Jul 16, 2020


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Seven


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 Seven.


Geelong v Collingwood (OS) 8:10pm Seven

Greetings from the failed state of Victoria, we’re we are currently locked down, a pariah amongst our fellow Australians and abandoned by our AFL teams who have fled north.

Just six months ago, if you’d told me all Victorian AFL sides would be sent to Queensland for months on. end, I would have thought it would have been the result of some god-awful cash grab ‘marketing activation’ by the AFL.

Instead, it’s just another example of there being one rule for AFL players and Danni Minogue and another for the rest of us.

Danni’s ability to get through any defence, has me wondering if Melbourne should sign her to sort out our forward fifty problems.

As a result of the pandemic exodus, we now get the Cats and Pies facing off in Perth.

It’s likely to be played in the rain, possibly a thunderstorm and who knows how that will affect these teams?

My tipping, never a strong suite of mine, is going about as well as the world is in 2020.

Still, I have to do it, and I’m tipping the Cats. You’re welcome Pies fans.


Essendon v Western Bulldogs (Metricon) 7:50pm Seven

As if this season wasn’t challenging enough, the Bombers are going to be lucky to field a side the way their injuries and suspensions are mounting up.

Bombers fans saw the Tribunal’s rejection of Dylan Shiel’s appeal as further evidence the AFL has a vendetta against them.

I don’t want to fan the flames of conspiracy theories, but it’s not just the AFL.

The Tribunal hearing itself was a two-and-a-half-hour marathon, which saw more evidence presented than in some murder cases.

Bringing up the Trent Cotchin incident from the 2017 Preliminary Final may have been seen as worthwhile by Essendon’s counsel, but when has the Tribunal ever acted the same in finals as in the season?

Shiel was certainly worthy of receiving the two weeks, but that doesn’t mean the sentence was consistent with other decisions in the past.

Getting upset about a lack of consistency in the AFL Tribunal system though is like getting upset at the tides. It’s pointless. The Tribunal system will always be inconsistent.

Making the week even worse for Bombers fans, it was announced that Joe Daniher is injured again. He is less reliable than a Victorian security guard.

The Bulldogs are in the odd position of coming off a loss to Carlton. No wonder there’s been some soul searching at the club this week.

Luke Beveridge has dropped four players in response to the loss against the Blues, which feels light, but I guess you can’t drop everyone.

I’m tipping the Bulldogs as they can at least field a team.


Greater Western Sydney v Brisbane (GS) 1:45pm Foxtel

Brisbane travel down to Sydney this week, a rare trip away from Queensland in some time.

Against Geelong, the Lions forgot how to play football, seemingly unwilling to go near the Cats players, not an unusual approach to Victorians at the moment.

I imagine the review of that game wasn’t fun and the Lions players will have spent the week regretting something they did on the weekend, something the rest of us are all too familiar with.

Usually, when you do something you regret on the weekend, you don’t have to spend the next few days going over the footage with other people pointing out what you did wrong. At least, not always.

The Giants aren’t exactly flying at the moment with two wins out of their last five games. They even lost to Hawthorn and North Melbourne which seems difficult to do at the moment.

Greater Western Sydney knocked the Lions out of the finals last year in a three-point victory. It’s something the Lions haven’t gotten over, they even devoted some of their preseason to it and rewatched the game, which must have been fun.

I’m not sure about this approach, why couldn’t they just push their regrets deep down inside them like the rest of us do? Never to speak of them again until it’s three in the morning and they all re-emerge like enemy soldiers coming out of the bushes to surround you?

Lions to win.

Sydney v Gold Coast (SCG) 4:35pm Foxtel

The Swans can’t really win this year, and that’s even more true at the SCG.

Personally, I believe if you’re going to have a terrible season, this is the year to do it.

I’m not even sure this season is going to finish. Clubs have had to flee Victoria and NSW is looking shaky thanks to a Victorian wandering up to the Crossroads Hotel and spreading it there.

