What happened in round three of the AFL

HIGHLIGHTS FROM ROUND THREE OF THE AFL

THEY SAID IT: “One swallow doesn’t make a summer, does it? (But) I thought there was a bit to like there.

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” – Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was cautiously optimistic about his team’s future prospects after the Dockers stunned reigning premiers Western Bulldogs at Subiaco on Saturday.

STATS THAT MATTER: 16 – the number of goals Geelong kicked in a row in their 29-point win over Melbourne. The Demons were the better side for large portions of the game but ultimately kicked themselves out of it with their horrendous conversion in front of goal.

MAN OF THE ROUND: Gary Ablett. The two-time Brownlow medallist responded to a week of intense criticism in fine fashion. After last week’s poor game in a 102-point belting by Greater Western Sydney, Ablett was a key factor in the Suns’ stunning upset win over Hawthorn.

KEY MOMENT: In a rain-affected match at the MCG, Carlton skipper Marc Murphy kicked an early contender for goal of the year in the Blues’ hard-fought win over Essendon. Murphy threaded the eye of the needle with a brilliant snap to inspire his team on to their first victory of 2017.

TALKING POINT: Did Leigh Montagna taunt the Lions before he scored a pivotal late goal in St Kilda’s first win of the season? The veteran stopped in the goal square and even bounced the ball before putting it through as a defender approached. There was still nearly 10 minutes left in the game, but Montagna maintains he was only trying to take time off the clock in the close contest.

TRIBUNAL WATCH: Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide) will come under scrutiny by the match review panel after he was involved in an off-the-ball incident in the dying minutes of the Power’s loss to Adelaide. Young Crows forward Riley Knight was floored and indicated to a trainer he had been hit in the jaw. West Coast’s Shannon Hurn also faces a nervous wait after he cannoned into the back of Richmond’s Jason Castagna, as will North Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell after he clattered into the Giants’ Phil Davis. Gold Coast’s Jarryd Lyons was reported for striking Hawthorn’s Liam Shiels.

KEY INJURIES: R Griffen (Giants, ankle), P Davis (Giants, shoulder), N Vlastuin (Tigers, broken nose), J Darling (Eagles, ankle), M LeCras (Eagles, head knock), M Gawn (Demons, hamstring), B Vince (Demons, toe), T Hawkins (Cats, thigh), M McGovern (Crows, hamstring), R Knight (Crows, jaw), L Picken (Bulldogs, concussion), J Weitering (Blues, head knock), S White (Blues, back).

WHAT’S NEXT: West Coast kick off a five-day round of AFL action when they host winless Sydney on Thursday night, but the big ticket item of the round is the first Good Friday clash between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. League leaders Adelaide will host Essendon at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Moses not worth $850k a season: Kenny

Parramatta legend Brett Kenny believes Mitchell Moses isn’t worth the reported $850,000 a-year he’s getting to join the Eels.

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Four-time premiership winner and champion five-eighth Kenny is also against Wests Tigers No.6 Moses making an early-season switch to Parramatta.

Moses will play for the Tigers against the Eels in their Easter Monday NRL clash at ANZ Stadium, but is widely tipped to be granted an early release to join Parramatta.

Speaking at the club’s 70th anniversary jersey reveal on Tuesday, Kenny gave an honest assessment of Moses who he rates as a playmaker.

“I don’t know whether I would be giving him the amount of money that was mentioned in the paper a few weeks ago, $850,000, I don’t think he’s worth that much,” Kenny said.

“But he’s certainly a good young player. Obviously it would be a plus for Parramatta to have someone like that in the side. The only thing he might have to work on is his defence.

“His defence is not that strong, but his attacking skills are outstanding.”

Kenny is adamant Moses shouldn’t be allowed to switch clubs mid-season, avoiding the situation of playing against his future teammates.

He said the current system made contracts worthless.

“To me it’s getting more like you don’t need to sign a contract anymore because contracts mean nothing. I just think it’s wrong,” he said.

