Reigning premiers return to form in thriller

Again missing key duo Patrick Dangerfield and Cam Guthrie, the Cats were beaten in the contested ball but rediscovered the brutal forward half efficiency they played with a month ago to snap their three-game losing streak and hand the Dogs a second consecutive loss.Watch every match of every round of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >Geelong kept the Bulldogs goalless from the 10 minute mark of the third term and sailed home with the final six goals of the game as Jeremy Cameron got back to his freewheeling best in the forward half, gathering nine disposals and laying off two goal assists in a clinical final quarter performance.Tim English and Tom Liberatore were relentless at stoppages for the Bulldogs, with English claiming 12 marks in a towering performance, but the Bulldogs could not make the most of their opportunities in the second half and were left to rue straightforward missed set shots.Ed Richards was subbed out of the game before the final break with a hamstring injury in a major blow for the Bulldogs, with the left-footer in career best form before the setback.GRYAN THE GIVERAlong with Demons star Christian Petracca, Gryan Miers is hurtling towards Jason Akermanis’ record 44 goal assists in a season at breakneck speed.Miers had 18 goal assists and just the one goal to his name heading into Saturday night, and his decision making around the goals suggests he is far more comfortable laying off the shots to his teammates, twice feeding Jeremy Cameron in the first half and finishing with a game high three goal assists.The chief Cats creator was forced into a shot though when Tom Hawkins selflessly sent him into an open goal early in the third term.TRELOAR JUMP SCAREWestern Bulldogs fans were reeling as Adam Treloar, in his first game back after a three-week absence due to a hamstring injury, came from the ground at the seven minute mark and went straight into the rooms with medical staff.Treloar was not seen again for 10 minutes as sub Lachlan McNeil warmed up on the sidelines, but Bulldogs fans breathed a collective sigh of relief as the injury plagued midfielder re-emerged with his left calf heavily strapped and ran back on.Despite spending a third of the opening term in the rooms Treloar was one of the Bulldogs’ most influential, gathering six possessions, three clearances and a goal.FIRST QUARTER FRENZYThe Bulldogs and Cats traded 10 goals in a scintillating opening term, including three majors within 90 seconds of play.Some Tim English brilliance at consecutive centre bounces gave the Dogs quick forward entries and back-to-back goals, with a classy Adam Treloar finish on the run after a courageous English mark and a superb snap from Bailey Smith bringing Geelong’s midfield vulnerabilities to the fore.But the Cats had a response whenever the Bulldogs challenged them, and a quick ball inside 50 from the next centre bounce found Tom Hawkins all by himself out the back of a pack, with the veteran nailing a shot across his body.

Cats break the shackles to get back on track

After three tough weeks and the mid-season bye in sight, the Cats were losing a grip on the season before Saturday night’s clash with the Western Bulldogs.In a fantastic game that was a perfect advertisement for the frantic nature of footy under the roof at Marvel Stadium, the Cats pushed and pushed before finally getting through.In a good game for half-backs, Tom Stewart’s vice-like grip on control of Geelong’s defence kept his team in charge, until he wandered forward himself to kick a huge goal to open the final term.He was almost matched by the one-two punch at the other end as Bailey Dale and Caleb Daniel kept powering the ball through the middle of the ground.It was a brutal contest as Geelong’s undermanned midfield stepped up and while the lion-hearted Mark Blicavs and Tom Atkins couldn’t quite shade Tom Liberatore and his crew, they at least kept a middle ground.The senior core of players who bore the brunt of an unusually public message from Chris Scott on Friday, urging his players to not be so passive, stood tall.There were no niceties from the reigning premier, who were physical with Marcus Bontempelli early and ruthless in the game late.As the game wound on, with Jeremy Cameron’s influence rising up the field, the Cats kept pushing.There was nothing especially clean about the Cats, aside from Gryan Miers’ increasingly brilliant ball use going forward, but they kept pushing.And that is what this season may ultimately be about for the Cats.They sputtered through two losing streaks of three games and won’t be able to do so again to keep the premiership defence alive, yet they kept pushing.The much-talked about injury list appears to be shortening and there was a sense of belief returning under the roof as the Dogs slowly fell further and further behind.The draw is a nightmare for Geelong on the way home and a trip to face Port Adelaide after the bye will ramp up the pressure further.But there is no doubt this team will keep pushing and plan to leave those broken shackles

