May 23, 2016
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Nine
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.
Hawthorn (55) v Sydney (69)
Was this a good bad game or a bad good game. I’m not really sure.
It was defensive, so that’s good right? Everyone loves a defensive, error riddled display.
Sydney looked like a team determined to make up for the horror of losing after the siren to Richmond the week before.
They applied pressure from the opening bounce and even tagged Sam Mitchell, which despite everyone saying that wouldn’t work, did.
Hawthorn weirdly looked like a team that struggles to execute skills under pressure and Hawks fans looked on wondering what nonsense was this.
They Hawks stuck around though, despite their new love of committing turnovers.
In the end, it was Buddy Franklin who made all the difference between the two sides with key goals when it mattered.
It just shows you the strength of the Swans Academy that they can uncover a player like Lance Franklin and develop him into a match winner.
Collingwood (104) v Geelong (80)
Seriously Geelong? Last week, I finally decided you were a top side after having my doubts and then you serve up this? And against the still not very good Pies?
While I would never read too much into one game, it’s now obvious the Dangerfield trade is a bust and the Cats’ season is over.
Geelong didn’t even show up until the second quarter and when they did they appeared to have left their brains on the team bus. They just played dumb footy all day.
In fact, they lacked a Dean Gore type something their list manager should have really foreseen.
Collingwood on the other hand showed an urgency lacking for most of this season. Is it possible the players have given up trying to get Buckley sacked? It would be just like them to surrender so easily.
Are the Pies actually good? Let’s just say, I hope these positive results convince the Pies they’re on the right track.
I’ve still some concerns about the Pies, based around the fact their best player didn’t play football two years ago, Jesse White was one of their better players on the weekend and Travis Cloke is threatening to return.
Gold Coast (74) v Adelaide (149)
The Gold Coast are really plumbing the depths of awfulness this year. I may stop reviewing their games altogether because I just can’t stand watching them. Apart from Tom Lynch of course, who is not only a gun but seemed disgusted at the performances from his teammates.
He wasn’t overtly carrying on but the frustration showed during a moment he was on the bench.
It’s fitting this insipid display came after a week in which newish Suns Chairman Tony Cochrane through Guy McKenna under the bus in the media.
What a classy move that was, which also did nothing but make this club look more of what it is, a joke. Maybe instead of blaming the past, explain why huge chunks of the competition’s money should continue to be poured into this leaky bucket?
The Crows needed this win after two losses in a row and they did everything required against insipid opposition.
Adelaide now face GWS next week. A slightly different expansion team and a game the Crows will need to win to hang in the top eight.
Port Adelaide (86) v West Coast (94)
The way the Eagles have played on the road, any win away from home for the Eagles is a win. Actually, that may be true for other teams too.
I guess any win is a win really. It’s why we call them ‘wins’.
English has a word to describe everything doesn’t it? Despite this, people keep inventing stupid new terms or using other words incorrectly to describe things we already have perfectly good words for.
For instance, the other day I heard some say ‘solve for’. As in ‘how are we going to solve for that?’
How about just say fix? How’s that for a start? We had a word! It’s shorter and everyone understands it. I would have said something but I had realised earlier on that I was in the wrong meeting and didn’t want to draw attention to myself.
Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah Eagles and Port.
Josh Kennedy kicked seven goals in this one despite flying in later than his teammates because he’s wife’s due to have a baby any moment. Not sure I’m comfortable with someone prioritising the birth of their child and supporting their partner above football. I suppose it was just Port so no biggie if he’d missed it.
The big talking point out of this game (Kennedy’s pro-baby and pro-wife actions aside) was when Tom Jonas knocked out Andrew Gaff with a late elbow to the back of the head.
Some claimed it was a split second thing but if my memory serves, elbowing someone in the back of the head is illegal regardless of the timing.
The score in this probably flatters the Power a fair bit. They did mount a late comeback but it wasn’t enough to prevent us all remembering that ultimately, this Port side just isn’t very good.
North Melbourne (113) v Carlton (46)
Ouch. North Melbourne came through like a big reality train and just ran over Carlton.
I guess this isn’t too upsetting for Blues fans when you’ve reached and significantly exceed all your season goals by round nine.
The Blues were disappointing but it was always a matter of time before this young team came back to earth.
Carlton did also have some key players missing so perhaps this was inevitable but it was disappointing that some of the spark they’ve shown in recent weeks seemed to be missing.
North on the other hand are really showing their premiership credentials this year. Not only have they won nine in a row and sit on top undefeated, they had a drink driving charge this week. We all know what a winning formula that can be.
Despite all this, it’s important to not give the Roos any credit and to constantly say they can’t win the premiership, it drives their fans crazy.
Fremantle (45) v Richmond (83)
The only thing worse than the weather in this one was Fremantle.
It was a pretty tiny crowd of 20,184 who bothered turning up to this one. If the trend continues, the Dockers will have GWS crowds in a couple of weeks.
Really, the Freo fans who did turn up in this weather, to watch this performance, have more heart than their team does.
Yes, we all know they’re tanking but give the fans something. Instead, the Dockers made Richmond look like they were back on track.
Are the Tigers back? I guess they’re back to frustrating their fans, causing them again to wonder where this effort was a few weeks ago.
Richmond even have Essendon this week to really ensure the fresh shoots of false hope continue to grow.
Melbourne (131) v Brisbane (68)
It’s a weird feeling as a Demons supporter to see them smash a side and feel a bit disappointed by it.
Usually, being favourites results in Melbourne panicking and turning in a performance worthy of a team that has never played Australian Rules before.
Instead, the Demons did exactly what they needed to do, dominating the Lions over four quarters and delivering a big win.
It wasn’t without its frustrations though, as Melbourne regularly made it hard for themselves and allowed the Lions back into the game in the second quarter.
Brisbane though aren’t good, a fact they repeatedly proved throughout the afternoon. It’s hard to know what their strengths are, it’s possible they don’t have any.
Since Leigh Matthews threw down the ‘there can be only one team in Queensland’ challenge, both teams have both made strong arguments that even one may be too many.
Greater Western Sydney (98) v Western Bulldogs (73)
Apparently there were 9,612 at Spotless Stadium for what was a big game. That’s an AFL crowd figure by the way, so you can probably divide it by two and possible by two again.
This isn’t really working is it? I mean, when a vending machine can basically handle the catering at an event, is it really an event?
I mean, with arguably the best young list ever built, almost everyone in western Sydney possibly cares less about AFL than they did before the Giants.
In this one, the Giants rather effortlessly kept the Bulldogs at bay all game. They got out to an early lead and while the Bulldogs tried everything they didn’t really get close at all.
The only moment of controversy was when Lin Jong bumped Matt Buntine high leaving him concussed.
It left GWS two players down which should have been a big deal but the Giants are outside of nature and the rules that have governed our great sport for over a century don’t apply to them.
This was meant to be a clash between two of the best young sides in the competition but it just never lived up to it.
St Kilda (109) v Essendon (63)
Yes, I watched it so you didn’t have to and yes, I do hate you a little bit for that. We cool though, that’s what friends are for.
And we are friends right? Please say we are because I’ve never had friends before and just having one would probably go a long way to filling the gaping hole that exists inside me and produces all the sadness.
Anyway, this was a terrible game. Essendon showed commitment for the first half before St Kilda’s class won out. I never thought I’d write that sentence.
The Saints play Fremantle next week in a game that’s perfect for insomniacs and anyone who wants to sabotage a date.