Sep 20, 2018


A highly unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week 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 AFL Finals Week Three.

Richmond v Collingwood (MCG) 7:50 AEST

The last time these two met in the finals was the 1980 Grand Final when the Tigers belted the Pies to the tune of 81 points.

Richmond enjoyed that premiership so much they forgot to win another premiership until last year.

A lot has changed in 38 years, but some things have not. In 1980, you couldn’t buy tickets on the internet, and you still can’t today.

With such a long gap since they last met in the post-season, anticipation for this is off the charts, to the point where I had people ringing me for tickets.

It’s a sign of how desperate people are. People normally go to enormous lengths to avoid speaking to me; even telemarketers get off the phone pretty quickly once they realise it’s me.

I even had a Jehovah’s Witness ask if he could leave the other day.

But in came the calls, like I was the Immigration Minister and a bunch of au pairs had got stuck in detention again.

The only thing as big as the anticipation for this match will be the police presence.

These two clubs play the MCG as well as anyone, Richmond because they never lose there anymore, and the Pies style is design for it.

Richmond spent the week denying that Dustin Martin had a serious injury, instead referring to it as a ‘significant corkie’.

He’ll probably be fine, and it wouldn’t be a prelim without intrigue surrounding an injury.

Dusty on one leg is better than most players anyway.

Collingwood has got this far with everyone underestimating them. It’s time we stopped that. Perhaps if we start treating them seriously, they’ll wilt under pressure.

We can only hope because things are getting pretty desperate. The Pies are one win from a Grand Final and two wins from a premiership.

Not since we found a couple of Japanese mini-subs in Sydney Harbour have I felt so under attack.

Collingwood has got here by being not only a highly motivated team but also filled with criminally underrated players.

And yes, that is the first time ‘criminally’, and ‘Collingwood’ has been used in a sentence positively.

That said, I’m tipping Richmond here, they’re Premiers for a reason, they’ve had a great season, and quite frankly, they terrify me.

West Coast v Melbourne (OS) 1:20 AWST

While Collingwood has been underrated all season, they Eagles have been disrespected for a team that finished second and won away from home too.

Yes, I’m partially talking them up in the hope of jinxing them, but it’s also true.

The Eagles only got mentioned in Victoria this year when Andrew Gaff got suspended and even then, it was opinion pieces along the lines of ‘How will this affect his trade back to Victoria?’

If the Eagles win this, they’ll get mentioned in the Victorian media a lot, with headlines like ‘EXCLUSIVE: The Eagles took drugs ages ago, and we’re bringing it up again to try and distract them.”

Melbourne, on the other hand, are being hyped beyond belief which is driving me mad.

Let’s not forget, the Eagles finished second and playing at Optus Stadium isn’t easy, let alone when a Grand Final on the line.

There have been complaints in Melbourne that West Coast has a huge advantage playing this at home, but then, that’s the way it’s meant to work, with the top two sides getting home field advantage. I hadn’t realised this was news to people.

I’m not sure why you’d complain about the team that finished up getting home field advantage. I mean, what are you going to complain about next? That MCG-based teams get a home Grand Final no matter where they finish on the ladder?

Despite not having home-field advantage, Melbourne is playing a ‘brand of football that stands up in finals’. At least, that’s what I’ve heard a lot of footy commentators say, so it must be true.

Either way, this is going to be a great game.

Both sides attack. The Eagles forwards present any defence with problems, while Melbourne’s midfield is so full-on they’re like the person at the party who has just downed two Martini Espressos and is now insisting everyone must dance.

Personally, having my own team involved is freaking me out. Since I started writing, my team has never been in the finals, let alone a Preliminary Final, so this is all new to me.

Is it normal to have a dream one night that we win and one when we lose the next night?

Is it also normal for your heart to start beating really fast all of a sudden and then you have to calm yourself by watching the replay again but then you get too excited, and you start pacing around the house like a crazed gym instructor? Asking for a friend.

I’m tipping the Eagles here. This was close the last time they played, and that time Darling was injured early, and Kennedy didn’t play.

Even so, I’m excited for wheels up on the Gulfstream and to head west, chasing glory in the land made famous by Cosima De Vito.

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Sep 20, 2018

Don't worry about the Eagles and the media Titus-any department that can sweep the Drug cheating scandal of 2006 under the carpet,will be too good for the media hacks of the Melbourne press!


Sep 20, 2018

West Coast V Perth?

Mr B

Sep 20, 2018

Yeah, Perth have had a pretty woeful season. I reckon the Eagles can field about fifteen players and still win this one.

Mr B

Sep 20, 2018

See, you edited out your error and now my comment just looks stupid. Sad face. :(


Sep 20, 2018

West Coast v Melbourne and Fremantle

The Captain

Sep 21, 2018

Sport-on, Brent.
Cynically, in 2006 all the VFL teams were out of the finals (apart from the Red-and-White-Want-Aways) so nobody cared when the West Coast Needles looked gone at half time in Adelaide and then came out like recharged supermen. Anybody remember Ben Cousins’ second half?

But then, a cynic is only what an idealist calls a realist, so what would I know........

No Seppo

Sep 21, 2018

Titus, please. of all the games we play in Oz, footy is the most Oz-est of all. It's 'finals' mate. Post-season happens in America.


Sep 21, 2018

Keep telling yourself that Brent and “the Captain”. Haha. Butter grapes 12 years on based on nothing


Sep 21, 2018

Butter grapes actually sound nice

Eagle Eye

Sep 21, 2018

'Ere we go

Eagle Eye

Sep 21, 2018

'Ere we go


Sep 21, 2018

Love your Jehovah's Witness gag.

What do you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with a Hell's Angel?
Someone who knocks on your front door and tells YOU to piss off.


Sep 21, 2018

Good luck Titus.
Sadly though may I recommend the Dutton er Duxton Hotel as a place where you may forget the recent past and all known associations and associates. It’s a place which is so empty (literally and morally) that you can roam the corridors and demand instant results from your lackeys in getting an au pair or two organised for your “new” mates. Some say so new that they too are “unknown”!
I’m still awaiting a couple of Sudanese or Sri Lankan au pairs recently trained on Nauru.
Where we live we need people with Nauruan (is there such a word?) civil insurgency skills and low health outcomes with enormous capacities for patiently waiting half your adult life away whilst stuck in limbo. Bad luck that you and your cohorts are such a low number compared to the tens of thousands of English backpackers deliberately gaming the system whilst not offering any useful au pairing skills and have never been trained in avoiding potentially lethal red neck civil uprisings. Blah.
Anyhow almost all the best of luck against our under respected and media-avoidant WCE. THANKS AGAIN FOR THE GREAT WORK THIS YEAR.


Sep 21, 2018

And loved the Jehovah gag plus the bikie/Jehoshaphat one.....!


Sep 21, 2018

Titus, thinking of you tonight - hope you have a couple of Valiums handy to get you through the game. Thanks for your columns - lots of great laughs.


Sep 21, 2018

I'm so upset i just discovered these posts 2 weeks ago. Love your reviews - great work. GO THE EAGLES


Sep 21, 2018

Melbourne Journo to Colleague...

"Maaate. Where did we file the other part of the Daniel Chick interview? I've looked in my docs...shared drive maybe?..."

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