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A snapshot of the AFL season's round 20

3 minute read

A look at round 20 of the AFL season, where St Kilda broke back into the top-eight and high-flying Geelong and Collingwood extended their winning streaks.

Assistant coach MARK MCVEIGH.
Assistant coach MARK MCVEIGH. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

THEY SAID IT: "I'm extremely disappointed with today. We embarrassed our club ... there's just the unfortunate part of dealing with whether players have checked out or not" - GWS interim coach Mark McVeigh didn't mince his words after the Giants were hammered by Sydney in the local derby.

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Gold Coast forward Mabior Chol celebrated his 50th AFL match by continuing to prove one of the recruits of 2022 with a career-best five-goal display in the Suns' vital three-point win over West Coast at Metricon Stadium on Sunday. Chol now has 43 goals for the season, just four away from Ben King's 2021 mark of 47 as the second-best haul for a campaign in Suns' history.

THE MOMENT: Brisbane Lions defender Darcy Gardiner had a nightmare moment in the final minute, turning the ball over in Richmond's forward-50 with the game on the line. After a diabolical turnover, the ball ended up in the hands of Tom Lynch, with the returning Richmond star booting the matchwinner for a remarkable come-from-behind victory.

TALKING POINT: Who will snatch the last remaining spots in the top eight? Carlton are hanging onto seventh, St Kilda have moved into eight and Richmond are hot on their heels after a thrilling win over Brisbane. The Western Bulldogs' loss to Geelong after a strong start could prove costly. But the Dogs and Gold Coast are still in the hunt with three weeks left to play.

STATS THAT MATTER: Collingwood's narrow win over Port Adelaide meant they became the first team in history to win nine games by under 12 points in an AFL/VFL season. In 2022, Craig McRae's first year at the helm, they have a 9-1 record in games decided by 11 points or less and a 7-1 record in games decided by seven points or less.

TRIBUNAL WATCH: Hawthorn dasher Changkuoth Jiath copped a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle on St Kilda skipper Jack Steele and West Coast's Jai Culley will come under scrutiny for a high elbow on Noah Anderson after the Suns midfielder had disposed of the ball. Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy escaped with a $2000 fine for striking Melbourne star Christian Petracca, while Demons forward Kysaiah Pickett was fined $1000 for staging. GWS ruckman Braydon Preuss and Sydney defender Dane Rampe both copped $2000 fines for rough conduct in separate incidents in the NSW derby.

INJURIES: J Lever (Melb, ankle), A Brayshaw (Melb, hand), C Salem (Melb, nose), L Jackson (Melb, head knock), T Adams (Coll, groin), J Howe (Coll, thigh), M Lewis (Haw, knee), J Koschitzke (Haw, corked thigh), J Morris (Haw, shoulder), G Rohan (Geel, concussion), J Culley (WCE, hamstring), J Petruccelle (WCE, hamstring), Z Bailey (Lions, chest), J Berry (Lions, ankle), D Grimes (Rich, hamstring), D Shiel (Ess, hamstring), J Caldwell (Ess, calf).

WHAT'S NEXT: It's second versus third when old foes Melbourne and Collingwood lock horns at the MCG in a genuine Friday night blockbuster. The Bulldogs-Fremantle and Geelong-St Kilda contests have direct finals ramifications for both sides, while the Brisbane-Carlton clash on Sunday is equally important.

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