FEARLESS 2021: Double Header – The media spotlight just shines too intensely sometimes

Hi all, these are being done as quickly as possible, but the juggling of life and its daily jigsaw continues to present as a hurdle.

 

Oh well, just thought I’d empathise with the Carlton supporters for a second. Losing two games to 2020 Preliminary Finalists and one to one of the competition’s current form sides has got the alarmists on the social media and in the media saying that Carlton have stuffed it and the coach needs to be sacked etc…

 

I’m not sure yet whether the Blues have the capabilities to be finalists in 2021, but I’d say these losses aren’t killers. Reasonably small margins and a good win against the Bombers probably goes against the grain of public thought.

 

Whilst the Blues have taken a while before looking successful, I’d say they’re on the right path and that David Teague is going quite well as a coach.

 

I guess we will know where they’re at in a month. I still think there’s more upside to the Blues to achieved in 2021 and beyond. Big H McKay is tracking well and an injury free run is due to Charlie Curnow, Mitch McGovern, Jack Silvagni and Caleb Marchbank.

 

In the words of Dean Lewis, “It’ll be alright” blues fans. You may have something to cheer about sooner than you think in relation to finals appearances.

 

Cheers PT

 

 

2021 FEARLESS Round 7: Those who choose to write off the Tigers, do so at your own peril!

 

Just when everyone started to write off the Tigers, the Western Bulldogs get to the G and start well, if inaccurately, and then allow the Dusty-less Tigers into the game. Dogs kicked 3.6 in the first and 4.7 for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Tigers slowly got their groove back in the second half, led by Houli, Broad and Short. A 22pt win and proof for the AFL community that the Tigers aren’t done with just yet.

 

Gold Coast got a rare appearance the MCG on a Saturday afternoon against a struggling Collingwood. A 19pt lead at the half by the Suns wasn’t a fluke and lesser-known names like Corbett, 4 goals and Bowes 30 stats. The Suns held the lead for the second half, a great experience for the team, given their lack of exposure down south. Mihocek flew the Pies resistance flag with 4. Ellis 35, ensured a good Suns 24pt win

 

Jesse Hogan re-entered the AFL fray at this 3rd club, the GWS. The Giants took on the Crows in Adelaide and proceeded to give the home side a flogging by 67pts. The Ferrari purred as quality midfielders Whitfield Hopper and Taranto gave great service to forwards such as Hogan who finished with 4. Fortunately a wayward 1st qtr by GWS 1.8 didn’t translate into a poor day, 14.8 after that. The Crows a wayward 4.15.

 

The Saints returned to form against the Hawks at Marvel. A 5.4 to 0.0 lead at qtr time put the Hawks playing catchup footy for the rest of the game. In turn it probably gave the Saints some much needed confidence, kicking 14.10 to 9.5 for the rest. Zak Jones arguably played his best Saints game with 37 and 2. Coupled with Brad Hill and the returning Ryder, the Hawks were clearly no match. Mitchell 38 for the Hawks.

 

For all Port’s prowess as a supposed contender for the flag, Brisbane easily unplugged the Power at the Gabba. Granted both are Prelim Finalists from 2020, but the ease of which the Lions won must’ve caused Coach Hinkley some grey hairs! A 49pt Lions win a decisive outcome, despite some fine Wines, Charlie Cameron 4 and a far more productive midfield and the Lions weren’t challenged as much as first thought.

 

It’s always a shame when an umpire’s decision determines the game’s outcome, as it did when Geelong lost to Sydney by 2pts at the SCG on Saturday Night. Tom Papley goals to take them past the Cats and an umpiring stuff up saw Cats recruit Jeremy Cameron not awarded a mark that could’ve won the game in the dying seconds. Back to the bush leagues Sonny Jim! An entertaining game nonetheless. Swan McLean 4.

 

Crystallisation! The 2nd qtr by North against the undefeated Demons at Blundstone should’ve consolidated the hope of North fans. The winless Roos led by 19pts at the half. However the Demons dug deep and pulled out a 6 goal to 1 3rd qtr, taking a 13pt lead into the last. Fritsch 6, Pickett 3 and ex-Roo Brown 2 got the Demons over the line, as did the Petracca-led midfield. Cunnington, Simpkin and Hall the Roos best.

 

Footy fans haven’t heard of the Big H in ages…but Harry McKay has assumed the mantle. A 2pt Bomber lead at the half had been the result of a good midfield and Walla and Hooker up forward. However, the Blues were too good for the Bombers, kicking 11 goals to 8 after the break. The midfield dominance the Bombers had was overtaken by the Blues led by Walsh and Cripps. Blues by 16pts. Big H 4, Hooker 5.

