May 17, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Nine
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 Nine.
West Coast vs Melbourne (OS) Seven & Fox 8:10pm
I’ve had some traumatic moments in my life — Flying Jetstar, all of high school and watching Shane Warne’s talk show.
But aside from the 1988 and 2000 Grand Final, nothing compares to the traumatic experience of last year’s Preliminary Final.
It started badly only to get dramatically worse, to the point where Eagles fans were being nice to me. I’ve never felt such pity before, outside of my love life.
Even now, the words ‘Optus Stadium’ fills me with dread, causing me to often wake up at night in a cold sweat screaming ‘where are the Demons? Why aren’t they here? Did the plane get delayed?’
It’s cruel that the AFL have made the Demons return to Perth. Personally, for the sake of my sanity, I think we shouldn’t have to return there this century.
But here we are, and at least the Dees are bringing lots of injuries and poor form.
This is all the Eagles to lose, and if they had the misfortune to watch the Demons-Suns game, they wouldn’t have seen anything to worry them.
West Coast’s biggest concern is, can they get the percentage boost they should from this ritual slaughter?
Collingwood vs St Kilda (MCG) Fox 1:45pm
A few weeks ago, Saints supporters began to wonder if they might experience some happiness this year, but no, reality, like the bully it is, reasserted itself.
Now they have more injuries than the entire span of M*A*S*H and are sitting 12thon the ladder.
Facing a Pies side on the MCG isn’t ideal either and not when they just struggled against the Blues.
The Pies will be more focused than a uni student on an alarming amount of No-Doze.
Am I giving the Saints no chance? No, I’m giving them about as much chance as me finding happiness in this life.
Collingwood have named Jordan De Goey, but there’s a fair injury cloud hanging over him.
The bloke who runs my local fish and chip shop has a cousin who knows De Goey’s primary school teacher’s mechanic, and he reckons De Goey won’t play.
It’s pretty tight information.
I’ll be sad if De Goey doesn’t play as it means we won’t get to have the commentators tell us how important he is to Collingwood every five seconds.
Pies to win this.
Brisbane vs Adelaide (G) Fox 2:10pm
The Lions are an exciting team this year because they score as much as anyone, their problem though is they give up as many points as the clubs sitting in the bottom four.
Adelaide have in fact scored 100 points less this season than the Lions, yet the Crows have a defence, which is something handy for an AFL club to have.
The Lions best chance of playing well defensively here is the Crows forward line, who too often have to be featured on milk cartons.
Imagine if the Crows forward line was as good as people often think they are. They’d be premiers.
Both sides have a chance to prove they’re going to be a force in the finals this year with a win here.
A win here makes either side 6-3. For the Lions that would be above expectations, for the Crows that’s on par.
I’m super excited to listen to Adelaide radio talkback if the Crows lose this. IT would be a level of anger we haven’t experienced since the Crows 2018 season.
I’m tipping the Lions.
Geelong vs Western Bulldogs (GMHBA) Fox 4:35pm
This week, Tom Boyd announced he was retiring. While it would have been great for him to have had a long career, he retires having accomplished more than I ever have and he’s only 23.
A lot of focus has been on Boyd’s salary, but he did help the Doggies break a 62-year Premiership drought, which to me is worth all the money a club can get its hands on. I mean, what price for pure happiness?
Often paying above market rates for a player can have huge success, Hawthorn’s move to land Ty Vickery being another obvious example.
Now the Bulldogs want to build on their two wins in a row and claw their way back into finals contention, but they face the best team in the world currently. Yes, the world. If the Americans can bang on about World Champions all the time, so can we, at least in the AFL.
Geelong have been scarily good at times this season, even with their stars out they’ve brushed aside teams with the same ease Gary Ablett beats MRO charges.
Will we see Gary Ablett can keep his elbowing streak alive? All across the country, you can feel the excitement as his streak continues.
Young kids are elbowing each other like crazy, and it’s great to see them getting involved with the game.
Cats to win this.
