off long breaks, eh? Still a work in progress …#AFLCatsGiants
— Ben Broad (@Ben_Broad) April 13, 2019
Tippa has a day out at the G
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has starred with a career-best AFL haul of seven goals for Essendon who have belted Brisbane by 47 points at the MCG.
The Bombers ended the Lions’ perfect start to the season and squared their ledger at 2-2 with Saturday afternoon’s 17.10 (112) to 9.11 (65) win.
McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked his seventh goal on the run just before the final siren.
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) April 13, 2019
His five goals up to three-quarter time were all from set shots. While it is the Bombers’ second win in a row after a dreadful start to the season, the Lions have been dealt a nasty reality check.
Brisbane had little in attack — Bombers key defenders Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker were outstanding — and the Lions could not match Essendon’s run.
Midfielder Zach Merrett also shone for Essendon and key forward Mitch Brown kicked three goals, while Lions onballer Lachie Neale continued his strong form.
The only negative for Essendon was a kick to the head for David Myers in the last term, forcing him from the field.
— AFL (@AFL) April 13, 2019
Essendon monstered Brisbane early, kicking seven goals to two for a 30-point lead at the first change.
Another three goals to one put the Bombers 50 points up early in the third quarter and the game looked over.
Returning from a calf injury for his first game this year, Hooker spent all game in defence and was solid.
While Neale had 13 disposals in the first term, Brisbane looked listless overall and could not stay with Essendon.
But the Lions lifted in the third quarter, restricting Essendon to two goals. When Daniel McStay kicked a goal on the three-quarter time siren, Brisbane had kicked four for the term and reduced the margin to a gettable 36 points.
Eric Hipwood, quiet all day, put through another in the first minute of the last quarter.
The Lions had a sniff and attacked relentlessly, but could manage only two behinds.
Cam Rayner capped his dirty day when he fluffed a simple set shot, before Andrew McGrath kicked his second goal and Brown his third to kill off the game.
McDonald-Tipungwuti added emphasis to the win with the last two goals of the match.