FEARLESS 2021: Double Header Rounds 15 and 16…and another thing I’ve been wondering lately…

 

Hi all, the year that has been so far has certainly thrown some curve balls, to borrow a baseball expression. However, my random thoughts on footy cover off most topics as usual but there’s a few in brief that I’ll leave for your deliberation.

 

1) Currently Collingwood is looking for a coach and the media is all over the applicants. How can they be taken seriously as a club to coach until they sort out their board dispute and who is actually running the joint. If I was a potential coach, I’d be wary to say the least. If they sort it out shortly, then the parameters change. I’d say the Pies would need clarity on this issue by the end of the home and away rounds at the latest. Otherwise, the Essendon appointing Matthew Knights scenario emerges…hey no offence to Matthew…he still may yet make a good AFL coach for his experiences on the Geelong staff. I don’t think he wasn’t the Bombers’ first choice post-Kevin Sheedy though.

 

2) Why is it that scoring accuracy is at its all-time lowest in the history of the game? Into this question, consider this: Ben Simmons won’t play for the Boomers at the Olympics as he has to apparently work on his skills as per his club contract at Philadelphia 76ers…OK the relevance of this pertains to why footballers do not train their skill of goalkicking in all types of circumstances – under duress, fresh, from a distance, from the top of the square, with noise, without noise…? Why don’t goalkickers win the games and get the shots? Why do the sports scientists talk about load management in relation to goal kicking, like we’re all stupid. Practice!!! The coaches/sports scientists need to explain why key forwards are running around the half back line chasing kicks when the forward half of the ground is empty…is that how you win games? Why are they then so exhausted that they can’t kick straight? Not all are athletes..

 

3) Reiterating the efforts of Shaun Burgoyne…wow! The Hot Milo Club of the 400 gamers gets another member. What a super effort and a role model to all who play the game and also to all that don’t. A great person for footy is Shaun Burgoyne. Well done Hawks for taking the punt and extending his career for so long. It’s a long story, but my son got out of his car eventually!

 

4) The great uncertainty of Covid will continue to impact the AFL as it will all other sporting codes… With a bit of luck, we can get through the season first and then through the finals.

The great fluidity of the AFL fixture alterations means some sides will be impacted more than others. Currently we feel for the NSW teams as they’re stateless. The fixturing bean counters have to juggle and work through the fixture to get it done, whilst its framework is changing by the day with the pandemic.

 

Oh well…life goes on and thankfully the footy distracts us from the other crap!

 

Cheers PT

 

2021 FEARLESS Round 15: No more Mr Nice Bye…return of 9 games a week in the run home.

Having gone from one climate (Hobart in winter) Brisbane returned home to host Geelong at the Gabba on Thursday Night. A repeat of last year’s Prelim or a makeup for the last time both sides met at the Cattery that ended in controversy? However it appeared, the Lions got the Cats on a rare off night and treated them as such, a win by 44pts. Joe D 4. 11 scoring shots to 1 in 1stqtr…a warning!

 

2.10 and a 40pt win in a game featuring Richmond and St.Kilda. Most would be thinking the opposite and yet for all to see the Saints had a game changing 40pt win and the Tigers struggled. The Saints potentially turned their season around, capitalising on errors made earlier in 2021 and the Tigers’ effort had escaped them temporarily. A reborn St. Luke Dunstan stamped return to AFL with 32 stats.

 

Collingwood hosted Fremantle at Marvel on Saturday afternoon and despite periods of leading, the Magpies spent most of the game chasing purple haze. Rory Lobb and Lache Schulz kicked 3 each and the veteran Mundy led the Freo charge. Taylor Adams typified his importance to the Pies with 32 stats and just as the Pies had the answers in the last, Freo found route to a 12pt win. Ferris Bewley sealer.

 

Gold Coast debuted in Hobart against North Melbourne in a game that flew under many radars. However, the Suns attracted more than the Giants and Lions to Blundstone. Whilst the Roos started well, the Suns found their mojo in the 2nd qtr, largely thru the unheralded Josh Corbett with 3 and Touk Miller. Roos used local knowledge to overcome a 1 /2 time deficit to win by 9pts. Larkey 3.

 

In a finals preview, Port Adelaide hosted Sydney Swans in one of the year’s great games. The game lead never stretched beyond 3 goals either way and had evergreens Parker and Boak leading the charge for both teams. Not to forget Buddy with 4, a definite evergreen. Spirit of both teams a highlight, but when Lycett’s goal went thru and the ruck pumped his chest out, the Power had surged.

 

In another possible finals preview Essendon hosted Melbourne at the G. The Dees got home wearing their 80s Barassi Blue jumper, in honour of the 5 year plan that never ended. The Dees led for all of the 2nd half, not by much but by enough to keep the Dons at bay. Merrett and Parish led the stats count but it wasn’t enough as the Dees overcame F50 wastefulness to get home by 11pts. Petracca 2, 26.

