INJURIES, close matches and strong performances were the theme for our local exports in the latest round of the AFL season.
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Zach Merrett went head-to-head when the Western Bulldogs squared off with Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Friday.
The Bulldogs got the points, with Ugle-Hagan kicking 3.2 from 15 touches in a strong display up forward. Merrett was also prolific during the contest, finishing with a goal from 24 disposals.
Carlton’s victory over West Coast came at a cost, with Cobden product Sam Walsh sustaining a hamstring injury.
Walsh exited the match in the quarter after 14 touches and a goal but is set to spend the next two to three weeks on the sidelines.
Hugh McCluggage and the Brisbane Lions held off a fast-finishing Geelong at the GABBA.
McCluggage had 26 touches, three clearances and three inside 50s. Geelong’s Gary Rohan was a late withdrawal from the contest with an ankle issue.
Willem Drew could not help Port Adelaide over the line against Collingwood, with the two clubs playing out one of the games of the season.
Drew was given the task of negating star Magpie Nick Daicos, with the Koroit export enjoying a strong defensive game, laying 16 tackles. He also managed 16 touches and was unlucky not to end up with a couple of majors, kicking two behinds.
Josh Corbett made his return to AFL level for Fremantle, with the North Warrnambool export having seven touches in the Dockers loss to Sydney.
Corbett kicked a behind but was an aerial presence for Fremantle, finishing with five marks.
Rowan Marshall helped St Kilda to a narrow victory, with the Saints defeating North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.
The Portland product had 19 touches, 22 hit-outs and a goal for his side, with the win keeping his side in the hunt for a finals berth.
Meanwhile, Sean Darcy’s season has come to a premature end, with the Fremantle ruckman having surgery during the week after injuring an ankle the previous week against Collingwood.
Ben Cunnington did not feature at either level as North Melbourne’s VFL side had a week’s break and he was not selected for the AFL team.
Jamaine Jones is also continuing his recovery from ankle surgery but has resumed training with the Eagles in a bid to return later this year.