“I would rather him see out the season at the Tigers and come to Parra in 2018 and start the season fresh. That’s the way I’d like to see it done.”

Despite his criticisms, Kenny said the 22-year-old Moses would alleviate the pressure on main playmaker Corey Norman.

Halfback Norman has shouldered much of the Eels’ attack this season as the versatile Clint Gutherson spent the opening month of the competition developing as a five-eighth.

“(Gutherson is) playing on the wing the majority of the time, had a bit of a stint at fullback and then came into five-eighth. It’s always difficult to do that,” Kenny said.

“Having someone like Mitchell Moses, who’s been a regular five-eighth playing, it’s going to help Corey Norman. I think at the moment, there’s a lot of pressure on Corey Norman.

“It makes it easier for the defence as well, the opposition start to look at that and say we’ve only got to get him out of the game and Parramatta can’t do anything.

“Well if you’ve got someone like Mitchell Moses on the other side who’s very creative as well, suddenly there’s two sides they’ve got to worry about. I think it’ll be very beneficial for them.”

Lightning overcome Swifts in Super Netball

The Sunshine Coast Lightning have called on their vast experience to overturn a four-goal deficit at three-quarter-time to secure a hard-fought 55-50 win over the NSW Swifts at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

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In a fluctuating round 8 Super Netball contest on Sunday, the Swifts produced a 17-7 third quarter to snatch the lead at the final break after trailing 32-26 at halftime.

However, the star-studded Lightning turned the tide with a 16-7 final push to enter the bye week firmly entrenched in the top four.

“Knowing the statistics and what we’ve done in prep, we knew the Swifts come out really strong in the third quarter. It’s something they’re synonymous with. We actually were expecting it, to be honest,” Lightning coach Noeline Taurua said.

“We made a change defensively, went tight man-on-man, which puts the emphasis back on individual’s skill level. I think we were able to get the roll on once again, get momentum and were able to secure the ball.”

Despite a wholehearted effort by Swifts defensive duo Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner, Diamonds star Caitlin Bassett delivered another reliable performance at goal shooter, scoring 38 goals at 93 per cent accuracy and combining well with former Swifts player, Stephanie Wood, at goal attack.

At the other end, Swifts goal shooter Sam Wallace scored 33 goals in a tense clash with England international Geva Mentor.

The Swifts led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter, but the introduction of South Africa international defender Karla Mostert helped the visitors turn the tide to grab a comfortable halftime advantage.

Swifts coach Rob Wright switched up his midcourt for the third period, moving Paige Hadley to centre, taking Maddy Proud off and giving Australian junior representative Claire O’Brien an opportunity to work against Silver Ferns great Laura Langman.

Within 10 minutes the Swifts had mown down the Lightning’s advantage and completed perhaps their best quarter of the season.

However, the Lightning remained composed and finished off with a 16-7 final period to ensure the win.

“It’s definitely starting to become very frustrating for us, as players,” Swifts captain Abbey McCulloch said.

“We know we’ve got the goods to finish off games, especially when we’re four goals up. We know we need to put the games away.

“It’s like we get a bit panicked out there, even though we just played the last 45 minutes perfectly. Then all of a sudden we get to the last quarter and things go a bit haywire for us.”

Wright said his team left behind what had been working for them.

“You can almost see that we run on top of each other and we get quite long in attack and then our movement stops,” he said.

“They’re such a good side that they punish you.”

Blues show true grit in upset AFL win

Sam Rowe and Patrick Cripps personified the heart and courage that drove Carlton to their outstanding 15-point AFL win over old rivals Essendon.

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The Blues posted their first win for the season in atrocious conditions on Sunday at the MCG, upsetting the Bombers 7.15 (57) to 6.6 (42).

While captain Marc Murphy was best afield, it was only a week ago that Rowe and Cripps suffered heavy knocks in incidents that led to two Melbourne suspensions.