‘Wrong’: Hawks accused hits back

Burt claims that the families had been seeking cash, and disputed the allegations made as “wrong”, in a statement through his lawyers on Saturday. Watch every match of every round of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >Burt was named alongside former head coach Alastair Clarkson and current Brisbane coach Chris Fagan (previously Hawthorn’s general manager of football from 2008 to 2016) as central to a series of allegations first reported by the ABC in 2022 of historical racism at the club, uncovered as part of the club’s cultural safety review. The Indigenous families’ letter, on behalf of the likes of four-time premiership star Cyril Rioli, alleges that they were victims of racism, and also includes allegations of forcible separation. The letter also alleges that in one case, the family were urged to have an abortion. All three accused men have denied all the claims made in media reports and the open letter. Burt’s statement described the allegations in the letter as “wrong”.“It is simply not true that the complainants have not been seeking financial compensation,” the statement added. The letter described the ongoing ordeal as a “public s**tshow”. “We are some of the Indigenous families who endured racism at the Hawthorn Football Club,” the letter states.“We were separated from our families.“We were told an unborn child would ruin our futures.“We were treated as special projects and control of our lives was taken from us. We told our truths in confidence, because we believed that it would bring change. And because we needed to heal and move on.“That confidence was betrayed.”Burt penned a statement on social media after an interview with the Nine papers in which he said he did not feel he owed any apology.“Right now, I’ve got nothing to say sorry for,” he said in the interview.“I can honestly say the people involved in this investigation – and the families, particularly the players – left better people, better men, for being at Hawthorn.“I’ll never really understand what an Aboriginal person, a First Nations person, feels. That’s just common sense. I don’t know how things I may have done have been received. And I’m sad for that, and I’m sad for them.”In the statement on social media, Burt called Hawthorn’s investigation “a disgrace”, and the first of a range of examples of “poor governance” on the club’s behalf.“I also think it’s important to clarify that “Zac” and “Kylie”, who continue to make allegations to the media, are not Indigenous Australians,” he said.In a response to Burt’s interview, one of the families, through their lawyer Judy Courtin, released a statement in which they expressed that they were “disgusted” at how their experiences had been represented.“While our clients are grateful to Jason Burt for acknowledging some elements of the past events, they are disgusted at how they are being downplayed, and in some instances, entirely misrepresented,” the statement reads.“Jason’s version (of events) is completely inaccurate.”The AFL released a statement on Tuesday 30 May saying its own investigation into the allegations had terminated with the consent of the families, with no charges to be brought under the AFL Rules as a result.The AFL resolved in its Tuesday statement that “no adverse findings (had) been made in the Independent Investigation against any of the individuals against whom allegations (had) been made”, but that it did not “preclude the AFL from bringing a charge under AFL Rules against Hawthorn FC”.The AFL’s statement also acknowledged “each one of the Complainants feels hurt, pain and anguish following their time at Hawthorn FC.”The group of families state in the letter that their consent to the termination of the AFL’s Independent Investigation was “not out of fear, but strength, because the AFL finally apologised to all First Nations players for racism in football.”“They acknowledged our pain and hurt when we were at Hawthorn. They made a legally binding promise to us to combat racism in football,” they said.“And the game will be safer for all First Nations families because of it.”The letter states that if conciliation action in the Commission fails, that the families will pursue “the Federal Court, where we will tell our truths in the witness box.“But they will hear us one way or another.”It is understood that there remain more families with complaints of their treatment in similar circumstances, but that these families were not a party to the letter, or the AFL’s investigation and subsequent agreements.

