Fearless 2017 Round 20 and 21 – The closest season in yonks… the 8 might just yet be a % option.

FEARLESS 2017 Rd 21 – The closest season in yonks… the 8 might just yet be a % option. 


How the West was won… a good marketing moniker for the Bulldogs Giants games perhaps. If the Bullies want to beat anyone in the AFL it’s the GWS, given recent history. It wasn’t to be however on Friday Night at Etihad, one giant step forward for the GWS, one backward leap for the Dogs. Even the returning Toby Greene sought to kung fu kick the Dogs out of finals contention. GWS away by 48pts. 


Fremantle’s performance at the SCG on Saturday reminded many of past tax evasion schemes… maybe they did play at the bottom of the harbour. Anchors certainly would be commonplace there. As it was Sydney made short work of the Dockers by 104pts, leaving Ross’ reno looking decidedly shoddy and making the Swans’ finals campaign increasingly potent. Fyfe 28 flew Freo flag, Buddy 4, Parker 3. 


It was he biggest match at the Cattery since… well… probably last week or that final a few years back. The Tiger Tornado hit Geelong and slowly fizzed out more into a Willy Willy. Despite Dimma’s protestations about crowds impacting on umpiring, the patched-up Cats pulled together as a team and sent the Tigers packing back to Punt Rd, tails between legs. Harry T 4, Menzel, Motlop went ok. 


The Q-clash is the worst marketing moniker ever! Tropic Thunder 14 proved that life in AFL Queensland is far from dead. Ex-Don Solly’s Suns couldn’t salute as Fagan’s Lion Cubs proved there is a bright future at the Gabba, they might even need shades. Led well by Beams, Rockliff and Zorko, Lions got a 58pt win and bragging rights. Not even a Rocket could save the Sunnyboys from melting. 


For the second week in a row, Adelaide made a statement against a potential finalist for 2017 in the Bombers. Andy McGrath held Eddie Betts goalless, but the visitors kept the Bombers at bay to win by 43pts. Hurley and Matt Crouch led the possession count but the better forward spread helped the Crows. Valuable IP for the Dons should they make the finals but the Crows will be very hard to beat. 


West Coast did their best to allow the Blues back into the game at Subi on Saturday Night, before managing to hold off their final qtr yips to win by 17pts. Leading by 31pts at the main break, Carlton stormed back into the contest with a 6 goal to 1 3rd qtr, forcing the eagles to stare down their mental demons. Josh Kennedy kicked 6 and the Blues dominated the stat count but that counted for little. 


The Saints headed to the MCG on Sunday to confront the Demons in another 8pt ball game, rather than the ultimate quest for good and evil as per the scriptures. The helmeted Brayshaw was back and meant business with 26 stats and the Demons leading from go to whoa. A last qtr scare consolidated the Dees before a 24pt win. Journeyman Pederson 26, Jones 35, Oliver 32… the Saints might rue this. 


The north took on the south in the apple isle and until further notice, that’s Tassie in the AFL. Hawthorn and North Melbourne have brought AFL footy to Tassie, whilst engaging well with communities. Both teams have sought solace in the rebuild in 2017 with the Hawks seemingly taking line honours overall. Hawks led by 50pts just after the half before the Roos fought back to 19pts. Hawks steadier… by 27pts. 


Port needed a spark at home against the travelling Magpies. That spark had gone missing the week before to the point of nearly requiring the ECG machine. The Pies were honest as usual but Port proved to be the finalist of the two teams, surging to a 27pt win. The inclusion of Wingard strengthened Port but the ball winning ability of Treloar and Adams kept the Pies in the hunt, as did Reid with 4 goals. 



FEARLESS 2017 Rd 20 – The Round where nearly all games were 8-point games 


A potential top 4 berth was at stake as Friday Night footy focused on the Cattery and the action therein. The Danger-less Cats took on the Kennedy-less Swans and from the outset it appeared the Swans were going to repeat the dose from last year’s coastal trip. Added to reports of Tomahawk and Duncan, the Cats  got another fright when Selwood the Skipper hurt his ankle. Swans 46pts. Papley 3. 


