THE new-look Easter footy fixture has delivered a cracking Saturday of match-ups this year. The Demons are looking to show they are a legitimate finals contender this year when they face Fremantle at the MCG in the early game. GWS hosts the Power in a crunch clash in Canberra. Carlton and Gold Coast are both coming off big wins in round three and Adelaide could easily be premiership favourites if they can continue their good form against the Dons.

12.45pm

Footy Show suffers record new low

THE Footy Show (AFL) on Thursday night recorded its worst ratings in the show’s 23-year history.

Going up against the West Coast-Sydney blockbuster on Thursday night, the Channel 9 program was always going to be up against it, but few would have predicted a result this dire for the footy panel show.

Ratings measurements from Thursday show it was a debacle for Nine.

The Footy Show had an average Melbourne metro audience of just 127,000 — the lowest ratings result since the show started more than 22 years ago.

The Show has been in a tailspin in 2017 with a shake-up of the on-screen hosting panel failing to pull the show out of its funk.

Incredibly, the show was beaten in Melbourne by the live Eagles-Swans match in Perth — which was only available on Foxtel’s Fox Footy.

12.30pm

Bulldogs win soured by Cloke ribs injury

No good.

No good.Source:Getty Images

The Western Bulldogs’ gripping three-point Good Friday AFL win over North Melbourne has been soured by an injury to spearhead Travis Cloke. Cloke was hospitalised after copping a heavy front-on bump from Jack Ziebell during the fourth quarter at Etihad Stadium.

The 196cm forward went straight to the bench in obvious distress amid fears he might have broken ribs.

Ruckman Tom Boyd sat out most of the game with delayed concussion symptoms after a first-quarter collision with Scott Thompson, putting a dampener on the gripping 12.17 (89) to 12.14 (86) victory.

Boyd will undergo concussion tests before next Saturday’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba but the prognosis is less clear for Cloke.

“He’s gone off to hospital,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said. “He may have (broken ribs). I can’t give you any more than they’re going to have a look but he’s in a bit of pain.

“I think (Boyd) will be alright. He seemed okay initially, then had some of that delayed concussion that you can’t detect straight away but he seemed coherent early and fine. Our doctors made the right call and took him out of the game. “He will get through his week and have the cognitive test at the end of it all and the docs will make a determination at that point.” The Bulldogs will be anxious for Boyd to return, given their ruck options have already been depleted.

First-choice tap man Jordan Roughead is up to six weeks off returning from a hamstring injury, forward Jack Redpath is recovering from a knee reconstruction and rookie Tim English is yet to debut.

Beveridge was pleased with the performance of Tom Campbell, who was left to battle in the ruck against North giants Todd Goldstein and Braydon Preuss after Boyd’s injury.

“We needed to ask a lot of him and he did a very, very good job as almost that sole ruck,” he said.

Should Boyd be unavailable next week, Campbell will face a tough challenge against Lions veteran Stefan Martin, who was among their best last week against St Kilda.

— AAP

12.15pm

Goldstein speaks out over AFL rule stinker

Star North Melbourne big man Todd Goldstein believes the AFL has “rather drastically” rushed into scrapping the third man up, saying there is still ample grey area around the new rule.

Goldstein was in the thick of yet another third man up controversy during the Kangaroos’ three-point loss to the Western Bulldogs on Good Friday — a decision that was ticked off by AFL on Saturday morning.

The All-Australian ruckman told Fox Sports News that it seemed like the AFL had rushed into the decision to scrap the third man up, even though the rule was designed to help pure ruckman like himself.

“It was a strange one, because … I don’t think I’ve ever been seriously injured by a third man up,” Goldstein told AFL Today on Saturday morning.

“It was a strange one, because … I don’t think I’ve ever been seriously injured by a third man up,” Goldstein told AFL Today on Saturday morning.

“There was the Kurt Tippett one last year I think it was, which was a bit unlucky. But other than that I don’t think there’s been too many serious ones. That came because the third up jumper had a clear run at it and wasn’t able to be blocked, I think that was the biggest issue with the rule last year.

“It does seem like we changed it rather drastically when it probably didn’t need to be.”

Goldstein added that there was some “interpretation issues” and that the rule “needs to be looked at”.

“I’m not sure whether we need to change the whole thing or whether we just need to get used to it,” Goldstein said.

“We’re only a month in and there are a few different things that no one expected or really saw happening. It is going to take us a few weeks to get our heads around it, but (there’s) definitely a lot of grey area there.”

— Fox Sports