The AFL trade period has picked up momentum, with speedy defender Adam Saad finally achieving a move from Essendon to Carlton.
Saad’s move from Essendon to Carlton could unlock some key deals in the final stages of the AFL trade period
Other completed trades include Lachie Fogarty from Geelong to Carlton, the Cats’ Nakia Cockatoo to Brisbane, and Sydney’s Aliir Aliir to Port Adelaide
The AFL trade period ends at 7:30pm AEDT on Thursday
The deal involves Essendon trading Saad and picks 48 and 78 to the Blues, in exchange for picks eight and 87.
The Bombers now have picks six, seven and eight in this year’s AFL draft.
Saad began his career at Gold Coast, and played three seasons for the Suns before being traded to Essendon at the end of 2017.
He has played 109 games and will now be at his third AFL club for the 2021 season.
With 30 hours to go before the trade window closes, his deal to join Carlton could allow a series of trades between clubs.
Essendon could use one of its top picks to secure Western Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley, with reports that the Bulldogs have their eye on Collingwood’s Adam Treloar.
Also on the list of potential deals to be completed are GWS forward Jeremy Cameron — who has declared Geelong as his chosen destination — and Demons forward Ben Brown, who wants to join North Melbourne.
Other deals done on Wednesday include Lachie Fogarty, who will move to Carlton from Geelong.
The Cats traded Fogarty and pick 38 in exchange for picks 30 and 51.
Geelong also traded Nakia Cockatoo to the Brisbane Lions in exchange for a future third-round pick.
Port Adelaide added defender Aliir Aliir in a trade with the Sydney Swans for a future second-round pick.
Richmond has halted West Coast’s eight-match winning streak with a 27-point triumph on the Gold Coast.
The Tigers have won five of their past six matches
The Eagles dropped to fifth position on the ladder following the loss
Joe Daniher kicked three goals for the Bombers, who recovered from a 36-point deficit to beat the Hawks
Earlier on Thursday evening, Essendon remarkably fought back from a six-goal deficit at half-time to beat Hawthorn by 16 points, with Joe Daniher kicking three goals in his first AFL match in almost 15 months.
In Carrara, the Tigers flexed their muscle in the third quarter as a four-goal run blew apart a hard-fought contest, with the reigning premiers winning 14.4 (88) to 9.7 (61).
The win is the third-placed Tigers’ fifth from their past six matches. The loss saw the Eagles slip out of the coveted top four to be positioned fifth on the ladder.
Richmond forward Tom Lynch kicked three goals but it was a moment of inspiration by Dustin Martin that sparked a third-quarter surge.
The superstar midfielder kicked a remarkable banana from the pocket after West Coast youngster Jarrod Brander’s awful shank out on the full gave the Tigers possession.
After Martin’s goal, Richmond kicked three more unanswered to open up a 29-point lead.
Jack Darling’s three goals in the third quarter kept hope alive for the Eagles, with a kick after the siren reducing the Tigers’ lead to 14 points.
The Tigers, however, halted the Eagles momentum with the first two goals of the final term, which included a long bomb from Noah Balta from outside 50 to seal the battle of the winners of the past three grand finals.
Liam Ryan also had three goals for the Eagles and claimed four marks inside 50 in somewhat of a lone hand in the forward line for West Coast.
Ryan’s performance was telling after key forward Josh Kennedy was ruled out in the first quarter with a concussion.
Richmond had its own injury concern, with Dylan Grimes limping out of the match in the second quarter with a hamstring problem.
Martin finished with two goals and 17 possessions, while Bachar Houli (23 possessions) and skipper Trent Cotchin (26 possessions) were busy for the Tigers.
Eagles midfielder Andrew Gaff topped the disposals tally with 32 touches and his captain Luke Shuey had 27 disposals.
Bombers complete stunning comeback
Daniher starred for the Bombers in their incredible 13.9 (87) to 10.11 (71) in Thursday’s twilight match at Adelaide Oval.
The lanky forward booted 3.3 and took several strong grabs as the Bombers revived their season by snapping a five-match winless streak to rise to ninth on the ladder.