Essendon vs Fremantle (MS) Fox 7:25pm
Essendon has made five changes for this game in the coaching equivalent of when you’re losing at FIFA and you just start smashing all the buttons in frustration.
John Worsfold has assured supporters they are on the right track, an assurance that Essendon supporters have found about as comforting as a politician making you a pre-election commitment.
A loss here and Worsfold may need to consider all the exciting opportunities there are working in the footy media.
Unlike Essendon, Fremantle are right on track, that is to fulfill Ross Lyon’s stated aim to ruin any enjoyment football can bring.
The Dockers have done a good impression of a top team at points this season but just when you think they are about to get over the line, they do things like lose to Richmond’s VFL side in Perth.
I’m no experts, but I don’t know why they did that, if I was Ross Lyon I wouldn’t have let my players do that.
I’m tipping the Dockers to win.
North Melbourne vs Poleclimbers (BA) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
North have improved in recent weeks, beating Carlton and then pushing Geelong.
That said, the only thing they could do is improve after the horror start to the season. It would be no surprise if Brad Scott gets them to improve just enough not to get fired and another year goes by for the Kangaroos.
Now they get to face a fellow very ordinary side who are coming off a win against a fairly ordinary side.
A win here means, well nothing really. I guess it has some impact on the mid-season draft, an event so exciting I’ve been having trouble sleeping.
It now seems Sydney’s highlight of the season will be a grown man climbing up a pole. Their fans might as well have been to a woodchopping competition and saved themselves some time.
Who knows who could win this? I can make a strong case for why both sides will lose but winning is a lot harder.
I’m tipping North.
Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast (AO) Fox 1:10pm
Oh Port, they started with such promise, giving their supporters hope before reminding them that this is a cold, cruel world.
Back-to-back losses to Collingwood and Adelaide has readjusted expectations downwards, which is a familiar tune for the Power.
Now they get to play the Suns at home, which has danger game written all over it in big scary letters.
A loss to the Gold Coast would pretty much stick a fork in the Power for another year.
The Suns are coming off one of the most inept finishes to a game, letting the Demons score twice in the final moments, with the Suns managing to out-bumble Melbourne.
Gold Coast seems to be attempting to challenge Carlton for the most honourable defeats in a single season.
I’m tipping the Power because as interesting as it would be to see Adelaide Oval go up in flames, I’ve grown quite fond of that stadium.
Richmond vs Hawthorn (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
Jarryd Roughead will continue his coaching stint in the VFL this week, as Alastair Clarkson hope that terrifying his players will continue to motivate him.
Beating the Giants on the MCG is a lot different to beating the Tigers on the MCG though.
The Giants play the MCG like I play golf; Richmond play the MCG like Tiger plays golf.
Hawthorn haven’t won two games in a row at all this year, something I’d never thought I’d write.
One thing that’s good to do in a season is to win lots of games in a row. If you can string lots of wins together you can really go places. It’s taken years of studying football to figure this out, but I share my insights with you free of charge.
Richmond may have everyone injured, but they still managed to go over to Perth and beat the Dockers. This may be Hardwick’s best coaching season yet, getting them to 5-3 with a list held together by string and sticky tape.
Unfortunately, they’re also returning to Perth, and I’m tipping the Hawks.
Greater Western Sydney vs Carlton (SSS) Fox 4:40pm
Stephen Coniglio has been ruled out due to the finger injury he suffered in round six.
I guess it makes sense to wait until you’re playing Carlton before taking care of some low-level medical maintenance.
Carlton have once again managed to consolidate their vice-like grip on 18thspot on the ladder.
Richmond got ninth jokes and never spent as much time there as Carlton has holding up the ladder.
If they stay there any longer, they’ll be granted ownership under squatters’ rights.
The Giants will be looking to atone for a subdued performance last week and belting the living suitcases out of Carlton will make them feel a lot better.
That doesn’t mean it will happen, Carlton almost beat Collingwood last week, so if they bring what they did in the first three-quarters of that game, they could be in a chance.
Tipping Carlton never made anyone happy though so I’m tipping the Giants.
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