'The bag' is back

Hawk superstar Lance Franklin turned it on against the Kangaroos.
Hawk superstar Lance Franklin turned it on against the Kangaroos.

WOW, suddenly 'the bag' is back.

Just when we were lamenting how starved of the big individual goalkicking haul we AFL fans had become, it has made a stunning return.

Richmond spearhead Jack Riewoldt served up the entree on Friday night against the Saints, booting 8 goals to back up his 6 the previous round against Hawthorn. He had slotted just 17 in the preceding eight weeks.

Then, like a blast from the past, Hawk superstar Lance Franklin turned it on as only he can against the Kangaroos, delivering the main course - 13 goals in an amazing display. 'Buddy' had registered just 11 majors in the six weeks prior.

The race for the Coleman Medal had been intriguing, but Franklin (34) and Riewoldt (31) have made it exciting again.

Heading into round 10, Tom Hawkins had led the goalkicking table with 24.

Now, no disrespect to the Geelong powerhouse - the game has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades with the way teams set up - but Tony Lockett used to swallow that miserly number up in a couple of afternoons when he was at the peak of his powers with the Saints.

Big 'Plugger' dined out on hapless opposition to boot bags of 12, 10 and 12 in his first three games of 1991 on his way to 127 in 17 games for the season.

That was just a sample of his massive appetite. He registered double-figure tallies on 22 occasions throughout his 281-game career.

Staggering, but not shocking. 'Bags' were a regular occurrence in his day.

Of course, there was his old sparring partner, Hawk Jason Dunstall, who kicked 10-or-more 16 times, including hauls of 12, 12, 12 and 17 (one short of Fred Fanning's all-time record of 18) in 1992 alone, and fellow legend Cat Gary Ablett Snr, who notched three bags of 14 (1989, 1993 and 1994) and a couple of 12s (in 1990 and 1993).

Collingwood magician Peter Daicos, West Coast champ Peter Sumich and Adelaide livewire Tony Modra had bests of 13, while even the likes of Billy Brownless slotted 11 in a game long before a became a clown on The Footy Show, and Mark 'Jacko' Jackson and Warwick Capper each snagged 10, when they were already clowns, with Geelong and Sydney respectively.

So much was expected of the stay-at-home key forwards that helmeted spearhead John Hutton, the No.1 draft pick in 1991, got axed by the Brisbane Bears after just one season - a season which yielded a couple of bags of 8 and a total of 43 in 18 games. Not a bad effort by today's standards.

But, times have changed. Shorts are baggier, coaches want a greater spread of goalkickers so as not become too predictable, and players pretty much play everywhere.

On Saturday though, Franklin actually spent the majority of the game in the attacking 50m arc, much to the benefit of the Hawks. He finished with 9 marks inside that area, though, in true Buddy-style, his goals came from every which way - snaps, on the run, you name it.

For SuperCoach devotees, his game equated to 236 points - one of the highest ever tallies.

Franklin's bag was the most since Scott Cummings booted 14 for West Coast in 2000 and only the 13th time since then the 10-goal barrier has been breached by a player.

14 Scott Cummings WC (2000)
12 Mark LeCras WC (2010
11 Matthew Lloyd ES (2003); 11 Stephen Milne SK (2005)
10 Matthew Lloyd ES (2001); 10 Matthew Richardson RI (2004); 10 Fraser Gehrig SK (2004); 10 Scott Cummings WC (2000); 10 Josh Kennedy WC (2011); 10 Jack Riewoldt RI (2010); 10 Jonathan Brown BL (2007); 10 Fraser Gehrig SK (2006)

18 Fred Fanning ME (1947
17 Jason Dunstall HW (1992); 17 Gordon Coventry CW (1930)
16 Tony Lockett SY (1995); 16 Peter McKenna CW (1969; 16 Peter Hudson HW (1969); 16 Gordon Coventry CW (1929)
15 Kelvin Templeton FO (1978); 15 Tony Lockett SK (1992); 15 Bob Pratt SM (1934)

Topics:  afl

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