Live: Legend speechless after brilliant swipe | Innovation Tech
RICHMOND and Collingwood are expected to push for a new MCG crowd record when they face off in the game of the season today.
The highest home-and-away attendance between the two clubs is 92,436 from round 4, 1977, but the MCC announced earlier this week it is expecting a crowd of around 86,000, despite all public tickets being sold out earlier this week.
The showdown between the ladder-leading Tigers and the high-flying Pies hadlines a massive day of footy. The Cats can climb back into the eight with a win over the Lions. The Giants are hoping to continue their resurgence when they face the Saints in western Sydney. The Suns and Blues can decide the wooden spoon and the No. 1 draft pick on the Gold Coast if the Suns beat the Blues. The Crows’ slim finals hopes could also be extinguished if they fall to the Demons in Adelaide.
Roosy gunned by Bombers star
AFL: AFL footballers have long memories – just ask Bomber Michael Hurley, who hit back at premiership coach Paul Roos during a post-game interview.
It took more than two months, but Bombers defender Michael Hurley timed his run to perfection to exact his revenge on AFL legend Paul Roos on Friday night.
Just over eight weeks since Roos declared Hurley couldn’t mind a baby in a pram during Essendon’s struggles at the start of the season, Hurley chipped the Swans premiership coach with a brilliant one-liner during a post game interview on Fox Footy.
After keeping Swans superstar Lance Franklin to seven disposals — his equal lowest haul of possessions in a game since moving to Sydney — Hurley let Roos know all about it.
Roos earlier in the year questioned Essendon’s defensive set-up claiming Brendon Goddard and Hurley were both too poor at one-on-one defence and said there was only room for one of them in the Dons’ back six.
“I don’t think they can play Goddard and Hurley in the defence together,” he said.
“This is not a criticism of those players, it’s the way they’ve been taught to play.
“At the moment they’ve got two spot kickers and neither of them are great defenders.
“I think they’ve got to decide is it Hurley or is it Goddard? At the moment they’ve got two of them and neither of them are getting into good spaces with their kicks. Neither of them are defending at all and that’s part of their problem in the backline.”
Clearly Goddard was listening — and he made sure Roos was listening when he delivered his brilliant one-line jab after Essendon’s win over Sydney.
“The first half of the season was pretty upsetting; that was when ‘Roosy’ said, ‘I couldn’t mind a baby in a pram’,” Hurley said.
“That was a hard one. To win a few games in the back half has been nice.”
Fellow Fox Footy commentator Jason Dunstall enjoyed Hurley’s pop at Roos more than anybody.
“Oh, they don’t forget Roosy,” Dunstall cackled with laughter.
“I love that. That’s a good little crack.”
Eddie McGuire said: “There’s a little love song dedication to you there Roosy tonight, from Michael Hurley of Essendon”.
Roos went on to explain his criticism of Essendon’s back six.
“The role he played tonight is the role he should actually be playing,” Roos said.
“It’s a luxury having BJ [Brendon Goddard] and Hurley playing on no one.
“I think what he did tonight is show he’s the one that can play on those big key forwards.”
Pies without De Goey for blockbuster
Collingwood have been dealt a huge injury blow with star forward Jordan De Goey ruled out for Saturday’s AFL blockbuster clash with Richmond. Magpies coach Nathan Buckley says De Goey has developed bone stress in his lower leg and will be sidelined for at least two weeks.
The 22-year-old pulled up sore after copping a knock during last week’s win over North Melbourne.
“We’ve off-loaded him since the post-match,” Buckley told reporters on Thursday. “We’re told that it will be two weeks before we can get him back and have a look at where that has settled and that he should be right to complete the season as it stands.
“That’s unfortunate for Jordy but we make the decision based on the information we’ve got and someone else can get a chance.” De Goey, who this month signed a lucrative two-year contract extension, has been in outstanding form and is tipped to earn All-Australian selection for the first time.
The clash with the ladder-leading Tigers looms as a huge test for third-placed Collingwood and arguably the biggest meeting between the sides since the 1980 grand final, with more than 85,000 fans expected to pack out the MCG. Buckley said Darcy Moore would return for the Magpies after missing last week’s game with hamstring tightness while Steele Sidebottom and Mason Cox were also set to play despite failing to train earlier in the week.
The Pies also look set to welcome back key defender Ben Reid, who underwent surgery on both knees earlier this month, before the end of the season. “The surgery that took place for him was important,” Buckley said. “He says he feels like it’s had a significant impact … he’s up and about and feeling well with himself.
“Whether we pull the trigger on him in VFL this week or next, we’ll make that assessment in the next 24 hours.”
Buddy on ice?
Lance Franklin has barely trained all year and is battling a lingering injury but Sydney coach John Longmire insists the superstar forward will play out the AFL season.
A week after being held goalless during Sydney’s shock loss to Gold Coast, Franklin visibly struggled on Friday night as Essendon downed the Swans by 43 points.
Franklin was towelled up by best-afield Michael Hurley in the first half and had little impact on the game despite booting two third-quarter majors. The 31-year-old missed three games after suffered a bruised heel during round one and has also battled knee soreness, despite sitting second in the Coleman Medal count with 44 goals.
Longmire on Friday night revealed Franklin had “probably trained for about 20 minutes for the season”, adding that there were no plans to rest the spearhead. “One week won’t do it,” Longmire said.
“His ability to get himself up and compete has been brilliant when you consider what he does during the week but we can’t change that.
“It’s like some of the younger kids, you can’t change that either if they’re getting a bit sore … we can’t give Tommy McCartin a rest or Lance a rest every week or any of those guys.
“We need to make sure that we control the things we can control which is the contest part of it. We need to get that part of the game right.” Longmire earlier lauded Franklin’s ability to play through pain. “He plays with duress most weeks … he’s an amazing individual the way he’s able to do it after getting injured in round one,” Longmire told AFL Nation. “He’s such a massive competitor, he plays with a number of challenges every week and is able to get up most weeks and contribute.
“The younger forwards don’t get a lot of time to spend with him during the week and that’s just the way it goes.” A seven-time All-Australian and four-time Coleman Medallist, Franklin sits ninth on the list of VFL/AFL goal-kickers with 904 majors.