FEARLESS 2021: Double shots Round 9 and Round 10


Hi all, hope you’re all well despite another lockdown of dubious rationale…there must be a way to live with it without shutting down the state.


It is reported that Tayla Harris of Carlton’s AFLW team wants $150K per season and not surprisingly Carlton, her 2020 team, have baulked at the price as have 4 other AFLW teams. A stalemate now hits the market…it’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out.


As we know the AFLW charged admission prices for the first time this year. A positive step in the right direction for the AFLW business model. Now we all know that we’re in a COVID- induced economy that has battled through the loss of jobkeeper, jobseeker and other incentives. Can the AFL, the clubs and the AFLW program within each of the fourteen clubs afford to pay players that? This is a test case I’m assuming for the worth of the individual AFLW player.


The AFL itself lost $23million last year due to the ravages and effects of the pandemic and the belts have been tightened across all clubs. If ever there is an example of this, it’s the reduction in soft cap spending by footy departments as dictated by the AFL itself. Suddenly, clubs coaching and footy departments have been reduced to shells of their former glory.


Not a good time to be spruiking yourself as a marketing component within a fledgling competition. Not a good time to be spruiking yourself at a pay scale higher than other players. Not a good time to be spruiking in that manner, off the back of your worst season in 5 years as an AFLW player. If boxing is the other option in Tayla’s sporting capabilities, the boxing might yet get her full attention, notwithstanding her marketability, her name and her brand within the AFLW.


If an AFLW club comes for her signature at that asking price, then it’s an enormous chunk of the payroll relative to the whole team list. With another 4 AFLW clubs waiting in the wings to take the field to expand the competition to 18 clubs, the collective talent pool will need to expand as will the cost of running an AFLW program. The question must be asked about the individual’s ability to read the tea leaves. Her manager should rein her in and determine a more palatable figure for AFLW list managers to ponder. It would be a shame if Tayla Harris was lost to the AFLW.


Cheers PT


2021 FEARLESS Round 9: Little wins great but hard to digest. Actual wins build confidence.


St.Kilda hosted the Cats at Marvel to kick off the round in a desperate need to get some cred. Unfortunately the Eurovision battle of Fire Saga was on SBS. Will Farrell looked like morphing into Cam Guthrie and vice versa over the evening and the Saints forward accuracy was a bit like the plot, wayward! Max King had a nightmare with 1.5 but Saints equally wasteful with 5.17. Cats too good by 21pts. BOG Yaya Ding Dong


Collingwood kicked 4.2 in their 1st qtr against the Swans at the SCG and proceeded to kick 1.10 for the rest of the match. The Swans managed 1.2 in the 1st and 9.10 for the rest. Not surprisingly, this led to a Swans win but also an indication that slow starts are not always poor form in the modern game. Will Hoskin-Elliott had his best game for the Pies in a while but Swans Mills, Heeney and McLean ensured the win.


A sort of homecoming (sorry Bono!) for ex-Launceston fella David Noble at UTAS Stadium on Saturday as the Tassie Hawks took on the Tassie Roos. Hawks got off to a flyer in the 1st with a qtr time lead of 25pts. Chad Wingard was everywhere and it was looking like a training drill before Cunners the contested beast took charge with proteges Jy and LDU taking over. Roos first win of 2021 on Coach Noble’s birthday.


Tropic Thunder was a Tropic mismatch at Club Metricon with the Brisbane Lions handing their southern neighbours on the Gold  Coast a pantsing. 73pts was the margin and Jarryd Lyons continued the question of the Suns as to why they moved him on…13 kicks and 24 handballs, a clear winner of the Ashcroft Medal. McStay and Cameron led the goalkickers and the Suns totally eclipsed. Coach Dew worried about his team.


Poor old Damian Hardwick doesn’t like Richmond playing at Marvel. What a sook! Concrete pills Princess. The Tigers managed to steal a last gasp win against a valiant GWS after a Daniel Rili goal. Not bad for a Tigers side that had trailed for most of the game by up to 28pts. Jesse Hogan continued his resurgence as an AFL forward with another 4. Dusty 4 too with 28 stats helped. GWS solidifying, despite many injuries.


Bevos Bullies travelled to Adelaide to take on Port in an attempt to stay top top top. Yes Genius it rhymes with stop stop stop. A cracking start by the visitors kept the Port crowd stunned but thy forund their voice with a 6 goals to 2 2nd qtr to reduce a 25pt margin to 1pt at the half. It wasn’t enough! The Dogs led by the Bont and the underrated Macrae helping guide the visitors to a solid 19pt win. Naughton 4, Weightman 3.


An even contest was expected between Essendon and Fremantle at Marvel on Sunday. Wayward forward kicking didn’t help the Dockers 8.13 to 10.8 but an even contest it was. With the scores tied at the 18 minute mark of the last, the balance had been restored after momentum shifts had helped both sides lead throughout. Ham’s 48m goal at the 22min mark sealed a 7pt win. Parish and Hind racked up the stats for the Dons.


