Aug 17, 2020
AFL Mad Scramble: Day Twenty
A column every day for twenty days, as we get more football than we even asked for.
Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.
Western Bulldogs (111) v Adelaide (54)
This is one of the best practices I believe the Bulldogs have ever had.
It was mainly non-contact drills, but they moved the ball really nicely, executed some set plays and their skills were excellent.
It probably lacked a bit in terms of cardio. They seemed to be practicing at half speed for a lot of it, taking time to think through several options before executing.
You can’t of course do that in a real game, but it was fine here and they took the enormous amount of time they had.
I’m still not sure why any of them bothered to get out of their training tops.
Up front Aaron Naughton kicked six goals, but it’s easy to do when no one is playing on you.
Still, a good hit out for the Bulldogs and a nice teambuilding exercise.
St Kilda (68) v Essendon (33)
Patience. It’s apparently all the Essendon supporters need. I mean, they’ve only been waiting 20 years, why the rush?
Unless Patience is the surname of the greatest player to ever play the game, I’m not sure it is what the Bombers need.
Sure, there’s injuries but whatever the excuse is this year, it’s been decades of mediocrity, punctuated occasionally by scandal.
Essendon’s supporters have been fanatical in their defence of the club, often when the club hasn’t deserved it, and they’ve been rewarded with nothing.
They have every right to be sick of the excuses. The effort just often isn’t there.
Worsfold said after the match ‘We’re very, very flat,’ which sums up Essendon and also how every Victorian is feeling at the moment.
St Kilda controlled the entire game and didn’t look troubled at all, they did everything they were expected to do, but they weren’t ever really challenged.
The Saints are now a side that doesn’t stuff up these games, it’s against the real contenders they struggle.
West Coast (81) v Hawthorn (49)
Seven straight wins to the Eagles, and they haven’t even played that well at times.
A bit of improvement and they’ll be terrifying.
They dominated from the start, but the Hawks had their fair share of the ball, and if they didn’t target the Eagles backs like they were their forwards, the result could have been different.
When the Hawks weren’t directly kicking it to the Eagles backs, they were bombing it into the forward line like it was a competition to see who could kick it higher in the air. It was an odd approach, but despite it never working, they really stuck with it.
Hawthorn didn’t even score in the first quarter, helping Hawks fans explore some new emotions.
Adding to the loss was James Sicily going down with a knee injury, making this season one to forget. It’s lucky they’ve got all that young talent coming through.
The biggest reason I stayed watching this was Liam Ryan who put on a marking clinic it brought. Back memories of my playing years. Some of the greatest marks each year where taken on my head.
Richmond v Gold Coast (G) 7:10pm Foxtel
The last game in the Festival of Footy, a twenty-day odyssey that has certainly plugged a hole in my life.
It’s been intense, and I’m not keen on it becoming a regular thing, sometimes you need a break from something to look forward to it, I feel like that about going out at the moment, since I can’t, I crave it. When I could I’d make up excuses not to.
Not that I think the AFL will care about oversaturation, they never have before, they’ll make the decision based on money.
Richmond have had a lot of discipline problems on and off the field recently, and apparently, they’ve come up with a new punishment for giving away a 50m penalty, having to change the nappy of Trent Cotchin’s son.
That sort of support will be vital while the kid’s parents are at the day spa. I hope writing this doesn’t get AFL Media to hire me so they can suspend me.
Richmond are coming off a disappointing performance again Port, but the Suns drew with Essendon, so neither team is in good form.
Josh Caddy has been dropped for this game, and you can’t help but think his silly penalty against Port was the reason.
Hardwick swore more than me when I discovered I’d purchased tofu instead of cheese because my glasses were fogged up due to the mask I was wearing.
The drive home was even more terrifying, until I remembered I didn’t need to wear a mask while driving.
Richmond to win.
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