Apr 18, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Five
The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.
It’s your unhelpful guide to Round Five.
Brisbane vs Collingwood (G) Seven & Fox 7:35pm
For the first time in nine years, the Lions have sold out the Gabba.
I can only imagine the confusion this caused in the ticketing department.
“Boss! The computer won’t let me sell any more tickets!”
“Dear Lord, what’s a ‘Sold Out’. Is it an error code?”
“No team, I’m old enough to remember a time when this happened regularly. It means every ticket has been purchased.”
“Is that even possible?”
“Let me blow the dust off this ‘what to do in the event of a sellout’ floppy disk and see if we can somehow find a computer that can read it.”
The game is even being broadcast into Brisbane on Channel Seven’s main channel.
I hope the government issues a warning or a lot of people are going to encounter Cameron Ling’s ‘special comments’ without the appropriate inoculations.
Brisbane got jumped last week and will be hoping it was the ‘loss they had to have’ to refocus them after their excellent start, not a sign that the start was a fluke.
In the Pies, they face their former captain, Dayne Beams, who this week says he has watched all of the Lions games this year and cheered them on.
Who wouldn’t want to watch their former workmates go about their jobs? Yet when I installed those pinhole cameras in my former workplace, I got a visit from the police.
I’m tipping the Pies to win this one.
North Melbourne vs Essendon (MS) Seven & Fox 4:20pm
Last year’s Good Friday game was an event so scarring I’m only now getting past it.
Hopefully, this one can be a little better, with both teams recording wins last week.
North defeated Adelaide to end the Crows’ season, and Essendon ran all over the Lions in a sign that the Bombers season, unfortunately, can’t be completely written off.
Troubling for the Kangaroos is you can’t always rely on the Crows to help you to a win, most you have to earn yourself.
There was some added heat to this game after former Bomber Brendon Goddard criticised Ben Brown for staging last week.
This caused Brown’s coach and teammates to attack Goddard.
I’m not sure why Goddard’s body language was always perfect on the field, and his attitude was always beyond question.
My one tip for the Kangaroos is don’t let Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti kick seven goals. Stop him doing that, and you stop the Bombers. I’ve always said that.
A lot will be focused on the size of the crowd and the TV ratings. If North can’t attract a crowd, the AFL may strip them of the Good Friday slot and give it to a club that deserves a crack at finally getting a blockbuster, like Collingwood.
Essendon to win.
West Coast vs Port Adelaide (OS) Fox 8:10pm
Port had a tough week, after losing to Richmond’s VFL team in a defeat more embarrassing than being walked to school by your parents in year 12.
If you can’t beat that Richmond side at your own home, beating the premiers on theirs seems unlikely.
Ken Hinkley has responded to last week’s loss by dropping Steven Motlop, saying his form was ‘a little bit off.’
This is a bit of an understatement, with Motlop having just seven disposals last week.
Motlop is hardly alone though in a side full of underperformers.
If Boeing can’t get their 737 Max aeroplanes back in the air, they should consider Port Adelaide as a replacement, given its terrific record of carrying large groups of passengers.
The Eagles are just setting themselves up nicely for another run at the Premiership.
Like last year, everyone outside of Western Australia has written them off, yet a win here and they’ll be 4-1. Sometimes I think people that write about footy have no idea what they’re talking about. When it comes to me, I certainly know this is true.
Eagles to win.
Greater Western Sydney vs Fremantle (UNSW) Fox 1:45pm
The Giants are coming off one of their most famous victories, a gritty performance against Geelong and for their reward they get to play Fremantle.
They also get to do it in Canberra. That’s the great thing about the AFL; a young kid can grow up, get drafted, live in Western Sydney, then see the sights of Geelong one week and Canberra the next.
Is there anything more glamorous? No wonder other sports struggle to compete.
The positive news for Fremantle is they get Nat Fyfe back after suffering that concussion. The negative news is they’re still stuck in Ross Lyon’s rebuild, which is kind of like being stuck in limbo.
And no, by limbo I don’t mean the traditional popular dance contest that originated on the island of Trinidad.
I’m referring to the medieval Catholic doctrine of limbo, which meant being stuck on the edge of Hell.
That said, being stuck at a party being forced to play limbo with a group of people is my idea of Hell and not the edge of it.
Giants to win.
Melbourne vs St Kilda (MCG) Fox 4:35pm
Well, this is it. Melbourne’s season is on the line. If they can’t beat St Kilda on the MCG, then they might as well start sending everyone off for operations so they might start the season fit next year.
