AFL News for the week ending June 18, 2023: Tigers find form for Cotch, Giants manhandle Dockers and Blues in the spotlight
Tigers find form to help elevate Cotch in style to '300 club'
No one could deny it has not been the ideal season for the Tigers, but the way they played this weekend certainly showed a glimpe of both the Tigers of old ... and new.
Three-time premiership captain and spiritual leader Trent Cotchin entered the game on the cusp of joining the feted "300 club" - and for much of the game, it looked like the Tigers were going to see him through it in style as St Kilda seemed unable to fire up.
And then towards the end of the third quarter, the Saints found another gear, kicking three unanswered goals to get within a kick or so of the lead.
But the Tigers would not have this important game for Cotch taken from them and kept the Saints at bay, winning by a respectable 20 points, and in doing so give Cotch the kind of win to make his 300th a game to remember ... and fans a whsiper of hope for September action.
Freo, Freo, wherefore art thou Freo?
The Dockers three wins in a row against the Swans, Geelong and Melbourne already seem a distant memory after two faltering weeks of losses but particularly the 70-point drubbing at the hands of the Giants.
No, it's not season-ending as they are still in touch to sneak into the eight by end of year ... but it's busy around that end of the ladder, so they will need to lift their game if they are to contend.
The Giants, conversely, led from the front by star player and captain Toby Greene, are showing fine form of late, with fans surely happy at the turnaround in their season.
Can they maintain this and wander their way into the finals?
Anything is possible!
The Blues have a bad case of ... the Blues...
Carlton FC are under the spotlight - again - after rolling losses in a year that many felt the Blues would find their way into the upper half of the table.
Morale must be pretty low at Ikon park, and although players and coach are putting on a brave face, Carlton fans are livid and ex-players of the club aren't holding back with excoriating evaluations of what is wrong with the side.
The great thing about footy is that one win could turn it around, and with the selection committee dropping four players this week and bringing back David Cunningham, maybe this change in personnel could give the side the jolt it needs.
Not so good for the Blues, however, is coming up against a fired-up Gold Coast Suns with a slew of talent across the park and a hunger to show the footy world they are finally here to play.
A loss this weekend will effectively mean the Blues chances of playing finals are near-terminal ... but that logjam around 7-13 on the ladder, and a slew of teams in and out of form, means anything remains possible for the foreseeable future.
Over to you Elton ....