Fearless 2018- Round 21: Injuries, suspensions, playing thru pain…now is the ultimate time to manage the numbers..

Hi how are you all, how many times do we hear injuries have killed us this year?


As we approach the finals I’d say all potential finalists have injury concerns within the context of “their best 22″. Likewise, clubs down the bottom can use injuries as an excuse for a poor year from the playing list. Who has depth? Does depth mask the injuries on your club’s playing stocks? Interesting questions all around.


Carlton I’d say don’t yet have the depth to cover their many injuries and the same could be said for Gold Coast. It shows at present. Now is the time to test the players on your list – are they worth keeping for the next season?


Similarly, playing surfaces have been brought into question given the magnitude of injuries across the AFL. Let’s not kid ourselves, injuries have always been part of the game but the harder surfaces seem to lead to more stress on the body as the AFL players clock up more miles on game day.


Hardly surprising that Jesse Hogan is now done for the year…stress on the bone of the foot called the navicular. A glance at him on Sunday might just have indicated as such, not that we’re trained observers to guess ailments. Indeed Jesse’s kicking efficiency clocked in at 27% – more akin to the juniors playing every weekend around the country. Wow! What does this mean for Melbourne? Well my guess is that Melbourne’s forward line will be fine. Hogan’s output was less of an issue than killer inaccuracy against Sydney.


Similarly, suspensions are vital at this time of year. In an admission to this extent, Adelaide captain Tex Walker said his 2 game ban was a reflection of his year. Hard to disagree with that, BUT if Adelaide was still in finals contention, I daresay Tex might’ve tackled GWS’s Josh Kelly differently. The tackle was a mark of frustration in everything the captain and his team had endured in 2018.


Same might be the case for St.Kilda’s Nathan Brown, a player not known for his poor record at the Tribunal. Brown’s bump on Essendon’s Saad an ugly vision of concussion and the car accident-like impact on Saad’s head and brain.


The numbers issue for all teams heading into September is now critical. It’s all about management – it’s even critical for those sides not taking part in the finals. All clubs have their qualified fitness/medical staff. Melbourne have Dave Misson in their corner. Misson’s best run of management led to the Swans diehards’ trivia question: in 2005, what was the only change the team made in the last 7 weeks of the season? In Paul Bevan. Out Luke Vogels. Guess who won the flag that year? Take that to your next trivia night…


Are the Tigers beatable?


Good luck to all potential finalists…”no fate but what we make!”


2018 Round 21: C’mon baby, make it hurts so good…


Bang goes Brown. Bang goes the bump. Adam Saad goes down like a sack of dirt. Bang goes the Bombers. Bang go the Saints…into season 2019A good start by the Saints slowly unravels as Walla goes bang and kicks 5. Andy McGrath and Zac Merrett offset the good work of Seb Ross in the Saints midfield. Bombers home by 43…finals maybe.


Cats left too little too late to too few. Credit where its due though, Clarko has the Hawks going nicely on the finals eve. The second quarter snooze by the Cats not good timing – 5.4 to 0.2. The Cats’ late charge got stymied by a really poor umpiring decision to not pay 50m against Mitchell. The Hawks went forward and O’Meara goals. Game over. 11pts.


Jack kicked 10. Didn’t think I’d see that again. Team goalkicking avenues take precedence over individual feats. The Tigers trip to Club Metricon a nice weekend away. The Suns offered little in resistance and the season’s end is nigh for coach Dew. What’s next? Some consistency would be nice! Tigers by 74, now returning to the G.


Port got a case of déjà vu again. 5 minutes of madness saw Port lose 3 key players – Ryder, Dixon and Houston. This time McGovern chipped in to take a speccy with seconds left to deliver Port fans’ more of the same. How come the Power can’t shut down a game? A good skill to have in the finals I bet! Eagles break the Port faithful.


GWS hosted Adelaide in Canberra. Radio said 5 degrees – about 5x warmer what Canberra normally is at night. The Crows spirited, but the GWS got the chockies by 14pts. Tex goes Bang and tackles Josh Kelly into next week – head first. Rory Lobb goes bang and wins in the ruck…cometh the man…Giants lose Heath Shaw to injury.


Brisbane started well and looked capable of an upset. Enter Jordan De Goey with other ideas. Supported by Mihocek, Stephenson and Mayne, De Goey played a pivotal role in Collingwood changing the flow of the game. Losing key defender Gardiner didn’t help the Lions but the finals-bound Pies powered to a 31pt win. Pies not making up numbers.


Roos prove you snooze you lose. 3rdquarter of 8.2 to 2.5 allowed the Dogs to reel in a 28pt North lead at the half. How the Roos midfield allowed such freedom to Bulldogs key movers such as Bont, Daniel, Macrae escapes the North coaching staff (another day at the office). Dogs by 7pts and in the end…it’s all about Dale. Dogs stalwart Morris 250th. 


And then there’s Alex Johnson…footy can be cruel, the Dees lose much of the spotlight c/- the horrific injury to AFL’s ultimate rehabber. His will is strong. The Demons shot in the foot with inaccuracy. Don’t Swans just love it when backs to the wall. Swans 9pts. Heeney screamer. Hogan on one leg. Dees win in Perth on Sunday…all’s forgiven.


Lachie Neale led Freo to overcome Carlton’s young Navy-Greys. Probably as expected in the second half, Freo prime movers regained momentum for the Dockers. Cam McCarthy showed glimpses of his GWS form with 3.1…needs to do it more often though. Patrick Cripps supported by Daisy and Kerridge. Freo by 29 at Optus Stadium.


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  1. Hi Fearless

    Actually O’Meara put us 12 points in front. Then the Mitchell thing happened. The Cats had three shots (Tommy, Parsons and Ablett) for two points before O’Meara sealed it.


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