Jun 07, 2019


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Twelve


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 Twelve. 


Richmond vs Geelong (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm

It’s a bye round, with Essendon, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs and Brisbane all getting the week off.

Richmond, still licking their wounds after a Rhyce Shaw coaching masterclass, face a red-hot Geelong.

In a concerning development for the heads of Richmond players, Gary Ablett returns from suspension to once again unleash his fist of god and the righteous elbow on the infidels from Punt Road.

It will be interesting to see if Gary will stop hitting people since he got his hard-won week off or if he’s now got a taste for it.

I’m actually leaning towards the Tigers in this one. Why? Deep statistical analysis? Keen observations after attending both teams’ training sessions? Insider information obtained from strategically placed sources cultivated over decades?

No. I just feel it in my waters. 

To be fair, this is as accurate as anything Champion Data has ever put out and is the same method used by all footy journalists.

I’m just happy to admit it, because you dear reader, know that everything I say is rubbish.


Carlton vs Brisbane (MS) Fox 1:45pm

I haven’t bothered learning who’s coaching the Blues, I don’t want to get attached to someone who’s already well on their way to be fired.

The Carlton hierarchy seems to think they’ve bought themselves some time by throwing Bolton on the sacrificial bonfire, but I don’t think it will be enough.

Let’s not forget, this administration thought appointing Steven Trigg CEO was a good idea, and you could argue their decisions have only got worse since then.

Now they face Brisbane, who provide a nice counterview of how it is possible to make a club better. 

They’ve recruited well, have not traded all their best players to Adelaide and seem to have a young group that enjoy being AFL footballers.

To be fair, the Lions don’t have the hand break that is the ‘powers that be at Carlton’, who seem to insist on having a say despite being categorically wrong now for several decades. I wish I had that level of self-belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I’m tipping the Lions.

Gold Coast vs North Melbourne (Metricon) Fox 4:35pm

It’s the match almost dozens are talking about. 

Rhyce Shaw has built up an impressive record since taking over the head coach role, so far undefeated. 

A win here and he could be in real danger of becoming the permanent coach.

This wouldn’t be the final nail in his coffin; it’s only the Gold Coast. 

Apparently, Shaw wants the job, the promise of some spare coins to cover the parking meters out the front of Arden Street too enticing to resist.

The Suns have become my favourite team this year. Despite being 17th, they’ve still been praised for their effort. 

That’s the secret to life, set the bar so low that people are amazed if you almost clear it.

It’s much better than making the mistake of promising more than you should and then coming up short. 

For example, at the start of the year, I promised to learn some of the Suns' players’ names, and I haven’t.

I mean if someone put a gun to my head, I could name Jack Scrimshaw and Brandon Matera, but I’d come up short after that.

I’m tipping the Roos.

Adelaide vs Greater Western Sydney (AO) Seven & Fox 7:40pm

In the Crow’s win last week, the match report listed their best players read:


Best: The Melbourne Football ClubLynch, B. Crouch, Laird, Greenwood, Ellis-Yolmen, Atkins

They can’t rely on the Giants to help them out like the Demons did and will need to play a lot better than they did in Darwin.

In response to last week, Bryce Gibbs has been dropped again. He may be the only player who regrets leaving Carlton. 

What the Crows have got right in recent years is the ability to balance hope with crushing defeats. They keep their fans just on the verge of thinking it could all come together before dashing those thoughts on the rocks.

The secret is never being truly awful and hence sitting in eighth.

The Crows motto could be ‘always threatening to be good.’

Greater Western Sydney played in front of an intimidating 7581 people last week so the Adelaide Oval crowd should be no problem for them.

The Giants have lost Lachie Whitfield, I mean, not completely lost him again; he’s broken his collarbone. 

Apart from that, they are flying, they’re second on the ladder, and they beat the only team above them, Geelong, earlier in the year.

Against the Crows, I think they’ll have no trouble.


Sydney vs West Coast (SCG) Fox 3:20pm

It’s Dane Rampe’s 150thgame, and he’s stood up to be the loose unit the Swans lacked this year after Dan Hannebery retired.

Through his pole climbing and giving away free kicks at crucial moments, he’s provided the only memorable moments of the Swans season so far.

The Eagles haven’t won on the SCG since round 9, 1999. Back then, Nathan Buckley’s close friend Mick Malthouse was still coaching them.

A lot has happened since then. Mick went on to coach Collingwood and then did some role at Carlton which seemed to involve setting them back decades.

This is the Eagles best chance to win there in some time; they clearly outclass the Swans on talent and last week they were in fine form, although it was against the Bulldogs. 

To think, the reigning premiers haven’t even been near their best this year but are still pressing for a top-two finish.

It’s only a matter of time until the Melbourne media mention them for the first time this season. 

Eagles to win.


Collingwood vs Melbourne (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm

It’s Big Freeze 5 at the MCG, and I’m so proud that my club is part of it every year.

Sliding downwards into a pit of freezing cold water sums up the experience of being a Melbourne supporter perfectly.

At least the Fight MND serves a purpose, trying to end an insidious disease. If you want to donate, you can do so here

I once offered to go down the slide when I was having a chat to Neale Daniher. He was nice enough about it, but then the police arrived and removed me from his home and charged me with stalking and breaking and entering.