It’s no sure thing that they will win this either. They did lose to St Kilda at this venue last year. A memory that still lingers with me like the pain of so many regrets past.
The one big positive for Melbourne is if they ever figure out how to turn forward fifty entrances into, you know, actual scoring, they’d be unstoppable.
Their inability to convert opportunities brings back so many memories of high school.
The Saints have been much improved this year; well it would be hard not to be improved on last year’s slow-moving train wreck of a season.
St Kilda sitting 5thon the ladder in round five is astounding. Like seeing a dog talk or Grant Thomas make a positive point on Twitter.
Can it last? If they could kick straight it probably could, so no.
Melbourne to win this.
Richmond vs Sydney (MS) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
Always good to see Richmond play a home game on their traditional ground, Marvel Stadium.
Richmond may not have any players left, but they showed that not being Port Adelaide means you can still win.
That and having Tom Lynch who is turning into the best insurance policy any team has taken out in a long time.
They are coming up against the struggling Swans here, who are in such trouble the ‘should they trade Buddy?’ stories have begun.
It was suggested by Tony Shaw, a respected commentator on the game I’m told, despite that time he ran into an alarmingly stationary tree.
If Sydney traded Franklin, they would go from being ‘too Buddy focused’ in attack to ‘not having an attack at all’.
On the plus side, they’d free up the GDP of a medium-sized country in salary cap space.
Sydney have started slowly before, so it would be a brave or stupid person to write them off, luckily I’m both.
Richmond to win.
Western Bulldogs vs Carlton (MS) Fox 1:10pm
Carlton fans are hurting right now. I know this because a lot of them got very upset with me for suggesting their rebuild would take longer than Notre Dame’s.
I’m not sure why they are upset with me, that’s just stating a fact. There’s a lot of goodwill towards the Notre Dame rebuild.
Plus, I’m a Melbourne supporter, I can spot a botched rebuild a mile away, having lived in one most of my life.
Blues fans need to relax. People often criticise my club, but I don’t let it worry me, I know their words can’t hurt me anywhere near as much as my own club does on a regular basis.
Carlton’s problems seem to be a lack of confidence and footballing ability. Some people believe in them though. Sam Walsh re-signed this week which is a huge coup.
If Carlton sticks to this ‘retain the good players’ strategy, they may see a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Bulldogs have been better than many thought they would be, but they are still 2-2, so that says more about what everyone thought of them.
At least against Carlton, they know they just need to get above 80 points and they’re home.
Luke Beveridge said of this game that he wouldn’t be making too many changes to their ruck strategy, confusing fans who were unaware the club had one.
Tim English has been destroyed the last two weeks, proving the old Spanish adage, ‘height does not a ruckman make’.
Bulldogs to win this.
Adelaide vs Gold Coast (AO) Fox 4:40pm
Finally, something to celebrate for Adelaide, it’s Eddie Betts 300thgame.
Surely, he would have to be one of the most beloved players to ever achieve that milestone.
I’ve loved watching Eddie Betts, he even briefly gave me a fleeting fondness for the Crows.
Now not even Adelaide fans have a fondness for the Crows after a start to the season that would normally require Collective Mind to be involved.
The performance against North was criminal. And that’s not hyperbole, how warrants haven’t been issued for the arrest of the team for impersonating footballers is beyond me.
A loss here against the Suns could see Don Pyke overtake Brendon Bolton in the ‘who’s about to get sacked’ sweepstakes.
The Suns are still freaking me out. Their form goes against everything I thought I knew. Like seeing a fish walk down the street or someone saying something funny on The Bounce.
A win here, and we’d have to start taking them seriously, which would be really weird.
I think the Crows can do it for Eddie here.
Hawthorn vs Geelong (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
These are always great games. Like when two actors you don’t like, keep churning out good movies together and you have to grudgingly give them some credit.
Geelong had a great start to the season, but that loss to the Giants at home means they cannot possibly win the premiership.
Now some may say that’s an overreaction, and it is but what else are we doing here?
No one follows footy for the fun of proportionate reactions. Everything is always the best or the worst; there’s no middle ground.
It’s how I like my relationships, all or nothing.
Well, I assume that’s how I like my relationships, I’ve only tried the nothing option so far, but You've Got Mail seems to suggest the other option is good too, at least that’s what the tears of joy that pour down my face every time I watch it suggest.
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, these two ‘everything is great all the time’ clubs.
Geelong to win.
Titus will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 27 March to 21 April.
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