Round 22 – Fearless: Welcome back Daniel Menzel after 1480 days in rehab!

It seems that we have the 8 finalists, despite the positions not being settled.

It appears that Freo is about to go with its annual resting of players before the finals. Spare a thought for Peel Thunder, Fremantle’s seconds in the WAFL. Peel has long been regarded as the poor cousin, constantly finishing on the bottom in its brief tenure in the WAFL, the most recent of expansion teams in WA’s state league. Finally it gets into the finals and faces the prospect of having its maiden  finals team raided by Ross Lyon and selectors whilst Pav and others get a week off to freshen up. Freo’s entitled as dictated by the AFL, but if I was associated with Peel Thunder I’d be pretty annoyed.

I guess the same could be said for Werribee in the VFL, if North goes down that path with resting seniors players. Finals are at stake for all. Werribee is at least better stocked to handle the situation as North’s other VFL aligned side as North Ballarat is not playing finals but North Ballarat players can only train in hope. The two alignments in the VFL dilute the impact. Tough calls abound in the coming weeks, a regular feature at finals time everywhere.

Plaudits this week to Nathan Buckley, interviewed by SEN’s Crunch Time team last Saturday. He was very impressive interviewee and was very open about the efforts of his assistants Robert Harvey, Ben Hart and Scott Burns and their impact. As an outsider listening in it would appear that the Pies are in good hands. Buckley comes across as very media savy and always knew to never bite back at the media when asked about his predecessor in Mick Malthouse. If anything Bucks was nothing but complimentary towards Mick and noted what a terrific mentor Mick had been to him. Many have had similar sentiments within AFL coaching ranks.

It’ll be interesting to note who hangs up the boots in weeks to come. Some by choice, some not…some lucky to find new homes, some not. Time will tell for many – the dream end isn’t always the reality.

Let’s have a look at the wash up of round 22.

Press red for Ed? Eddie McGuire kicking the footy for the punter to mark. Eddie went purple with effort. He’d’ve stayed red after the song was sung with gusto as the pies put paid to the Cats finals campaign. Daniel Menzel 4 recos and missing for 4 years, kicked 4, looking like he never missed a beat. Now for Josh Cowan. Hot Pies by 48.

Carlton travelled to the Rooty Hill Reserve to meet the GWS. The Navy Blues kept pace with GWS for a half and then Jeremy Cameron decided to kick 7 goals in the 2nd half. Half-in half-out Giant Treloar sent his market price soaring with 3 goals and 28 stats. An 8.3 to 1.0 3rd qtr by the GWS a future positive on the road to an 81pt win.

Brisbane got a climate change down in Tassie where they played the Hawks. Climate no factor as the Lions got off to a flyer leading at the first break by 3 goals. A 10 goal to 1 2nd qtr realigned the game back into the public’s perception. Chip Frawley sent forward for 3 goals – more variety. Hawks 12 goals. Tom Rockliff 45 stats valiant.

Etihad. Roof closed. Team with 7 wins on the trot vs team with 8 wins in a row at Etihad. Bulldogs gamble with no name ruckman. Goldstein in career best form. Tight and tough, finals-like, the Roos struggled when the game was up for grabs. The Dogs got home by slamming 4 goals midway thru the last qtr. Bevo’s Bulldogs 23pts.

Chappy said goodbye to footy as the Bombers hosted the finals-bound Tigers. Revered by all footy fans, Chappy finished with 19 stats and teammate Hooker kicked 3.1. After an even first half, the Tigers broke clear in the 2nd half to win by 27pts. Amazingly only 37,800 watched on, surely a poor crowd by these two sides.

Gold Coast hosted Port in a wet and fiery clash in front of 9343 at Club Metricon. Both sides set about finishing their respective years after the highs and lows of what has been regarded as a disappointing season for both. Karl Amon provided some forward firepower with 3. Port finished 37pts clear of the Suns. Sam Gray 37 stats.

Adelaide kicked 8.3 to stun the visiting West Coast in the first qtr at the Adelaide Oval. A standing ovation ensued by the parochial Crows supporters, followed by a 5 goals to 1 Eagle revival. For Eagles’ coach Simmo, unfortunately that’s where it stopped. 10 goals to 5 by the Crows after half-time. 57pt Crows win. Josh Jenkins 6.

Any chance of the Saints causing an upset over Sydney dissipated in the first qtr when the Saints failed to show up. Inaccurate kicking didn’t help the Saints either but the horse’s men had bolted, a 39pt lead at the main break. Small forward Schneider, a veteran of both teams, saw the Swans head to a 97pt win. Heeney 4.

Melbourne flew far west to take on the Dockers and continued their unimpressive starts. Roosy’s been using the Grecian 2000 cos most coaches would’ve gone grey watching. 5.1 to 0.1 set the stage for Freo to push to a 9 goal win and claim their first minor Premiership! Veteran Demon Cross 39 stats – great example for 2016 Dees.


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