By Liam Melrose and Ollie Nash.
Irving Mosquito was an excitement machine with two goals in his debut against the Tigers. Photo: SEN
Dream Time Mosquito
The conditions were warm and humid on Saturday night in Darwin, the mosquitoes were out in force, and one of those made his way to TIO Stadium. Irving Mosquito. What better way to start your career by kicking two goals in your debut match, as an Indigenous player in the annual Dream Time game.
Irving Mosquito looks a steal for the Bombers, who was taken with pick #38 in the 2018 National Draft. Essendon has been a team looking for a spark in 2020 and they may have just found one. Teaming up with fellow Indigenous small forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, this Mosquito is dangerous and looks as though he has a bright future ahead.
Reconciliation over racist past needs to be top of the agenda
Former St Kilda player Robert Muir spoke out during the week about the horrible racism he received during his playing days of the 1970s and 1980s. Abuse from opposition fans and players, being spat on and even urinated on by teammates are only some of the things that have caused the 66-year-old psychological pain to this day.
The AFL and St Kilda released statements apologising for the treatment he received and offered continued support. Adam Goodes received the same after the AFL failed to support him in his final three seasons, which were overshadowed by sustained racism.
The AFL mentioned in their statement that there were many other stories like Robert’s that needed to be addressed and they’re right. These need to become top of the agenda for the league. Players as recent as Heritier Lumumba all the way back to Muir’s days in the 1970s need to be supported as much as possible. The past can't be changed, but the present and future can, so it needs to be a focus and action needs to be taken.
Eddie and the Blues are on the brink of an unlikely finals birth. Photo: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Blues ticked first box, five to go
If Carlton were any chance at making the top eight this season a win over the Gold Coast on Friday night was needed, and the Blues delivered. From start to finish they dominated play, eventually getting reward on the scoreboard to take a 33-point win. That’s one challenge won, but they have five more to finish.
Their next four weeks are as winnable as they come. A down in the dumps Collingwood, an out of sorts GWS, Sydney and then Adelaide in round 17. With Brisbane their final match-up, these next four weeks are season defining for Carlton. Worst case they need to split their next two, then get wins over the Swans and Crows, and see where they stand going into round 18 against the Lions. While it’s a big few weeks ahead, it’s exciting times for the Blue Baggers.
Melbourne brought back to earth yet again
The Western Bulldogs have sent the Demons back down to earth for the second time this season. There was plenty of optimism going into Melbourne’s round 13 clash with the Dogs, with many of us holding high hopes the Demons would continue their strong run of form we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks.
Melbourne looked to be finally on track but I wasn’t sold on them just yet. They’d defeated both North Melbourne and Adelaide by big margins, however both sit in 17th and 18th position respectively, before facing an injury riddled Collingwood. The Demons made easy work of the Pies, with the next test being the Western Bulldogs and they failed miserably. The Bulldogs made the Demons look second rate, especially in the third quarter kicking six unanswered goals.
Melbourne face St Kilda in Alice Springs on Saturday night in what is a massive game for their season. A win and they remain in the race, while a loss will bring further question marks about what this team can do in 2020.
The Pies found some offensive flow in their 30-point win over the Kangaroos. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Punctured Pies find a way
It was a must win game for Collingwood as their season has seemed to spiral before their eyes. While they’ve been hampered by injuries, they’ve also struggled with a dysfunctional forward line that has found it difficult to kick a high score.
North Melbourne put up a strong fight in the first half with the game looking as though it could go either way at half time. The Pies looked as though they were going to struggle to score yet again, but found a way kicking six goals to two after the main break on their way to a 30-point win. With nine different players kicking majors, the Magpies found a number of avenues to goal, a promising sign for the weeks to come.
While there is doubt over Collingwood’s finals hopes, if they can somehow work out their forward line over the next few weeks they’ll scrape into the eight.
Travis aging like a fine wine
After 12 seasons of tough midfield work in the AFL, you could understand a player starting to taper off slightly. That amount of physical attention week in, week out takes a toll on your body and mind.
However, Travis Boak has gone the other way, and played himself into career best form over the past two seasons. As a 31-year-old in 2019 the Port champion averaged a career high 30 disposals a game and nearly 15 contested possessions. In shortened quarters, Boak has continued if not bettered his form in 2020, averaging 22.5 disposals, 10 contested possessions and five clearances. Almost a lock for his third All-Australian selection and third Port Adelaide Best and Fairest Award.
Cover Photo: ABC News/Tony Hill