‘Red card’: De Goey hit torn to shreds

De Goey got airborne and caught Hewett’s head clean in the clash, with pundits and fans alike almost unanimous in their verdict that he would be sure to see time out for the hit. Watch every match of every round of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >Hewett subsequently exited the game with concussion, further cementing De Goey’s fate. Commentator Jason Dunstall said on Fox Footy that Hewett was “in a bit of difficulty” after the hit. “He’s copped the arm high from De Goey,” Dunstall said. “It’s a two-fold thing – one, why are you bumping when you know how much trouble there is and, if you are, why the heck aren’t you getting low and getting underneath the upper body of the opposition player? Otherwise you’re going to be in trouble.”Garry Lyon said it was a “big one”. “If you elect to bump and make high contact, it’s going to come under the MRO’s attention,” Lyon said. “That’s trouble for Jordan de Goey.“As soon as you make that decision, as soon as Jordan makes that – we’re not saying he tried to knock him senseless, but if you decide to bump and make contact above the shoulders, then the AFL has been as clear as they can possibly be about that.“It’s a very, very big game Collingwood will be in (next week).“It is a massive game in the AFL roster.”Nine’s Mark Gottlieb said there was “no place for that in the game anymore.”“Jordan De Goey looking to head to Bali early before Collingwood’s Round 14 bye, by the looks,” said one fan, referencing De Goey’s infamous previous antics in Bali during last year’s bye. News Corp’s Ronny Lerner said it was the “perfect example of why a red card should be introduced.”“Not right that De Goey gets to remain in the game,” Lerner said. Fox Footy’s Tribunal specialist David Zita said the fact that Hewett was ruled out of the match would likely see De Goey’s bump “graded careless conduct, severe impact and high contact”, in reference to the Tribunal guidelines on report sentencing. “That’s 3+ matches and a direct referral to the Tribunal,” Zita said. West Coast entered the fixture having lost nine straight games, and another loss would be a record for the five-time competition winners. Collingwood ran out to a 53-27 lead at the major change, with traffic largely going the Pies way as they were led by new recruit Tom Mitchell with 21 disposals out of midfield. However, West Coast fought back after the half, dragging the deficit back to just 14 points with 11 minutes left to play in the third quarter. Tim Kelly led the Eagles with 25 disposals.

WATCH: De Goey to face MRO heat after crude bump

In an incident that could also quash De Goey’s Brownlow Medal chances, Hewett took no further part in the game due to concussion with Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon saying a suspension appeared “cut and dry.”The fact that Hewett took no further part in the game means De Goey’s bump could be classified as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact.If the match review officer grades the incident that way, it could result in a three-game-plus ban, which would automatically be referred to the AFL tribunal.De Goey cannoned into Hewett after he had handballed the ball in the opening term of the clash against the Eagles.“We are not going hunting for a name or a scalp here, but if you elect to bump and make high contact … that’s trouble for Jordan De Goey,” Lyon said.“We are not saying he tried to knock him senseless, but when you decide to bump and make contact above the shoulders … (you are in trouble) … the AFL has been as clear as they possibly can on that.”How many weeks will Jordan De Goey be suspended for? Dunstall agreed with Lyon’s assessment, saying the fact that Hewett was ruled out of the game wasn’t going to help De Goey’s chances.Hewett was taken immediately from the ground where he went into concussion protocols for assessment. He was ruled out early in the second term, with Eagles fans booing De Goey when he went near the ball.The incident sparked an angry response from a few of Hewett’s teammates after quarter-time, with the incident likely to be one of the footy talking points of the week.De Goey is having an outstanding season and was coming off another best afield performance against North Melbourne last week, elevating into Brownlow Medal calculations along with his teammate Nick Daicos.The top of the table Magpies have some big games ahead of them, with clashes with Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast and the Western Bulldogs to come across the next five weeks, split by a Round 14 bye.