Sport AFL Expansion loses its fizz

Expansion loses its fizz

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A four-goal third-quarter blitz from North Melbourne forward Drew Petrie has helped bury Greater Western Sydney by 75 points and put his side’s AFL finals push back on track.

The Kangaroos snapped a two-game losing streak with the dominant 19.12 (126) to 7.9 (51) win on Saturday afternoon in front of 10,211 fans at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

It’s the momentary lapses of concentration that always seem to cost the Giants, and this week was no different, the Kangaroos piling on 44 straight points in a seven-goal onslaught straight after halftime to bank an unassailable lead.

Petrie led the carnage by kicking four of his five goals during the 30 minutes of mayhem, while Ben Cunnington also starred throughout with three goals and 28 possessions.

Toby Greene impressed for the Giants with a match-high 35 possessions, while Jonathon Patton and Devon Smith both chimed in with two goals apiece.

With the Giants’ Tom Scully, Jeremy Cameron, Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio and Tim Mohr all undergoing surgery, their depth was severely tested by a Kangaroos outfit that was only really troubled when they switched off late in the second term.

In Melbourne, Gold Coast had a lot to play for but the young Suns let slip a golden opportunity as they crashed to a 39-point loss to Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

Veteran Chris Judd showed he could still have another season left in him after putting in a spectacular performance in midfield for the Blues and out-of-contract forward Jarrad Waite had a day out with five goals.

Carlton led by 46 points at halftime and eventually won 14.13 (97) to Gold Coast’s 8.10 (58) in front of a crowd of 28,840.

The Blues improved their win-loss record to 7-12 while Gold Coast’s ninth loss could prove extremely costly to their hopes of climbing back into the top eight and qualifying for their maiden finals campaign.

Tom Bell kicked four goals for Carlton.

The inconsistent Waite has hit form with 12 goals in the past three rounds and was in superb touch against Gold Coast, picking up 22 possessions and nine marks.

Dual Brownlow Medallist Judd, 31 next month, kicked two goals and gathered 27 disposals including a game-high nine clearances.

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