Sep 23, 2019


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Preliminary Finals


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.


Richmond (85) v Geelong (65)

There was a moment just as the halftime siren sounded, and surrounded by Richmond fans, I realised there was a very high chance I would not make it out of the game alive.

Richmond had played like the Tigers of old, that is, a disappointment to their fans.

The natives were restless, with one Tigers fan in the row I was sitting in loudly rueing his ‘Premiers 19’ tattoo.

After experiencing last year’s Preliminary debacle, I found myself once again making note of the exits and seeing how many Tigers supporters I would need to knock over to get out of the MCG as fast as humanely possible.

One direction had some Auskick kids, so I figured I could get past most of them.

Geelong had made Richmond look like they were new to finals in the first half. Where the Tigers had squandered opportunities, the Cats had nailed theirs.

A big part of their success was Tim Kelly, who finished with 31 disposals and three goals. It must be tough to lose a Prelim and Tim Kelly in one night.

As the second half started, it took only a few moments for the modern Richmond to reveal their true stripes, with Tom Lynch showing that having a key forward is important, a fact not lost on Tom Hawkins I imagine.

Lynch was stunning on the night, finishing with five goals and it must have been something for him to play in front of 94,423. It would take an entire season for him to play in front of that many Suns supporters.

The second half saw the Tigers run all over the Cats in a display more relentless than the charity muggers lingering outside of Flinders Street station.

For Geelong, the season, one that started so promisingly had come up short, once again the pinnacle of their season will be their Mad Monday costumes.

Yet you have to admire the Cats ability to keep turning out top teams. Most other fans would kill to have a team who regularly makes finals. They were possibly just a stray fist from making the Grand Final.

Now the Tigers fans have another Grand Final to look forward to. It just shows you that you can go from laughingstock to scary very quickly in the AFL.

Just a few years ago the Tigers were the Fredo of the AFL, now they’re Michael.

Collingwood (52) v Greater Western Sydney (56)

Nothing could have been set up better, at home and with three of the Giants stars out, it would take a lot to go wrong for the Pies to screw this up.

Which made this all the more enjoyable on the day.

Sitting there in the rain, this started out as a terrible game, only to transform into one of the most intense games I’ve seen.  

It had everything, a huge lead to the Giants, a stunning comeback by the Pies, a mad scramble for the last ten minutes, and the AFL’s ARC proving it’s just as bad as the previous system.

The first half gave no indication of this being a classic, it was in fact a slog, with both sides performing in the wet like I perform small talk, stop-start, fumbling and with a lot of falling over.

Then came the third quarter, which saw the Giants all over the Pies like an ill-fitting suit at the Brownlow.

By third quarter time it seemed all over, the Pies appeared no chance and the anger in the stands was intense.

Then the fourth quarter happened, it was like all the excitement of a Prelim, normally spread over four quarters, had been jammed into just one.

The Pies suddenly got moving and the MCG came alive. Goal after goal started to come, each one awakening hope in the Pies fans.

Then, the ball seemed to become permanently stuck down the Pies end with the thinnest of margins separating the teams. 

Every player threw themselves on the ball like their whole careers had built up for this moment.

It felt like the Pies would get there, but the goal that would have sent the Pies into the Grand Final and the stands into joyous rapture never came, the Giants held off the charge.

When the siren went the stadium sat in stunned silence, except for the Giants supporters, who reacted with that relief only a close win brings.

It was something else to see.

You can’t praise the Giants enough for this victory. They were on the road, with key players missing and facing a hostile crowd.

Yet still they held off a very good side and faced down one of the most frenetic attempted comebacks I’ve seen.

Not everyone is thrilled the Giants are in the Grand Final, but by any measure, they certainly deserve to be.

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 sports gambling in Australia will be out on 5th November 2019. You can pre-order it now.



Sep 23, 2019

The Giants have saved the world and Eddie McGuire from an aneurysm in one glorious performance


Sep 23, 2019

“There’s a big, big sound from the west of the town” - it’s the champagne corks popping and back slapping at AFL house when the Giants made the Grand Final.


Sep 23, 2019

Could not agree any more, both GWS members should be very proud


Sep 23, 2019

On a side note, have the AFL ever given away members allocation GF tickets before?


Sep 23, 2019

Looking forward to Toby Greene running out to inspirational song, Eye of the Tiger.

The Captain

Sep 23, 2019

“One direction had some Auskick kids” had me worried for a minute, thought it was a boy band getting mixed up with a Ballarat Seminary there for a minute.....

