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The Five: Round Nine

Michael Whiting, AFL Media  May 20, 2017 10:50 PM

Highlights R9: Eddie does it again After several contests, Eddie Betts dribbles through a brilliant goal from a tough angle

1. Sloane breaks the shackles, and so do the Crows
After a down fortnight where he was beaten by Sam Gibson and Bernie Vince, Rory Sloane bounced back in his 150th game. It was no surprise to see the Lions tag him – youngster Nick Robertson getting the job – but the champion midfielder worked, worked and worked, finishing with 31 disposals (19 contested) and eight clearances. He had plenty of help this week too, with Rory Laird (37 touches) and the Crouch brothers (Matt with 32 and Brad 30) getting plenty of ball.

2. Eddie Betts v Tom Lynch – which goal was better?
This game threw up some scintillating efforts around goal, but these two you have to see to believe. Midway through the first quarter Lynch received a handpass hemmed in on the right boundary line and uncorked an incredible shot on the run from just inside 50m. But Betts did something arguably only he could do in the second quarter. With the ball on the ground after he dispossessed Darcy Gardiner, Betts soccered it to himself (while shrugging Gardiner off), picked it up and expertly dribbled through a goal on his left foot, beating Josh Walker's despairing dive. A gem in the blink of an eye. I'm taking Betts, but you be the judge of which was better. 

3. Not a bad debut for Hugh Greenwood
The former Perth Wildcat made a fair fist of his first game in the AFL, kicking three goals in the first half. Brought in by coach Don Pyke as part of a shake-up that saw Josh Jenkins and David Mackay dropped, Greenwood made almost every touch count as he successfully completed the sport switch from basketball to Australian Football. His first goal came on the quarter-time siren (from a Betts pass), and kicked two in a minute late in the second term, including a beautifully composed left-foot effort on the run.

4. Charlie Cameron lights it up
It's pretty hard to steal the show when Betts is one of your fellow small forwards, but Charlie Cameron's third quarter was breathtaking. The Queenslander kicked four for the term, including one explosive effort where he took two bounces and burnt poor Lion Marco Paparone to stream into an open goal. He also climbed high for a soaring pack mark and another goal and finished his amazing term when getting on the end of a Lions turnover. Betts had plenty of fun as well, kicking 3.2 and handing off another four goals. 

5. Bad kicking, bad footy
For the first quarter-and-a-half, the Lions were highly competitive, matching the Crows in most key indicators including clearances and contested possessions. They led by nine points late in the first term, and on the run of play, should have been further in front. But a number of easy chances – Jake Barrett, Lewy Taylor and Michael Close among the culprits – went begging, and it didn't take long to come back and bite them. The Crows kicked nine unanswered goals either side of half-time and the Lions were blown away.