Apr 03, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Three
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 Three.
Adelaide vs Geelong (AO) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
These Thursday night games are killing me. I don’t have time to sober up after the last round before having to write these.
What are you talking about Titus? Anyone that reads your mad ramblings knows no sober person writes this nonsense; I hear you say.
Fair point, well it means I’m less able to do the deep statistical and tactical analysis I’ve become so well-known for.
You really haven’t sobered up, have you? You say. Well, no.
The Crows are coming off a win against the Swans in Sydney, and this gives them a chance to beat a team that contains Patrick Dangerfield, who famously left Adelaide and called for it to be burnt to the ground.
At least that’s my vague memory of what happened.
Geelong have started the season strongly, beating Collingwood and Melbourne. And boy did they beat Melbourne. It was like watching all my nightmares come to life, except like a patient with a bad anesthetist, I was awake the whole time.
I’m tipping the Crows in what should be a great game.
Melbourne vs Essendon (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
Melbourne will run out through a banner featuring negative tweets aimed at their players this week to highlight online bullying.
It’s a worthy cause which is why I’ll refrain from making jokes like ‘biggest banner ever’ or ‘first banner to be seen from space.’ That would be wrong.
Still, fingers crossed your tweets get on as what an honour.
Both these teams face the prospect of starting the season 0-3 after being talked up all preseason.
It why I tell anyone that will listen, ‘this is the bad place.’
I knew things were bad at Essendon, but not ‘let’s get James Hird back’ bad. Not since people said ‘let’s bring back Michael Clarke’ after the sandpaper incident has there been such an overreaction.
In fairness, only Michael Clarke said ‘let’s bring back Michael Clarke’ but Hird this week didn’t rule out a return.
To be honest, it’s like me not ruling out doing Feb Fast. It’s never going to happen anyway.
A loss here will see that team spiral downwards into a pit of despair that both teams’ supporters will feel right at home in.
I’m tipping Melbourne, but that’s only because I cannot even begin to process the fallout if the reverse happens.
Carlton vs Sydney (MS) Fox 1:45pm
The Swans most famous fan, Kenny Williams, celebrated turning 90 years old this week.
Given the way Sydney have started the year, they may want to consider playing him, to give them some better run off half back.
Carlton are not travelling much better but the difference there is we all expected it.
What this does offer is a chance to see Liam Jones and Lance Franklin resume the greatest one-on-one battle since Jakovich v Carey.
That battle alone is worth the price of admission, oh hang on; it’s at Marvel, so no it’s not.
The Blues have actually been not bad this year, but Sydney probably have too many stars to lose here.
Greater Western Sydney vs Richmond (GS) Fox 4:35pm
Shane Mumford should return in this one, making his comeback from retirement and suspension. It’s the feel-good comeback story of the season.
The Giants need the help after a rather lacklustre effort in Perth last week. When they smashed the Bombers in round one, we all thought they might be amazing but now we know St Kilda can beat Essendon.
Greater Western Sydney need to keep winning as it’s been revealed their financial situation is dire with the AFL giving them two totalling $2.5 million in a year on top of a $23m grant
The Giants aren’t Robinson Crusoe here, more than half the clubs in the AFL receive extra funding on top of the money that flows from TV rights. But the two most recent expansion teams receive the most.
That doesn’t bother me too much, I think the game has to grow, but it does make a mockery of the idea that a Tasmania team ‘has to be economically viable’ to even get a look in.
Richmond’s injuries this season make me wonder if they hired Collingwood’s medical team in the off season.
It means a lot is now riding on Tom Lynch up forward over the next month or so. No pressure Tom.
I'm tipping the Giants.
Brisbane vs Port Adelaide (G) Fox 7:25pm
With Dangerfield returning to Adelaide this week, Tom Rockliff is also returning to his former club.
Tom didn’t leave under great conditions and it’s taken a while for him to settle in at Port but this season he’s been a big reason the Power are undefeated. Him and the fact they’ve played Melbourne and Carlton.
This is his first time back at the Gabba, and it’s always awkward returning to a place you were forced out of. It’s why I always feel apprehensive returning to almost every pub I’ve ever previously been to.
Brisbane haven’t got through Round Three undefeated since 2010 and this is not an impossible task for them.
