Published on June 24, 2019 5:34 pm

Matt Dea (Essendon - L) and Dylan Conway (Port Melbourne - R) compete in VFL Round 12 (Photo by Emily Fraser-Ison)

VFL REVIEW: Round 12

Jack Jovanovski reviews Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL Round 12, when Essendon announced itself as a 2019 contender and Geelong, the Casey Demons and Collingwood all continued reviving their seasons with crucial wins.

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CLICK HERE to watch match highlights from VFL Round 12.


GEELONG 19.13 (127) def. FRANKSTON 5.8 (38)

Geelong have won four of their last five games after beating Frankston by 89 points at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Cats were magnificent from the outset, scoring eight goals to the Dolphins’ two in the first quarter, bursting out to a quick six-goal lead. Frankston were never able to recover, as they managed only three goals after quarter-time. The Dolphins were unable to replicate their Round 11 performance when they won their first game of the season against North Melbourne and remain in last position on the ladder (1-9 record). Geelong, on the other hand, are well and truly in finals contention, as they now sit in eighth spot on the ladder (5-5).

Scott Selwood (32 disposals, nine marks and five tackles) and Charlie Constable (34 and 16 marks) were Geelong’s best players on the day and continue to push for AFL recalls. Ruck Ryan Abbott (25 disposals, 27 hit-outs, eight clearances and one goal) and key forward Wylie Buzza (13, eight marks, six tackles and three goals) were also admirable performers. For the Dolphins, Nathan Freeman (36 disposals, eight marks and seven clearances) and Corey Rich (18, six marks and five tackles) were impressive in a losing side.

Next week, Geelong will look to make it five wins from their last six games when they travel to Ikon Park to face the Northern Blues on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Frankston will look to bounce back when they host Coburg at SkyBus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.


BOX HILL HAWKS 12.11 (83) def. SANDRINGHAM 6.10 (46)

Box Hill claimed a much-needed victory on Saturday afternoon, beating Sandringham by 37 points at Box Hill City Oval. The Hawks kicked seven goals to two in the first half, building what turned out to be an insurmountable gap between them and the Zebras. Before Saturday, the Hawks had lost four of their last five games to fall outside the top-eight. They now sit in seventh position on the ladder (5-4-1 record), while Sandringham fall to 10th spot (5-5).

AFL-listed youngsters James Cousins (30 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles) and Harrison Jones (29, nine clearances, nine inside-50s and one goal) were impressive in the win, as well as Damian Mascitti (21 and two goals) and Oliver Hanrahan (18 and three goals). Bailey Rice (18 eight tackles, eight rebound-50s and one goal) was again impressive for Sandringham, with Sam Fox (18, six marks, six inside-50s and two goals) and Darragh Joyce (22 and six rebound-50s) also imposing for the Zebras in a losing side.

In Round 13, the Hawks will look to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to Casey Fields to play the Casey Demons on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Sandringham will look to get back on the winners’ list when they host ladder-leaders Richmond (coming off a bye week) at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on the same day.


FOOTSCRAY 8.10 (58) def. by COLLINGWOOD 12.9 (81)

Collingwood have staged another upset – this time at the expense of Footscray – emerging victorious by 23 points at VU Whitten Oval on Sunday afternoon. In a back-and-forth affair, the Magpies found themselves trailing by a point at three-quarter-time. However, a barnstorming final quarter where Collingwood kicked five goals to one ensured a black-and-white victory and another big scalp, after the Magpies upset reigning premiers the Box Hill Hawks in Round 8. Collingwood is in 12th position on the ladder (3-7 record), while the Bulldogs sit in fifth spot (6-3-1).

In his second week back after returning from a third knee reconstruction, defender Matthew Scharenberg (33 disposals, 16 marks and six rebound-50s) was among Collingwood’s best afield. Co-captain Alex Woodward (39 disposals and 15 clearances) and Adam Oxley (22 and 15 marks) were also impressive in the win. For the Bulldogs, former Williamstown stalwart Ben Cavarra (15 disposals, five tackles and one goal) and promising youngster Rhylee West (25 and nine clearances) were among the best afield. Ryan Gardner (10 disposals, five marks, eleven hitouts and one goal) also responded well after his AFL omission on Thursday night.

