Jul 05, 2019


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Sixteen


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 Sixteen. 


Hawthorn vs Collingwood (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm

Pies fans are still reeling from the disaster that was last week and to top it off they’ve now lost Dayne Beams for the foreseeable future. 

I usually enjoy bad things happening to Collingwood, but the Beams story shows there are some things more important than footy, something I rarely admit.

The Magpies haven’t been travelling well for some time but last week was where the hairline fractures split open into rather large cracks.

Now they come up against the Hawks who have got The Pincher Ben Stratton back. 

The last thing you want at the end of an emotional week is to have to go to work with someone who is going to pinch you until you bruise. 

It’s like the Collingwood players are electrical apprentices. 

Hawthorn are on a four-game losing streak and now fifteenth on the ladder. They’d be a lot of Hawthorn supporters who have never lived through a four-game losing streak, let alone a five-game streak, they probably thought they were myths.

Luckily, Hawks fans aren’t seeing any of this, having realised a few months ago that this wasn’t a premiership year.

I expect Collingwood to win this. 


Essendon vs Sydney (MCG) Fox 1:45pm

Essendon upset the race for the eight by not losing last week in a move that surprised even them.

It means they now have a slight chance of still playing finals, but there’s not much room for error, and the Bombers are not exactly a side you’d classify as ‘error free’.

Matt Guelfi returns after Jeremy McGovern tried to murder him with a chair and then the Bombers, adding to Essendon’s proud history of player welfare, sent him to hospital in a taxi.

The Swans themselves are making a late finals run, winning their last three but with some of their young players coming through, but the absence of Franklin and Sinclair makes things tough. 

As everyone who leaves things to the last minute knows, you need everything to go right and I’m not sure the Swans have left enough wriggle room.

I remember leaving an essay to the last minute only for everything to go wrong, and by ‘everything’, I mean I got drunk and forgot I was even going to uni.

Either side could win this, they are both average in the true sense of the words, not like when Bianca calls me average, by which she means ‘worst person in the world.’

Bombers to win.

Gold Coast vs Richmond(Metricon) Fox 2:10pm

I watched the Suns play live last week and under the AFL’s ‘dynamic ticketing’ I should have been compensated enough money to buy a small island in the Caribbean.

After a start to the season that surprised people by showing some effort, their lack of talent has now been exposed. A long season will do that.

Exposure to anything for a long time tends to expose its flaws. It’s why I try to keep my interactions with people short. As people used to say about Kevin Rudd ‘If you like him, you don’t know him’.

Richmond’s season has been cruelled by injury, but they still sit in the eight and the cavalry is arriving.

Facing the Suns will see Tom Lynch return to his former home ground, where he will get a fair bit of sledging from the crowd, if he can hear it above the players talking on the field and the light breeze rustling the grass.

Tigers to win this. 

Adelaide vs Port Adelaide (AO) Fox 4:35pm

It’s the showdown, one of my favourite games of the season. If you haven’t been to one you should make the effort. 

They barrack hard over there. I was at the game last year when Steven Motlop won the game with a goal with 21 seconds to go.

Mitch McGovern had kicked a goal moments earlier that looked like sealing it for the Crows. 

When that happened, an Adelaide fan in front of me turned and began giving it to the Port supporter next to him. It was a brutal, mean spray, which I thought harsh given the Power fan was his six-year-old son.

But when Motlop kicked the winning goal his son gave it back to him with some of the foulest language I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been to sea. 

I guess that’s what you get when you raise a Port supporter.

I’m tipping the Crows.

Western Bulldogs vs Geelong (MS) Seven & Fox 7:25pm

In disappointing news for Bulldogs fans, you can’t play Port Adelaide every week. 

Even worse, you sometimes have to play Geelong.

Technically the Bulldogs are still in finals contention but not in reality, as they’ll be 6-9 after this weekend. 

I caught up with a Bulldogs supporter last week. They were still celebrating their 2016 premiership win and said they were surprised the next season had started when I began telling them what had happened since. 

Geelong haven’t really put a foot wrong this season, which is terrifying in some ways as it’s hard to not see them go all the way. That said, it will make it funnier if they fall over a t some point.

The debate over them wanting to play finals at home is fairly silly, capacity debates are fun and all, but surely playing finals at home is not a revolutionary idea?

I mean, it’s not like they’re asking the AFL to lock the Grand Final into their home ground for the next forty years because that would be unfair.

Cats to win this.

Fremantle vs West Coast (OS) Fox 8:10pm

Aaron Sandilands returns in this one. My understanding is they found a mosquito trapped in amber that had some of his blood and have thus been able to bring him back to life. 

Seeing him named will be a surprise to anyone outside of Western Australia who assumed he’d retired several years ago.

Hey, remember when the Dockers lost to Carlton? That was hilarious. I mean, it was, but this week my team play the Blues, so it seems less funny now.

But then, Fremantle lost to Melbourne too, and I’m not longer sure which is more embarrassing these days.

Still, the Dockers were truly horrendous last week and now facing off against the Eagles is a tough ask.

The Eagles are now in third place and are in a very good position to go back-to-back. 

Not bad for a team that Champion Data had outside the eight in terms of the quality of their list. Then again, they did have Melbourne up the top. I wish I could come up with something as funny as that one day.

Eagles to win.


