Round 1 – Fearless’s Review

FEARLESS 2016 Rd 1– Well done Jimmy Bartel on & off the field. Your courage continues to inspire!

Usual suspects Richmond and Carlton battled in the season opener. Carlton actually looked the better side, a shadow of the 2015 model. Richmond had lost stars Deledio and Maric prior to the game. Bolton’s Blues played with purpose and vigour, defending well and showcasing Cripps and new boy Weitering. Tigers found polish to kick off season 2016 with a rather rusty 9pt win. Shaun Hampson played his best game for either. Sam Lloyd broke the game open when it truly mattered.

Easter Saturday saw the GWS Giants travel to the G and look right at home. The mango and charcoal army though were heavily outnumbered by the Dees faithful who were with optimism for the year ahead. 2 of this year’s widely-tipped improvers (along with @10 others) the sides put on a close one. Wayward kicking didn’t help GWS. 9.17 won’t win much. Stevie J 2.2. Dees rise up by 2pts.

The Essendon Fockers flew to Club Metricon to take on the Gold Coast. OK so they’re not quite Bombers for season 2016. As if to say “who’s Nat Fyfe?”, G Ablett reminded the footy world that he still had it, ably assisted by the talented but erratic Aaron Hall and Lynch with 4. Ex-Cats Stokes and Kelly showed their wares, assisting BJ and Zaka for the Dons. Gold Coast at home by 61pts.

The Roos sought to break the season opener hoodoo that had plagued them under coach Brad Scott. Etihad hosted the clash between two of last years finalists and the less Dangerous Crows got off to a grand start in the first half, leading by 3 goals at the main break. Enter the AFL’s pensioner Boomer Harvey that reeled in the Crows with a 3 goal cameo that got the Roos get to within a point of the Crows and run over the top in the last qtr. Big Jenkins kicked 5 for the Crows. North home by 10pts.

Despite the venue change hoohah, the Swans broke the ice on season 2016 at the SCG in fine fashion. The Magpies broke the ice over the off season and of course found themselves in the media poo c/- a leaking source. Confidentiality? What’s that? Did it impact on the Magpies’ psyche? It is possible but the Swans were on, except for Dan Hannebery who’d been knocked into next week by Steele’s Sidebottom. Buddy celebrated a welcome return to footy with 4 goals! 43 scoring shots to 18. Swans by 80pts. The Pies are better than that Bucks fizzer. Dane Swan will be missed though.

Bevo’s Bullies welcomed back favourite son Libba Jnr and new boy ex-Hawk Premiership player Suckling. The Dockers might as well have claimed jetlag or the time delay from WA as a reason for the awful first qtr. Almost game over by qtr time with 7 goals to 0 by the Doggies. The Package kicked 5 and Johannisen and Macrae had the ball on a string. After a late challenge, Dogs surged to a cracking 65pt win. Freo heads home to tackle the Gold Coast needing a much better effort.

It wasn’t until midway through the last qtr that Port managed to break the Saints’ shackles at the Adelaide Oval on Easter Sunday. Saint midfielders Gilbert, Steven and Armitage were having it over their more fancied rivals leading at the first three breaks. Armchair service from Saint ruckman Tom Hickey who amassed 56 hitouts helped the Saints. Port powered away in the end to a 33pt win.

Brisbane headed far west to take on last year’s Grand Finalist West Coast with a few new faces (Bell, Bastinac, Schache, Walker). After a competitive first qtr, the gulf soon widened as Josh Kennedy kicked 8, Priddis ran riot and Nic Nat Noo was left to jump uncontested, helping himself to 46 hitouts. Interesting tactic that. The Coast home by 64pts with Eric McKenzie returning to full back.

Another recruit at the Cattery, Zac Smith, got his new team off to a flyer with 3 early goals before Danger Mouse started literally gathering the ball at will. The Hawks initially didn’t have answers until they got a run on in the 3rd qtr. The rejigged Cats lineup steadied with new recruits and rising stars all combining to steady the ship and run away to a solid 5 goal win. Cats Lang, Caddy 3 also.

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