THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
With the NRL now underway only one code of football in Australia remains stagnant. The wait is almost over though, the men’s AFL will lurch into motion on Thursday. The modern day colosseum, the MCG, will host rivals Richmond and Carlton as they fight it out in their traditional round one encounter.
The ensuing three days will see the remaining 16 teams face off with the pick of the matches coming on Sunday as GWS host Essendon. The spotlight will be on Dylan Shiel as he faces off against his former employer for the first time.
But the male instalment of the AFL sits in the back seat for the last time until October this week. The regular season of AFLW ran its course at the weekend with all of Adelaide, Carlton, Fremantle and Geelong making it into the penultimate week of games. The last two of those sides clenched finals berths in exciting final round matches.
Round 7 down and we've officially got finals fever! ✊ Who will make it through the weekend and into the #AFLWGF? 💥 Find out this Sat & Sun! Full match details 👉 https://t.co/SyE5olAvLu #AFLW #GenW #AFLWFinals pic.twitter.com/rptdjnLFUg
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) March 18, 2019
As predicted a fortnight ago, the winner of the Freo/Roos game claimed second spot in conference A. And after being the best side for the first half of their maiden AFLW voyage, the Roos were bundled out by a tenacious Fremantle side, led by the insatiable Kiara Bowers.
While Fremantle sealed their own fate, Geelong left theirs in the hands of Collingwood and Brisbane. Needing the Pies to claim victory, Geelong would have been cheering from their ice baths on Sunday as Collingwood easily accounted for the Lions. The Lions will not make the AFLW Grand Final for the first time ever.
The NBA incredibly rolled into its final month. After being in perpetual motion for what seems like an eon, there is an end in sight. That is, the finals are in sight. Then there is potential for another 115 games to be played before an eventual champion (cough, Golden State, cough) is crowned.
The Spurs are making their typical push for a playoff berth and are amid an eight game win streak, now they sit sixth in the West just one-and-a-half games behind fourth. The Lakers are up the proverbial creek without a paddle. They are 9.5 games off eighth with just 12 games to play. And they just lost to the Knicks after Mario Hezonja blocked LeBron’s potential game winner.
— NBA (@NBA) March 17, 2019
The Sixers are hitting their straps at the right time. They topped the East leading Bucks on Monday in a 155-point shootout. Giannis and Joel duelled, it was fun. And it might be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jimmy Butler: 27 PTS
JJ Redick: 19 PTS, 4-4 3PM
Ben Simmons: 8 PTS, 9 REB, 9 AST
Giannis: 52 PTS (career-high), 16 REB pic.twitter.com/3f3F0PCbMf
— NBA (@NBA) March 17, 2019
The Pistons are also making some noise. Blake Griffin is firing, Andre Drummond is going to way game in, game out and they have gone 7-3 over their past 10 games to put themselves in playoff likelihood.
Round one of the NRL finally put to bed an offseason everyone would rather forget. With a number of disappointing misdemeanours shading Australian Rugby League in a dark cloud, a blemish free and exciting first week was a breath of fresh air.
Last year’s premiers, the Sydney Roosters, fell to the Wayne Bennett led Rabbitohs in a statement from both Bennett and the Bunnies. But the runner-up Melbourne Storm put the GF loss in the past with a victory over the Broncos.
And ominous signs for the Bulldogs, they were annihilated by the Warriors to the tune of 34-points. In fairness, the emotionally charged Warriors were never going to let this one slip as they honoured the victims of the Christchurch attacks.
Kia kaha Christchurch 🙏❤️
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) March 16, 2019
AFL WOMENS ROUND SEVEN
Next week Geelong will desperately need to find a way to counter the Crows’ prolific midfield. Erin Phillips and Ebony Marinoff were again unstoppable against Melbourne, combining for 41 disposals and 165 DS points. As a fruit of her labour, Marinoff broke the single season AFLW record for disposals with her 19 disposal effort.
Another record-breaking performance from this 🌟! @eb_marinoff has collected the most disposals of any AFLW player in a season with 159 across seven games 😍😍 #weflyasone #crowsaflw pic.twitter.com/MnhvSqYawe
— Adelaide Crows AFLW (@CrowsAFLW) March 16, 2019
But ruckwoman Jess Foley top scored for her team with 98 DS points, adding another frightening element to the potent Adelaide side.
