Round 15 of the AFL season saw Adelaide avoid an unwanted record while Melbourne and Carlton, facing must-win games, yet again weren’t up to the task.
Here’s how it looked for punters:
Going into Round 15, Adelaide were staring down the barrel of being the first side since 1964 to go an entire VFL/AFL season without a win. And while they started as $2.89 outsiders against the Hawks (despite playing on home turf), most thought this was their best chance with games against GWS, Carlton and Richmond to come.
And they were absolutely right.
Coming off a bye Matthew Nicks’ side completely outgunned a lethargic Hawks outfit. In the end they did it comfortably, saluting by 35 points. It was the young coach’s first win as coach and in the process, claimed a nice statistic: Nicks became the first coach to claim his first win against Alastair Clarkson.
Adelaide's first win in 2020 was good.
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) September 1, 2020
Not gonna lie but I’d genuinely forgotten what it was like to watch your team win a game of football 💙💛❤️ #AFLHawksCrows
— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) September 1, 2020
Lowly Hawks in trouble
After sprinting out of the blocks to go 3-1 in AFL season 2020, the Hawks came into $1.45 fancies to finish in the Top 8 with Palmerbet.
What a downfall it’s been since then.
Clarkson’s side have lost nine of their last 10 games, and calls for a rebuild from fans have grown even louder in recent weeks. Their last two games have been the culmination of a hugely disappointing season; the second half capitulation against Essendon and the all-round skill errors and lack of intensity against the wooden spooners in waiting. We know Clarko isn’t afraid of making the big calls, sometimes unprompted. This time, however, it’s very clear he has to do just that.
And like that, Hawthorn becomes a big, big story of the next few months. How they deal with it – president, board, coaches, players and fans will be fascinating. Fans have had it so good. Need to take their medicine now. #aflhawkscrows #annushorribilis
— Ashley Browne (@hashbrowne) September 1, 2020
"We need to have a discussion about Hawthorn and where they're at. This is what the Hawks needed for Clarko to understand where they're at. They need to rebuild now."
– Kane Cornes#AFLHawksCrows
— AFL Nation (@AFLNation) September 1, 2020
Dees, Blues disaster
Melbourne went into their game against the lowly Sydney in Cairns as $1.35 favourites. Sitting inside the AFL Top 8 and with a favourable draw to come, they were also $1.30 chances to make the finals prior to the clash. But, as we’ve seen so many times before, the Dees went missing when it mattered most. Simon Goodwin’s side were outplayed by the young Swans in all aspects. But perhaps most damningly, it was in the pressure department they were found most wanting.
The loss has blown the race for the Top 8 open again. And now, the Dees are now far less certain $2.40 finals hopes.
The moment in Melbourne's game where it all went downhill according to Garry Lyon 🤕 pic.twitter.com/2QecOmxyNS
— Garry and Tim (@SENBreakfast) September 4, 2020
The Swans did crosstown rivals GWS a favour with the win. After beating Carlton later that night, Leon Cameron’s side shortened from $1.80 into $1.33 AFL Top 8 hopes. Like with Melbourne, it was a similar story for the Blues who — as damningly harsh as it sounds — went to water when it mattered. With a 15-point lead heading into the final change, David Teague’s side were completely outrun by a Giants outfit far from their best.
The Teague train has run out of steam for 2020. Big questions need to be asked of the mentality at that football club.
Two alarming Carlton stats have left some onlookers stunned.
It wasn't lost on David Teague post-game.
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) September 3, 2020