That patient zero is probably the most hated Victorian to visit NSW since that time Eddie McGuire became CEO of Channel Nine.

If the plague remerges in Queensland, the clubs will have to move again, turning this season into a footballing version of the Long March, as teams wander from place to place trying to find a place it’s safe to stop.  

People often wonder at what point would the season be called off. It seems a complex question, but the answer is not, when the AFL can’t make money.

That’s not to be too harsh on the AFL, while normally they are money obsessed, strangely so for a not for profit, this is about keeping a lot of people in jobs, something we do need to try and do.

Not all talk of keeping the economy going is a call to let everyone die of Covid.

People do need to keep money coming in if they can, what with government support being more inconsistent than the Tribunal.

Part of the Swans problem this year is everyone over six foot is injured. Watching them play is a bit like when an adult holds a ball above their head and a group of kids all try to jump up and reach it. The only difference is sometimes the kids win that game.

After the game against Richmond, Swans fans would have been forgiven for thinking they’d hit rock bottom, but it was just the start. Now Isaac Heeney and Josh Kennedy are both injured, Heeney for the season and Kennedy for six or so weeks.

If I was Sydney, I’d get a note from my doctor to call in sick for the rest of the season.

As for the Suns, they’ve been a bit off the boil since their excellent start for the year, but they have a lot of talent and this is just the game you need to get your confidence back.

Suns to win.

Richmond v North Melbourne (MS) 7:40pm Seven

Richmond technically won last week against the Swans but as anyone who saw that game knows, there were no winners.

It was less a game and more a permanent stain on the soul of football.

Damien Hardwick blamed a lot of it on the Swans, but I think given how Richmond have been travelling this year they can’t completely absolve themselves of this act of footballing vandalism.

At best they were an enabler.

Now they take on North who can’t score at all at the moment due to the feud that seems to be going on between their forwards and their midfield. At least I can only assume it’s a feud. Friends don’t deliver the ball like the Roos midfield currently is to their forward line.

The Kangaroos four game losing streak has gone under the radar a bit due to all the other chaos going on and the fact they’re North.

It shouldn’t though, it’s a real worry. Well, not for most of us, but for Kangaroos fans.

Richmond to win.


Carlton v Port Adelaide (G) 1:05pm Foxtel

The Blues are currently in the top eight and in fairness to them, they did warn us they were coming. Twelve years notice was possibly excessive.

Most of us had forgotten they were coming and had turned off the front light and gone to bed.

But they’re here now and to be honest, I preferred it when we thought they’d got lost.

Could Carlton actually be good? Or is this another false dawn? I spoke to a Carlton fan this week, and I said, ‘You guys look like you’re on the right track finally.”

They replied, “I don’t know mate, I’ve been hurt too many times to just forget everything and go back to loving them unconditionally. I mean, I want to love them, but we have trust issues and while I’m keen to work through them, and there’s been some promising signs, I just can’t let myself get hurt again. Don’t get me wrong, I think all the time about those great times back in the 80s and 90s. We were so happy, and I want that again, but I worry just too much has happened and we’ll never get back there.”

And that’s why I don’t normally ask the Uber Eats guy what team he barracks for.

Port’s only hiccup since the return to footy was their loss to the Lions and they remain on top of the ladder.

The only thing that’s been as consistent as them is the prison bar debate which has come up again this week. I think Port Adelaide are going about this debate all wrong.

They should escalate it by now asking to be called the Magpies as well.

Can you imagine the response? It would be glorious. Please do it Port, I need cheering up.

Port to win.

Hawthorn v Melbourne (GS) 3:35pm Seven

After Hawthorn’s, well, let’s call it a performance, last week, this game could be beyond awful as if there’s one team who can lower itself to any level, it’s Melbourne.

Hawthorn managed to score 27 points last week, and frankly, that seemed a target beyond their reach for much of the game.

