A star in the west exploded back into form in week 16 of the AFL season, putting together his best performance in recent memory.

It highlighted a high-scoring weekend of football, with half the competition kicking at least 90 points and just one blowout being all but over by half time.

A fan favourite kicked things off with a return to form, a red-hot Sun continued his purple patch and a debutant impressed to excite the Port Adelaide faithful.

It remains a tight race to finals with just two wins separating fifth and tenth spot.

  • Thursday 30 June

Brisbane 106 – 67 Western Bulldogs – Gabba, Brisbane

The Lions risked falling out of touch with the top few sides after a disappointing loss to Melbourne in round 15, correcting things with a runaway victory after a shaky start against the Bulldogs on Thursday evening.

The reliability and cool head of Jawoyn and Dalabon man Keidan Coleman remains the stand-out rising star in Brisbane’s squad this year.

The 22-year-old had 24 touches, 18 kicks, and served as an important link-up player through the guts as his side put the foot down in the second half.

Charlie Cameron starred with four goals, kicking two in quick succession in the third quarter to take the game away from the Dogs and Callum Ah Chee took 10 marks at half forward for the Lions.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan risks falling back into the Footscray reserves following a disappointing game, adding just one behind.

  • Friday July 1

Carlton 78 – St Kilda 93 – Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

St Kilda re-emerged as a September threat making the most of their talls against a depleted Blues backline to snatch the four points in a Friday night thriller.

Paddy Ryder and Bradley Hill rejoined the Saints line-up following rumours surrounding their exclusion from the side’s round 15 loss to the Swans.

Ryder had 21 hit-outs, five tackles and a clearance to add to his four goals while Hill chalked up 27 touches across a fast Marvel stadium deck.

Jade Gresham returned to his best with close to 30 disposals of his own.

Despite the loss, Carlton’s Jess Motlop was lively, kicking 3.1 for the night.

  • Saturday July 2

Essendon 95 – 86 Sydney – MCG, Melbourne 

It was another nail-biter on Saturday afternoon for two of the competition’s newest rivals. It went deep into the final quarter before a clear indication of who would take the win.

Sydney continue to look worlds away from the top echelon of sides when things don’t fully come together.

Lance Franklin had some impact adding two goals on to Swan’s total.

Buddy added three tackles in is efforts, though it wasn’t enough to take the points away from the 16th placed Bombers.

Adelaide 65 – 94 Melbourne – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Before Melbourne flexed their muscles, the match-up presented as a potential upset with just one point separating the sides as the headed into the main break

Steven May took 11 marks down back to stem the Crows scoring.

Kyzaiah Pickett and Toby Bedford added a goal a piece at the other end for the Dees.

For the Crows, Wayne Millera racked up 19 touches though a touch class was missed up front with Shane McAdam rubbed out with injury.

Geelong 144 – 32 North Melbourne – GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The only one-sided contest for the weekend leaves the Cats looking as good as anyone to knock off the top of the perch Demons.

Tyson Stengle was quieter than usual but found the footy enough to kick a pair of goals.

Quinton Narkle had two of his own along with a some clearances off the bench.

For the battling Roos, Jy Simpkin and Jed Anderson did their part with 27 and 19 touches respectively.

Simpkin was a class above however.

A handful of tackles and four clearances gave his forwards some chance in front of the sticks.

It’s unclear if a disappointing return from second-gamer Phoenix Spicer will be enough to hold his place in the side.

The Sun’s Izak Rankine starred with four in a losing effort.
image: Gold Coast Suns Facebook

Gold Coast 62 – 67 Collingwood –  Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

Collingwood entered 2022 looking no hope of playing September footy, but after taking scalps of top-eight sides Melbourne, Fremantle and Carlton the Pies would hope to contend for a top four spot.

They move to five wins on the trot after knocking off the Gold Coast, and could extend that to 10 straight ahead of matches against lowly outfits North Melbourne, Adelaide, Essendon and Port Adelaide in coming weeks.

The Suns did enough to push Collingwood all the way in the final quarter.

Izak Rankine had a day-out for the Suns, continuing recent form of hitting the scoreboard in spades.

His four goals, two clearances and close to 20 disposals put him in the conversations for best on ground.

  • Sunday July 3

Richmond 128 – 93 West Coast – MCG, Melbourne

Tim Kelly tore the game apart with 40 touches, nine clearances and two goals for the Eagles.

It’s been a good year for the midfielder, who at times has been the sole contributor in West Coast’s drubbings throughout a troublesome year for the club.

Willie Rioli and Liam Ryan snagged a goal each, picking up 28 touches between them.

It was the Tigers’ night though.

Marlion Pickett was good with 25 disposals and a pair of goals, and small forward trio Shai Bolton and Riolis Maurice Jnr and Daniel impacted on the scoreboard.

Fremantle 99 – 91 Port Adelaide – Optus Stadium, Perth

Jase Burgoyne made his debut for the Power, finding his feet throughout the contest with close to 20 touches for the game.

The silky half-back could be the answer to Port’s issues getting out of their defence in years to come.

Karl Amon dropped off from his blistering form and Powell-Pepper, Finlayson, Lachie Jones and Steven Motlop all had nights to forget.

Despite getting the win, Dockers Michael Walters and Alex Pearce were also.

Round 17 kicks off with a mouthwatering contest between the Cats and Demons in Geelong before the rest of the weekend pins sides at either end of the ladder against one another.

Geelong face Melbourne on Thursday night at GMHBA stadium.