Jul 22, 2019

AFL

The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Eighteen

15 Comments

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.

Adelaide (75) v Essendon (96)

It hasn’t exactly been a vintage year for South Australian football. Last week Port showed they could get thumped at home and not to be out done, the Crows engineered a loss to an undermanned Bombers outfit.

The signs were all there early, as Essendon showed a higher work rate, but the scoreboard didn’t reflect it. 

It even looked like the Crows would run away with it, but John Worsfold did some coaching stuff, moving some players around, as Don Pyke looked on helpless, like ‘what is this sorcery?’

The second half saw Adelaide’s scoring become slower than The Phantom Menace, and before you knew it, there was a low murmur around the ground as Crows fans began to realise they were watching another of their nightmares come to life.

Essendon could smell blood and threw everything at the Crows in the last quarter, which was mean because Crows players tend to drop anything travelling in their direction.

As the game ended, you could hear Mark Ricciuto on the phone to Alastair Clarkson asking how locked in he is at Hawthorn. 

Richmond (101) v Port Adelaide (63)

Richmond fans will be thanking Port Adelaide this week for allowing Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt to work out their forward combination in simulated match conditions.

Port allowed both to get in some practice both up the field and in the goal square, and it looks like the Tigers are as good a chance for the Premiership as anyone else at the moment.

The Power have worked hard to consolidate a position outside the eight, a strategic aim that was in danger earlier in the year.

At least I have to assume that’s what their strategic aim is, what with the accuracy Ken Hinkley seems to deliver every season.

Xavier Duursma pulled out his bow and arrow, celebration again in this one. I’m looking forward to all those who found Adam Goodes’ imaginary spear scary to come out and condemn it. 

The official AFL twitter feed tweeted out the celebration with the phrase ‘SHOOT THAT POISON ARROW TO MY HEART!’

This is a worrying escalation. Goodes’ imaginary spear was dangerous enough, but we can’t have imaginary poison arrows being shot off into the crowd. You can imagine a shield pretty quickly, but an antidote to poison can take days to imagine.

I hope the AFL is stockpiling it if it’s allowed to carry on. 

I would have thought we would have learnt from the Mark Williams shotgun celebration. My friend was in the crowd that day, and one of the imaginary pellets caught him in the side. You can imagine the scar to this day.

Carlton (99) v Gold Coast (75)

David Teague’s personal crusade to make Chris Judd look silly continued on the weekend.

If this is what training wheels look like, then could someone send Simon Goodwin some?

It’s taken 43 games, but finally, Carlton has won two games in a row. Hawthorn win premierships more often. Four wins from six games with this team makes him the greatest coach they’ve had since David Parkin.

They shouldn’t be interviewing other coaches at Carlton; they should be erecting a statue of Teague outside Princes Park.

Blues fans must be looking at Michael Voss being interviewed for the position and wondering how just as you are learning to be happy, your club’s board is trying to snatch it all away from you.

The Suns to be fair seemed to take an interest in this match, something they’ve not done in months.

They showed flashed of competency, at times they hit targets and even did some tackling.  

Greater Western Sydney (122) v Collingwood (75)

After last week’s heroics, the Pies hit the wall. 

That wall was an eight goals to one opening quarter, as the Giants jumped Collingwood and never looked back.

The Pies did have injuries, but so did the Giants, with Phil Davis, Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly and Matt de Boer all out.

Which made this an even stranger result. The Giants have been playing like a team heading out of the top eight fast, but here they were brutal. I’ve seen muggings that showed more concern for the victim.

It certainly helped that the Pies played like a group suffering from a big night out. Lethargic would be a compliment. 

Nathan Buckley said the team didn’t turn up, and he gave them a massive spray at quarter time which was more of a workout than his team had in the first quarter.

They got back into the game a little bit, but the damage had been well and truly done. 

The Pies now sit fourth on the ladder and face Richmond at the MCG. If the Tigers beat them, we can set the Doomsday clock back to five minutes.

Brisbane (87) v North Melbourne (75)

There will rightly be a big focus on the free-kick awarded to Oscar McInerney in the dying stages of the game, but the umpiring had been rather abysmal throughout the game.

The free-kick was so bad that the AFL even admitted they were wrong. They rarely do that.

The umpires seemed to go out of their way in this one to find free kicks, often awarding them if someone lightly brushed an opponent. 

They went both ways too, against Brisbane and North. 

The Lions may have been lucky at the end, but they shouldn’t have needed the umpires to win, if they’d kicked a bit straighter during the game. 

After being jumped in the opening quarter, they clawed their way back, to the point it seemed very likely they might run over the top of them.

It means the Lions will be playing finals which are a tournament held at the end of the season to decide the premier.  

