After a few weeks of close finishes and the top sides battling it out, Round 7 saw the return of some good old-fashioned beltings.
Out of the five games played on Saturday, the closest margin was Sydney’s 43-point win over the Cats, with the average margin a whopping 72 points. It made for dramatic viewing for those attending the games or enjoying another footy-filled weekend on the couch.
Luckily, Sunday’s games provided tighter contests, as the rising Dogs gave Fremantle an almighty scare and the Tigers showed a glimpse of the form that allowed them to win nine-straight at the back-end of 2014.
In an age where clubs are constantly looking to improve the experience for fans attending games, pre-match entertainment has become as unpredictable as the matches themselves.
Things kicked off on Friday night as the Bombers put on a live laser show before the players ran onto the field.
— Essendon FC (@EssendonFC) May 15, 2015
The Lions – who have a history of proposing unorthodox pre-match entertainment – regressed from a live lion to a large inflatable one. The Brisbane players ran underneath the novelty banner before their game against Port Adelaide at the Gabba. Given the result that followed, plenty of Lions fans have suggested “Brion” should appear more regularly.
“Apparently Brion the Lion won us the game from all reports, so he’s a good luck charm. It took about five goes to get it right,” coach Justin Leppitsch said post-game.
The AFL has in many ways become a hybrid game, taking bits and pieces from sports like basketball, soccer, hockey and gridiron in recent years.
But you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of tunnel-ball than Cyril Rioli’s effort on Saturday afternoon.
It caught everyone off-guard… Except for maybe the receiving player, Brad Hill, who dished off a handball to Luke Breust who capitalised and scored the major.
With the Hawks leading by 75 points deep into the third term at the time, it was well and truly a party at the ‘G.
Tunnel ball as a kid did come in handy today!
He may be wearing a red, white, and blue jumper but Western Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson led the assault on a stingy Fremantle defence on Sunday.
It’s a defence that’s so stingy, in fact, that only two other players have kicked more than two goals against them this season.
Of his seven goals, four came in the last term. The Dogs trailed by 22 points at three-quarter time but tie the scores at the 22-minute mark of the final term.
Dead straight. Dickson. GOAL. That's his seventh. Fourth of the final term. WB 82 FREM 88 Q4 7:53min rem #bemorebulldog
— Western Bulldogs (@westernbulldogs) May 17, 2015
Standing only 184cm tall, Dickson is no stranger to bags of goals at the elite level. In fact, it was the fifth time the 27-year-old has produced four or more goals in his 41-game career, with bags of four majors in Rounds 2 and 6 in late 2013.