Carlton vs Melbourne (MCG) Fox 1:10pm

Two sides who have spent the last few decades tormenting their fans on a level that would normally be referred to as bullying.

I’m looking forward to going to this about as much as a serious surgery with no anaesthetic.

The Blues fans started the season with no hope and things got worse from there, until David Teague came along and suddenly the Carlton faithful have hope.

Melbourne fans started the season with hope and then it plummeted away like a plane in a downward tailspin, except there’s no end to it. There’s no sweet ground rising up to take away all this pain.

A loss here and it won’t be the worst humiliation they’ve had in recent years; it will just be another they can add to the very impressive collection they’ve built up.

Either side can lose this, Melbourne should win, but they shouldn’t be 16th on the ladder, so making the impossible come true is sort of their thing, in a negative way.

Carlton wins here and they would need to start seriously considering making Teague their permeant coach. I know he doesn’t bring the big reputation Carlton boards usually go for, but he wins, and I think Blues fans could come to like that.

In this case I think the Dees will win but I’m not confident.

North Melbourne vs St Kilda (BA) Seven & Fox 3:20pm

While Teague has given Blues fans some joy, Rhyce Shaw has given us all some, with his stitch up of Collingwood last week.

There’s been talk North’s former coach Brad Scott could be off to the Saints, which is more proof the universe hates St Kilda. Why wouldn’t you go after Shaw instead? He’s performed better with the same stock.

If St Kilda are really in the mix for just any coach, I have a Simon Goodwin to sell them at a very reasonable rate.

This is in Tasmania and no wonder the Tasmanians want their own team, I’d want one too if it meant the AFL would stop sending me games like this. 

A loss here and you’d have to think Alan Richardson would be in serious trouble, unless you already think he’s gone, which the players obviously do.

North to win.

Greater Western Sydney vs Brisbane (SSS) Fox 4:40pm

It’s fourth versus fifth in a game that will have a big impact on finals.

The Giants are coming off a loss to the AFL’s Score Review System last week and need to get back on track here.

The way they dropped off last week would be giving every team hope they can come back against GWS, never a good thing to have your opponents thinking.

It’s like they teach you in prison, if you have a chance to put someone down, you better do it. Don’t leave loose ends. Instead of training this week, the Giants would have been better off watching Wentworth

Brisbane won big against Melbourne, and a win here make finals seem a sure thing. 

They’ll want to be a bit more accurate this week and playing the Giants at Triple S stadium (as absolutely no one calls it) is a big ask. 

Giants to win.

Titus’ new bookPlease, Gamble Irresponsibly: The rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia will be out on 5th November 2019. You can pre-order it now.

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David Jones

Jul 05, 2019

I doubt Lynch will be worried about crowd sledging. The ratio of Tiger supporters to Suns supporters will be higher than Karmichael Hunt on cocaine.


Jul 05, 2019

Hats off Titus.
Particularly liked the Bombers/player welfare/taxi & the Sandilands/dinosaur lines.

David G

Jul 05, 2019

"Luckily, Hawks fans aren’t seeing any of this, having realised a few months ago that this wasn’t a premiership year."

Ha ha, hilarious. However, despite having 6 Sunday twilight games this year so far, plus two in Tassie where the ground only fits 18,000, we still have a higher average crowd than Melbourne, whose supporters realised a few months ago that it will never be a premiership year.

Bloke from the outer

Jul 05, 2019

As people used to say about Kevin Rudd ‘If you like him, you don’t know him’.

They're saying the same about shouty.

Matthew Jones

Jul 05, 2019

As a Bulldogs supporter I've ensured I have kept celebrating the 2016 Grand Final. Just as well too, I'd hate to watch us play sober.

Bloke from the outer

Jul 05, 2019

'There’s no sweet ground rising up to take away all this pain.'

If you lose this week, I reckon you might have reached rock bottom.


Jul 05, 2019

"In this case I think the Dees will win..."
Why do you do this to yourself, Titus?

Also, I tried to read this with fresh eyes, as though you didn't have a couple of years of excellence as wallpaper; this is brilliant. Hilarious, anarchic and piercing. What must a first time reader think stumbling across this post?

Herman Kretinburger

Jul 05, 2019

That Port Adelaide kid should be adopted out.To a family in Mongolia!


Jul 05, 2019

But Titus you can wash away pain at any adelaide game you can go to the craft beer bar. At the gabba you get xxxx.

Adelaide wins that one!

Rhys Mc

Jul 05, 2019

Of course no-one calls it Triple S stadium - it's been Giants Stadium since the start of this season !

Phil my beer

Jul 05, 2019

Fremantle must surely be the only team in the top 8 who have lost to 4 of the bottom 5 on the ladder. This bodes well for the West Coast Weasels. Also must bode well for Melbourne because Carlton beating Fremantle is routine for the Dockers. The problem for the Dees is having the confidence to beat a team below them on the ladder.

T Rex

Jul 05, 2019

Titus, I laughed at your Jurassic Park reference but then considered I may need similar reincarnation as I believe the 80s and 90s were clearly the best decades for football...

Flank Rroyd Wlight

Jul 05, 2019

"The problem for the Dees is having the confidence to beat a team below them on the ladder."

They should put that up on the wall of Melbourne's dressing room.


Jul 06, 2019

I HAD thought Sandilands had retired...

Neil Sutherland

Jul 07, 2019

Love it! Hopelessly optimistic Demon !

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