Sep 18, 2017
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Two
Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise.
On a Monday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.
What you really want is idiotic hysteria.
You’ve come to the right place.
Geelong (98) v Sydney (39)
If the season was the original Star Wars trilogy (before George Lucas tinkered with them), then these finals are those horrendous prequels.
The only thing interesting about this game was the complete surprise the result turned out to be.
It certainly wasn’t looking good for Geelong before the game. Not only was their record against the Swans poor, but Tom Lonergan was a late out due to food poisoning.
Apparently, it was a dodgy sausage roll that did the damage. That sausage roll was the only thing to stop a Cats player on the night.
Luckily for the Cats, key forward Harry Taylor managed to make an impressive debut in defence. They should consider playing him as a defender more often, he’s a natural.
To replace him up forward, Chris Scott pulled off the greatest tactical manoeuvre since 1805, when Napoleon tempted the Austro-Russian force to attack him on his right, overextending them.
Or maybe it was just a relatively obvious move, and the media get a bit carried away sometimes.
In many ways, tactics were irrelevant as the Swans came out flat and went downhill from there.
The Cats were like a SWAT team that turns up to a house expecting a tough raid only to find the door open and the targets all lying on the floor with their hands behind their backs.
What went wrong for the Swans? The simple answer is everything.
They were second to the ball, missed shots when they had them and seemed not to be willing to do the tough stuff. It was like they went back to their game plan from the first six rounds.
Perhaps they had just been ‘up’ too long. I’ve heard that can be a problem, although I have no experience of that myself.
In the end, the Swans will be left to rue what might have been, while the Cats get to head off to Adelaide, where rumour has, it a young Patrick Dangerfield once plied his trade.
Greater Western Sydney (125) v West Coast (58)
Congrats if you were one of the few who watched to the end of this. So boring was this game that I even briefly considered watching the Wallabies instead.
Luckily for the AFL, almost no one saw this, which is probably for the best.
Only 14,865 rocked up to the game, which is the lowest VFL/AFL finals crowd since 1916.
Giants fans hate it when you mock them over the size of the crowds they get, I should know, I had all of them on a conference call whinging to me about it last night.
Welcome to the AFL Giants fans, where every team gets criticised by opposing fans for any perceived weakness, it doesn’t even matter if it’s true (which in this case it is).
North are broke, Pies fans criminals, Melbourne fans rich inbred idiots, Crows fans eat apricot slice and drink chardonnay and Dockers supporters suffer from an inferiority complex so severe it usually causes someone to end up working in ‘adult entertainment’.
Like the crowd, the Eagles also didn’t show up. Perhaps it was the cross-country travel, the long game last week or just the fact they’re not that good, but the Eagles were awful.
So awful in fact, that Stevie J booted six, recognising pretty quickly that no one was playing on him.
If the first two weeks of finals have proven anything, it’s that the last thing we need is a wildcard round. Imagine diluting these finals even more.
What was sad was seeing Eagles’ Legends Drew Petrie, and Sam Mitchell bow out at the end. West Coast fans will be sad to see them go after all they’ve done for the club. Matthew Priddis also played his last game.
It’s going to be interesting seeing how the Giants handle playing in front of people next week. Especially a group of hostile people.
My advice to Leon Cameron is to train at IKEA this week, to simulate being surrounded by frustrated, angry people.
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