Sep 12, 2022
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Two
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.
Melbourne (79) v Brisbane (92)
Friday was a bad day for Melbourne supporters. First, the Queen dies, and then their team gets bundled out in straight sets.
Add to that rising interest rates and the painfully long wait time on the new Range Rover, and Demons fans are having a tough time of it.
Things started well enough for Melbourne; they were up by 28 points very quickly, only to just stop.
I guess one thing Demons supporters can be proud of is their team not playing the second half in honour of the Queen.
It was a lovely gesture, and they can hold their head up high as no other club had the class to do the same.
Brisbane, however, won’t care about that at all; they defeated a team who has had their measure for some time and at a ground that has been a source of nothing but pain.
As a wise person once said, ‘past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.’
The Lions can take a lot of credit for completely adapting how they played the Dees.
Instead of trying to get into a shootout with them, they basically just tagged every single player, focusing on shutting down the Demons.
Alarmingly for the Dees, this proved easier to do than it should.
Changing their game style seemed to never occur to Melbourne either; they have been persisting with what hasn’t been working for the second half of the season.
The result of Brisbane’s new tactics was that Melbourne’s midfield soon wilted under the pressure, like Bernard Tomic on a 27-degree day, while their forward line disappeared into thin air.
Simon Goodwin has talked a lot about ‘learnings’ this year, but a key learning had not been learnt, that this forward line works about as well as the Covid Safe app.
Brisbane had no such problems, with Eric Hipwood booting four goals and Charlie Cameron kicking three. If anything, it seemed to function better without Joe Daniher, it was addition by subtraction.
In the end, the Lions worked harder, were fitter and adapted their tactics to what was in front of them.
Can they beat Geelong? Probably not, but then, no one gave them much chance of winning here, and they proved everyone wrong.
As for the Demons, they must face the reality that they have never won a final while Charles has been king.
Collingwood (79) v Fremantle (59)
It was a different crowd on Saturday at the MCG compared to Friday night; out were the collars, in were the neck tattoos and the noise.
This was seriously one of the loudest crowds I’ve sat in, with the Pies fans putting the Dockers on the back foot before the game had even started.
Once it did start, the Pies were away fast, getting four straight goals, and the MCG was going nuts.
Pies fans loved what they were seeing, Jack Ginnivan got an early one, and Jordan De Goey hadn’t run amok like this since New York.
The second quarter should have been a burying of the Dockers, but the Pies added only two more goals while kicking six behinds.
This was part of a run of nine consecutive behinds from Collingwood during which their fans calmly expressed their displeasure and offered constructive criticism from the stands.
Thoughts of the 41 points comeback the week before were certainly on Pies fans' minds, but they needn’t have worried, they are not the Bulldogs, and the second half saw Collingwood retain control over the game.
The highlight of the second half, though, was David Mundy in his 376th game streaming forward and booting a goal.
Mundy played his first game all the way back in 2005 before social media existed before the iPhone had been invented, before the Giants and Suns had joined the league.
In his time in the game, he’s lived through the death of the bump 27 times, 143,555 hot takes from Kane Cornes and been mentioned in the Melbourne media four times.
He also goes out a player that everyone likes, with even the Collingwood crowd giving him a heartfelt send-off as he was chaired from the ground.
While his time in the game ends, Collingwood’s seems just to be getting going. They are young, hungry and the pressure they apply is so intense it’s like talking to Rex Hunt.
A lot has been made of the fact that the last four times a reigning Monarch passed away while still in power, Collingwood progressed to a Grand Final.
More than anything, this is the reason we should be grateful Queen Elizabeth II ruled for so long.
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