Review of AFL matches with focus on Irish players

Every week we will have a full review of all AFL matches, with a special attention on all the Irish players and the clubs they will be playing with in the 2011 Australian football league

Round 1 AFL Match Reviews

Carlton vs. Richmond

Result: Carlton 14.20 (104) defeated Richmond 13.6 (84)

The last few seasons have begun with a Carlton/Richmond game and it has usually followed a pretty routine script. That is, Richmond receives a lot of preseason hype before the game, before the stronger and more polished Carlton comfortably beats them.

This year was a little different, Richmond was no “easy beat”; the 2011 model has more character, more belief. Due to some inaccurate kicking from Carlton, it was the Blues who had to fight back from a three quarter time deficit, which they did in much the same manner as previous years.

Irish player news: Setanta O’Hailpin is the only Irish player on either side that could play in 2011; he is however out injured at the moment with a knee injury.

Zach Tuohy is on the rookie list at Carlton and has a lot of work in front of him to get promoted. Tuohy is undeniably talented though.

Richmond too has a few Irish boys in their side with Jamie O’Reilly and James Heslin both said to be developing nicely. Young James in particular is an exciting prospect and could develop into a very handy player.

Geelong vs. St Kilda

Result: Geelong 6.12 (48) defeated St Kilda 6.11 (47)

St Kilda and Geelong have had some classic matches over the last 5 years; its safe to say this wasn’t one of them.

That’s not to say the finish wasn’t exciting or the hits were any softer than in years gone by, the obvious difference was the skill level of both sides. For three quarters of this game it was almost comical that two sides, so highly rated could turn the ball over so consistently.

This game was decided by a few individual acts in the last quarter, including the likely goal of the round to Jimmy Bartel.

Irish player news: Tom Walsh is the big name Irish recruit for the Saints, played solid football in the preseason but needs to edge out some of the best defenders in the league to get a game.

Collingwood vs. Port Adelaide
Result: Collingwood 24.11 (155) defeated Port Adelaide 12.8 (80)

Before this game started you could pretty much write your own ticket with the bookies if you wanted to put some of your hard earned on Port Adelaide.

Collingwood made a statement in this clash, scarily that statement was “we have improved”, with clubs like St Kilda and Geelong struggling, it is looking harder and harder to find a team that can stop the Collingwood juggernaut.

Irish player news: Unfortunately there is no Irish representation in these clubs at the moment.

Adelaide vs. Hawthorn
Result: Adelaide 16.9 (105) defeated Hawthorn 12.13 (85)

They say bad kicking is bad football but we don’t always see that reflected in match results like we have this one. The score line really tells most of the story, in that if four of Hawthorn’s behinds were goals this match would have been a draw.

There is a bit more too it though, at one stage the Hawks lead by 5 goals, they just couldn’t finish it off with the few extra that could have broken Adelaide’s spirit.

For Adelaide’s part they now know their best football is good enough and they are capable of coming from behind if they persist; Last year mayhave been a blip on the radar after all.

Irish player news: Unfortunately there is no Irish representation in these clubs at the moment.

Brisbane vs. Fremantle
Result: Brisbane 14.8 (92) defeated by Fremantle 13.16 (94)

Although it looks like Fremantle were all over Brisbane in this clash save for inaccuracy, that wasn’t the case. At half time it was the Lions who held a well deserved 10 point lead, unfortunately it was all down hill from there, despite the sides best efforts.

Michael Voss pulled the trigger and substituted Claye Beams for Amon Buchanan in the third quarter and almost immediately regretted it as Staker left the field injured followed closely by their Captain in Brown.

Brisbane fought on but Fremantle were too good for the tiring Lions and managed to hit the front with a few minutes to go.

Irish player news: Pearce Hanley was one of the better players in this clash taking 11 marks and getting the football 20 times. Fantasy Football players are loving him.

Essendon vs. Western Bulldogs
Result: Essendon 16.17 (113) defeated Western Bulldogs 8.10 (58)

Many of us hoped this game was going to be Essendon’s reality check; it may just have been ours instead. The Bombers looked seriously good as they brushed aside what is widely tipped to be a top 4 team in the Westen Bulldogs.

A six goal to one second quarter set up the result as the Bombers lead by 34 points at half time and if there is one thing that is certain about this Bombers side its when they get on a role they are might difficult to stop.

Irish player news: Michael Quinn is still playing reserves football but is playing very well. He won the best and fairest for Bendigo last year.

Melbourne vs. Sydney

Result: Melbourne 11.18 (84) drew with Sydney 11.18 (84)

It only took one round for the AFL to witness its first draw of 2011. Both sides will take positives from this clash but both will be shattered to have let this one slip.

The Swans lead for most of the day and looked capable of running away to a big lead at times.

Melbourne managed to take the lead with 2 minutes to go.

Both teams looked exciting and it’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back from this result.

Irish player news: Jim Stynes has become synonymous with the Melbourne Football Club and his brave fight with Cancer is an inspiration to everyone in Australia.

Tadhg Kennelly missed round 1 with a knee injury; he should break into the side over the next few weeks.

Chris McKaigue is on the Swans rookie list and will be given every chance to develop himself to become a best 22 player.

West Coast vs. North Melbourne

Result West Coast 13.14 (92) defeated North Melbourne 13.10 (88)

If this match did nothing else, it highlighted the importance of having a quality, experienced ruckman as Dean Cox was the obvious difference between these teams.

West Coast suffered a few injuries during this match but they didn’t falter as they posted a 4 point win against an undermanned North Melbourne who battled valiantly.

Irish player news: Unfortunately there is no Irish representation in these clubs at the moment.

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