“So it’s a maybe?” I yelled as I was carted off in handcuffs.

Melbourne’s defence should return in this game, with both Steven May and Jake Lever returning. 

That should fix the glaring weakness that’s dogged Melbourne all year, converting forward opportunities.

Collingwood got a real wakeup call last week, losing to the Dockers on the MCG. 

They did not take it well. In fact, Nathan Buckley cracked this week and had a shot at Mick Malthouse.

I loved the media’s reaction, not ‘this is untrue’, but ‘it’s totally true, but his timing was poor.’

Given how grumpy Mick’s always been, I don’t think he can get on his high horse in about this, but it’s been fun watching him try.

Pies to win.

Byes: Essendon, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs

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


Bloke from the outer

Jun 07, 2019

'Sliding downwards into a pit of freezing cold water sums up the experience of being a Melbourne supporter perfectly.

More like 'sliding down a black run to the chalet in September' sums up the experience of being a Melbourne supporter perfectly

Lawrie West

Jun 07, 2019

Just wondering when Tom McDonald will resume playing for Melbourne!

Auntie Lager

Jun 07, 2019

I think the Stephen Trigg appointment was one of those things you mention so frequently as something the AFL organised even though no one wanted it... like AFL X 😂

John McClure

Jun 07, 2019

The Crows motto could be ‘always threatening to be good.’ More gold Titus. As a crows supporter I think that's an excellent idea

Ron A Mok

Jun 07, 2019

"It’s a bye round, with Essendon, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs and Brisbane all getting the week off."

Brisbane - clever...

Steve the Giant

Jun 07, 2019

Ah Titus. As someone who lost his father to MND, sincere thanks for giving me the only laugh I've had around the coming Big Freeze, which to me always seems like death by a thousand cuts. I could hope a certain club president ends up going in head first. Then that would be two.


Jun 07, 2019

Is Geelong red-hot? As a Cats supporter, it seems to me that everyone else has been hopeless and somehow Geelong have bumbled their way to being two games clear at the top. Each week I wait for Geelong's chickens to come home to roost but one of our stars punches someone, at least six players contribute very little to the team and then we win.

Mad Dog

Jun 07, 2019

Hi Titus,

I feel like I know you personally now, while you know nothing about me (creepy I bet) because you express what every football fan experiences but, unlike most, you have the skill to deliver humour (Except me of course; I am hilarious. My friend even says I'm a joke). Humour assuages the painful bits of following a team loyally, so thank you.

Even Eagles fans need this pain management. Not because our team never loses but because losing is a wrong condition to be in as a West Coast supporter. We know a significant portion of the WA population had to give up watching our beloved team and in fact, all forms of sport, following the 2010 season on advice from the trauma specialists amongst the psychiatric community.

WCE supporters regard Victorians as the serfs of football while the Gods of football are West Australian by birth or by enlightenment (usually followed by ascension to the state of grace known as 'Eagles Blessedness'). Even before 1986, the WCE Gods of Football existed in what historians now call the First Age. At this time they were dispersed across the land doing their great works wherever it pleased them. But then the time came when many decided to build their home in the promised land and so created the West Coast Eagles Football Club choosing a live Wedge Tailed Eagle as mascot. So began the Second Age when it is foretold that the greatest of deeds will be accomplished, and thence enscribed forever in lore and myth for centuries and in order to guide the eventual Third Age.

Back to your noble assessments:

"To think, the reigning premiers haven’t even been near their best this year but are still pressing for a top-two finish.
....It’s only a matter of time until the Melbourne media mention them for the first time this season."

On this last point, the Melbourne media didn't have a clue who had arrived to play against Collingwood until half time on the 29th of September 2018. I can't say much here except to point out that the Football Gods in Western Australia have mages and necromancers at their disposal and any attempt to disspell the cone of ignorance cast over them will prove futile. I say this to you as a friend. Our magic is strong.
Remember this, the media in Melbourne were still experiencing impenetrable darkness...even after we had bit the head off the Demons during the Prelim.

My apologies for not making this comment longer.


Jun 07, 2019

Jack who


Jun 07, 2019

Thanks mad dog. Really. Thanks, top notch... anyways...

Ian Huitson

Jun 07, 2019

"Fists of God" Gary is just trying to show us he is a Bad Boy.
Sort of like Justin Beiber bad, not Gary Snr bad.

Mad Dog

Jun 07, 2019

My pleasure Matt. :)


Jun 07, 2019

Dear Mad Dog
An insightful and true interpretation of the Ages of Coastedness.
I’ve never before seen such an overviewed synopsis written outside of University sociology third year courses. Not those 2 year (Park your Hilux for 6 weeks every year next door to that crappy work ute with 8x4 trailer…) courses offered elsewhere in Australia.
Off to get tattoo aligning myself to 1st Age...
Happy weekend all.

Barry Bourke

Jun 08, 2019

Thanks Titus,
Given the accuracy of your tipping so far this weekend I hold a brief glimmer of hope for the once mighty ( bring back Ron ) Ds this coming Monday -

Faye Dapiran

Jun 09, 2019

Robertito, are you really a cats supporter, I doubt it?
Well done again Titus, so good, although last week's one was the best ever I think. Good luck to Melbourne for tomorrow.


Jun 10, 2019

Yay Sydney Swans!

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