Hawthorn’s loss was soured by luckless Jonathon Patton suffering another injury.
Patton’s season could be over after hobbling from the field in the opening quarter with a suspected right calf injury.
The former number one draft pick, who underwent three knee reconstruction operations while with Greater Western Sydney, will have scans on Friday.
Patton had only returned to action last Saturday after being sidelined for six matches by a hamstring strain.
Hawthorn led 7.10 to 2.4 at half-time after scoring from 17 of their 22 inside 50s in the half.
But Daniher, who has been cruelled by a groin injury since his last match in round nine last year, played an inspired second half.
The Bombers booted five goals to one to trail by nine points at three-quarter-time.
Daniher’s purple patch began with a trademark high grab on the wing in the third stanza.
Minutes later, he marked low down, casually converted around his body and was mobbed by teammates.
Daniher soon added two more marks only to blaze set shots wide, but laced-out Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti for another major.
And in the tense last quarter, with his side four points up with less than four minutes remaining, Daniher goaled again.
He then capped his fairytale comeback by snapping the last major of the match to seal a remarkable win.
Essendon’s Zach Merrett was outstanding with 36 disposals, ably supported by Ashley McGrath (32 possessions), Kyle Langford (27 touches) and Dylan Shiel (25 disposals).
Bombers Jake Stringer, Cale Hooker and Dylan Clarke each booted two goals.
Hawthorn’s Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell was his side’s chief ball-winner with 27 disposals, while teammates Tom Scully, Jack Gunston and Daniel Howe slotted two majors apiece.
Essendon forward Joe Daniher will make his long-awaited return to AFL football against Hawthorn at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday evening.
Coach John Worsfold said Daniher could have been ready to play earlier if not for a minor calf strain
He last played in round nine in 2019
Daniher is out of contract and a restricted free agent at season’s end
Bombers coach John Worsfold confirmed Daniher would play against the Hawks, provided he gets through a light training session on Wednesday morning.
Daniher, 26, hasn’t played since round nine, 2019 due to recurring groin issues and unsuccessfully sought a trade to Sydney at the end of last season.
“The good news is we are expecting him to play,” Worsfold told reporters on Wednesday.
“So we’ve obviously got a light session this morning but we’re really excited that Joe’s done the work to be available, ready to step back up and play some footy — which is great for Joe, great for us [and] great for footy.”
Given the limited nature of scratch matches this year, Essendon opted to bring Daniher straight back into their AFL side after building his loads through competitive training sessions.
Worsfold said Daniher would have been ready to play earlier, if not for a minor calf strain, and the forward was “comfortable and excited” for his return.
Daniher is out of contract and a restricted free agent at season’s end.
Worsfold said he hadn’t directly spoken to Daniher about re-signing but emphasised there was “no panic” at Essendon’s end, and contract discussions would happen “at the right time”.
“Obviously Joe knows the club wants him to stay. We’d love him to play out his whole career at the Essendon footy club,” he said.
“But there’s going to be a new coach next year, and those discussions are going to be more heavily involved with Ben [Rutten] and our list management group going forward.
“Obviously, it rests with Joe’s desires mainly.”
The Bombers are set for further injury relief, with Cale Hooker and Conor McKenna poised to return against Hawthorn, while Dyson Heppell is on the comeback trail.
Worsfold wouldn’t be drawn on whether those inclusions could bolster Essendon’s flagging finals hopes.
“Our first focus is to just go through the normal protocols of getting these guys back playing,” Worsfold said.
“They’re desperate to play — Joe’s been working his backside off to get himself back to reignite his footy career.
“So we’re just excited about that, and Dyson, he’s just itching to be back out there playing with the guys.
“So whether that’s [in] another two or three games we don’t know yet — we’ll just keep progressing him.”
Reigning premier Richmond has surged into the AFL’s top-four with a spirited 12-point victory against Essendon in the AFL’s Dreamtime in Darwin fixture.
