FEARLESS 2021 – Rounds 13 and 14: Fixturing on the run

Round 13: When six games became seven.


Covid fixturing on the run…


BYES: Brisvegas, Caaaarrrrlton, Essington and Foodesgray


Geelong went into its game against the Power in Adelaide with 10 players over 30. First time ever and when Port led at the first change, maybe then it showed. Rozee’s four first quarter goals were a stunning return, and Port kept the lead until the Cats banged on the last three goals of second quarter to take a three point lead into the main break. As games go it was a cracker; the Cats just kept a lead to three quarter time of 10 points. Port managed to wrestle control and the lead back early in the last! Two goals to Dixon and Rozee’s fifth had Port up by nine. Then the Cats went ‘whack’! Cameron kicked three and inspired the Cats to a strong 21 point win.


Hawthorn caused something of a boilover in Sydney when they took on the Swans at the SCG on Friday night; a 38 point loss was not what the Swannies expected in their year of re-emergence. However when you’re flat, you’re flat. End of story. Buddy and Heeney one each against a Hawks forward line that featured many multiple goalkickers. Swan Super Amartey was the only Swan to kick two in his first game. Greater scoring accuracy the key: 7.9 to 14.5, ouch. Swans had enough ball winners but they didn’t gel.


Fremantle were well within their rights to regard the travelling Gold Coasters as a danger game. However, true to form, the Suns found a way to make a mockery of their recent good run. Cue inaccuracy. It’s enough to drive coach Stuey Dew to comfort food. 1.8 to half time. The returning Alex Pearce made a huge difference to Freo’s defence, keeping young gun Sun Ben King to a real lack of leather poisoning. The Suns’ loss of key back Collins didn’t help them, but the Suns are yo-yos! Freo by 27 points.


When you lead a game for 98% of it, only to lose at the death…well then, I think the Saints were entitled to feel a bit stiff! Young Crow Thilthorpe’s kick over the head swung the game Adelaide’s way in Cairns. The Saints had led by 27 points at quarter time and by five goals at the half on a wet night also affected by FNQ dew. Yet the Saints seemed to run out of puff in the second half. The Crows slowly gained momentum and managed to do the unthinkable. Ex-Roo Wood had two, but the Crows’ 3.6 in the last was a worrying sign for Saints coach Ratten. The Saints kicked just 0.3. Crows just by six points. Woozle’s mullet an SA treat!


North Melbourne hosted GWS in Hobart and managed to squander a chance to get its second win for season 2021, despite leading by 28 at the last break. The Giants stormed back in the last with 6.1 to 1.3 to force a draw, the first for the season. Anti-climatic…yes, exciting…yes, disappointing…yes, a relief…yes – all around good entertainment for the 3,500 strong crowd…yes. Roos coach Noble bemoaned the inability of his team to contain Giant Daniel Lloyd whose two late goals forced the draw. Giant Josh Kelly signalled his ability to break lines by enabling the comeback to gain momentum.


The stuff of childhood dreams was the goal by Eagle Josh Kennedy. To sink the reigning Premiers by four points in the West was exactly what the Eagles needed to kickstart their season after sinking into a rut. Injuries had impacted but the Eagles were staring down defeat by the Tigers before some Liam Ryan foot tricks got the ball to Josh Kennedy with less than two minutes remaining. The Tigers had led since midway through the second quarter, but Oscar Allen’s late goal got the Eagles within striking distance.


Melbourne hosted Collingwood on Queen’s Birthday – Bucks’ last hurrah at the SCG, whilst the Big Freeze took place at a vacant MCG…hot pies all around as Collingwood exposed a Melbourne side that was possibly resting on its laurels. The hunter becomes the hunted…an unheralded forward line of Cameron and Mihocek kicked seven between them. De Goey and Maynard gathered 32 touches each..Bucks deserved a fitting Collingwood sendoff and he got one, a Magpie win by 17 points over the ladder leaders.





Round 14: Mirroring Round 13…when six games becomes five


Alas poor Covid…


BYES: Angrytown, Lulie Street Carjackers, Freo Anchors, Mt Buller/Falls Creek Off Piste Appreciation Society, Punt Rd Disco, Sorrento Saints, SinCity Swans and the Weagles



Gary Rohan lives the dream as Geelong downed the Western Bulldogs at the Cattery after the siren. Nothing like practising with the rolled up ball of socks up and down the hallway! Rohan had developed some consistency in 2021 and kicked the winner – a fitting end to a wonderful finals-like contest. Meanwhile the Dogs’ usual suspects of JackMac, Bont and Libba racked up the stats to keep the Dogs in the hunt and Josh Bruce continued to defy critics with 3.0. Multiple lead changes kept the margin between 12 points on the spectrum. There had to be one winner. Isaac Smith’s 30 led the Cats in their 5 point win.


Gold Coast’s yoyo-like season continued to stutter as the Power struck at Metricon…how have the Suns’ lost their mojo so quickly? Port were barely headed as they eclipsed the Suns from start to finish. A 50 point Port win not ideal, as the pressure mounts on coach Stewart Dew from media outlets. The Suns’ lot is a struggle for relevance. Port did as they pleased, led by Ollie Wines with 43 stats, the midfield bull fed young forwards Rozee with three, and young Jujudas (a Jack Dyer-ism) who kicked two. Business as usual for Port as they march to finals. Coach Dew to send edict: bring mouthguards to training!


Far from the Queensland sun, the Brisbane Lions squared off against North in Hobart in the mid winter Saturday twilight. It was Fagan v Noble, coach v former footy manager-turned-coach, a battle between two ex-Tassie lads who had risen to the top of the AFL tree. It was 18th v third on a simpler scale. A chance for the rebuilding Roos to test their mettle against one of the AFL’s better teams. A 23 point Lions win, a reasonable outcome I expect, although 23 scoring shots to 15 was probably more indicative, despite both sides’ inaccuracy. Originally slated for the Gabba, the game moved for Covid.


Criticisms of Carlton in 2021 have been levelled at an inability to play four quarters. Not heavily thrashed at all, the Blues suffered their greatest defeat at the hands of the Giants at Rooty Hill when they lost on Saturday night by 36 points. A slow start and a slower finish probably bookended the game. A third qtr effort of 4.6 indicated an ability that was evident but hadn’t been directed in the right manner. A gap in class was the main difference with Hopper, Whitfield and Kelly leading the Giants, aided by five goals by Finlayson and four from acting skipper Toby Greene. GWS 16.6 – accuracy helps!


The Bombers landed in Launceston for their first AFL game since the early 1990s. Suddenly, capacity crowds return to watch AFL in Tasmania as the Hawks and Bombers played at UTas Stadium. The show required the showman. Enter the Package! Jake Stringer brought his own footy with 29 touches and four goals, much to the delight of Tassie’s Bomber Squadron. More importantly, this helped Essendon to get a win on ‘foreign’ soil/food for thought for AFL Tassie team advocates. Tom Mitchell had 36 and helped by Kosi and Breust up forward, the Hawks tried but Dons walked away with a 13 point win.




The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. 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 HERE



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