Mid-table AFL struggle grows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mid-table AFL struggle grows

Roger Vaughan 19/06/2011 07:59:32 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle and Essendon remain in the top eight by the skin of their teeth, with the AFL mid-table struggle intensifying during round 13.

As Sydney blew a chance to keep pace with the top four, Richmond and Melbourne were out of eighth place only on percentage and North Melbourne charged back to within striking distance.

The Demons smashed Fremantle by 89 points on Sunday, meaning the Dockers had lost their past 10 MCG matches.

The 22.17 (149) to 8.12 (60) result also elevated the Demons to ninth spot.

Fremantle are half a game above the Bombers in seventh.

"I think everyone is (at a critical point of their season) from around fifth or sixth place to around 12th place," said Dockers' coach Mark Harvey.

"It's the mid-year. It's testing times.

"When you go through something like we are at the moment (with injuries), you're going to fluctuate."

Sydney coach John Longmire said his team was only in the game for the first 10 minutes at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, before Carlton dominated.

The Blues stayed third with the 34-point win over Sydney, which at one stage featured 14 Carlton goals to one from Sydney.

Instead of sharing fourth spot with Carlton, the Swans are a game and a half behind fourth-placed Hawthorn following the 15.10 (100) to 10.6 (66) disappointment.

All Sydney's losses this season have come against top-four teams and their next opponents are second-placed Collingwood.

"It says at this very moment, we're a bit short of that (top four)," Longmire said of Sunday's loss.

"From my point of view, it's a good thing (playing Collingwood next) - it's just get back on the bike again."

Sydney fell from fifth to sixth, swapping places with West Coast, after the Eagles beat Port Adelaide by 22 points on Sunday in Perth.

The Power challenged in the second half, but the Eagles were too strong and won 15.20 (110) to 13.10 (88).

Essendon suffered their fourth-straight loss on Saturday as North Melbourne rallied in the last term for a 21-point win.

The Kangaroos, who had won their past three games, made the Bombers pay for their early inaccuracy, winning 17.9 (111) to 12.18 (90).

Richmond kicked clear in the last quarter to beat Brisbane by 31 points on Saturday night at the 'Gabba, 18.17 (125) to 14.10 (94).

Unbeaten Geelong had a torrid match with St Kilda, but the Cats were too strong and won by 28 points.

The 12th-placed Saints remain only one game out of the top eight despite the 15.10 (100) to 11.6 (72) loss.

Hawthorn are sweating on Lance Franklin's striking charge following their regulation 71-point win over Gold Coast on Saturday in Launceston.

The Hawks kicked clear in the second half to win 19.15 (129) to 8.10 (58).

On Friday night, the Western Bulldogs celebrated Robert Murphy's 200th game with a badly-needed win over Adelaide.

The Bulldogs won 14.16 (100) to 10.10 (70) and even they were just a game and a half out of eighth spot, despite their 4-8 record.

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