What you missed on TV last night

Written By Unknown on Senin, 28 April 2014 | 23.40

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ROUND 6 was a big week in football.

Starting with the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster that drew 90,000 people to the MCG and finishing with Port Adelaide announcing themselves with a win over Geelong.

The Power's draught-breaking win saw them climb to the top of the AFL ladder and lead the AFL 360 agenda.

Respected journalist Gerard Whateley said it was a defining moment in the 2014 season.

"It was a landmark win for Port Adelaide ... and confirmed everything that we knew was building," he said.

Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson said the win was arguably the biggest moment in the club's recent history.

"They've grown from boys to men so quickly," he said.

"There's so much to like about Port Adelaide. It's the way they play, it's contagious.

"That was probably their best moment yet - knocking Collingwood out of the finals last year was big - but this was their moment and they took it."

Whateley said the Power players stood up when challenged.

"You can't chose when your moment comes ... I think back to Hawthorn in 2008," he said.

"It's a football club that is so united in what they're trying to achieve."

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■ RICHMOND'S fall of grace also dominated headlines on Sunday night.

After a pre-season full of expectations, the Tigers were well beaten by reigning premiers Hawthorn and it doesn't get any easier with Geelong waiting next week.

Robinson said a loss to the Cats would mean winning 10 games of the last 13 to make the finals.

"I see nothing, I see no spark, I see no energy," he said.

"We know how the good teams go about it and we judge the bad teams against the good teams. Richmond lack oomph, they don't move the ball well.

"They're losing all the good will they earned last year.

Robinson suggested the "money ball" strategy the Tigers had employed hadn't had the desired effect; "clearly, their depth isn't there".

■ WEST Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has come in for a lot of criticism in recent weeks as he continues to struggle on the field.

It is believed the Eagle is being "managed" due to ongoing groin and Achilles complaints.

Robinson wondered why there was such vitriol being aimed at Naitanui.

"There's a linch-mob out there," he said.

"Why are they hating on Nic Nat. Is it the money? Is it the effort?"

Whateley said the club could be hurting the player and the team by playing him hurt.

"John Worsfold said he's got to play, he's got to get through it," he said.

"But if you're playing at 50 or 60 per cent, at what point does that actually hurt you?"

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■ COACHES Mark Thompson and Paul Roos then joined the boys at the panel.

Problem players was the hot topic this week with Jake Carlisle at Essendon and Jack Watts at Melbourne in the news due to poor form.

Roos admitted he was surprised there was so much public focus on individuals when clubs are more concerned with team issues.

"There's a lot of focus on individuals. In my situation, there are a lot more issues than one player," he said.

"There's a bit more surprise, from my point of view, that the focus goes on one player."

Bomber said it wasn't Carlisle's fault Essendon lost to Collingwood.

"It's not one player. There were a lot of reasons why we didn't play well in the last quarter," he said.

Roos said it was hard for Watts due to him being played in various positions and conceded that had been said about the former No.1 draft pick for many years.

"In Jack's case, we're moving him around a lot, playing him in different positions. So perhaps we're contributing to his inconsistency," he said.

"When a new coach comes in ... I'm trying to find spots for a lot of players.

"That's not unique for a new coach coming in but for a Melbourne supporter I can understand the point of view.

"At the end of the day, it's incumbent on the player to make a position their own."

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AWARD-winning journalist Mike Sheahan returned to the coach after a couple of weeks on holiday and was quickly on the attack after Richmond's loss.

"Something's haven't changed. Richmond were going south when I left and they're still going south now," he said.

However, the big news was Port Adelaide.

Host Gerard Healy compared the rise of the Power to that of A-League high-flyers Western Sydney Wanderers.

"It's such a great story," he said.

"People talk about the Western Sydney Wanderers ... Port Adelaide is just as good a story, if not better, than the Wanderers."

Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall suggested Port Adelaide were now premiership contenders.

"If you look at the brand of football and the way they dismantled Geelong. They are very much a contender," he said.

"It gives the competition a new flavour."

Dunstall suggested ruckman Matthew Lobbe was one of the big reasons why the Power had announced themselves.

"Lobby is probably improved more than any other player on the Port list," he said.

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■ POWER captain Travis Boak joined the boys to talk about the club's recent success.

The team's much vaunted fitness is a major reason why they are on top of the ladder and Boak was adamant the pre-season campaigns under Darren was a major contributor.

"Each year the pre-season goes up another level," he said.

"I think it does come down to the players. We want to get so much out of each session."

After almost leaving the club following a horror 2011, Boak said he was surprised how quickly the club had turned around and said the captaincy was behind his form.

"I probably didn't think it was going to happen this quick," he said.

"I knew it was going to turn around eventually. When I was going through the contract issues, I knew we had the right group."

"The biggest thing for me was the captaincy. It took the focus away from my own game.

"The biggest criticism of my game was how can I improve my game but since I got the captaincy the focus has been how can I help the team.

"I just go out and play footy and enjoy it."

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■ THE discussion then returned to Richmond and their perceived regression in 2014.

Sheahan cast major doubt on the Tigers ability to play finals this season.

"They play Geelong next, their 13th with a percentage of 87, and the reigning premier has improved more than they have," he said.

Dunstall couldn't understand what had happened after a couple of positive years.

