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 Club, Lynch, 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