x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Melbourne pay a tribute

The league's top three teams were given a fair old reality check, while lowly Melbourne continue last week's success.

The imposing Brisbane forward Jonathan Brown kicked in four goals as the Lions led at every break and tamed the second-placed Cats in the 15th round by 43 points.
The imposing Brisbane forward Jonathan Brown kicked in four goals as the Lions led at every break and tamed the second-placed Cats in the 15th round by 43 points.

The league's top three teams were given a fair old reality check, while lowly Melbourne continued last week's success, this time against Port Adelaide, in another tribute to its ailing chief and former champion Jim Stynes. The chairman is fighting cancer and left hospital after a second bout of surgery on Sunday.

It began on Friday night with a meeting that was always going to be a challenge for the third-placed Western Bulldogs, only a game and percentage above Collingwood, their opponent for the night. For three quarters the Pies gave the Bulldogs a lesson in committed, skilful, hard football, leading at one point in the third term by more than seven goals. The Dogs woke in the last term and hammered home, only to run out one-point losers.

On Saturday night, a depleted Geelong team travelled north after its first loss of the season in last week's blockbuster against undefeated St Kilda. The Cats were missing Gary Ablett, Matthew Scarlett, Cameron Ling, Andrew Mackie and Steve Johnson.    The imposing Brisbane forward and skipper Jonathan Brown kicked four goals and his partner Daniel Bradshaw three as the Lions led at every break to eventually tame the second-placed Cats by 43 points.

And on Sunday the normally high-scoring Saints had to dig deep in the last quarter before eventually beating West Coast by 20 points, after the match was tied at a stingy 57 points each at three-quarter time. The Demons on Sunday added to the pain of the Power by 11 points, as Port's "embarrassed" coach Mark "Choco" Williams expects to sign another two-year contract soon, he says. But your heart has to bleed for poor old Fremantle, which managed in four quarters of football to kick only one goal and seven behinds against Adelaide. The Crows made up for it, kicking 19.16 to win by 117 points.

pstafford@thenational.ae