It makes you wonder how low the score will be in this game.

Melbourne have Tom McDonald out, and that could see them post a pretty low score, especially considering they’ve not been exactly the best when entering the forward fifty.

Yet McDonald has only kicked four goals this season and has looked every bit the defender thrown forward, so losing him can’t upset the Dees forward structure too much, because you have to have a forward structure to upset in the first place.

Hawthorn would want to bounce back; the loss was so bad people started questioning if Alastair Clarkson was the right man to rebuild the club.

If only he’d taken an awful side and turned them into the premiership powerhouse before. Then I’d have some confidence in him.

Melbourne to win.

Fremantle v West Coast (OS) 6:35pm Foxtel

A derby with an actual crowd of 30,000 watching on. I never thought I’d see this day again and while I probably won’t in Victoria, it’s nice knowing some people out there are having fun.

Oh, I remember fun. It’s been months since I’ve had any but if I remember it correctly it’s quite enjoyable.

Not that this will be fun for Dockers fans.

Nat Fyfe won’t play after re-injuring his hamstring, meaning the Dockers are in the. Terrible position of not being able to win this week but still having to play the game.

Some people have questioned the Dockers rushing him back too early and causing a worse injury but that’s unfair.

Name me one time the Fremantle Football Club have mismanaged something.

The Eagles, despite a horrendous start to the season sit eleventh on the ladder, and with this win will go to 4-3.  Given they may spend a lot of their time now in Perth, even playing away games at Optus Stadium, they could be about to mount a miraculous turnaround.

Since the restart, they’ve lost to the Suns, Lions and Port, not exactly terrible teams.

They could even have a Grand Final at their home ground, which seems unfair. The Grand Final should always be at a neutral venue, like the MCG. 


Adelaide v St Kilda (AO) 7:40pm Foxtel

Monday night footy is back but unfortunately so are the Crows.

Crows fans will get to see their team in the flesh again, but you’d have to wonder why they’d want to.

Picking the spectacular demise of the Crows in recent seasons has been done to death, but it’s just so much fun I’d imagine it will keep happening.

Luckily for Crows fans, they can have the full confidence that the people who got them in this mess are still overseeing the club.

St Kilda come into this very motivated after conjuring up a truly spectacular loss to Fremantle last week.

I’m still not sure how they actually lost it. Stopping playing probably had something to do with it.

Losing to the Dockers in that manner is bad enough but you can’t follow it up with a loss to the Crows.

Media reported this week that Brett Ratten had an ‘honest’ review session. That’s good news.

A dishonest review session seems like a weird thing to do. Would that be when you pretend you won even when you didn’t? I’d think someone would notice.

Saints to win.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus


The whole ten

Jul 16, 2020

Yes... please do it Port, please do it.


Jul 16, 2020

Danni would look good in a Melbourne jumper.

Peter B

Jul 16, 2020

Titus, you should retitle your page "THE ONLY HELPFUL GUIDE TO AFL 2020"

Kafka’s Ghost

Jul 16, 2020

I hope to go to the Swans v. Suns game this weekend. It might be the only live sport I see for the rest of my life, the Suns play an exciting brand of footy, and it’ll be interesting watching the Swans’ Academy squad to see who might make it in the big time in 2025.


Jul 16, 2020

I want to clear something up. Eddie McGuire is still more hated by Sydney than that patient zero.
On the bright side Callum Sinclair was on the training field this morning. If he plays the Swans may well have 5 players over the age of 24 and an almost tall roaming around in the middle. Such is progress.


Jul 16, 2020

Pies to beat Geelong.

Grammar nerd

Jul 16, 2020

Oh Titus, “we’re we are” really

Keith Martine

Jul 16, 2020

But the bars!

Steele Blade

Jul 16, 2020

Yes mate, your tipping, like your spelling, was never a strong suite of yours. Love ya Titus!


Jul 16, 2020

A chicken or the egg conundrum, is North's delivery into the forward line shite, or is the the forward line itself is shite?

