May 09, 2022
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Eight
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.
Port Adelaide (86) v Western Bulldogs (69)
Apologies for this week’s column going out a little late, I’ve had a few, what I believe the kids call, ‘Information Technology issues’.
In fact, the writing of this column and subsequent computer issues was a lot like the Bulldogs on Friday night.
Things started badly, got progressively worse and by the end of it, three people were injured.
The Doggies were already without handy midfielder Marcus Bontempelli, but during this game, they lost Cody Weightman, Latham Vandermeer and Tim O’Brien.
So many people were going down it was like watching a kids' ice skating party.
In good news for Power fans, their team realised three weeks ago that the season had started.
Since then, they’ve been winning, and while one of those wins was against the floating bye known as the West Coast, they’ve now beat St Kilda and the Bulldogs.
Could they make finals from here? Well considering few teams seem really locked in this year, they just need to hang around.
This is fast becoming a Bradbury race for the eight.
Fremantle (102) v North Melbourne (24)
While I normally don’t like games overlapping and I especially don’t like two games on a Friday night, the AFL did us a favour burying this game.
Fremantle lost six players to health and safety protocols before this game, and it would have been panic stations, except they remembered they were playing North Melbourne.
How bad are North at the moment?
Well, you know that idea people have put forward to have a normal person participate in every Olympic event, to show the contrast with top athletes?
That’s basically what’s happening this year.
Watching North play Fremantle really hit home just how good AFL players really are.
It’s not all doom and gloom, North has several players who will be able to play AFL one day.
Richmond (113) v Collingwood (86)
Interesting footy fact, aside from being a scandal factory, Collingwood also fields a team regularly in the AFL.
This week they were left devastated by man flu and the Richmond Football Club.
The Pies major problem on the weekend seemed to be that no one told their defence that Tom Lynch was playing. This seems like a massive oversight on behalf of the coaching staff.
I guess Dustin Martin’s return distracted them (Tigers fans were thrilled to learn he remains a competent footballer).
Lynch finished with six goals and gathered 25 disposals and 11 marks, helped by the fact Darcy Moore decided to play so loosely on him that people in the corporate boxes were closer.
In hindsight, this was a bad idea. Actually, it was a bad idea at the time.
It’s possible the man flu really got the better of the Pies, and it’s about time the AFL brought in ‘Man Flu protocols’ to combat this insidious disease.
The only negative for the Tigers was Rhyan Mansell was charged with striking his elbow twice into the back of a Collingwood player’s head.
The Match Review Officer refused to take into consideration the player was Jack Ginnivan.
Sydney (61) v Gold Coast (75)
Sydney decided to hand the Suns a desperately needed win on Saturday, in what I can only assume was a blatant bit of match-fixing.
I mean, how else do you explain the Swans giving away four 50m penalties by moving off the mark too early?
Surely you can’t be that stupid right?
The Suns certainly didn’t mind, taking all the Swans were giving them, to win for the third time in their past four matches at the SCG.
Maybe the Suns should move to Sydney?
Aside from the Swans help, the Suns helped themselves, perhaps none more so than Izak Rankine, who reminded people he hadn’t retired, by booting two important goals.
Sydney keeps threatening to take the next step, but then they turn in these sort of performances.
If I was them, I’d ask for a priority pick. Not because they need one, just because it would be fun watching the Melbourne footy media react.
Greater Western Sydney (35) v Geelong (88)
The Giants sent a very strong message that they are looking for a new coach on Saturday, and they used the medium of terrible football to do it.
I would have chosen interpretive dance but we’re all different.
Leon Cameron said after the game ‘we were boring’ and he’s right if ‘boring’ is code for ‘struggling with the basics of football’.
Currently, the Giants don’t seem interested in football, which is an issue for a football team. Wanting to play football is sort of a basic need.
Adding to the Giants' problems was watching Jeremy Cameron boot five goals against them.
It’s always confronting to see an ex do well, but it is worse when they do it right in front of you while your life is spinning out of control.
One player who did seem very keen to play football was Mitch Duncan, who had 16 disposals in the first quarter and finished with 33.
Most of the time the Giants players stood around him in awe, trying to figure out how he was doing it, like kids watching a magician performing tricks.
I would have thought trying to tackle him would have been a better idea but it seemed to never have occurred to the Giants.
Essendon (108) v Hawthorn (81)
Despite five Essendon players being forced to withdraw on the day due to illness, the Bombers have won a famous victory.
It proves that illness is better at selection than Ben Rutten.
The Hawks led by 15 points at three quarter time, and it looked like another lacklustre performance from the Bombers until it all changed.
In what can only be compared to the scene in Semi-Pro when the alley-oop is invented, the Bombers suddenly discovered that running towards their goal, rather than backwards or towards the boundary, works!
This was astounding to all involved. The Hawks stood by and watched with open mouths. What sorcery was this!
No one was more surprised than the Essendon supporters, who asked each other what was happening. Was this even legal!
The final quarter was pure joy for the Bombers supporters, not only were they defeating their hated rival, But the TV coverage also kept showing Sam Mitchell looking very angry in the coaches box.
‘Inject this into my veins!’ Thought every Bombers supporter. Wait, that’s a poor choice of words.
Brisbane (105) v West Coast (30)
Look, this happened, I watched it, I’ll never get that time back again, and I’d be doing you a great injustice telling you about it in any detail.
Life is just too short to read recaps of West Coast Eagles games in 2022.
There are just so many better ways to spend your time.
Why, sitting in a darkened room alone with your thoughts and the regrets of a lifetime is better than watching an Eagles game.
The Eagles aren’t travelling much better off the field, with seven players fined for going to a Perth nightclub, against the club’s rules.
Who would have thought that a bunch of Eagles players going to a nightclub in Perth would be noticed?
The players must be shocked they got caught.
Melbourne (93) v St Kilda (55)
Nothing summed up the Saints’ game more than at the end of the first quarter.
They had been held goalless, only for Tim Membrey to mark 15 metres out straight in front.
He then went back and kicked true, only to discover his kick was touched by the man on the mark.
Perhaps the most astounding thing watching the Dees is how much they just control a game. There are parents of professional tennis players who are less controlling.
Even when the Saints were on top, the Dees were like a great boxer, they just defended, didn’t let through any major blows, and then counterattacked.
The Dees play all four quarters, with Ed Langdon being a clear example.
He runs more in a single game than I have run in my entire life, and I have been chased by quite a few angry mobs in my time.
Then there’s Jake Bowey who has become the only player to win their first 15 games, and that includes a premiership.
Bowey is both good and lucky. What I’d give to be either of those.
Carlton (116) v Adelaide (68)
It’s not looking good. Eight rounds in and Carlton are still hovering around the top of the ladder.
I mean, I thought we were getting somewhere when they lost to the Suns, but they didn’t fall into a complete heap.
Against the Crows, the Blues midfield worked, the forward line worked, and their defence worked.
It was pretty upsetting.
Still, it was against the Crows so we shouldn’t get too despondent.
The Crows would be getting a bit despondent after being blown out by the Giants and the Blues, after a reasonably respectful start to the season.
What was a team that made opponents work hard, is now letting them run free.
In the past two weeks, Adelaide’s defence has been about as useful as a lawnmower on a boat.
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