Next week, Collingwood will look to replicate their Round 12 effort when they host North Melbourne at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Footscray will travel to Adcon Stadium to face Port Melbourne in what should be an entertaining top-eight clash the same day.


COBURG 8.2 (50) def. by CASEY DEMONS 9.11 (65)

Casey has claimed an important 15-point victory over Coburg at Piranha Park on Sunday afternoon, reaffirming themselves as finals contenders. The Demons’ win was aided by a dominant second quarter when they kicked four unanswered goals to lead by 26 points at half-time. Despite kicking only three goals in the second half, Casey were able to withstand the Lions’ comeback attempt. The result leaves the Demons in 11th position on the ladder (4-6 record), and Coburg in 14th spot (1-10).

AFL veteran Jordan Lewis was the best afield for Casey, recording 40 disposals, eight marks, 10 clearances and eight inside-50s. Ruck Braydon Preuss (14 disposals, 55 hitouts and one goal) and midfielder Corey Wagner (20, 12 tackles, seven inside-50s and one goal) again put in strong performances. Luke Bunker (33 disposals, nine tackles and eight clearances) and Marcus Lentini (40 and eight clearances) were arguably Coburg’s best on a day when the Lions had half the scoring shots as Casey.

In Round 13, the Demons will host the Box Hill Hawks at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon in what will be a test of Casey’s mettle against the reigning premiers. Coburg will travel to SkyBus Stadium to take on Frankston on Sunday afternoon as they continue to search for their second win of the season.


WERRIBEE 14.11 (95) def. by WILLIAMSTOWN 16.7 (103)

Williamstown held off a fourth-quarter Werribee surge to defeat the Tigers by eight points at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday afternoon. The Seagulls led at every change – including by 24 points at three-quarter-time – but had to stave off a spirited final term from the Tigers in which they kicked four goals to Williamstown’s two. The loss puts a halt to Werribee’s three-game winning streak dating back to their Round 8 win over Frankston. The Tigers, though, remain in sixth position (6-4 record), while Williamstown are in fourth spot (7-3-1).

Mitchell Hibberd (29 disposals and eight tackles), Nick Meese (12 and 64 hitouts) and Jake Greiser (22, six marks, 11 rebound-50s and one goal) were among the best afield for the Seagulls. Michael Barlow (39 disposals, seven marks and one goal) continued his swift return from injury for Werribee, with regular contributors Matt Hanson (33, nine clearances and one goal) and Tom Gribble (31 and six clearances) also impressive for the Tigers.

Next week, Werribee will look to bounce back when they host in-form Essendon back at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday morning. Williamstown, meanwhile, will have a bye week before they host Frankston in Round 14.


PORT MELBOURNE 9.5 (59) def. by ESSENDON 18.20 (128)

Essendon have claimed a remarkable victory over Port Melbourne at Adcon Stadium on Sunday afternoon, winning by 69 points and establishing themselves as 2019 premiership contenders. A five-goal-to-one second quarter from the Bombers created a 36-point gap at half-time, before an eight-goal-to-three third-quarter onslaught secured the victory. The win leaves the Bombers in second position (8-2 record), nipping at the heels of ladder-leader Richmond. Meanwhile, the Borough remain in third position (7-3-1).

Recent AFL mid-season draftee Will Snelling (29 disposals, 10 tackles and three goals) was again impressive for the Dons and continues to stake his claim for an AFL debut, while Danny Younan (25 disposals and three goals) and Michael Hartley (22, nine marks, five rebound-50s and one goal) were also eye-catching. For the Borough, Shannen Lange (35 disposals, eight tackles, seven inside-50s and two goals) continued his fine form, as did Tom O’Sullivan (30 and nine clearances) and Ben Jolley (23 and five marks).

In Round 13, Port Melbourne will be looking to get back on the winners list when they host Footscray at Adcon Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Essendon will travel to Avalon Airport Oval to take on Werribee on Sunday morning.



The Northern Blues (9th, 5-4 record), North Melbourne (13th, 2-8) and Richmond (1st, 9-1) all had the bye in Round 12.

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