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Snapshot for round 21 of the AFL season

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Josh Kennedy’s sore knee meant the West Coast great limped towards his farewell match on Sunday. But he made sure he went out with a bang, kicking a remarkable eight goals against Adelaide. The massive haul was almost enough to lift West Coast over the line, but the Crows kicked two late goals to secure a 16-point win.

KEY STAT: Simon Goodwin flagged mid-week that Melbourne needed to start putting opponents away when they had the chance. But they didn’t – and it proved costly again. The Demons led by 23 points during the second quarter against Collingwood but lost their advantage after half-time. It was the fifth time this year Melbourne have lost a game after leading by at least 20 points.

KEY INJURIES: W Hoskin-Elliott (Coll, hip flexor) P Dangerfield (Geel, calf tightness) D Hannebery (StK, ankle), N Vlastuin (Rich, ribs), C Rozee (Port, knee), M Taberner (Frem, calf), J Peatling (GWS, concussion), J Kennedy (Syd, hamstring – VFL), W Hamill (Adel, concussion), C Ah Chee (Bris, concussion), J Martin (Carl, calf)

KEY MOMENT: Magpie fourth-gamer Ash Johnson was ice-cool in the final quarter of an enthralling Friday night contest with two calm set shots as the lead swung on each of the last five goals of the match. Johnson put Collingwood in front for the final time with just minutes left after he was pushed in the back by Harrison Petty. It was Johnson’s fourth goal and the defining moment in another impressive display.

QUOTE: “To Josh (Jenkins) and Eddie (Betts) and the Adelaide players and staff who were involved, I apologise for the camp. It’s saddened me to see they’re feeling that way. I acknowledge the hurt and I’m sorry.” Former Crows coach Don Pyke admitted the club’s ill-fated 2018 pre-season camp was wrong and has had long-lasting effects on some players.

TRIBUNAL WATCH: Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps could be in trouble for his mid-air collision with Callum Ah Chee that forced the Lions midfielder to be subbed off with concussion. Hawthorn’s Jarman Impey was placed on report for a late bump on Gold Coast’s Darcy Macpherson but was later cleared.

TALKING POINT: Will the uncertainty surrounding Lance Franklin’s future derail Sydney’s flag charge? The Swans cruised to a 38-point win over North Melbourne on Sunday but will be given sterner tests against Collingwood and St Kilda in the final two rounds. Franklin has put off contract talks until the end of the season, but there’s set to be constant chatter about it during the club’s finals campaign. He’s already been linked to Brisbane, but retirement could also be on the cards.

WHAT’S NEXT: St Kilda will be fighting to keep their finals hopes alive when they host Brisbane on Friday night. Saturday’s clash between Melbourne and Carlton at the MCG is also set to have huge ramifications, while Fremantle must beat West Coast in the derby later that day to keep within striking distance of the top four. Collingwood will be aiming to notch their 12th straight win when they take on fellow flag contenders Sydney at the SCG on Sunday.

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