Live: Suns shock AFL again

The round wraps up this afternoon with the undefeated Bulldogs looking to continue their streak over the Suns, who pulled off a shock win over Fremantle last week.

The final two games of round two see Hawthorn take on the winless North Melbourne before the Dockers try to rewrite last week’s wrongs against the undefeated St Kilda.

Hawks hold off hurting Kangaroos

North Melbourne have joined Melbourne and Carlton as the only teams to start this AFL season with an 0-3 record and alarm beels would be ringing for the Shinboners.

Their performance against the Hawks was better than their two opening round losses as they went down 13.9 (87) to 10.11 (71) but it was all the Hawks in the final term as the Kangaroos seemed to run out of puff.

Chad Wingard kicked the opening goal of the final quarter for the Hawks before Luke Breust kickied two more to make it five for him on the day before Wingard kicked his third and Ben McEvoy got his second as the Hawks managed to win without injured veterans Liam Shiels, Jarryd Roughead and Shaun Burgoyne.

Swan’s savage shot

While Gold Coast were out there winning another AFL match against all odds a former great of the game was watching.

And he wasn’t happy with Marvel Stadium or the AFL.

And the issue is one that has continued to rear its head over the years.

The roof being open at the Docklands venue.

Swan took to Twitter to slam the decision of the roof being open and did not mince his words.

“I know it’s been said a million times but why Etihad won’t shut the roof for all games is beyond me. It’s absolutely putrid to watch on tv. @AFL sort it out for f**k sake. Watching bulldogs suns is hard enough. #itooktheunder

The issue was also brought up in the last fortnight by St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt, who suggested it needed to be looked at on AFL 360.

That all came after the Marvel Stadium surface came under fire back in round one, when several players including Suns captain David Swallow and Bulldogs defender Matthew Suckling hurt themselves in part due to the shifting turf.

Others on social media also took the decision to play with the roof open to task.

And a poll on Twitter revealed more than 80 per cent of fans wanted to see games played there with the roof closed.

Kangaroos kicking themselves out if it

North Melbourne hit back hard in the third term but were unable to make it count on the scoreboard.

The Kangas again found their mojo but their wastefulness in front of goal cost them on the scoreboard.

For all their dominance in the third term they kicked just 1.5 as Jack Ziebell, Aaron hall and Kayne Turner all wasted good chances.

Suns shock Bulldogs

“That’s one of the great wins for the Gold Coast Suns,” Said Gerard Healy on commentary as the Suns again produced a thrilling win this AFL season.
Written off by many as wooden spooners before the season began the Suns have now got a 2-1 record and made it two on the trot to leap into the AFL’s top eight with a five-point win over the Western Bulldogs.

Billy Gowers had a chance to at least tie it up for the Bulldogs with under one minute on the clock but he missed his set shot and the Suns, moved the ball well enough from the kick out to be able to tie the ball up long enough to hold on at Marvel Stadium.

Defender Jack Hombsch described the win as “incredible” for the Queensland club.

“It’s an incredible feeling, Homsch said.

“We made pretty hard work of it late but we’re loving it.

“All the people wrote us off at the start of the year but we’ll keep playing pressure footy and keep building.”

For Dogs skipper Easton Wiood is was one that got away and he lamented his side getting off to a poor start once again.

“We gave them a big head start and didn’t get all the way back,” Wood said.

“Credit to the Suns, they played some high pressure footy.”

Alex Sexton starred in his 100th game and Suns teammate Jack Martin was also outstanding, while Bulldogs midfield ace Marcus Bontempelli had a game-high 34 disposals.

The Suns dominated the centre clearances early and put the Bulldogs under immediate pressure, kicking four goals in 15 minutes for a 24-point lead.

Jarrod Witts was strong from the start in the ruck, while Martin and Chris Burgess were causing headaches for the Bulldogs defence.

The Bulldogs rallied with two goals late in the opening term, but were 24 down at quarter time.

Players repeatedly turned the ball over despite the perfect conditions and clearly struggled with the sun glare as the stadium roof was kept open. After a strong opening quarter, it was the Suns’ turn to feel the heat as the Bulldogs repeatedly went into attack.

Two goals reduced the margin to nine points, but the Dogs were struggling to find fluency in attack.

Inevitably, a Gold Coast counter-attack paid off and captain David Swallow kicked a crucial goal.

Summing up the Bulldogs’ day, Ed Richards was running into an open goal when the halftime siren beat him by a second.