GOALS
Brisbane: Christensen 3, Lyons 2, Cameron 2, McInerney 2, McCluggage 2, Rich
North Melbourne: Brown 3, Wood 2, Larkey 2, Thomas 2, Higgins, Cunnington, Polec, 
BEST
Brisbane: Fisher, Stevic, Stephens
North Melbourne: Higgins, Cunnington, Polec, Dumont, Anderson, Williams

Fremantle (52) v Sydney (51)

Sydney’s horrible season found new depths on the weekend, losing to Fremantle.

Sitting through this grind of a game was bad enough, but to then lose it would have been heartbreaking.

It serves Sydney right though, they created Ross Lyon, so losing to his side in this fashion is karma, especially when it was two behinds that got the Dockers over the line.

In the first half, Aliir Aliir was vomiting, which is the feeling I had watching this, but like me on a big night out, he didn’t let that stop him and continued on. 

The victory keeps the Dockers finals chances alive but based on this; there’s more chance the AFL will admit AFLX is a waste of time and money.

Geelong (61) v Hawthorn (85)

Time and again, I’ve warned people about the dangers of thinking Hawthorn are no longer a danger to us all. 

Not since the West though Germany were no longer a threat have we seen such dangerous complacency. 

You see, the whole ‘get Alastair Clarkson’ thing every ‘expert’ opines when a coach gets sacked, well there’s a reason for that. 

In a field where there are few, Alastair Clarkson knows what he is doing. 

Clarkson doesn’t rebuild; he doesn’t write off a year, he battles for every inch in every minute of the season. At Hawthorn, failure is treated like a body treats a virus, it must be destroyed, except in this case, Hawthorn are the virus. 

There’s no ‘let’s get better in the future; you have to get better all the time. Hence, a side that was average at best, is now winning regularly and knocked off what appeared to be the premiership favourites.

Geelong seemed weirdly disinterested. They’ve gone from crushing even the best sides to being worryingly easy to shut down. 

It seems if you don’t let them just do what they want, they tend to struggle. Weird that.

Melbourne (78) v West Coast (91)

The Demons weren’t as horrendous as they have been this season, and the club will pat itself on that back and say, ‘good signs for next year’, when really, this was a horrible loss that they should have won. 

First, they started as slow as you can, only realising the game had started in the second quarter, then they missed so many opportunities they kept the Eagles in the game, leading to the inevitable moment they would run over the top of them.

And you just knew the Eagles would make Melbourne pay for not doing the job earlier; they’re too skilful an outfit not to. In reality, they got lucky, West Coast were nowhere near their best, and you can’t play like this in finals, Melbourne won’t be in them. 

It sees the Demons now sitting second last on the ladder, an outcome so horrific there’s no excuse for it, not injuries, pre-season, horoscopes.  

At least Melbourne fan still have bragging rights over Suns supporters, which is about as useful as having bragging rights over the Loch Ness monster.

St Kilda (116) v Western Bulldogs (89)

After Damian Hardwick won the premierships, clubs became terrified to sack their coach, but this year has seen a real return to form. 

Just like the sacking of Brendon Bolton and Brad Scott have seen improved performances, the sacking of Alan Richardson got immediate results. 

Now that the Saints players have achieved their goal of getting their coach fired, they started playing with real intensity. I wonder if they should give back some of their pay from earlier in the year when they were obviously not giving their all?

This was an impressive performance too as the Bulldogs are still in the hunt for the finals, or at least they were. 

Every Doggies supporter was cursing the Saints for choosing last week to sack Richardson, they all knew what it meant.

The newly energised St Kilda outworked the Bulldogs all game, except for the third quarter. It means finals are now a longshot for the Bulldogs and Ratten has got off to a good start to try to win the Saints head coach position before they give it to Brad Scott anyway.

Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here: http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily  

Titus’ new bookPlease, 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.

 

COMMENTS

There be dragons

Jul 22, 2019

Fear of imaginary weapons is clearly unhealthy, with sometimes disastrous consequences. Ask any Iraqi.

Being outraged is so hot right now.

Flung Dung

Jul 22, 2019

Melbourne were just unlucky to come up against a team that has developed an uncanny, almost supernatural ability to milk soft, undeserved free kicks from gullible umpires. How WCE get away with it, week in, week out is a mystery to all genuine footy fans out there who think barracking for a team is about a lot more than booing every opposition kick or shouting “ ball” whenever the opposition wins possession.
Yes. I support the Dockers. Yes, the Sydney game was an eyesore, and insult to football. Yes, we need to act, because Ross Lyon is slowly but steadily killing the game.

pucker up

Jul 22, 2019

Never change Dockers fans. Never change.

Flank Rroyd Wlight

Jul 22, 2019

The Bulldogs are frustration made flesh.

Just when they start kicking for goal like they actually want to kick goals, their defence goes to pieces and allows St. Kilda 31 scoring shots.

The Captain

Jul 22, 2019

Thanks @Flung Dung, but don’t blame Lyon for the pernicious pollution of good football when it started in Sydney with Rodney Eade. Flooding has seen me become a casual observer. I won’t pay good money to watch shit football where kicking to a contest is considered outside the ‘team pattern’ and punishable with a run around in the 2’s the next week.