Not only are the Lions playing well, they’re exciting to watch, something we haven’t been able to say, well since Tinder became the way people met, instead of getting drunk at a party and making bad life choices.
Tinder: Helping you digitise your bad decisions.
I’m tipping the Lions.
Collingwood vs West Coast (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
I cannot wait for this game, especially after Mason Cox successfully appealed his charge of ‘loitering with intent’.
The Cox decision only highlights that the whole AFL judiciary is just as confused as us fans are.
If there’s one thing we need to fix this mess, it’s more rules and all with lots of gray areas for interpretation by numerous individuals. Luckily, the AFL keep tweaking them constantly like a person with OCD who can’t leave things alone.
No wonder the umpires have such a tough time. Us fans can’t understand the interpretations of the Match Review Panel, and that’s after we’ve seen each incident in slow motion from twenty angles, one hundred times.
Imagine having to make these interpretations in real time. It gives me a fair bit of sympathy for our umpires. Except for Razor Ray because he thinks he’s some sort of pantomime villain we are all go to see and does not deserve our sympathy.
We have to face up to something, a win here and the Pies chances of a premiership increase dramatically.
You have to start thinking about purchasing a property in the country and off the grid if the Pies get up in this. They’re every chance too. They’re a really good side, as much as it pains me to admit it, and it does pain me, like squeezing lemon juice into a gaping wound.
West Coast showed last week they are still in premiership form. It’s a real miracle they are so good given Champion Data rated their list outside the eight. I just hope premiership glory goes some way to make up the disappointment of not being ranked highly by Champion Data.
I’m tipping the Eagles but this could be very close.
Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast (MS) Fox 2:20pm
In sad news, Liam Picken retired this week due to ongoing concussion issues, showing that the ‘footy has gone soft’ brigade don’t quite understand the toll the game can take.
Picken can at least retire knowing he participated in the greatest win of the Bulldogs in living memory.
Last time these two met it was in Ballarat and people got very concerned because in Ballarat they have something called ‘weather’ and the players had to play in it.
Luckily this is at Marvel Stadium which doesn’t have an atmosphere let alone weather.
Who would have thought the Bulldogs would start the season 2-0 and that the Suns would already have a win on the board?
The Suns have certainly been a lot better than expect and now we see if that can be sustained or if the attrition of the season starts to get to the young group.
A win here would certainly shut up the knockers out there, like me.
The Bulldogs seem to be happy for the first time since 2016. They even showed some enthusiasm for playing footy last week which was nice to see.
I’m tipping the Bulldogs.
Hawthorn vs North Melbourne (MCG) Seven & Fox3:20pm
North’s capitulation last week to the Lions will have Roos fans hoping the draft is strong this year.
Now they come up against the Hawks who also fell over against the Bulldogs in a very un-Hawthorn like performance.
Brad Scott said the new 6-6-6 rule has had a big impact on his team, with them giving up 43 points from centre bounces against the Lions.
If only Brad knew that rule was coming in, he could have done some coaching stuff to manage it.
Hawthorn did get a couple of injuries during last week’s game which didn’t help and being back on the MCG should certainly help them.
Perhaps the most worrying thing about the Hawks last week was the poor form of some of their top servants, the umpires. They made some real clangers last week, actually awarding free kicks against their teammates.
I expect Clarko gave them a real dressing down this week and reiterated the role he expects them to play.
Hawks to win.
Fremantle vs St Kilda (OS) Fox 5:20pm
Normally I’d say winning in Perth is a big ask for the Saints, but Freo lost to the Suns last week.
Add to that the fact the Saints are undefeated and this is a tough one to call. I talked to a few Saints fans after one of my Comedy Festival shows this week and they actually seemed happy.
That surprised me, as it’s not the usual reaction I get from someone who has sat through one of my performances and the fact it was round two and they felt optimistic about the season.
A win here and Alan Richardson could consider taking his personal items back out of the cardboard box he’s been keeping them in.
The Dockers will be keen to atone for what was a shambolic performance against the Suns. They’re scoring woes returned but more worrying was the fact the Suns midfield handled them with surprising ease.
It puts increasing pressure on Ross Lyon. Lucky his contract has another few decades to run on it.
The Dockers are a different beast at home though and while I think the Saints are a chance I’m tipping Fremantle.
Titus will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 27 March to 21 April.
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