Swallow also kicked Gold Coast’s only goal of the third quarter as they kept the Bulldogs at arm’s length and took a 19-point lead into the last term.

With AAP

Wingard sparks Hawks fightback

Hawthorn traded away for Chad Wingard due to his ability to turn a game and the former Port Adelaide star did just that for the Hawks in the second term.

After an early goal to Isaac Smith the Roos hit back through Kayne Turner before Wingard started a Hawks deluge — after he goaled Luke Breust bagged a couple of his own — as the Hawks made it game on at halftime.

Suns holding on

The Bulldogs have produced huge final terms in their opening two matches and will need to do so again against the Gold Coast Suns.

The Bulldogs find themselves down by 19 points at the final break and have no one to blame but themselves as poor ball use and turnovers have killed them on every forward thrust they have made.

It was a low scoring third term with each team kicking just one goal. Suns skipper David Swallow kicked his second before Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson cancelled it out moments later.

Struggling Hawks under the pump

North Melbourne might not have won a game yet this season but they have Hawthorn under the pump.

The Kangaroos have come out hard and shut down the Hawthorn uncontested possession game, putting them under pressure with the footy.

Shaun Atley, Trent Dumont and Jasper Pittard have all been influential for the Kangas as Hawthorn, who are missing veteran trio Liam Shiels, Jarryd Roughead and Shaun Burgoyne have struggled badly.

Dogs fight back

The Bulldogs have fought back to get within three goals of the Suns in the second term and did so on the back of star mid Marcus Bontempelli.

The Bont continued to rack up the possessions for the Bulldogs but highlighted that the mids as a group need to support their backs, before heading into the sheds at halftime.

The Suns were looking rocky but steadied through a late goal to skipper David Swallow to take their lead to 16 points.

Suns pull off huge quarter

Gold Coast has taken the fight to the Bulldogs early, sinking an incredible 40 points in the opening term to the home side’s 16.

The Suns shot out of the gates with Darcy MacPherson and Alex Sexton slotting two goals each before the Bulldogs could blink.

Eagles, Collingwood trade banner banter

West Coast just couldn’t help themselves.

Last night’s grand final rematch was always going to provide some fire, but the 2018 premiers came out swinging even before the first bounce with a cheeky jab at the runners-up.

The banner was an obvious reference to Collingwood’s grand final banner flop, which saw their final flag of the year fall apart before the team could run through it.

The Pies chose to keep it clean and put together a rhyming poem about forward Mason Cox, who was cleared at the tribunal this week for rough conduct.

Dangerfield blasts ‘absolute disgrace’

The AFL’s contentious contact below the knees rule is in the spotlight again after Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield labelled it an “absolute disgrace”. Dangerfield, who is president of the AFL Players’ Association, didn’t hold back when a free kick was paid against Collingwood’s Tom Phillips during Saturday night’sclash with West Coast at the MCG.

Jamie Cripps kicked a goal at a pivotal time in the second quarter of the meeting between last year’s grand finalists, which the Eagles went on to win by 22 points.

Amid confusion from players on both sides, the Magpies’ Jaidyn Stephenson incorrectly gave the ball back to Phillips after the umpire’s whistle and was penalised 50m.

“Contact below the knees. absolute disgrace,” Dangerfield initially tweeted. “Don’t put your head over the ball kids. Lowerand harder … na not anymore,” his follow-up tweet added.

Dangerfield’s second tweet was in response to a Cameron Ling comment on the Channel 7 broadcast after Cripps went tumbling over Phillips who had gathered a loose ball in the centre square.

“I can’t handle that being a free kick,” retired three-time premiership-winner Ling said.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley was more diplomatic when asked about the controversial incident after the match.

“You could tell the level of confusion by the fact Stephenson thought it was Phillips’s free kick and threw the ball back to him,” he said. “Then we got penalised 50m for it and that was unfortunate for us. “There’s a bit of grey area in it and I feel for the umpires because it’s a hard one to officiate.” The rule was brought in to help protect players after then-Sydney forward Gary Rohan had his leg badly broken by an opponent sliding in.

But Buckley agreed there is scope for players to abuse the rule by coming in late and over the top of an opponent who has taken possession of the ball. Eagles coach Adam Simpson also felt for the umpires, who he believes are having a tough time this season after new anti-congestion measures were adopted by the league.

“The umpires are still finding their balance, as well, with these new rules plus a few tweaks in interpretation,” he said.

“It’s probably taken a bit longer than normal for the umps, so we’ve just got to have a bit of patience and I’m sure it willsettle down.”

— AAP