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Snapshot for round six of the AFL season

THEY SAID IT: “The season is well and truly slipping away” – West Coast coach Adam Simpson after his side’s thumping 84-point defeat to Port Adelaide.

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Brisbane livewire Zac Bailey kicked a career-best six goals on his way to claiming the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best on ground in the Lions’ 52-point win over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium. Bailey’s effort ties Charlie Dixon, Ash McGrath and Charlie Cameron for the best individual goal hauls in a Queensland derby.

KEY MOMENT: After Ned McHenry put Adelaide in front by a point in the dying stages against the Western Bulldogs, Caleb Daniel made an uncharacteristic error from the kickout. Daniel turned the ball over to Lachlan Gollant, who picked out Taylor Walker. The veteran Crows spearhead stepped up and sealed victory with a calm set shot from the pocket.

TALKING POINTS: Richmond badly need a boost after slumping to 2-4 in a season where they are aiming to bounce back into the finals. Even though they lost against Melbourne on Sunday night, Dustin Martin’s return to training after more than a month away for personal reasons could be the tonic the Tigers need. There will also be a watch on Sydney’s Paddy McCartin, who failed a concussion test during the victory over Hawthorn. Former No.1 draft pick McCartin’s career at St Kilda came to a premature end in 2019 because of concussion issues before he won a career lifeline with the Swans this year.

STATS THAT MATTER: A monster crowd of 84,205 fans turned out in bright sunshine at the MCG for the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster between Essendon and Collingwood. It was the highest attendance at an AFL match since the 2019 grand final because of crowd limits and restrictions in place around the global pandemic.

TRIBUNAL WATCH: North Melbourne defender Ben McKay has been offered a one-match ban for rough conduct on Geelong’s Rhys Stanley. It means he is again set to miss out on playing twin brother and Carlton star Harry. The McKays, drafted in 2015, have never played each other in an AFL game.

INJURIES: R Gray (PA, knee) E Yeo (WC, concussion) S Darcy (Frem, concussion) M Pittonet (Carl, knee) H McKay (Carl, knee) K Lohmann (Bris, ankle) M Rosas (GC, calf) P McCartin (Syd, concussion) L McDonald (Syd, concussion) N Kreuger (Coll, shoulder) J Laverde (Ess, knee), D Parish (Ess, ankle).

WHAT’S NEXT: It’s desperation stakes for West Coast and Richmond in Perth on Friday night and Fremantle’s strong early-season form will be put to the test away to Geelong. Hawthorn will need to produce a massive effort to end Melbourne’s unbeaten start and St Kilda are out to extend their winning streak to six matches against a reinvigorated Port Adelaide. On Sunday, the Bulldogs-Essendon clash shapes as a fierce battle and the Sydney-Brisbane encounter has the ingredients for an exciting contest.

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