Apr 11, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Four
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 Four.
Sydney vs Melbourne (SCG) Seven & Fox 7:20pm
In further bad news for Demons fans, their season continues. They take on the Swans on the Mad Max landscape that is the SCG surface.
Another loss here and the Demons’ strategy to rebuild through the draft will remain on track.
It’s an odd strategy from a club that made a prelim last year, but the Dees are known for doing strange things.
Like the tanking saga that reared its head again recently. The idea a club that couldn’t win anyway thought they had to tank, shows you how badly run the club was in that era.
“Are you tanking?”
“We’re saying we are, but it’s just as likely we’re just incompetent. At least tanking sounds like we have some strategy behind all this incompetence.”
The Swans only have a win over Carlton so far this year, which is really just a box ticking exercise.
They weren’t exactly impressive in that match either, so while the Demons are currently more lost than a couple in IKEA, this is no sure thing.
If the Demons can remember how they played last year again, they could win this.
After all, their current woes are nothing a ten-game winning streak can’t fix.
Wayne Carey said this week the Dees would, in fact, win their next five games. It’s a concerning statement from someone with a history of substance abuse, and I hope he has a good support structure around him.
I’m tipping the Swans because I don’t believe in happiness anymore.
Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
Bulldogs fans spent the week coming to terms with the fact they lost to the Gold Coast Suns at home. Like a dog seeing itself in the mirror, they took some time to figure out what had happened and even then, weren’t comfortable with it
I just hope Dogs fans don’t dwell too much on the fact they should really be 3-0, and after this, they could be 2-2.
I certainly went into this year with a very real fear we may see a Pies Premiership, but losses to West Coast and Geelong have me feeling a little more relaxed.
Not that the danger has really passed, this is only round four after all and the season is longer than the Dances with Wolves Extended Cut.
The Pies have minimal injury concerns at the moment, with Darcy Moore looking like recovering in time for this game from a rolled ankle and even Daniel Wells is returning through the VFL.
A competent medical team is certainly a novel new addition down at Collingwood. It’s such a big shift it would be like them having a humble president.
Pies to win.
Geelong vs Greater Western Sydney (GMHBA) Fox 1:45pm
The Giants last week got under the skin of Dustin Martin but don’t expect those tactics to work on the Cats.
You can’t get under Joel Selwood’s skin; he just puts his head down and gets on with the job.
Geelong’s 3-0 start makes them one of the early premiership favourites, and a win here will certainly not hurt those credentials. We may not know Geelong’s true potential until they face the Lions in Round 22.
It’s like all the suffering Cats fans went through over the years is now being returned positively in full with regular doses of pure joy. If a similar bout of karma hit the Saints, they’d win the next twenty Grand Finals.
The Giants were all over the depleted Tigers last week in an impressive display of ball movement and forward play.
Now they just need to do it on the road, not something they’ve done particularly well in recent times. And there’s ‘the Road’, and then there’s ‘Geelong’ which is the Cormac McCarthy version of The Road.
Cats to win.
Essendon vs Brisbane (MCG) Fox 2:10pm
Two things helped Essendon last week. They had Melbourne to play, and they experimented with putting actual effort into the game.
The effort thing seemed to be a revelation, and I expect them to try it again.
Unfortunately, they now face the Lions who have done something few teams have done this season, play to their potential, maybe even above.
Footy fans seem to be happy for the Lions to no longer be a laughing stock and instead becoming one of the more exciting teams in the comp.
Watching their win last week in a pub in Melbourne, the whole place celebrated when they won like it was a premiership. It is possible they were just really happy to see Port lose. It’s even more likely it was both.
The question is, can this young Lions side keep up their early season form? They haven’t played the Bombers on the MCG since 2009. Isn’t the AFL fixture a wonderful mystery?
I’m tipping the Lions.
Port Adelaide vs Richmond (AO) Fox 4:35pm
If you had to draw up a horrendous start to the year, you’d be hard pressed to beat the Tigers effort.