On Sunday, Rowe shut down Essendon key forward Joe Daniher and Cripps racked up 24 possessions – half of them contested.

Rowe suffered concussion after a blow that cost Jesse Hogan a two-game ban, while Cripps played against Essendon with a jaw fracture, thanks to the hit that earned Jordan Lewis a three-game suspension.

Their spirit was contagious – Jacob Weitering’s head was split open in the second term after an accidental clash with Essendon defender Michael Hurley, but the No.1 draft pick from 2015 played out the game.

“Cripper comes from tough farming stock,” said coach Brendon Bolton.

“That sort of approach rubs off on people like Weitering – he got split open today, came back on and did a role for us up forward.

“We needed to play with grit and he did.”

Bolton said he was extremely proud of his developing team, which was expected to struggle this season.

But after being well-beaten by Richmond in round one – Bolton said their pride was dented – the Blues pushed Melbourne and now have the scalp of their fierce rivals.

“When you have conditions like that, it comes back to a little bit of old-school days – I felt like I was back in Tassie … with all the wet weather,” Bolton said.

“You just have to win the contested possession, win the tackle count – it’s not pretty, but it’s a bit about heart.”

Murphy’s game was punctuated by 10 tackles and a freakish snapped goal in the third term.

The Blues only led by four points at three quarter time, but it may as well have been four goals, and they sealed a memorable win with two goals to nil in the last term.

Carlton won all the crucial statistics in the wintery conditions – they had 22 scoring shots to 12, 111 tackles to 88 and 60 inside-50s to 37.

But what mattered most to Bolton was they trailed in contested possessions 85-67 at halftime, before winning that category 160-158.

Coach John Worsfold said after opening the season with two wins, Essendon’s loss highlighted areas of concern.

“There were no surprises in some of the things that happened today,” he said.

“Obviously Carlton just used the ball so much better early on and created their forward 50 entries.

“We were scrambling – we didn’t play anywhere near the way we’d like to play.”

Carlton host Gold Coast next Saturday, while Essendon have a massive interstate assignment against top side Adelaide.

NSW top cop takes Burn off counter-terror

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has been moved on from her role as head of counter-terrorism by the force’s new boss.

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Just weeks after taking over from Andrew Scipione, Commissioner Mick Fuller has named Deputy Commissioner Dave Hudson to lead the Investigations and Counter-Terrorism unit.

Ms Burn will remain deputy commissioner but will instead lead Specialist Support, Mr Fuller announced on Tuesday.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has been shifted from head of counter-terrorism by the state’s newly minted Police Commissioner.

Within a fortnight of taking over from Andrew Scipione, Commissioner Mick Fuller has named Deputy Commissioner Dave Hudson to lead the Investigations and Counter-Terrorism unit and State Crime Command, which covers squads targeting major crimes including homicide and organised gangs.

Ms Burn will remain deputy commissioner but instead lead Specialist Support, Mr Fuller announced on Tuesday.

The reshuffle comes ahead of a pending report into the police response to the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege, in which two hostages and gunman Man Haron Monis were killed after a 17-hour stand-off.

Both Ms Burn, who has held the counter-terrrorism portfolio since 2012, and Mr Scipione have been criticised for their handling of their roles in the operation.

Ms Burn, who insisted she had no operational role during the siege, came under scrutiny over text messages she sent during and after the siege, which were deleted and haven’t been recovered.

Mr Scipione also stated he had no operational control at the siege either.

Mr Fuller was the first high-ranking officer to take command of the siege and he ordered a contain and negotiate approach rather than sending in armed officers.

Ms Burn will start her new role on May 1.

Until now, the specialist support role has overseen several units including PolAir, forensics, marine area command and highway patrol.

Both Ms Burn and Mr Hudson had thrown their hat into the ring for the top job to replace Mr Scipione but were passed over.

Mr Hudson will move from head of corporate services, which he’s held since 2013, to take on his new role also at the beginning of May.

Mr Fuller still needs to appoint three more deputy commissioner positions under the changes.