Those hoping for a shake-up in the status quo for the 2016 VFL Season will be delighted with the results of the first tournament of 2016 – Fistivus XVI.
After a tough and inconsistent campaign in 2015, the Bay City Fisters have ignored the literal wooden spoon they were handed for coming last overall to bounce back and claim the first Peter Norman Trophy of 2016.
The Fisters had to do it tough though, putting aside two early thumping losses on the day to reigning VFL champions The Fist & The Furious and eventual Fistivus XVI Finalist The Fistroy Lions, before coming home with a head of steam to enact revenge on those same two teams in the semi-final and final respectively. With B&F winner Carl ‘Carlossus’ Creasey again in fine form, the Fisters banded together to cut out skill errors and push forward with strong attacks, outlasting and outplaying their opponents on their way to ultimate victory.
The Fistroy Lions also bounced back from a subpar final performance in 2015 – shedding the Lanterne Rouge they earned in Fistivus XV – almost putting forward a perfect performance by going undefeated until the final yet most important matchup. Shades of the 2007 New England Patriots. A positive, and at times dominant performance from the one-time powerhouse club, one they will be hoping to continue as the season pushes on.
The Fist & The Furious were unable to back up their maiden victory in Fistivus XV, dropping a game to the Fistroy Lions in the group stages before getting knocked out in the second semi-final by the Bay City Fisters. With three players on the national team however, perhaps they can claim international representative fatigue? Regardless, they will be looking to bounce back in Fistivus XVII as they push to defend their place on the Roger Willen Shield.
Fist Club completed a competitive day in a respectable position, finishing 4th after being knocked out in the first semi-final by the Fistroy Lions. With his team topped up with mostly newbies, captain Bryce Griesheimer led admirably, and should be reasonably comfortable with his position after the first tournament, particularly given they started 2015 with the Lanterne Rouge before eventually dominating the competition.
Das Fist FC and Westside Wombats competed hard and were stacked with first-time players, but were ultimately outclassed in the tougher matchups. That said however, perennial Lanterne Rouge holder Das Fist will surely be happy to see the inclusion of new team Fist Connection, who struggled to adapt in their first outing and took the Lanterne Rouge for the first tournament of 2016. An enthusiastic and lively new team, Fist Connection will be better for the first hit out, and can only improve in future tournaments… especially once they work out how to avoid using an open hand and losing players to the sin bin.
The next tournament – Fistivus XVII – will be on April 2nd, and will be ‘hosted’ by The Fist & The Furious. Full details to come soon.
Full standings below.