Their start to the season has begun like one of my first dates. There’s been multiple injuries, obscene hand gestures and some light taunting about previous cocaine usage.
With Dustin Martin suspended and Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt all injured, the Tigers are calling for volunteers so they can avoid a forfeit.
Port fans will be thrilled to be coming up against the Tigers in such a state. It’s like getting the substitute teacher.
The Powers’ major injury concern is Tom Rockliff, who says he’ll definitely play despite being concussed last week. It’s interesting he will, and Fyfe won’t. I would have thought the AFL would be keen to see players at least take a week off for such a thing.
I’m no brain surgeon though, so I don’t pretend to have a heap of knowledge on the subject, but that’s never stopped anyone in the footy media offering a strong opinion before, so why start now?
I’m tipping Port.
North Melbourne vs Adelaide (MS) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
Brad Scott this week said he takes full responsibility for North’s winless start this season, saying he put too many new players in to quickly.
It was strange watching him not offer any excuses, like seeing Eddie offering an apology with no qualifiers. It just didn’t feel quite right.
I’m sure Brad admitting it’s all his fault will make the Kangaroos fans feel much better about the whole thing.
If we're fair, which I occasionally am, North hasn’t been completely terrible; they just can’t do enough to win, often giving up leads in such an inevitable fashion that North fans deserve counselling sessions with their memberships.
This season was supposed to be the year the Crows bounce back from their Annus Horribilis, but instead, this feels more like a sequel.
The Crows problems seem the same as in previous years. Basically, their forward line is like the temperature of chicken nuggets at Maccas, inconsistent.
I mean one day they’re all hot, salty, contain chicken and are delicious, the next they’re all cold and hard. McNuggets are just the same.
The Crows to win this.
West Coast vs Fremantle (OS) Fox 8:10pm
You have to love Western Australia, a state that devotes a whole front page in their major newspaper to being annoyed Eddie McGuire will be commentating this game.
It’s obviously an appropriate response.
But if we splashed a story on a front cover every time a commentator we don’t like is calling a game, we would never have anything else on the front page.
The last derby saw Andrew Brayshaw’s jaw brutally assault Andrew Gaff’s fist.
Gaff can be expected to be booed by the Dockers’ fans, despite numerous calls for them to not do that.
I even expect Eagles fans will find it hard not to boo him, given it’s their favourite pastime.
Nat Fyfe will miss this after he was knocked out last week, and I bet a lot of his teammates wish they could miss it too.
The Dockers may be 2-1, but they are not even close to where the Eagles are at.
A loss here and it will be their eighth derby loss in a row — quite the achievement.
Gold Coast vs Carlton (Metricon) Fox 2:40pm
For some reason, there are only two games this Sunday. I don’t know what the AFL thinks we’re going to do the rest of the day. I mean, I know some people have other plans, like Simon who invited everyone to his house on Sunday but not me.
Sure, don’t invite me, Simon, just because the last time I was there I insisted keeping the footy on the TV with the sound on, despite the fact you were announcing the sex of your baby.
Gender reveal parties are terrible anyway. Because none of us care, tell us what team the kid is going to support.
The Suns are a lot like Carlton, but they can win.
Win this, and they’ll be 3-1, which is more wins than I had them down for all year.
The Blues have shown an amazing ability to do anything but win. They are artisans who can craft a loss like no one else.
I have full confidence in them crafting another small batch loss right here.
St Kilda vs Hawthorn (MS) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
The Saints are another team that has surprised everyone by not being embarrassing. But their wins have been hardly against the top teams or super impressive.
While there’s some positivity at the Saints, unfortunately for them there’s still plenty of reality left in the season.
Hawthorn hasn’t been amazing, but worryingly, you can slowly see Alastair Clarkson putting together a good side again. Someone needs to stop him. It should be illegal for a team to have a coach that competent.
Can we ever live in a world where Hawthorn isn’t a chance to win a premiership?
I hope so.
You may say that I'm a dreamer.
But I'm not the only one.
Hawks to win.
Titus will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 27 March to 21 April.
You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus