Sep 09, 2019


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week One


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.

West Coast (116) v Essendon (61)

The reviews are in and the first week of the AFL Finals were a flop. Good footy was harder to find than meaning in a Zack Snyder film.

Still I watched them all because it’s footy and even bad footy is better than the rest of life.

The only thing interesting in this game was when Zach Merrett pulled Nic Naitanui’s hair, only for Naitanui to throw him into the advertising boards like a child toss a toy across the room.

It’s a reminder to never pull someone’s hair who is twice the size of you, at least not without consent.  

Both players received fines, Naitanui for threatening the safety of an advertising board, something the AFL cares about.

There also appeared to be a moment in the ensuing scuffle where an Eagles fan appeared to throw beer at some Essendon players. Now that is concerning.

Wasting beer is not something to be taken lightly, no matter how tempting Essendon players are as targets. Beer is a precious gift and should be treated as such.

Although it was probably mid-strength, so throwing that away in disgust is a fairly normal reaction.

As for the game, the Eagles are just a lot better than Essendon. You can over analyse it all you want but it’s that simple. They have better players and they play well under pressure.

The loss keeps the dream of Essendon making 6000 days without a finals win, well and truly alive.

It means the calls for Worsfold to go will only increase, but really, I think he’s done well with a list that not only had injuries but is massively overrated. That’s not to say it’s a terrible list but it’s not any better than where it finished.

But we’ve all learnt that arguing facts with a Bombers supporter gets you nowhere.

Geelong (51) v Collingwood (61)

On reflection, Chris Scott was right, it would have been nice for the Cats to have lost on their own ground.

But instead of complaining, Scott should have seen this as the perfect opportunity to prove his Cats can lose a final anywhere.

Geelong’s ineptness began before the game, when they decided to drop Rhys Stanley. That made perfect sense, why would you need a ruckman when you’re only going up against the best ruckman in the competition?

The decision to drop Stanley was made because rain was expected, only for the rain holding off. Even with rain it still seemed an odd move.

Mark Blicavs was given the ruck role and spent the night looking like someone who had been given the worst job at work.

Then there was the uniform clash which got Eddie McGuire so angry. Granted that’s his resting state but he was really angry. Let’s not mention the fact Eddie has flat out refused to let the Pies develop a proper clash jumper.

The Pies victory means the Doomsday clock ticks closer to midnight. Prepare your bunker.

The game itself was about as interesting as doing your taxes.

The final score makes this seem more interesting than it was, the only interesting thing was how did Geelong get so close playing like they did?

Now the Pies have a week off and Geelong have a week of more complaining ahead of them.

Greater Western Sydney (113) v Western Bulldogs (55)

The Bulldogs surge to the finals was exciting, high scoring and fast, all things they weren’t in this game.

It was a surprising capitulation by the Dogs, who seemed as overwhelmed by the Giants midfield as some people are by the difference between AV1 and AV2 on their remote.

The Giants were ferocious. Toby Greene, no longer allowed to kick people, decided to eye gouge them instead and is off to the Tribunal, in perhaps the least surprising event to happen this year.

Only Jack Macrae seemed able to withstand the Giants midfield, with the numbers around the ball making it look like an OH&S workwear ad more often than not.

For the Giants, this was a much-needed confidence boost. They’ve been patchy at best this season and their record in finals makes Geelong’s look good.

Now they head off to Brisbane, which is a much bigger task, and they look like doing it without Greene.

Heading to the Gabba will be a challenge, up there they can’t play “Let’s go, Giants, let’s go” over the speakers. There’s no better way to draw attention to the lack of a crowd than playing fake chants.                                                                                                                      

Brisbane (65) v Dustin Martin (112)

This was always a test of how much the Lions had learnt in round 23 and it seems like they didn’t learn much.

Luke Hodge showed he is far from past it, often holding back the Tigers at key moments singlehandedly, but it was like trying to hold back the tide.

The real story though was Dustin Martin who showed he could do it all, including get away with a throw that wouldn’t have been out of place in the NFL.

Martin ended up booting six goals in a display that already has Tigers fans sleeping out for Grand Final tickets.

Meanwhile down back, Dylan Grimes was like a third wheel on a date, he just spent the entire night stopping anyone scoring. I’m trademarking ‘The Chaperone’ as his nickname.

The difference between the two sides is experience. The Tigers are like the crafty veteran boxer up against the hot new thing. Richmond don’t panic, they soak up pressure and they put you to the sword when you make a mistake.

You could see the Lions losing composure, the look on their faces was ‘this is really hard’.

The Lions now face the Giants, but you feel their season isn’t over yet, but they’d want to start taking something out of these lessons the Tigers keep giving them pretty soon.

As for Richmond fans, get excited, but not, ‘I’ll get my 2019 Premiers tattoo this week’ excited.

Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here:   

Titus’ new book Please, Gamble Irresponsibly: The rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia will be out on 5th November 2019. You can pre-order it now.



Sep 09, 2019

Ahh, Toby Greene. Is he a dirty filthy little mongrel or just a really naughty boy.

Fat Side

Sep 09, 2019

Too late! Got the tattoo Sunday morning.

Andrew Deakin

Sep 09, 2019

The Tribunal would easily find a way to dismiss charges against Greene if he played for Richmond, Collingwood, or Geelong. Making him sit out next week will at least allow GWS demonstrate that they can win without one of their best players. Maybe Greene should be required to play with restraints - a mouthguard to stop biting, gloves to limit scratching, and ankle alarms that go off if the leg elevates horizontally above 18 inches in a marking contest. Like weighting a good horse in a handicap.

The Captain

Sep 09, 2019

‘The Chaperone’..... :-). Gold!

terry doherty

Sep 09, 2019

Well an exciting game at the Gabba.

What a predicament for the Umpires no Victorian team to hand out free kicks. This could be a game with no free kicks.

Tattoo Tim

Sep 09, 2019

What was that Titus?...I got the tattoo on Sunday also, right under the 'Premiers 2018' one.

DP Machine

Sep 09, 2019

Hats off Andrew Deakin - spot on re vic clubs and the tribunal in September and genuinely funny on the hobbling of the serial grub, Greene. Imagine the bleating from Chris Scott if he actually coached an interstate team.


Sep 09, 2019

... YAWN, the VFL finals series is proving about as boring as always, meanwhile in the SANFL (the original Australian Football League), Port and Glenelg played out a classic, with some sublime skills on show (check out the Frampton to Marhsall play to put the Magies ahead late in the 4th).


Sep 09, 2019

I too think that it’s important to not over analyse anything.....

And as someone who spent good money and 4 days driving across the Nullabor some years ago to see West Coast get flogged by an underperforming Essendon side at the sliding roof-top I shall not over analyse Thursday night’s final.

Instead I shall just watch the game for the third time just for the sheer unadulterated bliss of it’s important to let your grievances go and I view those hours watching that game as therapeutic.

Talking of therapeutic.....that advertising board that was belittled by being whacked with a rag doll is probably getting a good going over now by a team of LED techs including 2 electricians, a software analyst and a “tuning” bloke to hold the rabbit ear aerial up. These things aren’t just sheets of cardboard or corflute anymore. They’re whizz bang pieces of kit that right properly annoy the shit out of you so that they really do distract you from seeing less conspicuous details of a game. Like the players....

It’s so disappointing that visitors damage your stuff when they stay over.

That hoarding is part of the “greatest stadium in the world” and should be treated with appropriate respect. Like having put in 125,000 seats from the beginning instead of just 65,000. It’s not like West Coast can’t fill them and just depending upon current justice & parole policies then Fremantle could probably fill it’s about time that Ross Lyon had to pay for a seat.

Fingers crossed for any sort of a non Collingwood final....and my wife is always pleased that none of us have to be even remotely superstitious about freo’s chances. It’s the arthritis in the hands these days...

Dinkum Dave

Sep 09, 2019

The only thing more predictable than the Eagles smashing the Bombers on Thursday night is knowing that you then have to listen to their supporters going on and on and on...


Sep 09, 2019


Um, you do realise that Richmond had less free kicks than Brisbane on Saturday and has the worst differential two years running. I think you're mistaking us for collingwood

But keep blaming the umpires if you think that'll get your team over the line

Aaron Vigar

Sep 09, 2019

“Tobeye” needs to cal Barry Hall and ask him what he said, if Barry can play in GF after knocking a bloke out surely He can get off!


Sep 09, 2019

That pre - finals bye really added to the momentum of the AFL.
Cricket season starts pre finals now.

Phil Inn

Sep 09, 2019

To Southwestcoaster.
Tell the 2 electricians, the tuning bloke and the rabbit to look out for a drunken flog with a cup of chardonnay and a vat load of arrogance as they are trying to do what they are paid to do.


Sep 09, 2019

So Toby Greene is 'really apologetic' and his bank balance is $7.5K lower ... how easy is that? Is eye gouging the quintessence of unsportsmanlike behaviour? Should that hideous little toe-rag ever be allowed to play footy again?

Rhys Mc

Sep 11, 2019

Dear Daisy et el - (which means 'And others") there was no evidence that any eye-gouging occurred in the GWS demolition of Footscray, last Saturday.
In fact, the evidence tended by the Footscray FC to the tribunal was quite emphatic that there was none committed by Toby Greene.
Before you cast aspersions upon any players' behaviour a fact check should be undertaken.
The dangerous hit into Nick Haynes' larynx, from Marcus Bontempelli. was potentially a lethal hit and could have also caused permanent damage to his voice box.
If you want to assign dollar values - Marcus, got off lightly because the VFL Tribunal wanted to rush his case through before the medical report was furnished from the GWS club.
It is easy to evade scrutiny and responsibility for your action when you are a Brownnose Medal favourite.

Black Swamp Barracker

Sep 13, 2019

STEVE: Re T. Green: I'll go the dirty filthy little mongrel option.

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