Despite some of the naysayers, it looks like GWS may have discovered the way to build a real club is through performance on the field, complete with some stereotypical bad guys for the opposition to hate, rather than presenting a sanitised, corporate and soulless entity. Maybe that observation should be included in the review of the Adelaide Crows. ;-)
Still reeling over here from pious, sanctimonious offerings we hear from most of their hierarchy, past and present. Not a club but a corporation deep in the pockets of SA’s political elite, and all the worse for it.

More power to GWS for making a GF, and to Leon Cameron for quietly going about creating great footballers out of those draft picks. Plenty fail, and plenty have left, but they are achieving with those who stayed.


Sep 23, 2019

Top comment THE CAPTAIN.

Blood Oath

Sep 23, 2019

I once visited the Giants website. Now I am receiving emails about how members like me can buy tix to the GF

Frosty from Collingwood

Sep 23, 2019

Toby Greene - the man who put the I into the GANTS.

Rhys Mc

Sep 23, 2019

The best moment from the GF was the sight of Eddie Everywhere sobbing as he slunk into the bowels of the MCG after the final siren roared.
The second best moment - the roar from the Giants fans in attendance.
The third best moment - the utter silence from the toothless Magpie fans.
The fourth best moment - the return of the Colliwobbles. At least you saved your money, this year.

Just a littler call out, Magpie Fans - where did Adams, Treloar & Hoskin-Elliot learn their trade?

Good One, Captain.

Oh by the way I was informed that on Saturday, the MCG will be a food free venue - no PIES!
I'll have to bring my cut lunch to sit with my other two GWS members.
Unlike you, 2NDEFFORT, I'll be travelling down to Bleak City to watch my team play in the Grand Final.

If my club is such a dud, why does every other club from the VFL want to poach our players?


Sep 23, 2019

The silence on Saturday must have been DEAFENING - see how I did that in shouty capitals? #irony #gotiges 🐯

David Jones

Sep 23, 2019

I seen a GWS member at my local Bunnings store on Sunday morning, thought they were a myth like Unicorns and Collingwood premierships.


Sep 23, 2019

Nice one Titus about the Tigers going from laughing stock to scary very quickly - now I want to watch the Godfather yet again.

It's Vic, not VB

Sep 24, 2019

RhysMc - Fantastic post mate. You managed to fit in all the cliches without one original thought. You must be the life of the party.

Kim jong un

Sep 24, 2019

Ise verrry happie to see dat karlton be in grande finel. Dey have improveed soo vuch pazt too yeers. 2020 been gud yeer vor dem.

Tiger Slim.

Sep 24, 2019

Very Entertaining Posts. Does Anyone remember Neon Leon came from the Dogs. Refined his trade at the Tigers. Now coaches his team to play like RICHMOND. MMM
BIG SHOUTOUT to Brett Delidio who left the Tigers to play for a team who would win a Grand Final.
How did that work out for you. ??

Orange Man

Sep 25, 2019

It is easy for some to make cheap jibes at another teams' fans & supporters.
This weekend, GWS supporters are now being knocked regarding the number who are able to attend the GF and that a small number of unused tickets are being made available to Richmond supporters.
At last count at least 15 000 of the Orange & Charcoal Army will be attending the GF. In real terms that is 50% of our membership, compared with the 20% of the Tiger Army who may be eligible for a ticket.

Purchasing a ticket to the GF was the easiest part of this weekend for my wife & I - and that wasn't cheap.
Firstly, we had to make boarding arrangements for our pets. Not easy when this weekend is also the first of the NSW school holidays.
Secondly, travel and accommodation arrangements had to made in order to attend. If you have never experienced corporate price gouging - check out the GF travel packages being touted by the AFL's official airline, or the cost of a reasonable hotel/motel room, anywhere in Melbourne. Airfares are at a premium from all three carriers, this weekend.
Fortunately, we have been able to book a ticket on the GWS bus - which overcomes the travel component.
Living 85km north of Sydney means that we have a 1.5hour train trip to rendezvous with our bus - before an overnight ride to Melbourne.
In a perfect world it would be fabulous to be able to walk, or take a short tram ride from Carlton, Collingwood or Richmond to the G.
However, some of us had to make a very substantial financial outlay to attend this match - least of all were the ticket prices.

I was intrigued to discover that the surplus tickets were only available to Gold Members with 10 or more years membership.
All Tigers are equal but some Tigers are more equal than others when GF Tickets are up for grabs.


Sep 26, 2019

If Richmond are the Michael of the AFL , then surely Collingwood are the Sollozo

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