Awful, awful, awful.

Grant Ferstat

Jul 22, 2019

So like a Dockers fan for 70% of their post to be about how West Coast.

Simon Coleman

Jul 22, 2019

Your comments give no mention or credit to Fremantle.
There were some good points giving Freo are missing a lot of their first choice players.
(Fyfe, Pearce, Hogan and Taberner).

Not at our best I know but we had some good play from:
Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra - excellent 2nd yr players getting better and better.
David Mundy - bloody excellent player who will go around again next year.
Joel Hamling and Luke Ryan are excellent in the backline.

Recent imports - Matera, Conca and Colyer are performing well.
Our recent losses (previous 4 games) I think were due to injuries and some mental upset with the prospect of Brad Hill and Stephen Hill taking up offers from Eastern States teams.

I'm not a big fan of Roly (Ross Lyon) and wanted to see him moved on after those 4 losses.
But that might have been a bit harsh.
Cheers, Simon.

pieeater

Jul 22, 2019

like all genuine footy fans ,i think you're full of dung , flung

Mikey

Jul 22, 2019

Freo fans often seem overly fixated on what the Eagles are up to.

Bunny boilers.

In terms of game style, the Freo / Swans game was as appealing as a day at the dentist.

Tigers are up and about. But this is an impossible season to pick. The Suns are the only true constant.

Mad Dog

Jul 22, 2019

FLUNG DUNG: You have flung dung and are still wrong. Wrong dung flung, you ding dong. Still sucking your bong? Bad news for your bung lung, even your tongue.

So. Your Dockers are still not rockers and you're just a mocker, and further more, a Barry Crocker. You still played a shocker, so much for your future: it's a crocka .............................. shit.

Pope Paul VII

Jul 22, 2019

Ah Titey I thought you might have made more of Oscar's Oscar.

One for the ages

Jul 22, 2019

One of your best Titus. You’ve hit a rich vein of form.

SouthWestCoaster

Jul 22, 2019

What an awful way to pollute the scenic Todd River with 2 of the most embarrassingly inept commentators to call a WCE MFC game..... the geographically incompetent Brown who didn’t know that Melbourne (and WCE sort of) had to travel north to get to Alice Springs and the Boof Of The Decade Brian Thompson who, despite having 5-7 days, cannot identify all players which speaks volumes about his need for any form of professionalism.
Nevertheless when the third on the ladder, who is competing for second via percentage, loses the lead multiple times to a club that has played less finals in the last 10 years than......hmm let me think? Fremantle! (I think that’s correct but will willingly begrudge that point to any astute fact checker who discovers otherwise. Regardless, I hope people get my point that it was not a great game despite being close-ish with a few lead changes that lacked intensity in the commentary box and on the ground.
At least the fans at the ground had appeared to have a great day......
Apparently there is talk that Ross Lyon wants to apply for the Suns job..... and his new nickname would then be “Eclipse”. He’s certainly blocked the Docks from shining....
And Titus I’m sorry about Melbourne....I really think that you deserve better. However I also think that Collingwood deserves their president and coach.....
Maybe I shouldn’t be posting this..... I’ve deduced that there has been quite a lot of serious comment and actual analysis in the comments already....and we all know that this is NOT the place for that....not without a gag or ribbing or two.

Captain James Cook

Jul 22, 2019

Dear Journal,

Quite a week here on the West Coast. Down Cockburn Sound way the endeavour got a refit with three tall masts. Good news: it weathered the squall, just. A refloated, tired and rusted, old destroyer – Sydney-gave its best.

Unfortunately for Sydney, it sank, and to new depths. I must admit it was a shock to see such a fine destroyer of a bygone era in such a state. The rust showed. The whole thing was brittle. Pity, I did enjoy seeing it in its heyday at its homeport, and you know I do have an affinity with Botany Bay.

What was pleasing to me is that the endeavour is more your explorer rather than your destroyer. In the end, it proved itself and navigated a way through a tight passage on what was becoming a very bleak night. Again, plenty of trouble with the compasses in a low-pressure system. In the midterm, I’m afraid it will need to rely on and find direction from the stars.

Starting to run thin on the ground with the crew. The endeavour may have to give this campaign the slip, and the crew take a break over the summer. Tahiti is my place of choice. I have very fond memories of the many sultry nights under the stars. Once done, the conquer of the Great Southern Land can recommence.

Only other news to report is I hear a little further north up the Swan a ”Mad Dog” has rolled in the dung and truly gone off. All are giving it a wide birth. Also, its bark is considered extremely obnoxious.

For now.

Mad Dog

Jul 26, 2019

C. J. COOK

The bacteria swarming over my teeth breed up quickly and become excited at the prospect of tasty leg of sailor.

On a side matter, the Eagles disposed of Melbourne in the Alice and stay on path to the big one in September while the Dockers, having being massacred in their GF to West Coast, limp aimlessly about like an old peg-legged pirate into obscurity.

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