Fearless 2016 Round 23 – And then there were eight

Ten teams reflect on what might’ve been.


Night of the Museum came alive at Adelaide Oval with the exhibit known as Football Journeyman busting out of his cage. Jonathon Giles turned back the clock to his halcyon days in the original GWS lineup to fill a void left by the Eagles’ human pogo stick Nic Nat Noo. West Coast threw a spanner in the finals works by beating the Crows by 29pts in Adelaide in a 4 qtr effort to resurrect its flag hopes.

Melbourne saluted Paul Roos’ coaching efforts by putting in a putrid effort at the Cattery. The question raised by the cynics: Have they made any real progress at all? Well the answer is probably yes, but with Saturday’s game a stark reminder that you can’t pat yourself on the back for nearly making the finals. Cats by 111pts. Danger 16 FWD50 entries. Tomahawk 6 goals – Cats finetuning for September.

Essendon completed the darkest period in their history since the Bowls Club refused to leave Windy Hill. Seriously, beer at 1970s prices and they had to go??? A win over archrival Carlton, a good enough reason to celebrate the end of 2016 and the dawn of the future with some familiar faces returning soon. Carlton did everything they didn’t do against the Demons the week before. Bombers by 24pts.

A fan asked the Tiger players at Punt Rd today if they had a nice weekend in Sydney. Sure did they replied – we visited the Opera House, Taronga Park Zoo, Manly and Bondi as well as the Blue Mountains. When the fan asked how did the football game go, he heard them say “Did we have a game?” Much to Dimmer’s Disappointment, the Tigers never showed and the Swans did as they liked.

Port Adelaide headed to Club Metricon with a point to prove. We all want contracts for 2017. The Sunnyboys had other ideas. Keen to avoid one of Port’s competent displays, the Suns went defensive and kicked inaccurately just to add to the spectacle. The Suns unearthed a potential gun in Brayden Fiorini in his 2nd game? 32 touches, 2 goals and chances galore after Prestia, O’Meara leave. Port 23pts.

North hosted the GWS, playing them for the 1st time in 2016 in the last round. Fixturing hiccup? Probably not as there are no rules. What soon became apparent was that there was no planned protest at the axing of Boomer, Drewy, Spud Firrito and Nicky dal. What also became apparent was that the GWS aren’t making up the September numbers, even if the Kangas appear to be at present.

That Nick Riewoldt kicked 9 goals against Brisbane said as much for the champ’s ability as it did for the Lion Cub’s defensive unit. A 58pt win says heaps about the Lions ability to fight it out until the end. An 8 goal to 6 last qtr indicative of some resolve to go forward with into 2017. Saints however were too good. Not good enough to get a finals berth in 2016 but cause for genuine optimism for the future.

Another football journeyman Jack Fitzpatrick kicked a mighty goal at the 27 minute mark of the last qtr as the Hawks wrestled Collingwood for the lead. Fitzpatrick’s kick tied the scores and two minutes later Hawk’s last minute go-to man Puopolo kicks ungainly for a point to put the Hawks in front with 1 minute to go. Young Pies Treloar and Crocker aided by Pendles, Sidearse. Hawks again steal a win.

Fremantle veteran, ex-skipper and favourite adopted son Matthew Pavlich (well, he was born in Adelaide) played his last game as the Dockers hosted the Doggies at Domain. The Dockers were not to be denied in giving Pav the sendoff required of the fairytale exit. For the finals-bound Doggies, a 20pt loss but some intel re Domain for when they return post bye to play finals. Deadeye Dickson 3.


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