Carlton’s season seemed to be summed up by the media saying they needed a big scalp. The undefeated Demons lay in their path. A competitive 1st qtr would’ve given Blues fans optimism. The highly coherent Dees outfit sought and gained control after qtr time thru the efforts of Salem and Oliver and Tom Mc and Beavis Fritsch up forward, 3 each. Sam Walsh continued a great year for the Blues, 30. Dees by 26pts.


The Corporate Juggernauts went head to head at Optus on Sunday when the Eagles hosted the Crows to finish the round. From midway thru the 2nd qtr, it became apparent that the Eagles were better as Jack Darling kicked 5 in the qtr. A 30pt win by the Eagles indicative of where both teams are at. Whilst the Crows are improving, the Eagles are still thereabouts, circling the treetop. Crows Laird 36, Keays 32 stats.



2021 FEARLESS Round 10: Rioli and Bolton…shame the knuckleheads are still out there


Brisbane looked wayward in their home game against Richmond in the first half, and yet managed a 7pt lead at the main break. There was a sense that if the Lions found their forward mojo, the ship would be steadied and the Lions would be too good. Zac Bailey and Eric Hipwood 4 each and 8.3 in the 2nd half far more deadly. Tigers outgunned by Lions by 28pts. Riewoldt and Lynch 3 each. Zorko and Houli stats stars.


The Twittersphere hadn’t even been born yet when the Blues last beat the Hawks at the G.Not that it was easy mind you. A 3pt lead at the half had indicated a Hawks fightback, after the Blues had got out to a 4 goal lead in the 2nd. The Blues steadied in the 2nd half and won by 23pts, sealed by a booming Harry McKay goal from outside 50. Clarko’s Hawks  a work in progress. Hawk Mitchell 44, Blue Walsh 30, 1 goal.


Gold Coast travelled to the Cattery for the annual culture shock of cold winds and blustery conditions. The Cats got off to a solid start and were never headed, despite a competitive effort from the Suns. Joel Selwoood’s stats counts hasn’t hit 39 for a while and young Cat Narkle, reminiscent of a young Barry Cable, 34. Ben King 3.2 was a focal point for the Suns, as Touk Miller continued fine form. Cats by 34pts.


Adelaide broke the Dees winning streak at Adelaide Oval on Saturday twilight. Much will be made of the umpiring errors but that’s not of concern. What is of concern for the miserly Demons defence is how a 16pt lead can be dwindled in the last 14 minutes. Enter Tex. 2 goals and 1 to dead-eye Darcy Fogerty and the Dees fans wept into their Pimms and Lemonades. Clarry 38, 3 goals…not bad. As for Nick Murray…lucky..


144 to 33. Top of the table Dogs obliterate the struggling Saints in a clearcut case of form vs mental demons. Astro-Naught and the Bont still could be inaccurate and have influence, but for the Saints the skunk was the reliable sole spearhead with 2. Increasing their lead every quarter, from 11 to 51 to 77 to 111 points, the Dogs had 3 30+ stats winners before the 1st Saint Jack Sinclair on 28, 58 more uncontested, 26 more tackles.


That Nat Fyfe wobbled through the winner for Freo against the Swans at Optus should indicate that everyone’s luck changes at some point. Fyfe had had the yips big time in the Freo forward arc, but managed to upstage the travelling Buddy show with 6. A 2pt thriller in the wet saw Freo’s Lobb score 4 goals also, Mundy and Dawson led the stats for each. Despite Freo 2x the hitouts, clearances even, Swans more tackles.


That GWS beat their more highly fancied West Coast opponents with the AFLs worst injury list, says much for both teams. Giants stadium was the venue on Sunday. Sam Taylor led an unheralded GWS defence that kept Darling and Kennedy to 1.2 each, aided by the veteran Haynes and the improving Connor Idunno. The shadows that follow the Eagles to away games continue to haunt! GWS won more of  ball and used it better.


If the Collingwood-Port game was a song it’d be Heartbreak City, The Cars classic. Fresh from arguments over jumper designs, the Pies determined to show their opponents who’s boss and did a great job for 3.5 qtrs. When Port hit the lead midway thru the last the Pies needed to throw out the caution and they did with quick goals to novices McCreery and Poulter. Two minutes, no progress. Port 1pt win. Footy often sucks.


If there was any thinking that the Dons rebuild and the Roos rebuild were on a par, then four qtrs. On Sunday late at Marvel will end that debate. The Bombers led from start to finish with the Roos coming back to earth with an almighty thud. Ball could’ve been raffled between Parish, McGrath and Merrett and the Bombers fast breaks often caught the Roos on the hop. This complemented f50 efficiency. Dons by 72pts.



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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