The Northern Territory news Mon 29 Aug 2016
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MONDAY AUGUST 29 2016 SPORT 23 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA the club after a board meeting this week. Apart from three weeks ago, every moment before that there hasnt been a win-loss component to me keeping my job, he said. But obviously things have shifted the last couple of weeks. Im uncertain of what has transpired. In a half-time huddle positioned within earshot of the travelling cheer squad, Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff (37 disposals) gave an impassioned plea, pointing to his shirt and 200-gamer Daniel Merrett. The bruising defender, whose milestone coincided with his last AFL match, enjoyed the Lions best moment of the day, kicking a goal that every Brisbane player on the ground saluted. But St Kilda had too many routes to goal for Brisbane, finishing with 11 goalkickers and their biggest score of the year. FREMANTLE have forgotten a dismal 2016 AFL season to farewell retiring champion Matthew Pavlich with an upset 20-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Domain Stadium. Fremantle were in charge from the outset to finish 10.9 (69) to 6.13 (49) yesterday. With Hawthorn winning by a point against Collingwood at the MCG, the Bulldogs couldnt move from seventh position and played as if the game was a dead rubber. Its the Dockers fourth win of 2016 after being minor 161SAINTS5.5 11.7 17.8 25.11 103LIONS3.4 6.8 9.11 15.13 GOALS St Kilda: N Riewoldt 9 J Bruce 3 J Lonie 3 N Wright 2 T Membrey 2 B White D Armitage J Geary J Newnes J Steven S Gilbert Brisbane: J Walker 3 L Dawson 2 R Mathieson 2 T Rockliff 2 B Keays D Merrett D Rich D Zorko P Hanley T Bell BEST St Kilda: N Riewoldt J Steven D Armitage D Roberton J Lonie J Newnes J Holmes Brisbane: D Zorko T Rockliff J Walker T Cutler S Martin. UMPIRES C Fleer, C Deboy, L Fisher CROWD 19,633 at Etihad Stadium premiers last season. The Bulldogs took precious little from the game on the same ground where they will play an elimination final against West Coast on September 8. They also had an injury scare in the first half when forward Tom Boyd hurt an ankle. He returned but had no influence forward or in the ruck. It was a final game to remember for Pavlich in his 354th AFL appearance. He brought up his 700th AFL goal in style 14 minutes into the first term, and even missing three set shots in the last term mattered little. Lachie Neale finished his season with another 36 possessions for Fremantle, setting an AFL season record. Danyle Pearce had 31 disposals, Stephen Hill 30 and Garrick Ibbotson 29 in a terrific performance in defence. Michael Walters kicked two goals for Freo. Tory Dickson kicked three goals for the Bulldogs, while Matthew Boyd racked up 35 disposals, Luke Dahlhaus 31, Lin Jong and Liam Picken 28, Marcus Bontempelli 27 and Jason Johannisen 27. Freo give Pavlich a fitting, winning farewell people filling all the key roles at the club, starting from the top. Not since Graeme Downie, Andrew Ireland, Graeme Allan, Leigh Matthews and Michael Voss in the premiership era has there been gun operators in all the major positions at Brisbane. Leigh Matthews comments on Saturday that Queensland would never be AFL heartland were unbefitting a man in his position. It infuriated AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, who made his feelings known, and also Lions staffers who felt demoralised that their deputy chairman would trivialise the hard work they do to promote the code and club seemingly just to score another point in his long- running feud with head office. Matthews needs to get over it, or move on. Do the failures of Voss and Leppitsch rule out another premiership Lion from taking the job? It shouldnt. If Chris or Brad Scott were available they are worth talking to. Michael Voss was canvassed on the weekend to discuss Brisbanes plight. Although he stressed he was too far removed to know what was happening at his former club, he said the coaching position was just one piece of the puzzle and stressed that the Lions had to get an experienced footy manager. Voss coaching career was undertaken with inexperienced footy managers and a weak chief executive-chair man combination in Angus Johnson and Malcolm Holmes. Matthews himself identified a senior football head as a priority when he approached Gubby Allan during the middle of the season. With Allans appointment as the new football boss at Collingwood, Neil Balmes position at the Pies is up in the air. He should be the first person Brisbane calls. There has been plenty of opinion the Lions need to go with a proven senior coach. Meanwhile, with Dion Prestia and Jaeger OMeara already out the door, the Suns are considering a major clean-out. A tough decision looms on Nick Malceski, whose body is packing it in, while Aaron Hall remains a major frustration. He would be attractive to most clubs because of his pace and they will listen to all offers. The Coast should look at one of Sydneys ruckmen and the very best midfielder they can convince to head north. Time for clean-out if Lions and Suns are to climb up the ladder THE LIONS and Suns will be relieved their horror seasons are over. But if they dont make the right decisions in coming days, they will ensure the misery will continue for years to come. The first decision the Lions must make today is to thank Justin Leppitsch for his service and start the search for a new coach. But it does not end there. The Lions need the right ANDREW HAMILTON Rooey revels in glory of big win A NICK Riewoldt masterclass has seen St Kilda finish their 2016 AFL season on a high, defeating Brisbane by 58 points at Etihad Stadium. Riewoldt took his usual aerial dominance to the next level yesterday, kicking nine goals as the Saints blew Brisbane away in a 25.11 (161) to 15.13 (103) victory. The veteran skipper took a season-high 21 marks and equalled his career-best goal haul, transforming the near-meaningless match to a spectacle. Its been a decade since Riewoldt tallied nine goals but St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said he wasnt surprised by his showing. Nothing surprises me with Rooey; hes an absolute pro, Richardson said. Because of the work that Nick puts in, hes still our best forward. Despite the size of the defeat, the Lions avoided the wooden spoon after tallying a decent score of their own. Brisbane started the day just half a per cent above bottomplaced Essendon, whose defeat of Carlton on Saturday had put last place and the coveted No.1 draft pick in doubt. Riewoldts seventh goal had the Lions in last place on the live ladder but late majors spared Brisbane that fate. The loss could end coach Justin Leppitschs time at the club. In three seasons, Leppitsch has mustered just 14 wins, with season 2016 the worst in the clubs history. Leppitsch, a triple-premiership player at the Lions, will find out if his future remains at BEN McKAY ST KILDA V BRISBANE CHRIS PIKE FREMANTLE V WEST BULLDOGS 69DOCKERS4.1 7.2 9.3 10.9 49BULLDOGS2.4 4.9 6.12 6.13 GOALS Fremantle: M Walters 2 D Mundy D Pearce L Neale M Apeness M De Boer M Pavlich S Hill S Yarran Western Bulldogs: T Dickson 3 C Smith 2 L Dahlhaus BEST Fremantle: L Neale G Ibbotson S Hill D Pearce M Pavlich D Mundy Western Bulldogs: M Boyd L Picken L Dahlhaus T Dickson L Jong K Stevens UMPIRES J Dalgleish, R Findlay, R OGorman CROWD 34,765 at Domain Stadium Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli is crunched by Fremantle opponent Cam Sutcliffe at Domain Stadium. Below: Freo's Hayden Ballantyne and the Dogs Jason Johannisen battle for the football yesterday Pictures: PAUL KANE