So here we are. Four teams left. Three games to go till season 2021 is over. It is amazing that they have been able to get the season in at all. Games have been played everywhere. Players and their families have been carted all over the country.
Meanwhile local and country leagues have had to end their 2021 season. Yes some are still holding on. We do hope they can get their finals in. However unlike the AFL the money to keep the players safe and play in the best possible venues, unlike the vaccine, is not available.
At the moment cricket associations and clubs are holding their breath. It is unsure as wether games will begin in September let alone October. Meanwhile England will come for the Ashes this summer. But will there be crowds allowed in Melbourne and Sydney?
Geelong Over Giants
Toby Green’s aggressive inclinations once again left his team out in the cold. Geelong were not an irresistible force on the night. They came away with the win and last another week. Once again we are left with questions unanswered about Geelong.
The Giants were even more hamstrung up forward with the late omission of Jesse Hogan. Hogan who looked like he was coming into form did not start the game. It showed as the Giants were able to get enough of the ball but fell down across half-forward.
Geelong were not accurate in front of goal early on and left enough of a chance for the Giants to come back. Geelong led at half-time 5.8(38) to the Giants 3.5(23). It was far from game over. Until it was.
Geelong kicked five goals and one behind in the third quarter. Giants could only kick 2 goals and two behinds. There was time enough to make a last gasp comeback. But the person who could have changed the Giants fortunes was sitting in the stands.
Geelong won 15.13(103) to the Giants 10.8(68). The Giants were out on the field in the fourth quarter knowing the season was over. It is a bitter pill. Geelong progress towards another chance at a Grand Final. Can they beat Melbourne this Friday? They have a chance which is more than the Giants.
One Point in the Rain
In the rain the Western Bulldogs showed skills that Essendon have yet to master. In the rain against the Brisbane Lions the contest was much closer. How close? One point. None more closer. Points were level multiple times in the fourth quarter. Tense? Certainly.
If you watched the broadcast you would have seen Brisbane coach Chris Fagan living every moment with his players. Coaches being able to show their passion as the game flows is great. Not just for the broadcast but for the players and fans.
Both coaches have been amazing in their time as head coach. Both have provided an entertaining brand of football. They love their players and show it regularly. Differences? Bulldogs head coach Luke Beveridge played for Melbourne, Footscray and St. Kilda. I used to have his footy card.
Chris Fagan played in Tasmania. He never played in the VFL/AFL. Does that mean he has a lot more to prove? Was that the difference between the teams on the night? Not in any way at all. Chris Fagan has proven you do not need to have played VFL/AFL to coach an AFL team.
What was the difference?
One kick was the difference? Which one? Was it Bailey Smith’s last kick into the Bulldog’s forward line. A sequence of disposals that led with Smith out on his own able to kick to the forwards. Wether it was instinctive or a mistake the kick ended up finding the Lions defender.
Was it the final kick of Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko? With seconds remaining Zorko got hold of the ball close enough to have a shot at goal. Time was running out. Desperate times often lead to desperate measures. In Sport sometimes instinct and ability falls into place.
Zorko hit wrong side of the ball and it went out of bounds on the full. Free kick to the Bulldogs. We do not know where Zorko was aiming. It is possible that even Zorko does not know if he was aiming or kicking in hope. Unfortunately it went where it did.
Goodbye Lions as Dogs Continue
Unlike the Giants, the Lions were still fighting for their season till the siren sounded. Was that any better? It is hard to say. For the Bulldogs they survive another week. Another win and belief continues to grows.
This the same path they took in 2016, the year they won the Grand Final. There are those who believe that having a week off like Melbourne and Port Adelaide is detrimental. A team winning every week creates momentum and generates belief which is affirmed and grows with each win.
Port and Melbourne have sat back and watched what happened. Looked on at Geelong’s good win. Perhaps even saw a glimmer of hope due to injury. The big injury was of course when Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli left late in the fourth quarter.
Scans took place after the Bulldogs arrived in Perth. No news at the time of writing this article. Injury to Bontempelli will impact the team. Wether the Bulldogs can fill the gap in leadership will be seen. Hopefully there is nothing too bad.
Another two weekends
Not long to go. Another three games. That we can watch is great for so many. It can soothe frustrations during a very difficult time. Many cannot play at all, which is very frustrating. Perhaps the AFL as a whole can pay it back. How? I don’t know. What about vaccinations?
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.