Round 17 of the 2021 AFL season saw the Swans emerge as flag contenders, while the misery continued for reigning premiers Richmond.
Here’s how it looked for punters:
Prior to Sunday’s clash against premiership favourites the Western Bulldogs, the Sydney Swans had a more-than-commendable record against Top 4 sides this season. The young Swans had already beaten Brisbane and Geelong, and went down by just nine point to Melbourne. But John Longmire’s side weren’t given a big chance on Sunday, as $3.57 outsiders pre-game. What happened next, however, has made the rest of the competition sit up. Sydney delivered a blueprint in how to unlock the Dogs defence, with precision kicking and superb pressure causing the most damage.
Huge effort from @sydneyswans considering they’re based in Melbourne. They’ve been so impressive in their last two wins over the Bulldogs and West Coast. Intent to go forward and score. Crisp ball movement and lots of contributors. One team (of very few) that are good to watch.
— Adam White (@White_Adam) July 11, 2021
Sydney super slick, super organised.
Like the look of Swans fixture over next six weeks, too.
Have to be in flag discussion if they can keep most of this 22 together.
— Mark Stevens (@Stevo7AFL) July 11, 2021
Tiger train derailed
Three AFL Premierships in four years grants you leniency – and that’s what Richmond have been afforded in the last month.
The loss to West Coast was passed off as a tough game in enemy territory. The loss to St Kilda? An off night. The loss to the Suns last week was harder to forgive, but was perhaps seen as the last alarm bell before they crack into gear. Which left Sunday’s game against rivals Collingwood. Starting as $1.52 favourites, Damien Hardwick’s side were expected to bounce back and return inside the Top 8. Instead, they were overrun in the final term in perhaps the most damning sign yet that the dynasty is, in fact, over.
In just four weeks, hopes of a ‘three-peat’ appear dead. Richmond have gone from $5.50 out to $15 AFL Premiership hopes with Palmerbet.
Richmond kicked six of the first seven goals of the game. 🐯
Collingwood kicked six straight goals in the fourth quarter. 🔥
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) July 11, 2021
Saints enter the fray
Speaking of the finals race, St Kilda have screeched into contention. Three weeks ago Brett Ratten’s side were $26 Top 8 hopes following a heartbreaking loss to Adelaide in Cairns. But three wins on the bounce — the latest a shock 32-point win over Brisbane after starting $4.44 outsiders — has seen them into $3.20 in that market.
Will St Kilda secure a ticket to September?
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) July 11, 2021