Three takeaways from round six

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and captain Scott Pendlebury after he was jeered by Essendon fans whilst accepting the Anzac Day medal. (Photo by: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

There will always be booing whether we like it or not

 The louder the uproar, the louder the boos. That seemed to be the case when Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley addressed a raucous MCG crowd on Thursday following Essendon and Collingwood’s Anzac Day contest.

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury thanked both sides of the MCG crowd and Essendon fans gave him their own message, booing Pendlebury midway through his acceptance speech of the Anzac Medal awarded for best afield.

The majority of the jeers aren’t necessarily there because the fans dislike Pendlebury, but mainly because he is so good, and a good opponent on an enemy team is seen as a villain; no matter how likeable they are.

Geelong champion Gary Ablett Jnr received his own dose of MCG jeers earlier in the week at the hands of Hawthorn fans during the Easter Monday clash, and there’s no doubt he will be booed again the next time he faces the Hawks.

Whether it’s acceptable or not, it will never be stopped nor can it be controlled, as was evident with the Adam Goodes saga shortly before his retirement.

Booing may not be seen as being in good spirit, but it is part of a fan’s freedom of speech at a sporting event and it’s simply uncontrollable.

It’s a tick for Port Adelaide’s off-season changes

Port Adelaide were one of the most active teams over the off-season as they looked to alter a list that performed disappointingly in 2018.

It saw Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard depart to North Melbourne, whilst they sent fan favourite Chad Wingard to Hawthorn in return for Ryan Burton and picks 15 and 35.

They also signed West Coast premiership ruckman Scott Lycett to support their incumbent ruck in Patrick Ryder and Brisbane Lions’ midfielder Sam Mayes who adds depth to their squad.

At this early point of the season it’s been all positive, the Power currently sit fifth on the AFL ladder, but the most promising aspect of all this is the emergence young draftees Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma.

Rozee has injected energy and x factor into the Power’s side (earning a rising star nomination in the process), and looks destined to be a star of the competition in the future, whilst Ryan Burton has averaged 22 disposals off of halfback and looks set to deliver on his exceptional potential.

The Power have added depth, youth and x factor to their side and their 2018 off-season looks like one they may look back on fondly in the future.

Geelong are a genuine premiership contender

Geelong’s thumping of reigning premier West Coast at their home fortress solidified one thing; the Cats are one of the teams, if not the team to beat in 2019.

The Cats piled on seven goals in the first quarter alone against the Eagles on Sunday and dominated the inside 50s and contested possession throughout the course of the game.

Ablett played another great game in his new role across half-forward, and Gary Rohan has continued his outstanding form since coming across from the Sydney Swans.

They currently sit atop of the AFL ladder with five wins and one loss from their opening six games and barring a dip in form, look set to feature prominently at end of the season.

Their rise so far in 2019 hasn’t come from an over-reliance on their superstar trio of Ablett, Dangerfield and Selwood, but instead the contribution from a new generation of Cat’s players such as Charlie Constable, Jordan Clark, Gryan Miers and Jack Henry, along with experienced recruits in Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus.

The Cats run of form looks like it can be sustained, and they have enough players that know how to win in September.

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