FEARLESS 2020 Finals Week 2: Review, and three tales for the week of varying importance and significance

Hi all,


I’d never heard of the name Jacinda Barclay before this week started. By the end of this week, we obviously realise that mental health issues can hit anyone. Jacinda was a sporting superstar, playing World Cup Baseball five times, AFLW and Legends Football League in the US was a fair achievement for anyone let alone for one person to actually do all three. Let alone find time to work on an oil rig and be an activist mouthpiece across equality issues. Hers was a star that burned brighter than most only for it to be turned off earlier than most. To her contemporaries, she will be sorely missed. To her nations (as part Aussie and Kiwi) she will be a beacon of achievement in many endeavours and to her family and friends she will be the daughter and friend that was gone too soon. To everyone else, she was a reminder that, despite her many and varied achievements, mental health is so important and the need to maintain it is there for all members of society.



Zak Butters enters tomorrow night’s game as a Port Adelaide player, grounded by the teachings of coach Ken Hinkley, a mentor and teacher. Zak had the potential to be another wayward teen battling anger issues and trouble, with a sister and hard working, but often absent, parents. The defence of his much-loved sister often got a younger Zak into trouble in rural Victoria at school in Darley. Luckily, his footy ability was so ingrained and his love of the game was matched by the opportunity presented to him by Port Adelaide. Tomorrow night, he’ll have the chance to play for a spot in an AFL Grand Final. Ken Hinkley has given Zak the opportunity on several occasions to unburden what is on his mind in the coach’s office…such is the therapeutic power of being able to talk and to release whatever is on your mind. Well played Ken. Zak’s sister has found refuge and another chance away from drugs of addiction, by the way.



Allansford, a small town in rural south western Victoria, is the home of Brisbane young gun Hugh McCluggage. I liked the symmetry to this story as Allansford is smack-bang in the middle of Fitzroy’s old recruiting territory.  1996 saw Fitzroy get disbanded in the AFL on the playing field known as Subiaco in Western Australia…the Lions last game was against Fremantle. Various formats and ties have since been created to foster connection between Fitzroy, Brunswick Street Oval, Brisbane and Fitzroy Amateurs in the VAFA. The most memorable comes when the old Fitzroy jumper gets worn by the Brisbane Lions on the MCG and Marvel Stadium. Allansford lies near Warrnambool, the home of Brian Brown, former Fitzroy player and father of Lions triple Premiership legend Jonathon. Brown’s uncle Noel Mugavin, another former Lion, hailed from Port Fairy on the coast. Nearby lies Terang where former Lion Bernie Harris hails from and another former Lion -turned Cat Ken Hinkley hails from Camperdown. The days of recruiting zones are long gone. However, Allansford has provided another thread in the fabric of Fitzroy and Brisbane Lions.



Cheers PT


2020 FEARLESS Finals Week Two: Can outsiders, the Saints and the Pies rise again…?


Queensland Hub Game Number 79: SEMI FINAL – RICHMOND V ST.KILDA


 For the first time since 1973 these two teams squared off in a finals game. Probably most punters tipped the Tigers to bounce back, especially given the Saints lost a couple of players from last week. Unnecessarily, the Tigers displayed aggro that wasn’t required to win the game. To see the captain almost rip an opposing player’s neck off and then to see the starring forward knee an opponent in the neck…they didn’t need to do that. The Tigers are a good team and may well yet be Premiers again. For the coach to come out and say that it’s a man’s game and big boys are playing it reminds me of his playing days when he had occasional reputation as a yapper and a sniper. What would Mrs Hardwick say? All of this was unnecessary, as the game itself proved that the Tigers had the relevant experience to draw on in order to win and win well. Despite Shane Savage’s ripping first goal, the Saints kicking for goal let them down. Their collective inability to match the Tigers for the whole of the game was probably what cost them. However, the Saints can be proud of their efforts and the Tigers can focus on beating Port in Adelaide. Credit to Shai Bolton who kicked 3 ad Tom Lynch who kicked 2.5…if he needs to curb his habits he should look no further than North’s Jason McCartney in 1999 and Pie Anthony Rocca in 2003 who both missed Grand Finals as a result of stupid and unnecessary acts. Pull your head in kid, your history might act against you at the Tribunal! The Tigers always led and for what it’s worth, most of the team played in the spirit of the game. Ratts can be proud of what the Saints achieved in 2020 as a stepping stone for the future.


Queensland Hub Game Number 80:  SEMI FINAL – GEELONG V COLLINGWOOD


 Bucks put 22 pies in the pie warmer on Saturday Night and came back 30 minutes later to find it not plugged in at the switch. By that stage the Cats were 9 goals up and on the way to the Preliminary Final next weekend. In a performance reminiscent of the victorious and drought-breaking 2007 Grand Final, Geelong started on fire and kept the flame burning. Spurred on by media criticism of their finals record and an uncanny habit of starting Dangerfield up forward, Chris Scott managed to extract the team performance that would make him breathe a sigh of relief. All players were up and about and contributing, from the skipper down to those that had poor finals’ playing records. An elite midfield effort by Guthrie, Duncan and Menegola freed up all others to play roles around the ground. A versatile team regains its mojo. On the other hand, just maybe the Pies spent all their petrol tickets with last week’s heist in WA. Truly, it was hard to gauge. Collectively, they were down, but the lack of effort was alarming. The mistakes were noticeable and yet to be perfectly honest, you’re only playing as well as the opposition lets you. Geelong was efficient, not just defensively, but across the ground. The stats would suggest almost a game of keepings off, such was the Cats dominance. A 68pt win, confirmation that the Cats were ready to continue and were in good shape to do so. For the Pies, it was the end of the road…it is always a big ask when you finish 8th at the end of the season. Very little Bucks did worked and it wasn’t for lack of trying things. For now, a gruelling and bumpy journey ends. But don’t worry…they’ll be back!


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