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The AFL Pressure Cooker: Round 3

Nathan Buckley
As we said last week, with a tough run in the next couple of week’s, Bucks’ chair is likely to heat up again very quickly, as it has. While it was a better effort from Collingwood again this week, simple errors by foot and giving away free’s that didn’t need to be given away when the game was up for grabs in the last quarter eventually cost them. One has to feel sorry for Buckley in the coaches box, with very little control over his teams poor skill execution under pressure, but as senior coach the onus must fall on him. Both Buckley and the players must find a way to get the group to perform under pressure and execute simple skills if the pies are any chance of having a respectable season.

While it is has become a cliche, Buckley could e coaching for his career this Friday against the Blues.


While all three members of this trio had stellar individual games, they were unable to drag Geelong over the line against an improved hawthorn outfit. Contested possessions for the game were even, and hawthorn won the clearance count by 6, and the centre clearance count by 9, perhaps demonstrating that Dangerwoodlett did not have the effect desired by coach Chris Scott. Geelong fans will have loved watching the trio together for the first time, but will also be hoping that the success of those 3 will create greater team success for the cats, and thus the pressure is on these players as well as Scott to demonstrate to the fans that this can happen.

One of, if not the greatest midfield ever seen together on a footy field.

St Kilda
A loss to a team most had pencilled in for the wooden spoon this year in only round 2 would not have been on St Kilda’s pre season wish list. While the skills of both teams in the first half especially were relatively poor, the saints fell to a new low in with their ball skills, and then slid even further down in the second half when things didn’t get any better, eventually losing by 52 points. Smashed in 2 key stats of inside 50’s and contested possessions, the pressure is right on the saints to prove to the footy community that at the very least, they are not a bottom 4 side.

One of the worst on field weeks for St Kilda in recent years, last week against the Roos.

Stuart Dew
Taking over from Rodney Eade after a disastrous 2017 campaign, Stuart Dew has Gold Coast playing a very impressive brand of hard, attacking footy, with a much improved team defence. Gold Coast are leading the league in contested possessions after 2 rounds, and have conceded just 106 points, the second best in the league. However both wins have been against teams expected to feature near the bottom of the ladder in North Melbourne and Carlton, meaning this week’s game against Fremantle at Optus stadium, where Fremantle comfortably beat top 4 contenders Essendon just last week, will likely show the type of team that Gold Coast really is in 2018, as well as just how good a coach Dew is. A good win would have to see them move into top 8 calculations, while a bad loss will undo a lot of the hard work done over the pre season and the first 2 rounds, meaning the pressure is well and truly on.

Dew appears to be the man the Gold Coast have been desperately searching for since it’s entrance into the AFL.

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