Bombers-Pies thrill on ANZAC Day, Cats’ claw to flag favourites and Giants stomp more pain on Lions: A rapid recap of Round 7


Round 7 of the AFL, or ANZAC Round, is circled on the calendar before the season starts as one to look forward to.

Huge games and huge attendances were anticipated, and this year didn’t disappoint as we saw some teams get back on track whilst others were left with more questions than answers.

Below I have given my thoughts on the weekend and which players made the biggest difference during the matches.

Richmond Tigers v Melbourne Demons

Melbourne Demons won by 43 points

Melbourne recorded their fifth ANZAC Day Eve win in a row over the Tigers at the MCG.

Halftime saw Richmond take a one-point lead, however, it was a half to forget as the game was played between the arcs with both teams committing turnover after turnover.

The Dees came out of halftime on fire and were able to put together a 10-goal to two second half that in the end sealed a very comfortable win.

Difference maker

Max Gawn (23 disposals, 26 hitouts and 10 marks) was a monster for Melbourne with his ruck craft and work around the ground.

Essendon Bombers v Collingwood Magpies

Essendon Bombers drew with Collingwood Magpies

In front of the fourth biggest home and away crowd in VFL/AFL history, the traditional ANZAC Day clash at the MCG between Essendon and Collingwood was everything we hoped for.

The first half saw both teams trading blows. Momentum swings were evident with Essendon holding a narrow one-point lead at the break.

The second half brought edge-of-your-seat stuff and some magic moments including Jamie Elliott launching onto Ben McKay’s shoulders for a Mark of the Year contender.

With Collingwood leading by a point with minutes to go, Kyle Langford had the chance to be the hero with a set shot, however, he missed, and we saw the first draw of the season.

Difference maker

Nic Martin (30 disposals, two goal assists and one goal) was outstanding. Having distributed well off half-back for three quarters, he was shifted forward in the last and set up some crucial goals late and kicked one himself.

Kyle Langford looks dejected after missing the chance to win the game for Essendon. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

GWS Giants v Brisbane Lions

GWS Giants won by 54 points

GWS and Brisbane clashed in Canberra on the night of ANZAC Day with the Giants pouring more pain on last year’s grand finalists.

The Giants came out of the gates strongly with the first two goals of the game and from there, they never surrendered the lead.

The Giants took a 14-point lead into halftime largely due to their accurate goal-kicking. The Lions again struggled in front of goal which has become a theme of their season.

In the second half, the Giants continued on their way. They belted Brisbane around the ball and did as they pleased, kicking nine goals to two which set up a big win.

Difference maker

Take a bow Tom Green (37 disposals, seven clearances and nine score involvements). After a couple of quiet weeks, the Giants midfield bull produced a dominant display in the middle of the ground.

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Port Adelaide Power v St Kilda Saints

Port Adelaide Power won by 10 points

Port Adelaide and St Kilda met at Adelaide Oval with Port banking the win.

The Power could have broken this game open in the first half, however, their accuracy in front of goal held them back.

Despite this, they held a 10-point advantage at the break.

The Saints were brave in the second half despite their limited scoring opportunities, but it was Port’s day as they were able to dial up the pressure and steady when they needed to as they finished off the pesky Saints late.

Difference maker

Jase Burgoyne (27 disposals, seven score involvements and 451 metres gained) had a breakout game for the Power.

His work rate up and down the wing was outstanding.

the boys getting around Jase Burgoyne after a huge game from our no. 7

27 disposals
five clearances
seven score involvements

— Port Adelaide FC (@PAFC) April 26, 2024

North Melbourne Kangaroos v Adelaide Crows

Adelaide Crows won by 57 points

North Melbourne and Adelaide met in Tasmania with the Crows doing as they pleased.

The game was a walk in the park for Adelaide. They led at every change and were able to put up 38 scoring shots which was their highest for the season.

If it wasn’t for inaccuracy in front of goal, this could have been a three-figure margin.

Difference maker

Izak Rankine (17 disposals and four goals) again showed us what he can do when he is up and about. He was a threat inside 50 all day.

Jeremy Cameron celebrates a goal. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Geelong Cats v Carlton Blues

Geelong Cats won by 13 points

Geelong and Carlton played out a superb game at the MCG with Geelong staying undefeated.

Dare I say it, Geelong looked like a premiership side in the first half with their smooth ball movement and efficiency in front of goal.

With Carlton struggling to make the most of their looks on goals, Geelong led by 19 points at the break.

The second half saw Geelong get the margin out to 33 points but Carlton, with help from a Blake Acres spark, put together four goals to make it an eight-point margin.

The last minutes saw Geelong steady to make it seven wins from seven games.

Difference maker

Jeremy Cameron (17 disposals and five goals) was able to finish his opportunities when they came and got himself a bag of goals.

Fremantle Dockers v Western Bulldogs

Fremantle Dockers won by 24 points

In a battle of two unpredictable sides, it was Fremantle who came out on top.

In a tight contest in the first half, each side made the most of their opportunities, but it was Fremantle who held a slender 3-point lead at halftime.

Nat Fyfe is on fire ????#AFLFreoDogs

— AFL (@AFL) April 27, 2024

The Dockers were able to pull away in the second half as they finished their opportunities inside 50 with seven goals, whereas the Dogs didn’t as they kicked three goals with eight behinds.

Difference maker

Caleb Serong (37 disposals and 17 clearances) and Nat Fyfe (37 disposals and 10 score involvements) were instrumental in providing the initial spark needed to get the Dockers going.

Gold Coast Suns v West Coast Eagles

Gold Coast Suns won by 37 points

Gold Coast ended West Coast’s two-game-win streak at People First Stadium.

In a tight first half, the Eagles showed plenty of fight and gave the Suns a run for their money. Not much separated the sides with Gold Coast holding a slight three-point lead into halftime.

The second half saw West Coast drop off their pressure and Gold Coast took advantage.

Gold Coast got on top in clearances and they were able to finish their opportunities with 10 goals to five in the second half.

Difference maker

Gold Coast had multiple difference makers but Jarrod Witts (18 disposals, 46 hitouts and 10 clearances) gets the nod as he was instrumental in giving his midfielders first use when the game was there to be won.

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Hawthorn Hawks v Sydney Swans

Sydney Swans won by 76 points

The Swans took a trip to the MCG this round to face the Hawks and they left with a commanding win.

The Swans opened this match with a six-goal to two opening term and they didn’t look back.

It was a real punishing performance from the Swans who knocked the Hawks all around the ground.

They were able to add to their lead at every change and were not challenged at all during the contest. There was a clear gap in quality between both sides.

Difference maker

Sydney had winners all over the ground, but Isaac Heeney (21 disposals, 90% disposal efficiency and three goals) stood out through his impact in the middle and up forward.

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