Round 15 – Fearless 2015: For the Crows, a brave return to the field of dreams.


Aurora Stadium hosted Match of the Round between the 4th placed Hawthorn or Tassie Hawks, as they like to advertise themselves on statewide TV, and the Fremantle Dockers who were sitting on top of the ladder. 16,000+ the newspapers trumpeted was the best crowd for 3 years and everyone enjoyed what ultimately became a lopsided encounter. The Hawks are to be congratulated for the way that they have engaged with the community within Tasmania. With some good luck and good management, North Melbourne can achieve similar results with their efforts in and around Hobart.

It says as much for the national competition and the way it has developed that Tasmania can host such a heavyweight contest. My mail is that the locals were beginning to want to see different sides play the Hawks. Maybe it’s time for the AFL to send Carlton, Geelong, Essendon or Richmond to play the Hawks down in Tassie. There seems to be a sameness to the teams being fixtured to play down there. It hasn’t always had top billing as Match of the Round. Richmond was scheduled to play North Melbourne in round 6 at Blundstone Arena and the match drew a similar crowd so maybe it’s a possibility. The AFL must know that it has a captive market in Tasmania and an equally captive television audience back into the other states. The ground at Aurora was in mint condition as it normally is and the playing surface at Blundstone likewise as a rule. It’s a family day out for many.

At a time when Tasmania needs a kickstart to its economy, maybe the AFL can assist with some more appropriate scheduling and more incentives to both teams and visiting teams to help the local community. Having been to 6 games in Tasmania now, the level of enthusiasm for the game never drops off and in the absence of its own state team (temporarily?) the crowds will still turn up regardless of whether the games are in Launceston or Hobart. The locals come from wherever to attend.

Come on AFL get on board…even the Spirit of Tasmania is getting a makeover to bring itself up to speed to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Collingwood tried to arrest a string of close losses in Dane Swan’s 250th. He moves like a Shetland amongst racehorses but he still is of immense value on/off field. Port started on fire but heavy rain came and assisted Port, despite Magpie efforts. Pie Adams starred but brainfaded – knees to the head? Port held on by 3pts in a classic. 

Cold and swirly conditions met Carlton and Richmond at the G on Friday night. The Tigers led from the outset as the Blues tried hard but couldn’t convert. Tigers midfield capitalised off Mr Megan Gale in his first game for the year. Kruezer underlined why he’s been sorely missed by the Blues. Jamison’s luck has run dry.

A win is a win and given what the Bombers have been through in 2015, their 9pt win against the Demons couldn’t have come at a better time for club and beleaguered coach Hirdy. Joe Daniher’s 5.0 a sign of things to come. Bombers blooded youngsters but Demons kicking 7.18 – very poor. Inaccuracy was a team flaw with many culprits.

Bevos Bullies barnstorming finish against Gold Coast set Cazalys Stadium alight. What looked another failed cash grab by a Melbourne club hosting in Cairns soon proved otherwise. Bevo would’ve been most pleased with youngsters Bont, Stringer Redpath and a renewed Picken led a 10 goal last qtr dash to grab 4 pts and cash. 

Having endured the uncompromising AFL spotlight, North returned to best form against Geelong that hadn’t played for 20 days. Cats started promisingly but the Roo redemption took control in the 2nd qtr to a man. Skipper Selwood copped heat after an unnecessary chicken wing tackle. Cats challenged, Roos answered. 41pt winners. Bartel doesn’t miss a beat with 41 stats in first game in 12 weeks. Higgins 3.

Adelaide returned to the playing arena in Perth against the Eagles. A tough period the club had endured in the wake of Phil Walshs death. That collectively they took the field meant that the show must go on. Eagles, affected as they were, given Walsh’s tenure under Worsfold, sought to get the job done. Precisely done by 56pts.

The impressive form of the young Saints team came unstuck against a GWS team hellbent on redemption after 3 straight losses. Cameron kicked 5 to bring Spotless Stadium alive. A GWS win by 35pts. Had Palmer 0.4 and Scully 0.3 been more accurate, the Giants’ win might’ve been bigger, notwithstanding fine games by both.

The clinical Hawks pantsed the top of the table Freo Dockers as Tassie hosted the match of the round in front of 16000+ in Launceston. Everything Hawthorn touched worked with precision. Everything Freo touched didn’t. A 12 goal rout ensued. Hawks’ team defence shut down every struggling Freo attack. Breust 4, Hodge 3, 31.

That Sydney led Brisbane by 7pts at 3/4 time was testament to Buddy’s burst – 3 minutes in 6 minutes enabling the Swans to retake the lead. A 4 goal 3rd qtr allowed Brisbane back into the game. Swans do enough to win ugly by 21 pts. Rockliff back for the lions as was Merrett and Hanley starred. Lions getting back to full strength.


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