Sep 13, 2019


A highly unhelpful guide to the Semi Finals


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 the Semi Finals.


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

Out: Willie Rioli

In: An “adverse analytical finding for urine substitution”.

If there’s one thing you never want, it’s a player from your team and the word ‘urine’ in the same story.

Todd Carney told me that.

We’ve no idea of Willie Rioli’s innocence or guilt yet, the one thing I can tell you, is urine substitution is a messy business.

How will this affect the Eagles? Will it send them over the edge? Or will it galvanise them?

Last year they had Andrew Gaff’s suspension, now this. Is this now an annual event?

If they win a Premiership again this year they may take this approach every year.

It’s possibly the best news Geelong have had in a while and certainly distracted the media from the ‘can Geelong win a finals’ narrative.

Chris Scott had senior players coming to his defence this week, never something you want. You get the board doing the same and you’re toast.

A loss here and the board could be rushing to offer Chris their support. If Chris Scott gets sacked, the AFL could be Scott-free. Thanks, here all week.

I think Geelong are just not quite up to the level needed for the finals. I could be wrong this week but not the next.

Eagles to win.


Brisbane vs Greater Western Sydney (G) Seven & Fox 7:25pm

Being based in Melbourne, I’d forgotten this game was happening until I sat down to write this. A second semi-final! Why didn’t they tell us?

Brisbane’s exciting journey to an unlikely to premiership has hit a roadblock, Richmond.

It’s taken a fair bit of momentum out of the Lions and the question is, can they find it again?

I’ve always found the best way to rediscover your confidence is to drink heavily but I’ve been told that doesn’t work that well for professional athletes, another reason I’m glad my ability prevented such an outcome.

Given Brisbane’s storming finish to the season, a straight sets exit would be an incredibly disappointing finish.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Giants midfield goes against Brisbane’s midfield or as I like to call it, ‘Lachie Neale’.

The Giants’ chances were boosted this week after the AFL legalised eye gouging. What a wonderful thing. This reminds me of the early WWF 80s where a good eye gouging was all part of the fun.

It’s amazing Toby Greene got off, especially given his rather insane tribunal record. Greene plays ‘close to the edge’, which is code for someone who ‘regularly does thuggish things.’

Some see Greene getting off as the AFL wanting the Giants to win, but the AFL doesn’t want the Giants to win, they want to be able to sell tickets to the finals.

Brisbane to win.

Titus has shows coming up in Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here:   

Titus’ new book Please, 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.


Loie the lip

Sep 13, 2019

Give me a team of Toby Greene’s .

For Granted

Sep 13, 2019

Wonder if Daniel Chick's phone is ringing again?

Fool Forward

Sep 13, 2019

Toby Greene's what?

Paul Johnstone

Sep 13, 2019

Urine trouble, Willie. Again the excreta has hit the fan, but - like last year's pre-finals Gaff - I doubt it will stop the Wee-gles pissing on the Cats' swag.

Ken Wilson

Sep 13, 2019

Question is - if Willie is an ineligible player should the result of last weeks game be stripped from WCE? Something unethical in all this!

WA Bogan

Sep 13, 2019

Someone just told me that the Eagles have a new sponsor : Gatorade. I said you're joking and he admitted he was just taking the piss... How ironic that Rioli has gone to Darwin - presumably to collect his Award?

Mad Dog

Sep 13, 2019

Ken Wilson

Kenny, Kenny, Kenny: You must be a Geelong, Richmond, Essendon or similar supporter.

.....or maybe a Collingwood one. Sam Murray was busted for doping in August last year on a game day (he got 18 months). By your logic Collingwood should be stripped of their results from 2018, right? It would be unethical of you to think otherwise, right? Eddie McGuire wouldn't mind of course; he doesn't have any ethics.

The outrage over this reminds me of the hysterical overreaction to the cricket ball tampering incident. The blowback on Cricket Australia was only exacerbated by the over the top penalties they inflicted (they should change their name to Cricket Banana Republic).
It's only a game, and nothing new or unique has happened, but some in the media are behaving like he just shot Bambi.

Doubtless there are plenty of players in the AFL doing what is assumed to have happened here. Even in your precious club.

Rioli has made a sincere apology to WCE and the supporters which is all he can do until the investigation runs it's course and we discover the extent, if any, to which he is guilty.

But there are deeper concerns here.

He feels he has let his beloved team down at a crucial time. He is in a mess at the moment. IF he was taking anything, I ask what drove him to it? The AFL has a major problem with severe clinical depression amongst the players and is bigger than any one club can completely manage because it is as big as the AFL, in fact as big as society.

I know where this nastiness comes from and it's not Harry Potter's witch cauldron at midnight in Dumbledoor.

Rioli will do what he must in this situation he has created, but after the Essendon saga (players should not trust doctors any more), I would have thought it was time to stop scapegoating players and loading them up with our own personal bullshit in public. He will pay his price nad it should be no more or less than this.

Like any other player, or any of us, he makes mistakes. But unlike most of us, his 24 years so far have been been pretty harsh. No excuses, but it is impossible to fully trust a drug testing regime which catches so few when we know there is such a serious problem with all forms of drugs in our society.

Time to face harsh reality. If anything happens to Willie Rioli I will be calling for blood.
If he commits suicide, I am coming after all the pricks in the anti-WCE brigade.

Now you have woken up, you can eat your Corn Flakes.

Eagles to win.