Jeff Mills

Jul 16, 2020

da da da da da.......

Flank Rroyd Wlight

Jul 16, 2020

Personally, I believe if you’re going to have a terrible season, this is the year to do it.

The same could be said for one's love life, professional aspirations, creative endeavours......


Jul 16, 2020

Great guide once more.

You may have your work cut out for you Titus if the AFL goes thru the 30 odd games in 19 days thing they are talking about.
I'm not sure how you'll keep track tbh.


Jul 16, 2020

You tipped Melbourne, now I feel more confident on a Hawks win.


Jul 16, 2020

I'm really excited at the prospect of a daily epistle from Titus when the AFL send the season in turbo mode.
And Titus reckons he has a sad life!!!


Jul 16, 2020

You tipped Melbourne? Seriously? Why torture yourself further? Still can't let go of the failed merger?

Saint Peter

Jul 16, 2020

Great stuff Titus. However you have tipped the Saints, clearly forgetting the Saints haven't won away from Marvel Stadium in years. We tried New Zealand 0-3; China 0-1 (Thank god for the pandemic we don't have to go there this year). And any non-victorian team. Actually I almost forgot the Victorian teams that are based at the MCG. So apart from those places we are certain to win.


Jul 16, 2020

Thanks for tipping the Cats last night. You did the Pies a great favour, we appreciate it.


Jul 16, 2020

Contrary to your revisionist history Titus, the Giants actually beat the Hawks. Go the Gmen!! Apart from that, most amusing as usual.


Jul 16, 2020

To add to Hawthorn's woes - they started their losing streak by being belted by GWS, in Round Five, 2020, at Giants Stadium.

Blue Blues Member

Jul 16, 2020

Titus - Surely one Magpies team is one too many without wishing for a second one! As for seeing a live game, most of the plague refugee teams are already halfway to Cairns so I can only hope for some more AFL on the Cazaly's oval. Come on Gil, we've got perfect weather, no active Covid-19 for weeks, maybe months, an abundance of World Heritage areas, don't we deserve some live AFL as well?


Jul 17, 2020

Wonder what would happen if all the leagues around the nation were to send all their magpie/vertically striped in monochromatic prison jumpers to say………… Thursday/Friday/Saturday//Easter/Christmas (makes you think why all those Capt Cook/global explorer/cartographer types had to keep on moving on? Just coz they had their version of a ship wide pandemic called scurvy …)island?
They could lie in wait for the AFL caravan to land ashore (is it beyond the bounds of this new reality for Australia’s richest sporting competition to purchase their own cut price tropical island and have AFL LOVE ISLE) and jump out from behind the palm trees and surprise Eddie and others with THEIR claims on jumper design, memorabilia, player lists, ANZAC appropriateness, and team naming.
The ensuing brouhaha would make any other AFL managerial quibbles or inappropriateness just recede so quietly into the background.
Maybe they could staff the island with hard-to-get overseas nannies and get Potato Head Dutton to sign off again on their visas.
Maybe get Border Force to run the ferry back t the mainland casinos ?

I fear your tipping Titus..... Collingwood have already won putting you 0-1. I might have to try and tip your opposites in order to go from 34,837th to top eight!


Jul 17, 2020

Titus - my highlight watching the game from Perth last night was the massive call from the crowd in the first few minutes demanding Collingwood be penalised for 'deliberate out of bounds', followed a few minutes later by an equally loud call for one against Geelong! Certainly an unbiased crowd with no WA teams playing.

Also you have neglected to mention that your Dees are 'roughing it' in their hub in Manly!


Jul 17, 2020

News Limited referred to you as ‘veteran sports writer’. Congrats on the elevation.


Jul 18, 2020

Essential pre-weekend reading as always. Carlton supporters are now like Richmond supporters of the 2010's - not quite believing that their team could be any good after 30 years of heartache.

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