May 02, 2016
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Six
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.
North Melbourne (61) v Western Bulldogs (45)
This was a hard one to sit through.
In fact, it was probably better to play in than to watch. Like how attending a school concert is always a lot worse for the audience than the people involved.
This is one of those games the commentators refer to as an ‘intriguing contest,’ which really means it’s so boring they can’t think of anything nice to say about it.
It started out pretty frenetically but quickly descended into a defensive grind.
The Bulldogs have half their defence out, so this was also going to be a problem for them.
Not that the Bulldogs were poor in their effort, they just couldn’t take the ball forward without discovering new and interesting ways to stuff it up.
North on the other hand keep trundling along, beating everyone in their path.
Some argue they haven’t played anyone yet but they’ve beaten Adelaide and the Bulldogs now and they can only beat who they’re schedule to play. It’s not like they’re Anthony Mundine organising only semi-retired plumbers to fight every time.
They’ve also played in Preliminary Finals the last two years and more amazingly, turned Jarrad Waite into a consistent forward.
Could Brad Scott actually be a good coach? My head is spinning as I write this but that could be more from the Thai takeaway I just ate that may have been in my fridge a few weeks too long.
Anyway, North seem to have addressed the problems that caused everyone to write them off despite being a decent team. I’m finally on board.
Melbourne (96) v St Kilda (135)
If this was a Friends episode it would be ‘The one where the Demons didn’t play transition defence’ or ‘The one where no one played on Nick Riewoldt’.
St Kilda just played the game so much smarter than the Demons, which in fairness wasn’t hard.
Again and again the Saints rebounded out of half back only to find their entire forward line open, including all their forwards several hundred metres in the clear.
At some point, they probably thought ‘they have to address this at some point’ but SuperCoach Paul Roos must have been thinking of Hawaii.
If it hadn’t been for Jesse Hogan’s seven goals, this would have been even more of a bloodbath.
I’ve said this before but the Saints are very much on the right track.
So it meant the Demons came up short in their quest for a three peat. That means I’m about to dump a bunch of ‘Demons Three peat 2016’ merchandise on Africa.
I’m pretty upset about this performance. I was getting pretty excited about the Dees briefly but as Morrisey said about Melbourne’s ‘momentum’ coming to an end:
I know it’s over
And it never really began
But in my heart it was so real
To be fair, winning two games in a row must be pretty tiring, so it’s no wonder the Melbourne players couldn’t be stuffed running back into defence after a turnover.
Adelaide (97) v Fremantle (64)
Remember when Fremantle was good? Sure you do it was only about five minutes ago. Normally a descent this fast requires a parachute and a Red Bull sponsorship.
All I know is Fremantle will have to spend a long time coming back up the ladder or they’ll get the bends.
The Dockers are now so bad, Cale Hooker believed Essendon had more upside and stayed there. That’s a worry for Freo fans.
Adelaide on the other hand have a fair bit of upside and who knows how far they can go?
This year is actually wide open. There are about six teams, maybe more you could argue could go close to the ultimate prize and some of the sure things are not looking so wonderful at the moment.
Crows fans haven’t been this excited since Maggie Beer got into the ice cream business.
Greater Western Sydney (158) v Hawthorn (83)
This is what happens when you give all the best talent to an expansion club. The success starved Victorian clubs suffer.
Credit where credit is due, the Suns we’re also given all the talent in the world and Gary Ablett and are still an embarrassing mess.
The Giants are coming and not like Carlton once were, they’re actually at the door and ringing the bell.
They didn’t just beat Hawthorn, they pushed them around, out ran them and had better skills. It was weird.
Steve Johnson booted five first-half goals and the Giants’ forward line was more deadly than this Thai I’ve eaten. Seriously, I’m starting to sweat and my hands are shaking. Is a sharp stabbing pain in my stomach a bad sign?
Are Hawthorn finished? Well I’ve been pointing out to people they’re hopeless for the past three seasons.
They looked very un-Hawthorn like in this. In fact, the Giants looked more Hawthorn than Hawthorn.
