Round 18 – Fearless 2015: Tigers prove to be the real deal…at least for now, and a salute to Patch Adams

Much of the footy world wouldn’t have known Leigh “Patch” Adams who, at age 27, retired on Saturday night. Apart from being on the receiving end of the infamous chicken wing tackle, Patch was a brave player who battled shoulder issues before suffering one too many concussions that forced his hand. The concussions sent Adams into a depression that hadn’t helped his overall health. The last of 5 concussions occurred on the VFL comeback trail for North Ballarat, one of the North Melbourne affiliates.

Patch reached 104 games for North before announcing his retirement. As a player he played a combined onball and small forward role. He played the role so well that coach Brad Scott said he redefined the role across the AFL.

The story shows a renewed focus on the effects of concussion that has spread across NRL, NFL and other codes. The AFL is to be commended for implementing its 20 minute concussion sub and for its ongoing commitment to research the side-effects.

Interestingly at junior footy levels, there are clubs advocating the compulsory use of helmets for players. This doesn’t necessarily correlate as the jury is still out as to their effectiveness in preventing head injuries. More importantly the kids don’t seem to be taught to protect themselves. That is more important for the young players to get their technique correct.

Quality of life (post-football) is something that can only be envisioned before the long term effects of concussion take place. As Patch Adams indicated, this was a driving motivator in his decision to give the game away. For all his achievements as a player and under-age champion (Captain of the Vic Metro u/18 team in 2006 and u/18 All-Australian that year), the decision made itself.

It’s a career cut short, but a life that may be enjoyed more to its fullest. At least he got to retire on his own terms. As the season approaches the end, others might not be so lucky.

To round 18 then…

Daylight? The opponent for the Hawks in the GF? Enter the Tigers who sought to and did dispose of the Hawks in an emphatic fashion on Friday night at the G. The Hawks lost their first game since round 8. Richmond led by Brett Deledio made a statement. The Tigers are ready to up the ante come September. Stay tuned. Tigers by 18pts.

Brisbane made the trek south to the Cattery. The Cats rebuild on the run had been gathering momentum. The Lions’ season had been decimated by injury and loss of confidence. A day for heroes in different forms. Josh Walker 5 goals, Jed Adcock 4 for Lions. Stefan Martin battled bravely all day for the Lions. Cats too good by 56pts.

Melbourne played Collingwood with a chance to overcome the demons of past meetings as they hadn’t won against the Magpies for a while and both teams’ seasons had tapered somewhat. Swan was his industrious self as was Bernie Vince with 3 goals and 30 stats. Demons managed to overcome a hoodoo, home by 37pts.

Without the Goodes, the Swans managed to do it in style against Adelaide at the SCG. Kurt Tippett issued a timely reminder of his capabilities with 3 goals and a polished ruck display against Big Sauce Jacobs. Hannebery 40 stats and 3 goals led the Swan charge and a fine forward spread helped. Sydney back in town by 52pts.

Jarrad Waite knew he was going to be booed by the Carlton faithful. His 200th game in different colours was always going to pan out as such. Two goals for the Roos helped his new team over the line. A second quarter fightback by the Blues would’ve pleased coach Barker but from 5 minutes before ¾ time, the Roos then bolted to a 64pt win.

The Glo-Stix Cup at Club Metricon ended up in a draw when the highly favoured West Coast found a way to shoot itself in the foot – bad kicking is bad footy. Gold Coast’s next captain Tom Lynch managed to kick the levelling goal with seconds left. Harley Bennell continued his return to favour with 28 stats. Lynch 4, Priddis 34 stats.

St.Kilda headed to the City of Churches to clash with Port without its skipper Roo. A wayward forward setup ensued with big talls MCartin and Bruce inaccurate as was most teammates. Port took advantage and with greater forward efficiency, led by young gun Wingard with 4.2. Lobbe and Ryder set up Port’s runners to a 63pt win.

Bevos Bullies pounded their crosstown Bomber rivals into the Etihad turf. An 87pt win not necessarily indicative of the gap between the two teams but perhaps more of a gap between the collective mindsets of both. Worth noting that Bomber ruck recruit Giles won the hitouts on a bleak day. Ex Don Crameri 7 goals to rub salt in.

GWS’ form in WA has been ordinary with average losses @90pts. Fyfe-less Freo pushing out to a 33pt lead at the last change. Umpiring aside, pleasing for Giants’ coach Cameron that the GWS won the last qtr, only to go down by 21pts. Walters 4. A Zac Dawson striking charge wouldn’t have pleased Freo in his first game of 2015.


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