Richmond moved up to third position on the ladder courtesy of the two-goal victory over the Bombers
Tigers forward Tom Lynch may again find himself under the match review spotlight for an off-the-ball incident
Fremantle, Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs all won their matches during the AFL’s Indigenous Round
The Tigers jumped from sixth to third on the ladder with a hard-fought 10.13 (73) to 10.1 (61) triumph in the marquee encounter of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls round.
But spearhead Tom Lynch, days after being fined $2,000 for separate incidents, will again come under match review scrutiny for a behind-play forearm to the throat of Bomber Michael Hurley.
Also on Saturday night, Fremantle defeated a lacklustre Sydney by 31 points in Perth, while earlier Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs posted respective victories.
The annual Dreamtime match continued Essendon’s recent run of outs, with the Bombers having just one win from their past seven matches, while they lost luckless backman Aaron Francis to a hamstring injury.
The Bombers unveiled a potential cult figure, with Indigenous debutant Irving Mosquito kicking two goals, including a stunner on the run.
But the Bombers were overpowered by Richmond’s big guns: Dustin Martin (29 disposals, one goal, nine inside 50s) and Shai Bolton (28 touches, one goal) ruled the midfield while Lynch and Jack Riewoldt slotted two majors each.
The Tigers’ defence, featuring Liam Baker (16 possessions) was stingy and Ivan Soldo had the better of the rucks.
Essendon’s Zach Merrett was superb with a match-high 34 disposals and a goal, Devon Smith (28 possessions) battled gamely while James Stewart matched Mosquito’s return of two goals.
The match turned amid controversy in the second term moments after Mosquito’s memorable highlight.
The 19-year-old from Halls Creek in northern Western Australia flashed through a pack, gathered the ball 65 metres from goal, took a bounce and threaded a left-footer from a challenging angle.
Just 90 seconds after the act of brilliance, Bomber Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti took a chest mark and ran into an open goal.
But his teammate Jake Stringer was penalised for a push on Richmond’s Dylan Grimes and the score — which would have given Essendon an 11-point lead — did not count.
Instead, Richmond rallied with two goals in the next three minutes to take a seven-point half-time lead, which did not duly reflect the control of the match that the Tigers enjoyed.
But it took just 10 more minutes for the Tigers to finally cash in.
They made three rapid strikes with goals to Riewoldt, Martin and Kane Lambert creating a 25-point advantage.
The closest Essendon got thereafter was nine points early in the final quarter.
But Richmond killed off the challenge with the next three goals, before the Bombers belatedly scored the last three of the match to reduce the final margin.
Dockers restrict Swans to two goals
The Sydney Swans managed just two goals in clear conditions in their loss to Fremantle.
Fremantle forward Matt Taberner pulled down nine marks — four of which were contested — and booted two goals in the 7.8 (50) to 2.7 (19) win.
The result improved Fremantle’s win-loss record to 5-7, while Sydney (4-8) is officially out of the finals race.
Sydney’s score of 19 was its lowest ever total since South Melbourne became the Sydney Swans in 1982.
The club’s previous lowest tally recorded as the Swans was the 23 they posted against Collingwood in round 13, 1988.
Sydney booted the first goal of the match through Tom McCartin after just four minutes.
Their second goal did not come until six minutes into the final term when Sam Wicks kicked truly.
By that stage, the Swans trailed by 33 points and the contest was all but over.
Taberner’s strong marking and sharp leading proved too hard to contain, with the 27-year-old improving his season tally to 23 goals.
Luke Ryan (26 disposals) edged closer to a maiden All-Australian berth with another outstanding display in defence, while Andrew Brayshaw (27 disposals), and Nat Fyfe (22 disposals, six clearances) were prolific in the middle.
Jake Lloyd (28 disposals) led the way for Sydney, but the fact of the matter was the Swans managed just two goals despite winning the inside 50s count 43-34.
Power grind out win over plucky Hawks
AFL ladder leader Port Adelaide put a horror week behind the club by grinding out a 10-point win over Hawthorn.
The under-strength Hawks shocked the Power by kicking the opening three goals at Adelaide Oval and scores were level at three-quarter time.
