The Fremantle Dockers finished 11th on the ladder in 2021 with ten wins and 12 losses.
Without questions being asked there isn’t any way of changing in order to get better.
Every team has a flaw; therefore, it is an interesting exercise. What’s the burning question for each AFL team in season 2021 based on their Round 16 performance, that has to be asked?
Adelaide Crows- Can the Crows build a good base to move forward with?
The Crows have plenty of work to do based on their Round 16 performance against the Lions. The margin was just eight points at half time and four goals at three quarter time in favour of the Lions.
To put it simply, the Lions took their chances in the key moments. Despite that, the Crows should look at this result as a motivation to be better and prove it was an aberration.
Brisbane Lions- Are the Lions the real deal?
The Lions are a force to be reckoned with. They had a good spread of goalkickers and weren’t reliant on their key forwards, who are Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher as they combined for just two of the Lions 17 goals!
They were also without last season’s Brownlow Medallist; that is a clear indication of their depth and appetite for the contest.
Carlton Blues- What has changed for the Blues?
The Blues have brought Matthew Kennedy and Paddy Dow into the team who has been immense. Regaining Nic Newman from injury has also been a positive. It was a team effort. It’s clear that the Blues have something to work with; their system and structure appeared more methodical and second nature in Round 16.
Collingwood Magpies- Did the Magpies pick and choose?
The Magpies effort wasn’t there for the majority of the game. They decided to show endeavour when St Kilda decided to switch off. The intensity that Collingwood had for most of the contest was unacceptable. They only lost by nine points, but they weren’t at the races for a big part of the game.
Essendon Bombers- Is it all over for the Bombers as far as finals in season 2021 are concerned?
Probably, as they were outclassed by the Cats from quarter time onwards. The Cats were simply too good and they were comprehensively outplayed. It was clear to see that Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish had to carry the team in Round 16, which would be a worry for the Bombers.
Fremantle Dockers- Did the Dockers throw away an opportunity?
It was a game that the Dockers should’ve won. They failed to kick straight, as they kicked double the number of behinds as goals; eight goals and 16 behinds. There’s no doubt that they didn’t lose the game due to lack of effort, it was execution of skills where it mattered, at important times that determined why they lost the game.
Geelong Cats- Should the Cats be considered contenders based on their Round 16 performance?
Following conceding the opening four goals, the Cats showed that they are contenders and have an even spread of players of a high calibre who play their role.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a player that didn’t play their role. They proved to be more unpredictable, following Jeremy Cameron being subbed out in the second quarter, even though he kicked three goals. The Cats adapted; their stars stood up when they needed to; Patrick Dangerfield and Tom Hawkins just to name a couple.
Gold Coast Suns- Do the Suns have to stick with Stuart Dew?
They should keep Stuart as coach till at least halfway through season 2022, barring any dramatic form slumps. They can’t keep sacking coaches. Unfortunately, they have plenty of work to do on the most important part of the game, which is goal kicking, as they were wasteful, that’s despite winning the game in Round 16 against last season’s premiers, in the Tigers.
Greater Western Sydney Giants- Should the Giants be regarded as contenders?
If the Giants can replicate the way in which they played in Round 16 against the Demons, then they can grab an opportunity to finish in the top eight and from there who knows how deep they could go in the finals. It was about every player playing their role.
They displayed plenty of character as they had to activate their sub early in the game. Their desire to play team first football was there for all to see and should help them build on the momentum of winning against one of the Premiership favourites in the Demons could bring, as the Giants currently sit in the top eight as it stands.
Hawthorn Hawks- Do the Hawks need to be better?
The Hawks need to improve as they have the cattle to do so. They came back from a substantial deficit of 46 points in the third quarter to get within four goals of the Power.
They should have been hungrier in the first half, given it was ‘Silks’ 400th game. It was appropriate that they showed some dogged determination and character in the second half, but where was it in the first half?
Melbourne Demons- The Demons lost the game, but did thy lose many fans?
They showed that they can be competitive even when they are outplayed as they nearly beat the Giants in what proved to be a tight game and a grandstand finish.
Their game is built around hard work and players putting in maximum effort. It was an exciting finish to their Round 16 for any neutral spectator, because they never gave up and nearly won!
North Melbourne Kangaroos- Is an honourable loss good enough for the Kangaroos?
In Round 16 without a shadow of a doubt is was clear that the Kangaroos had done plenty of work since last time that they played against the Bulldogs. It wasn’t a walk in the park, as a lot of people would’ve expected.
Port Adelaide Power- Are the Power good enough to match it with the best?
The Power need to improve on their Round 16 performance to be considered ‘genuine’ contenders. One aspect of their game they did well was the most important part; goalkicking.
Richmond Tigers- Should the Tigers have parted ways with some of their premiership players during last year’s trade period?
Yes, without a shadow of a doubt; they don’t have the depth. There doesn’t appear to be much young ‘talent’ coming through. They could’ve traded some of their senior players in season 2020, especially given they won the Premiership in season 2020.
They could’ve got plenty in return as they were Premiership players, given they would have had much more currency than they do now.
St Kilda- Can the Saints make the finals?
The Saints should’ve put the game to bed. They did lead by 49 points at one stage. Then they decided to switch off as they thought the game was over.
There’s no doubt that the Saints won’t be playing finals if they perform the way they played in Round 16, despite beating the Magpies by nine points. They have plenty to improve on if they are to play finals.
Sydney Swans- Are the Swans now a force to be reckoned with?
Based on their Round 16 to play they are. They put in a four quarter effort; at no stage did their intensity drop. This is the template/blueprint that the Swans should endeavour to replicate every game and be motivated to prove that their Round 16 performance wasn’t an aberration and they are a certainty to finish in the top eight.
West Coast Eagles- Were the Swans good or the Eagles bad?
The Eagles were like witches’ hats, but the Swans put in a four quarter effort playing some scintillating footy. The Swans effort never wavered and they executed their skills well and kicked straight.
Despite that, it’s a bit each way as far as the question is concerned, because the Eagles lacked the effort, hunger and desire that it takes to play AFL footy.
Western Bulldogs- What does pressure for spots do?
When you have players of the calibre of Hayden Crozier and Josh Schache that can’t get a game then the Bulldogs players are on their toes and nothing would be taken for granted as far as any individuals spot in the Bulldogs best 22. Mitch Wallis has fought his way into the team and vindicated why by kicking three goals in Round 16.
Luke Beveridge refused to select Mitch Wallis earlier this season even though he is the vice captain at the Bulldogs.