"There was a natural progression at Richmond. For some reason, they've hit the skids," he said.

Sheahan suggested the absence of Brett Deledio was a major reason behind the Tigers struggles with his run and carry a major attacking weapon.

Dunstall questioned whether Dustin Martin could be used in a different manner with the talented ball-winner spending more than 50 per cent of games in the forward line.

"From what we've seen, they'll probably turn at 5-6. It means they'll have to win seven of their last 11 and I don't think they're capable of that," Sheahan said.

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■ GRAND finalists Fremantle also suffered a disappointing defeat on the weekend.

The Dockers were over-run by North Melbourne and the boys weren't impressed with the team's efforts so far this season.

"I was really disappointed with their performance. The Kangaroos were fantastic," Dunstall said.

"Their ball use has been lacking and their entry inside 50 has become very one dimensional with Matthew Pavlich.

Tagger Ryan Crowley is one of the main reasons why the Dockers were so feared last season but he has struggled to stop the opposition's prime movers this season.

A graphic was put up showing Crowley's drop in form.

In 2013, Crowley keep his opponent to less than 20 touches in eight of 23 matches but in 2014 his opponent had won more than 20 disposals in every game.

■ THE Kangaroos coach Brad Scott was the special guest after the big win in Perth.

Scott said the club didn't pay much attention to the hype but believed it was a good thing.

"One thing about the hype is ... we didn't create that hype," he said.

"The standards we're being held to are because of expectations and that's a good thing because people rate us.

North have only lost to Essendon and Collingwood this season but Scott wasn't fazed.

"The reality is we live in a really even competition. When you're not on, you get beaten," he said.

Scott was happy with the performances of leaders Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Drew Petrie.

"I saw a stat - and I had to double check it - that Boomer was involved in 20 of our 24 scoring shots. That's an incredible effort," he said.

"I think Ryan (Crowley) was probably blowing a bit from fatigue. It's hard to be aggressive when you're fatigued.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott with captain Andrew Swallow. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin Source: News Corp Australia

"We knew what we were getting when (Nick Dal Santo) arrived and he has still managed to impress us.

"He's been driving what we're about all season.

"Drew, by his own admission, his work rate hasn't been as high but for a big guy his work defensively is unbelievable at times."

Kangaroos captain Andrew Swallow has been out of the game for almost 12 months due to an Achilles injury and is now on the verge of returning.

Scott was keen to have him back in the team after one game in the VFL.

"He got a fair bit of the ball in three quarters of footy," he said.

"He's trained really well. The sub does give us an option, if we didn't have that it wouldn't be an option.

"He's our captain and we want him back but if he gets injured, it's going to be our fault.

"If he's ready and we pick him, you'll know we're super confident he's fit.

■ CARLTON dominated the headlines two weeks ago but have since won two straight games.

The Blues pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind win over West Coast on Saturday and Dunstall believed there was still a lot of potential.

"I think it could be a season-defining win for them. I thought they were fantastic and you've got to give them full credit," he said.

"I think there's a real fine line between being a genius and being a fool and for a coach you're at the mercy of your players.

"As group you get a lot of confidence. Now they've turned it around and they've got to build on it."

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COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley was the night's special guest.

After a big Anzac Day win over Essendon, Buckley was happy with how the team was progressing.

Former Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy asked if the decision to move on experienced trio Darren Jolly, Alan Didak and Heath Shaw was the right one.

"There's no doubts as to personnel or strategic decisions that you make," he said

"Clearly when you have a poor performance and the hysteria that followed externally, we were really keen for Round 2 and get up to Sydney."

In the lead up to the Collingwood-Carlton blockbuster this weekend, Buckley was asked about his relationship with former mentor and current Blues coach Mick Malthouse.

"We had a really strong professional relationship for a long period of time ... I learnt a lot from Mick," he said.

"I've been very fortunate to see how he's gone about it and glean parts of my philosophy from what I've seen of him."

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RICHMOND was the hot topic on the final football show of the night.

Melbourne great Garry Lyon said the Tigers were in serious trouble after coach Damien Hardwick suggested the absence of Brett Deledio, Ivan Maric and Alex Rance was a major reason behind the loss to Hawthorn

"They're making excuses for poor performances," he said.

"The footy club has to bat deeper than those three players. It's a sign of real pressure at Richmond."

Senior journalist Caroline Wilson said the Tigers were not top eight material.

"Clearly Richmond are not in that top eight contender and I never thought they were," she said.

"They lack on-field leadership, which is no slight on Trent Cotchin, who is a brilliant player.

"I think Damien is doing everything he can to keep the players positive.

"They're clearly not better than they were last year. He also said maybe we're not as good as we were last year."

■ IN his column last week, Essendon premiership player Matthew Lloyd criticised Hawthorn Cyril Rioli.

Lloyd said Rioli didn't work hard enough and came in for some major criticism of his own for writing the piece.

"Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I've watched him for a number of years," he said in his defence.

"This guy is a freakish player ... I feel that Cyril should be in the top 10 players in the competition.

I don't think in his six years, he's put together a season that reflects that. I still feeling that his ceiling is here and his potential is much more than that.

"He's a 15-disposal a game player, a goal and a half player but I believe he's capable of much more than that."

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