Aug 23, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Twenty 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 Twenty Three.
Collingwood vs Essendon (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
The final round of the season is upon us. For some, the excitement of finals is almost here, for others, it’s the relief they won’t have to watch their team anymore.
The Pies are continuing their attempt to have every possible injury in a single year.
In a sentence I never thought I’d get to write; Steele Sidebottom will miss this game after he had surgery for a ruptured testicle.
It occurred during practice, proving Collingwood train harder than a lot of AFL sides play.
That’s the second ruptured testicle in the AFL this year. Thankfully they didn’t both occur to the same player.
And what’s the AFL doing about this trend of ruptured testicles? Sitting on their hands.
I’m expecting Steve Hocking to introduce metal codpieces any minute now.
Both these sides will play finals, so this is only important for where they finish in the eight and as a tune up for the finals.
Essendon have in fact decided to rest Dyson Heppell, Jake Stringer and Orazio Fantasia so they’ll be well rested for the Bombers week one finals loss.
Collingwood to win.
Sydney vs St Kilda (SCG) Fox 1:45pm
The Swans will say goodbye to Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack after this game and celebrate Lance Franklin's 300th game.
How many more games does Buddy have in him? I’m an optimist here and think it could be as many as six.
It’s regularly debated if Buddy has been a success for the Swans, and I think he has been. The plan was clear, you need two key marking forwards to compete in the AFL, just look at West Coast and Richmond.
Unfortunately for the Swans, they got Buddy, which was good, and then Kurt Tippett, which wasn’t.
They got half the job done, something I’m very familiar with.
As for the Saints, the sacking of Ross Lyon has many St Kilda fans terrified. It was bad enough when they knew Brad Scott was floating loose out there, but Ross too?
I’ve long said I wouldn’t wish being a St Kilda fan on my worse enemy and this just proves my point.
As for the game itself it means not a lot. Brett Ratten would love a win to cement his chances of getting the job full time.
I’m tipping the Swans.
North Melbourne vs Melbourne (BA) Fox 2:10pm
I was surprised Melbourne’s season was still going and judging by the way the players went about it last Friday, they too were not aware the season was still going.
Now they’re off to play the Roos in Tasmania in a game more pointless than a circle.
It’s a sad insight into how much I’ve got going on in my life that I’ll still watch this. I’m not sure when psychologically torturing myself became a hobby but it’s pretty well entrenched now.
Thankfully there just one game to go and then I can rest my weary soul. The Dees are apparently going cap in hand to the AFL asking for more help.
I’m not sure how many times you can go back to the AFL and say ‘sorry, we completely stuffed up again.’ At some point you start to look careless.
Jordan Lewis finishes his playing career this week. Lewis tried to bring a winning culture to Melbourne, but like some kidney transplants, the body rejected it.
As for North, the season was hardly a success with few highlights. In fact, the highlights are easy to list:
· Sacked Brad Scott
North to win.
Geelong vs Carlton (GMHBA) Fox 4:35pm
The Cats lost top spot last week and can only regain it if they win here and Richmond beat Brisbane, both possible scenarios.
Winning in Geelong is never easy, but if the Blues do win, the Teague train will look like one of those trains in India.
The Blues can throw everything at this to, they don’t have to worry about the next week.
Carlton fans can finally enter a summer looking forward to next season. I had that feeling once. It was nice.
What will be interesting for the Cats is to see if their coach has gotten over the massive sook he had after losing to the Lions.
I’ve seen toddlers with more composure. I guess no one has ever accused the Scott brothers of being gracious.
The Cats’ second half of the year shows why they are so desperate to play their finals in Geelong, they’ll need every advantage they can get.
Cats to win.
Gold Coast vs Greater Western Sydney (MS) Fox 7:25pm
One thing that’s always bothered me, is when people quote the movie Field of Dreams.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times someone has said to me ‘If you build it, they will come.’
People love quoting this, especially management consultants, the professional idiots of the world.
But the movie quote is “If you build it, he will come”
‘He’. Not ‘they’.
If you build it, one person will show up, not a group of people. If people quote it correctly, they would know that creating a new sporting franchise somewhere impractical won’t attract a multitude.
The AFL have learnt this from the crowds there two teams have attracted. As I often tell people, study Field of Dreamsclosely enough and all life’s secrets will be revealed to you.
Giants to win.
West Coast vs Hawthorn (OS) Seven & Fox 8:10pm
Technically Hawthorn can still make the finals.
It therefore amuses me that Hawks fans carry on like they’ve suffered through some enormous hardship in 2019.
Clarkson has shown his sentimental side again, dumping Jarryd Roughead now they Hawks have to play an AFL side.
It’s a tough ask for Hawthorn to make finals, not only do they have to win here, they then rely on Adelaide winning.
Relying on Adelaide to win is like relying on Nick Kyrgios to keep his temper in check.
The Eagle also have a lot to play for, such as a double chance and if other results go their way a top two finish.
They were so close last week and are just too good to lose this. Adam Simpson seems to want his teams to peak at this time of year. It’s a revolutionary approach.
West Coast to win.
Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide (MS) Fox 1:10pm
Tex Walker said this week, ‘we could beat any team anywhere’. I’m not sure what sport Tex was talking about as the Crows haven’t been able to beat anyone, anywhere in recent times.
They’ve won two of the past eight games since the bye.
Now they have to beat an in-form Bulldogs in Ballarat, and by a large amount, to have any chance of making the finals.
If they don’t make finals, I can’t see Don Pyke keeping his job. Ever since that bizarre pre-season camp, Adelaide have been a shell of their former selves and the Crows faithful aren’t exactly known for being patient.
The Bulldogs just have to get the job done here and they can finish as high as seventh.
It’s been an impressive run of form and if they do make finals, they’ll add a fair bit of uncertainty to proceedings. You’d be more worried about them than say the Giants or the Bombers at this stage.
I’m not sure Melbourne’s west is ready for another Bulldogs premiership so soon again; it took them 62 years to recover from the first one.
Doggies to win.
Richmond vs Brisbane (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
It’s like Christmas has come early. Last week we got Richmond playing West Coast in a potential Grand Final preview and just a week later we get another one.
If Richmond can defeat Brisbane here, they will go into the finals favourites and the City of Yarra will start disaster-proofing Punt Road.
But beating Brisbane is no sure thing.
The Lions have passed every test set them in recent times, winning on the road, at the Gabba, against top teams, you name it they’ve not only done it but seemed to enjoy themselves as they do it.
The Tigers have a lot to play for here, a win and they guarantee themselves a double chance, a loss and they’d need Essendon to beat Collingwood, so basically, they have to win.
Brisbane have a chance to win the minor premiership, with their worst case scenario being a big loss that could see them slide to fourth.
A Lions win however will see them enter the finals with the confidence of a private boys’ school graduate entering an accountancy traineeship with one of the big four firms.
Richmond to win.
Port Adelaide vs Fremantle (AO) Fox 4:40pm
Port need a massive win here and a bunch of other results to go their way to have any chance of playing finals, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
You can’t even be that confident that the Power will beat Fremantle at Adelaide Oval.
Port can’t even sack Ken Hinkley, they can’t afford to.
Fremantle could apparently afford to sack Ross Lyon. Was it the right decision?
I have a simple way of answering this question. Are Eagles supporters happy or sad Ross Lyon got sacked?
They are sad, which means it was the right decision for the Dockers.
Fremantle fans can rejoice, there’s now a chance they might see a goal kicked in their lifetime.
Power to win.
Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here: http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
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.