 

GWS hosted Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday thanks to the vagaries of Covid in New South Wales. A cracking start by the ‘home’ side saw the Giants lead by 16pts at the 1st change, followed by the actual home side kicking 4.3 to .3 in the 2nd qtr, inspired by some Tim O’Brien flying lessons in the forward square. From there the Hawks had the Giants measure, a Hawk win by 18pts. Dylan Moore 4.

 

The Dogs flew way west to tackle the Eagles in front of no crowd. A decided advantage for the visitors, no less as the Dogs led from go to whoa! A 55pt silent win led by the Astro Naught with 4 and the Bont continuing his stellar year with 3 goals and 29 touches. A gulf in class between two sides both supposedly competing for finals spots. 33 scoring shots to 13 telling! Bazzlenka 31 stats, 2 goals.

 

Much has been said of Carlton in season 2021 and yet they hadn’t been thrashed and just needed a few tweeks to the game plan. Against Adelaide on Sunday, another win for the Teague Train by 10pts. Eddie Betts 3 and once the Blues hit the lead in the 2nd, they managed not to lose it, despite only kicking 0.5 to 2.4 in last qtr. Tex 3.4, Laird and Keays got plenty. Sam Walsh 38…Brownlow?

 

 

2021 FEARLESS Round 16: There is none other than Silk. Entrant no. 5 into the 400 club…

Gold Coast hosted Richmond at Marvel not Metricon thanks to Covid in Queensland. And wasn’t Damian Hardwick happy! Having already professed his love for the boutique stadium, Dimma got to watch as his Premiership side capitulate to the Suns. Credit where its due, the Suns seemed to have found their mojo after four weeks without. 27 scoring shots to 17. Suns by 10pts, B King 4, Lynch 5.

 

For the first time since the early 1990s, the Bombers ran out to play at the Cattery on Friday Night. Given the dew and the rain, the ball was slippery. This didn’t worry the Bombers who took advantage of Geelong’s early lethargy to lead by 19pts at the 1stchange. An 8 goal qtr by the Cats soon wrestled momentum and set the Cats on road to a 41pt win. Tomahawk 6, sighted only after massage oil gone.

 

Melbourne hosted GWS at the MCG on Saturday. Having learnt from the previous week, the GWS led for all but a couple of minutes in the 1st qtr. Maybe the Dees were complacent, but a costly 9pt loss as there’s no easy games. Higher forward 50 accuracy helped the GWS as did games of Josh Kelly 29 stats and Toby Greene with 3. Melbourne won most stat counts, but not above the shoulders.

 

Brisbane led Adelaide for all of the game on Saturday at the Adelaide Oval, a clear indication of the gap between the two sides. An 8pt 1 /2 time lead ballooned into a 52pt win, despite Lions losing Lachie Neale before the game. An effective Lions forward set up saw McCarthy 4, Cameron and Bailey 3 each. Ex-Lion Keays continued renaissance as a Crow with 28, Laird 37. Lion J. Lyons 31.

 

Fremantle got a rare chance to host a game at the MCG. The away team was Carlton. The Dockers started slowly, trailling by 22pts at 1 /4 time. Young Freo guns Brayshaw and Cerra sparked a turn around in Freo’s fortunes which tied the scores at the last change. The defensive game of Carlton led by Jones and Weitering held sway denying Freo all but 1pt in the last to 2.5. Sam Walsh sealer/ 25.

 

Silk is Shaun Burgoyne in AFL Land. Hawthorn hosted Port in Silk’s 400th  game on Saturday night. The old and the new coming together in a fitting tribute to the legend. 11 touches and 0.1 was probably not his most productive night but he continues to set the example for his young Hawk teammates. Port had the Power unfortunately, a 34pt win with Ollie Brownlow Wines getting 43 stats.

 

Covid vagaries saw the Sydney Swans host the Eagles at the Cattery. Yes, Geelong. Just like the Lakeside Oval in days gone by..a game was scheduled but the Swans had no opponent. Or maybe the Eagles went to Ballarat instead. When your opponents kick 1.3 by 1 /2 time, they are in disarray. A 92pt win indicative of the Swans dominance. Buddy, Heeney 3… Mills 35, shakedown the thunder!

 

Collingwood and St.Kilda went to to toe at the MCG on Sunday. Except that Collingwood didn’t really show up at the ground until 3 /4 time, trailing by 43pts. Slowly they started to make inroads into the Saints lead, but interim Pies Coach Harvey might have cause to be bewildered as to why the Pies only played one quarter. Saints by 9pts. Pies 5.6 to 0.2 in last.. maybe Saints took their foot of the gas.

 

Last time the two sides meet the Dogs beat the Roos by 128pts and it was a Good Friday for Josh Bruce with 10 goals. This time at Marvel Noble’s North looked far more organised and able to match their superior opponents. The final margin was 29pts. The Roos got to within 22pts but 4.8 to 3.4 in the last wasted opportunities. Hall 31, Macrae 31. Young Bulldog Cody Weightman 4, a fair effort.

 

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE

 

 

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