My deep statistical analysis points to that awful sparkly jumper the Hawks wear being the main problem. You have to dress for success and the job you want.
Hawthorn are dressing like they are attending a six-year-old’s superhero themed birthday party.
Not like the Giants who were dressed like a bunch of workmen about to demolish a dynasty.
Richmond (59) v Port Adelaide (94)
Shaun Grigg, said after the match the Tigers played “pretty dumb”. Not only is that a great summation of Richmond’s season so far, it’s also one of Richmond’s core values, or at least it is with the current board.
Port had a significant amount of players out in this. Both Robbie Gray and Chad Wingard were out, yet the Power played like a team worthy of their massive Chinese fan base.
Not that the played really well. This game had so many errors I thought I was watching Fox News.
Richmond though can always sink lower, they’ve had so much experience disappointing their fans that this was both predictable and inevitable.
How they lost this game is beyond me. This was at home, against a team weakened and in poor form and the Tigers’ season was on the line.
Yet they produced a performance do insipid I went over to a Richmond supporting friend’s house in the fourth quarter and replaced everything sharp with alcohol.
Richmond fans are a faithful lot and deserve a lot more than this nonsense.
Geelong (168) v Gold Coast (48)
The Gold Coast do have some injuries and suspensions but that doesn’t explain the limp implosion they put on at Kardinia Park on Saturday night.
The Suns were just unwilling to work hard. They looked supremely disinterested in the proceedings and it made me wonder how many ‘emergency first round draft picks’ the AFL are planning to give them in the offseason.
Geelong on the other hand were as good as they can be when their opponent lets them do whatever they want.
There was a casual arrogance to their performance. They looked good and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they go against West Coast next week.
I should also note that we have the Scott brothers coaching the number one and two teams on the ladder. Strange times.
Brisbane (94) v Sydney (97)
Brisbane fans should be a mixture of shattered and proud after this game. Like when you eat several double quarter pounders on your way home from a Japanese restaurant that you were made to go to, even though you said it wouldn’t fill you up and it didn’t.
Who would have predicted this would be match of the round? Not after the Lions put on a lacklustre performance the week before against the Bulldogs.
But this was all desperation from Brisbane and they have some sympathy from me for feeling hard done by, after a strange ruling involving the stretcher rule in the dying moments.
Sydney were probably surprised to find themselves in a tough bruising affair. Each time they seemed to be on the verge of breaking away, the Lions reeled them in.
Lance Franklin was worth every million on the day, booting five and probably being the difference between the two sides.
Luckily, the Swans have Essendon this week so they can have a rest. They’ll need it after this.
Carlton (72) v Essendon (57)
There were long stretches of time during this game when I just wished I would die. Just slip off this mortal coil into a peaceful, eternal nothingness where I would never watch either of these teams again.
Instead, I watched the whole thing, spontaneous death somehow remaining elusive and instead getting a headache and hurting my eyes.
It was that bad. Perhaps even worse than I’m conveying.
The goalless second quarter should actually be shown on a loop to terrorist suspects to get them to confess. They wouldn’t last five minutes.
Under the AFL’s dynamic ticketing, everyone at this game should have received $10,000 and a personal apology.
The only interesting moment was when Jacob Weitering partially dislocated his shoulder, sending Carlton fans into panic before it was revealed it’s not too serious.
Anyway, the Blues won but really, everyone lost in this toxic swamp of a game.
West Coast (124) v Collingwood (62)
The Eagles haven’t been as good as they were last year but that could be because they don’t have as many injuries. They may actually get stronger when they’re in real trouble. Like one of those mothers who lifts a whole car off their child that you occasionally hear about.
West Coast are like a lot of us. Brilliant at home but a mess whenever we leave the house. Being both at home and against Collingwood made this an inevitability.
Although, this was actually fairly close in parts, due to Collingwood surprising themselves and delivering a whole two quarters of effort.
Yet they managed to make some changes at three quarter time and got back to playing their style of football in the last quarter.
Collingwood take on Carlton next week in everyone’s favourite 1990s blockbuster.
That could be the day football dies and I’m quietly hopeful this Thai finishes me off before I have to watch it.