But the home side prevailed, 9.14 (68) to 9.4 (58), after young star Zak Butters sliced through a forward-50 stoppage to collect Scott Lycett’s expert ruck tap and kick the sealer with two minutes left.
Milestone man Tom Rockliff (28 disposals) starred in his 200th AFL match and fellow veteran Travis Boak (33) continued his outstanding season.
Charlie Dixon rebounded from a goalless showing against the Cats with two majors and Indigenous star Sam Powell-Pepper (21 disposals) was a constant threat for Port Adelaide in the competition’s feature Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
Former Power players Chad Wingard, Shaun Burgoyne (two goals each) and Jarman Impey (one) were all prominent for Hawthorn, as were James Worpel (26 touches) and Tom Mitchell (25).
The Hawks’ early intensity and hot start saw the visitors kick the opening three goals, raising hopes of an upset.
Tempers flared during the second quarter as Stratton and Dixon clashed, with the Power forward eventually losing his jumper in the ensuing melee.
Dixon could also come under scrutiny from the match review officer for pushing his elbow into Stratton’s head as they wrestled on the ground.
Like Rockliff, Hawthorn captain Stratton was making his 200th senior appearance.
It looked like his side might help him celebrate by causing a major upset until Port Adelaide took control of general play in the final quarter, kicking 2.4 to 1.0 in the process to complete a hard-fought victory.
The Power will start favourites again when they meet Sydney on Saturday in the second of four straight matches against teams currently positioned outside the top eight.
Hawthorn has now lost seven of its last eight matches and tackle Essendon on Thursday night.
Bulldogs move inside top eight
A career-best day for Mitch Wallis helped Western Bulldogs into the AFL’s top eight, while Melbourne was left to rue a dismal third term in a 28-point loss.
Rocked by the 11th-hour withdrawal of Nathan Jones (quad injury), the Demons led by seven points at half-time in the round-13 encounter before the Bulldogs kicked six consecutive goals to set up the 12.8 (80) to 7.10 (52) win in Carrara.
The victory saw Luke Beveridge’s Bulldogs (7-6) take the Demons’ (6-6) spot inside the top eight with five rounds to play.
The Bulldogs have not been inside the eight since round nine.
Wallis dominated on goal for the Bulldogs with four majors, while Jack McRae, Bailey Smith, Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore all had between 22 and 26 disposals.
Christian Petracca (26 disposals, eight clearances), Angus Brayshaw and Jack Viney were busy but helpless during the third-term onslaught from the Bulldogs that ultimately decided the contest.
The Bulldogs clicked into gear after the main break when they opted to handball through the midfield.
The ever-lurking Wallis benefited, kicking two of his majors in the third term, while Bailey Williams was gifted another when Jake Melksham gave away a 50-metre penalty.
Liberatore was efficient early in the match, with nine of his first 10 possessions contested. He also kicked a goal as the two sides traded majors in the first half.
Aside from losing Jones before the match, the Demons were struck down by an injury blow during the contest, with Tom Sparrow helped from the field with a suspected shoulder injury.
Zaharakis finished with three goals but also injured his quad kicking his final major to finish the match on the bench.
James Stewart, in his third match of the season, also kicked three goals for the Bombers.
King had two goals for the Suns, as did Lachie Weller and Sam Day.
Kyle Langford kicked two majors for Essendon, including a fourth-quarter effort that put the Bombers ahead in the final term.
Zach Merrett topped the possession charts with 31 disposals with Andrew McGrath (26), Dylan Shiel (26), Jordan Ridley (23) and Darcy Parish (20) all getting more touches than the Suns’ highest possession winner in Hugh Greenwood (18).
Suns defender Charlie Ballard claimed 10 intercept marks, while Parish and William Snelling epitomised the Bombers’ pressure with eight and seven tackles respectively.
The result moves Essendon to ninth place on the ladder with 22 points from 10 matches.
The Suns, who had lost three straight matches heading into this match, sit 12th with 18 points from 11 matches.
The Bombers next face St Kilda on Sunday at the Gabba. The Suns take on Richmond at the same venue on Monday.