AFL 2023 round 4 LIVE updates: Crows, Freo aiming for back-to-back wins at Adelaide Oval

Key posts

  • The comeback: Inside Ross Lyon’s return to the Saints
  • Bulldogs’ surprise at omission of star Tigers
  • Listen: Real Footy podcast
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‘There’s always been belief’: Carlton’s start has Saad excited

Carlton’s All-Australian defender Adam Saad is excited about the possibilities this season for the unbeaten Blues as they try to win at Adelaide Oval for the first time next week.

Saad is off to an excellent start individually, but is even more pleased Carlton negotiated the first four rounds without a defeat – including a round-one draw – while still having plenty to improve upon, including removing their inconsistency within matches.

It is the Blues’ best start to a season since 1995, when they won their most recent premiership.

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Blues star Adam Saad.Credit: AFL Photos

The comeback: Inside Ross Lyon’s return to the Saints

When Andrew Bassat found himself deep in conversation with Ross Lyon at a mutual friend’s 60th birthday party late last winter, the St Kilda president had already embarked upon his unconventional football review.

At that stage, the coach Brett Ratten was only one small question mark in a bigger overall problem. Bassat’s mounting fear as he neared the end of his fourth year in the job was that he had sanctioned the Saints’ ongoing mediocrity by failing to truly challenge the club’s decision-makers.

The club had re-signed Ratten, but the team had faltered after winning eight of its first 11 games. Years of poor recruiting and list management were being again underlined by some on-field warning signs.

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Zak Jones and Ross Lyon share a laugh at a recent St Kilda training session.Credit: Getty Images

Today’s milestones

Kamdyn McIntosh (Rich) – 150 games
Ben Ainsworth (GC) – 100 games
Sam Switkowski (Fre) – 50 games
Ned McHenry (Adel) – 50 games

Kamdyn McIntoshCredit: Getty Images

Bulldogs’ surprise at omission of star Tigers

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said he was surprised the Tigers decided to rest Jack Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin for Saturday’s clash at the MCG, as the Bulldogs aims to continue their recovery from a shocking start to the season.

Richmond opted to manage veterans Cotchin and Riewoldt at team selection on Thursday, while Maurice Rioli jnr was named as an emergency.

Rested: Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt.Credit: AFL Photos

“It was a bit of a surprise, you plan for those guys [Cotchin and Riewoldt] playing, even Rioli,” Beveridge said at Skinner Reserve on Friday.

Beveridge said the Bulldogs had spent Friday morning processing what the changes meant for the side, which is focused on reproducing the same intensity that led to a 14-point victory over the Brisbane Lions, their first win of the season.

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Listen: Real Footy podcast

This week on the Real Footy podcast, Michael Gleeson and Caroline Wilson discuss the 0-3 Cats, who looked slow and were flattered by the margin in their most recent loss, to Gold Coast.

Should Tom Hawkins, who didn’t have a pre-season, be playing? Which outs are hurting them the most? How big of an impact has Joel Selwood’s departure had on the club? The Cats are reminiscent of Carlton’s premiership team of 1995. Is 2023 their exhale moment? They have plenty of home games to come at GMHBA Stadium – will those be enough to help them to finals this year? Meanwhile, the Suns had a good win, but they are not out of the woods just yet. They are guilty until proven innocent in terms of their performances and Stuart Dew is still a coach under pressure.

Greetings, everybody

Hello everyone and welcome to our live rolling coverage of all the Easter Saturday AFL action.

Kicking things off is an intriguing match-up at Adelaide Oval between the Crows and the Dockers.

The twilight fixture pits Richmond against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG, and later tonight the undefeated and undermanned Saints take on Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium.

The other half of the night-time double-header sees Sydney host Port Adelaide at the SCG.

Brodie Smith sprints clear of Sam Switkowski.Credit: Getty Images

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