Speaking of Geelong, Renee Garing, playing just her fourth AFLW game, managed 15 disposals and 14 tackles for her 96 DS points. The netball convert is a self-professed hard-nut and might be just what the Cats need to counter the Adelaide midfield and lead them to a Grand Final in the maiden AFLW campaign.
In an effort which dragged her side over the line against North Melbourne, Kiara Bowers was again the best player of the round. Typically tough and tenacious, Bowers chalked up 118 DS points for her 23 disposals and 13 tackles. Another huge performance from Bowers means she will challenge Erin Phillips for the Women’s Best and Fairest.
— AFL Players (@AFLPlayers) March 18, 2019
Who from the Blues will be able to play Bowers’ role and give them a chance in the finals against Freo? Could it be skipper, Bri Davey? On Sunday, Davey produced a consummate captain’s game to cement her sides spot at the top of conference B. Her 21 disposals and 11 tackles netted her 103 DS points and the top score for the Sunday contest.
As the Pelicans lock themselves in a moral battle with the Lakers for win supremacy, Elfrid Payton is just going for it. Though it could be the fact he is an unrestricted free agent battling for a contract for next year that has contributed to his scoring explosion. Whatever it is, Draftstars users who selected him through the week would have been ecstatic.
His last three games have averaged 57.7 DS points and his highest three scores of the 18-19 season. In fact. Hi last four games have all yielded triple doubles. Consequently, his price has climbed to around $17k. But if he continues at AD pace he is worth every cent.
Elfrid Payton has posted 4 straight triple-doubles.
15 points, 10 assists, 10 boards vs ATL
14 points, 11 assists, 15 boards vs MIL
14 points, 16 assists, 12 boards vs POR
16 points, 16 assists, 13 boards vs PHX
In March, he's averaging 11.7 PPG, 9.8 APG, 9 RPG and 1 SPG. pic.twitter.com/ukt74yAkKm
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) March 17, 2019
Julius Randle is another Pelican lighting it up as the season draws to a close. Against Portland he threw down 45 points, snatched 11 rebounds, had six assists, two steals and three blocks to score himself 72.8 DS points. It was his highest return of the season and it could be somewhat replicated as he grows in his role in New Orleans.
Making his case for MVP loud and clear, Giannis Antetokounmpo had one of the greatest games of his career against Philly. His 52 points, 16 rebounds and six assists netted him an other-worldly 84 DS points.
— NBA (@NBA) March 17, 2019
And Dallas guard, Jalen Brunson, has hit his straps in his second NBA season. His best output of the season (49.8) came on Wednesday and he followed it up with two scores of 30. With the Mavs not fighting for a playoff spot, Brunson may find his role increases for the rest of the season and his DS output should reflect it.
NRL ROUND ONE
The Draftstars NRL season started off with two players almost cracking the magical three figure mark. The Roosters’ Jake Friend and Panthers’ James Tamou both notched up 92 DS points. Friend nailed down most of his points with his mammoth 68 tackles but was aided by a try and a couple of line breaks. Similarly, a bulk of Tamou’s points came from tackles (he had 56) and a try, but his score also featured 133 metres gained.
The superlatives have run out to describe North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo so let’s just call this next part how it is. Taumalolo ran for 301 metres, the most of his career. In doing so he also became just the second forward to do so in the history of the NRL.
— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) March 16, 2019
Taumalolo was not the only one to set a record in round one. First year Warrior five-eighth, Adam Keighran scored the equal most points on debut with 16. His efforts were good enough for a DS score of 68. His price will burgeon but he is one to watch in 2019.
And there was a place for nostalgia on Saturday when Robbie Farah turned back the clock to score his first double since 2011 and his first try at Leichhardt since 2014. It was a while between drinks for the 35-year-old veteran but those who met him at the bar in round one were shouted 76 DS points for their faith.
First double in 8 YEARS!
— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) March 16, 2019
Written by Brin Duggan Follow @BrinDugganAFL, Latest, NBA, NRL