Round 22 Review: Fearless – Injuries just might determine September outcomes, even with a bye…

It was costly for the ruckmen of the Eagles and the Hawks as the Eagles took full advantage of Domain Stadium to post a 25pt win. But injuries to Nic Nat Noo and Hawk Jon Ceglar could prove to be costly as the finals unfolds for both teams. Hawk ball magnet Mitchell was restricted but the weight of ball numbers favoured the Eagles. Gaff 38, Kennedy 5. They’re the Eagles and they’re flying high…for now.


The Swans flew south to invade Hobart’s Fortress Blundstone, as the last team to win there in 2013. Injuries to Roo key defender Thompson and key Swan forward Buddy impacted early, probably more so for the Roos. Equally inaccuracy for the Roos killed off any chance of an upset, despite dominating the contest numbers. Swans prolific midfield brigade and defence held firm, shoring up a 9pt win.


The Tigers hosted the Saints at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. That the final scores were 55:46 was an indication of a slogfest with many unforced errors by both teams. Young Saint McCartin crashed into the deck and damaged his shoulder, fortunately a season ender doesn’t carry the weight with two games to go. Seb Ross 34 continued his fine season assisted by veteran Montagna. Saints by 9pts.


After a competitive 1st qtr, Freo fell in a hole against GWS at the Rooty Hill Reserve on Saturday. The Giants crushed the Dockers by 92pts. A highlight for the Dockers was  Fremantle Prison’s recruit Shane Yarran’s 3 goals in the 1st qtr. Apart from that Jon “General” Patton kicked 6 in a PB and Lachie Neale got 40 touches for Freo. Ryan Griffen got his mojo back with 30, ably assisted by unsung Whitfield 26.


Collingwood got some much needed percentage to carry forward into rd23 after flogging the gold Coast at Etihad on Saturday night. The Suns got another Rocket Yeah after a dispiriting 1st half of 1.6 to 12.8. Game over, the Joffa yellow Jacket would’ve been seen during the main break. After that the Pies 4.14 to Sunnyboys 5.5. Treloar 38, “the riddle” Jesse White 3.4…black & white delight by 71pts.


The crowd got excitable as Port and Adelaide battled for Showdown XXXXI. In fact it’d be fair to say the crowd went bananas. A long standing tactic of Euro soccer fans saw a Port fan chuck a banana at Crows’ gun Eddie Betts after a matchwinning goal..racism rears its ugly head again. Port continued its frustrating season and the Crows just did what’s necessary to hit the finals hard, winning by 15pts.


Who wants to play finals? Obviously the Demons didn’t! Melbourne couldn’t exorcise its performance demons, allowing Carlton to snap its 9 game losing streak at the MCG on Sunday. For Bolton’s Blues, a chance to recap on a reasonable season, a step forward. The Demons’ year has also been a step forward. Cripps and Gibbs led the Blues charge as the MCG members sat shocked. Optimism for 2017?


Geelong travelled to the Gabba for the Josh Walker-Jarrad Jansen-Allen Christiansen Cup against the Lions. A 10 goal win in warmish conditions for the travelling Cats, highlighted by the continued presence of mature recruit Sam Menegola with 33 and Steve Motlop kicking accurately with 5.0. Rockliff, Rich and Cutler led the Lions charge to within 15pts at the main break. That’s where it ended.


The Adam Cooney Cup between the Bulldogs and Essendon took place twilight Sunday. Cooney was to retire as was Cat-turned-Bomber Matt Stokes. Unfortunately for the Dogs whilst the win by 40pts was helpful for % to a degree, the injury count grew as Western’s captain Eastern crashed to the ground carrying a leg. The look on Dogs coach Bevo’s face said it all…a picture really tells 1000 words!

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