Melbourne needed a win and failed. UNSW might have naming rights at Manuka but the Dees played like the Vulcans of the Star Track era. Despite the first 3 goals, the D in Dees stood for diabolical, disinterested, dishonest. Who cares about possession counts? Melbourne had top 4 stat getters and what did it matter? The Mango and Charcoal Army did it with relative ease. Kelly 3 goals, 27 stats. 


It took a Walla goal at 2 minutes remaining for the Dons to secure a win over nemesis Carton on Saturday. The Blues were brave but the polish was Red and Black. A 3pt 3 /4 time lead at the G gave the Blues hope of an upset but the Bombers managed to overcome inaccuracy (Hooker 2.5, Green 1.4). Heppell led from the front as did Gibbs but the 2 teams scrapped it out in true desperation. 


The Lions have begun to show some positive signs and provided a real scare for the Dogs at the Gabbatoir on Saturday. Enter the Bont, despite goalkicking yips, to provide a steadying hand when required. The Dogs had been well in control before the Lion Cubs fought back hard and nearly stole it. Assisting the Bont, Macrae, Hunter and McLean, all Premiership players,…Dogs home just by 14pts. 


To be filed under the “Never To Be Viewed Again” section at AFLHQ, the Roos-Pies clash really only needed the Benny Hill music. Saturday Night at Etihad saw mistakes galore from both teams and the umpires. Even the “perfect tackle” wasn’t! Duty of Care becomes the mindset of all players… should be extended to all who watched! It proved both teams aren’t finalists… Pies by 54pts…less mistakes! 


Another programming winner was Freo hosting the Gold Coast Sunnyboys who had had an up and down year to say the least. Freo likewise, but looked more polished thru Cam “Sons of Anarchy” McCarthy with 4 goals. Both sides looking for positives to move forward with, young Docker Ryan looked a winner, as did ex-Hawk journeyman Hallahan for the Suns. Fremantle by 23pts. Ablett 33. 


What a bolter of a last quarter at Etihad on Sunday! An 8 point game of the highest order saw the Eagles fail again in Melbourne to the equally desperate potential finalist in St.Kilda. Gresham to Billings in the dying minutes sent the Saints faithful into raptures whilst sending the state of WA (the blue and gold bit at least) into a state of apoplexy. Edge of the seat stuff by Acres-led Saints, home by 8pts. 


I don’t know why but I thought the Tigers will beat the Hawks at the G because there’s actually something reliable about the 2017 Tigers model. Something that hasn’t been there before – resilience and consistency. A 5 goal start by Richmond almost sealed the deal by qtr time. The final margin 29pts. Caddy 4, Tom Mitchell and Dusty Neck Tatts leather poisoning yet again. Tigers September dreaming. 


A major statement was sounded by Adelaide in the Showdown. An 8-point ballgame became another fizzer as a murder of Crows unplugged the Power, leaving Port looking much like SA’s power grid – frail. This was the game the Crows needed, a 4 qtr effort to demolish a finals contender. Country Ken and his coaches have much work to do to restore bonafides at Alberton. Crows by 84pts. Jacobs BOG.




  1. Peter Warrington says

    Yes Hardwick needs to think about how we gifted the ball back to Geelong inside F50, who then pinged it down the long and narrow road to their taller forwards. (Taylor kicked 4 but you would have thought he kicked 14, the way Rance has been talked down. with the Geelong ball movement and lack of pressure on them, I thought our defence did OK, especially Vlastuin and Grimes.)

    The key to me is to get elite ball users like C Ellis and Menadue – what did HE do wrong? – sending it inside F%), not hit and hopers like Lambert, Grigg, Houli and B Ellis.

  2. I’m with Hardwick to a significant degree. Remember watching the Port v Geelong game earlier this year and thinking “the crowd is umpiring the game”. They certainly seem able to influence the little green men more than at other grounds, despite what all the stats in the world might say.

  3. oh don’t worry, the umps were terrible, 20-7 at one stage and about 40% of those dodgy, and the “rushed behind” was just a mockery.

    but they still deserved to win.

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