Fearless 2019 – Round 14 & Round 15: A couple of late reviews

FEARLESS 2019 RD14:  Last of the bye rounds…live from the Spirit of Tassie..




West Coast hosted Essendon on Thursday night and whilst the Bombers got off to a flyer, Eagle McGovern took it a bit too far by helping young Don Guelfi fly into the LED fence. The Bombers were also assisted by the Eagles woeful forward accuracy in the 2ndqtr…4.10 to 2.1. The Eagles held the lead at the half and pushed further ahead after ½ time, whilst Guelfi was taxied to the hospital. Apparently quicker. Eagles 35pts.


Instead of searching for the new Roughy, Clarko decided to pick the old Roughy as part of the Hawks’ team at the SCG on Friday night. Not surprising given the close games of recent history and the old Roughy’s part therein. His old sparring partner Buddy was giving his old team grief with 4 goals before his hammy went twing! The Swans had breathing space all night, even as ruckman Sinclair headbutted the turf, a win by 19pts.


Melbourne managed to shake off the Freo Dockers and get a well-earned win at the MCG. Yeah it was only 14pts and the win was earned after coming from behind in the first 3 quarters, but given the crappy nature of the Demons’ season, any win is good. Tim Smith kicked 3, adding life to the erratic forward line. Meanwhile Ross Lyon’s hair hasn’t been torn out by frustration, Freo better than 2018 but are they finals ready??


Brisbane however just might be. Despite this, the Saints aren’t the basketcase they are made out to be…and Richo must have to be the victim of the harshest media spotlight this year. Granted the Saints were poor against Brisbane and Charlie Cameron put on a clinic with 5, but the Saints are better than 2018…is that a sackable offence? At Marvel, Brisbane led all day. Young Saint Hind 3 in his 3rdgame. Lions win away by 56pts.


Which Port would come out at the Adelaide Oval against the ladder leaders, Geelong? Answer, the vintage Port! The hard chasing and harassing and pressurising Port. Geelong was 3.4 at the half and trailing by 19pts. Inaccuracy crept into Port’s forward thrusts after half time, 3.8 to 5.5. Maybe it cost Port in terms of %, but the Power still managed to prove its worth, toppling the Cats by 11pts. Duncan 35, Robbie Gray 2, 31.


Western Bulldogs hosted 2ndplaced Collingwood, when the Magpies had just lost forward gun Stephenson to a 10 week ban for gambling of all reasons! No wonder Bucks was grumpy in the presser. They won for the record, by 9pts. In the presser Bucks lost his normally graceful air, saying his players had played their worst game. Maybe the Dogs played well, but not well enough to win. Love Schache 3, Reid 3, Macrae 42.


FEARLESS 2019 RD15:  Bye BYE! Now…who thought the 8 had been finalised?


Essendon hosted the GWS at Marvel on Thursday and got off to a flyer, taking a 12pt lead into the 1stbreak. In the 2ndthe Ferrari got going to grab a 1pt lead at the half. Safe to say most pundits thought the Ferrari would zoom away, shooting to a 19pt lead before the spirited Dons’ Mustang overtook the Ferrari. Touched or not? Not. Dons by a goal.


The Crowmojo had returned to Adelaide in the 2ndhalf of 2019 and it was about to face its sternesttest – the Cats at the Cattery (on the rebound). The Crows started well to lead at the first break but the Cats midfield machine soon got going and pulled away and the potent fwd 50 even allowed for Tomahawk inaccuracy. Cats 27pts. T. Kelly 33,2goals.


A wet MCG confronted the Hawks and Eagles who squared off on Saturday afternoon. Hardly ideal for returning Eagle ruck Nic Nat Noo, but 41 hitouts and 5 goals to big Eagle forward Jack Darling, may’ve helped debunk myths about big blokes in the wet. A topsy-turvy contest all day saw Eagle Cripps kick the winner at the death. Shuey 39.


Gold Coast travelled to the SCG hoping to recapture some of 2018’s magic when the Suns pulled off the heist of the season. No such luck, despite Swans losing ruckman Sinclair in the 1st2 minutes. Suns have lost 10 on the trot and whilst competitive, soon fell away to lose by 42pts. Allir deployed into the ruck and Swans’ veteran Parker BIT.


It started with the banner: Kanga Kanga Kanga Roo Roo Roo. The Pies Pies Pies Will Beat Beat You. Hmmm…enough to take offence although no spelling errors. Rhyce’s Roos set about overturning a bogey side with 4 quarters of disciplined and hard-nosed footy that held up despite initial waywardness. Roos by 44pts. Pies worrying Bucks.


Almost torrential rain was what greeted the Dogs as they strode onto Adelaide Oval in an attempt to unplug the Power. The Bont got the ball rolling with as good a 1stqtr as seen in season in 2019. Port might believe their hype; maybe that’s why 4 big names were left out. Dogs didn’t care, a meritorious 25pt win. Macrae 36. Love Schache 3.


Maddie’s match saw the Saints start well against the Tigers, who had welcomed some big names back from injury. The Saints’ led until well into the 3rd…when the Tigers, led by Dusty, Stack and Chol (with the Tiger haircut), slowly started to get on top. A 7pt lead became a 33pt Tiger win, arguably Tigers’ class prevailed. Dusty 36, Stack 4.


Melbourne travelled to the Gabbatoir to tackle the vastly improved Lions. Like the Saints, the Dees led well into the 3rdqtr. Enter Rafa Nadal look-a-like Eric Hipwood. Barely sighted to 4 goals within 15mins of the 3rd. Game changer. Hipwood ended with 5, and yet the sports scientists wanted him off!!! Why? WTF?? Brisbane home by 33pts.


No Cripps, no McKay, no Charlie Curnow (after 12 minutes)…no worries. Enter Ed Curnow, Simpson and Marc Murphy to steady the ship. The Murphy reverse banana the unlikely winner, after Michael Walters had booted Freo 15pts clear in the last. Carlton by 4pts at Optus Stadium, a fairytale finish. Freo’s finals push takes a step back.


And on another topic…the sports scientists at both West Coast and Brisbane sought to take off Jack Darling and Eric Hipwood during the course of the games at the weekend.


The problem was Darling was shaping as the matchwinner in the dying minutes as the Eagles scraped past the Hawks. Why take a potential matchwinner off in the dying minutes when the big fellas’ kicked 5 in the wet. Even Brian Taylor’s sitting in the MMM commentary box saying surely not…what are they doing? Common sense? Load Management?


Please…same goes for Eric Hipwood..unsighted for much of Sunday’s game until a purple patch where he kicked 4 goals in 15 minutes to help the Lions surge past the Demons. And then the sports scientists wanted to take him off. Of course they did…maybe just maybe the 4 points is more critical to a club’s season rather than the cult of load management. It already impacts on the amount of goal kicking practice across the AFL and if ever a skill needed to be practiced….


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