Darth’s son

Sep 13, 2019

Not an Eagles supporter, but the standard of commentary is an embarrassment.
Btw, Australia was beaten in the basketball.


Sep 13, 2019

Mad Dog, I think you've missed the point.

People are not up in arms about him taking a substance, they are up in arms about him trying to fake his sample. Clearly you have never been involved in elite sport and have no understanding of the processes and education provided to athletes involved. These are professional athletes paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. They know that they will be tested as Rioli would have been literally hundreds of times before. If someone takes a substance and then fakes their urine sample, then that is akin to admission of testing positive. This is what was Russia was doing systematically in Soci, and why the Russian Olympic team was banned from competing in most events in Rio. Everyone knows Rioli is a good bloke, but he needs to accept that he knowingly did the wrong thing and accept the penalty.

And clearly you have no understanding of the Essendon saga either. They were breaking the rules by injecting, not just injecting supplements. And Bruce Reid, club doctor was completely against what the sports scientists were doing with the supplements. Needless to say, he was not charged, nor convicted of any misdemeanour.

Willie will be well supported because West Coast is a great football club, but let's not lose sight of the fact that he was clearly cheating.

Jack Newmeyer

Sep 13, 2019

Wow! The Cats ate the Eagles.

Rhys Mc

Sep 13, 2019

Come on Titus you're better than jumping on the Toby Greene eye-gouging nonsense.
The tribunal cleared him of any such behaviour. Even the report, tended by the Footscray Poodles, stated that such act was not committed against Bontempelli.
Bontempelli was targeted, by the Giants players, after the vicious hit upon the throat of Nick Haynes in Round 22 and what was seen as a rushed hearing at the tribunal, before medical evidence could be tended, in order to protect a Brownnose Medal favourite from a real penalty and sanction.
All right, Toby plays tough and uncompromising footy - but isn't that one of the attractions of footy?
I know what sort of players I want on my team when the going is tough.

Andrew Deakin

Sep 14, 2019

I'm late to this post. Eagles to win? Presumably GWS are now a certainty.


Sep 14, 2019

MAD DOG. Lifeline 1300 Eagles. Give em a call


Sep 14, 2019

RHYS MC. Bont’s “vicious hit upon the throat”??? Top marks for that hysterical line. Comparing Bont’s action in colliding with Haynes as he was running in to close space, immediately raising his arms to show no malice, with Greene’s sustained pummelling of Bont’s head & clawing at his face, is ridiculous. Greene can thank Bont that he’s still playing as he refused to submit medical evidence that would harm Greene’s chances to play in a GF. That’s the A-grade class of the man.
But thanks for the laugh anyway.

John Nicholls

Sep 14, 2019

Willie & Toby should be both be rubbed out, couple years and two weeks respectively. Everything else is just noise.

Andrew Deakin

Sep 14, 2019

Looking forward to Titus's tips for next week, then calling the bookie to make the opposite bet. Geelong v GWS for the GF.

Mad Dog

Sep 15, 2019


No. It is you have missed the point. (And I stand by my comments regarding doctors and Essendon. Re-read it.

Just for the sake of clarity...
As far as some of the accusations of bias around the Willie Rioli suspension go, the AFL has only itself to blame because it seeks to control and manipulate every aspect of the game such as yearly rule changes, a game which, by the way, it does not own.

Personally, I am witholding judgement on the matters surrounding the timing and other allegations of the drug test until more information comes to light. NO finding has been made yet.

Having said that, I am not surprised that supporters with their own life experiences to draw on, are already crying foul.

The AFL has recreational drug rules which many find questionable for example.

Another is the obvious soft penatlies imposed on star players during the home and away season and running into the finals every year.

More broadly it has a history of engineering the fixtures in favour of Victorian clubs.

This season's headline example is the 17 home and away games gifted to Richmond veiled under the excuse of revenue (this has always been a red herring and is all the more so regarding WA once Optus Stadium opened. If they are stuck for a solution, I have one for them!)

Going back a little further, ALL finals had to be played in Melbourne putting interstate clubs including West Coast at a significant disadvantage until the interstate clubs kicked up for long enough.

Interestingly, as clubs like West Coast got a fairer deal and more money, ticket and merch sales climbed for the AFL as a whole and TV and sponsorship deals became more lucrative.

Nic Natanui was penalised a week for applying a legal tackle which again undermined supporter faith in the AFL’s integrity.

The AFL and the Victorian media made the Eagles and Ben Cousins the scapegoats for the drug culture which was rife through every club in all states in the years around 2007.

We have had fans ejected from stadiums for cheering and yelling too loudly and “Behavioural Awareness Officers” trying to enforce some vague notion of proper behaviour.

I don't believe I need to go into the matter of that well known hater of Caroline Wilson and racist, Eddie McGuire's suspect conduct in acquiring concessions from the AFL in off the record 'discussions'. Hell, I'm not even confident his Order of Australia award was legitimate.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.

But some people wonder why fans, worried about Rioli’s mental health and two days before a do or die finals match, are suspicious? Really?

It seems to me that the (minority) of West Coast supporters who have claimed bad faith on the AFL's part on this matter have sufficient reasons to do so.


Sep 21, 2019

Hahaha Mad Dog you old fool! I'm going to miss your one eyed, incoherent West Coast posts now that your useless mob is gone. Hopefully you can educate yourself over the off season that there is in fact MORE THAN just the Eagles and occasionally Dockers in the league ... you numpty

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