 

Fragility of mind must haunt Freo whenever they play the Eagles in a Derby. As at the crowdless Optus in Derby 52 on Sunday afternoon. 9 goals to 2 after half time saw an even contest break wide open with a big spread of Eagles goalkickers and the outstanding Tim Kelly taking charge with 42 stats. Dockers Coach Longmuir needs a collective psychologist. The Eagles do this to the Dockers way too often..11 on the trot.

 

2021 FEARLESS Round 8: No Mother’s Day games until 3.20. That should be written in stone.

 

Not even the most optimistic of Cats fans would’ve predicted the 2nd half of what happened as Richmond took on Geelong. The Grand Final Replay turned last year’s decider on its head. Of course, it was never about retribution…yeah bulls…! Dusty 21 touches and 0.2 compared to Jeremy Cameron 6, Gary Rohan 5, Tomahawk 4, Shai Bolton a speccy and 3 goals. The wheel has come full circle…honestly, for how long?

 

Gold Coast hosted St. Kilda and both sides were on a par in 2021. Sure enough the scores were level at the half and then the Suns kicked away to a 15pt lead at the last break. Touk Miller led the charge, supported by Swallow and Ben King with 3. In the last the Saints dug deep and showed a bit of 2020’s spirit, kicking 4.3 to .3 to run away with a 9pt win. Nothing fancy! Just roll up your sleeves and go to work. B.Crouch 30.

 

GWS defeated the Bombers in a thriller by 2pts. It’s fair to say that both teams had been tracking each other during 2021. A blistering start by the GWS led to a 4 goal lead at the 1st change before the Bombers stormed back to 9pts at the half. Merrett and Parish were leading the Bomber charge. GWS shot away again in the 3rd kicking 7 goals to 5. The Bombers nearly stole it with a 6 goal to 2 last qtr. Finlayson. Langford 3 each.

 

North hosted the Pies at Marvel on Saturday in a high stakes game with pressure on both coaches. That the Pies led by 5 goals at half time with De Goey with 4 goals told the tale of what went right. The umpire ruling Zurhaar’s shank as deliberate was not a good call. The Roos had looked shoddy with disposal and yet found themselves only 6pts behind midway thru the 3rd. Pies regained composure to win by 18pts.

 

Melbourne  played Sydney at the G on Saturday Night and the Swans were up for the fight, trailing only by 11pts at the half and 10pts at the last. The Dees kept their composure whilst the Swans threatened at times, but never quite had the ability. Tom McDonald and Ben Brown were proving a productive forward pairing with 7 and Buddy was being well held by May. Oliver 35 stats led the charge. Swans close. Dees by 9pts.

 

Showdown time in SA as Port and Adelaide crossed paths at the Adelaide Oval. Even inaccuracy by Port couldn’t get the Crows close, such was the lopsided nature of the contest. Port by 49pts with young forwards Marshall and Georgiades leading the attack. Rory Laird led the Crows ball winners with 36, but the Crows didn’t really have the answers. Port’s celebration tipped into the wearing of prison bars jumper post game!

 

West Coast’s away form had been average in 2021 to say the least. Against the Hawks at the G on Mothers Day, the Eagles had a chance to improve their form. Brendan Ah Chee kicked 4 and set the tone for the Eagles, whilst the Worlpedo tried to stem the tide against the Hawks, ably assisted by Mitchell and Impey. Eagles by 38 after both sides went goalless in the first. 7.4 in the 2ndgot the Eagles breathing space to win.

 

Carlton led their more fancied Bulldogs opponents for most of the 2nd and 3rd qtrs and were well on the way to an impressive win. However a 6.3 to 1.3 last qtr by the Dogs left the Blues in their wake and raised all the questions asked by the lazy journos as to the Blues finals credibility. How is improvement measured? Is Cripps injured? Yawn. The Blues lost by 16pts to a very good team and couldn’t hang on. End of story.

 

Covid saw a coastal switch between venues for the Lions – Freo clash. The Gabba not Optus was the venue and with that change came the change in odds and probabilities of a Lions win. The Dockers are already suffering under the weight of their in jury list. Brisbane went from strength to strength and took the foot off the gas in the last, reducing a 32pt lead to a 24pt win. Charlie Cameron 3.5 – yips. Lions bit more polished.

 

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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