Jun 27, 2022
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Fifteen
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 (117) v Brisbane (53)
It’s Jake Bowey I’m happiest for.
The poor guy had just experienced three losses in a row and must have been wondering if he’d ever get a bit of luck in footy.
The Dees, coming off a month of injuries, subpar nights at French restaurants and a string of losses, turned it all around through the power of Jack Viney being extremely angry.
Early In the first quarter, in the MCC Members cravats felt like nooses, as the pressure built on the Dees early as the Lions started off well despite the key outs of Zac Bailey and Dayne Zorko.
Then, in the second quarter, the Dees remembered how to play football again.
It was like when Neo started to believe he was The One in The Matrix. After that, it was easy for them, as their midfield ran all over the Lions like they weren’t even out there.
The Dees did that several times last year, they hit a level were who they were playing didn’t seem to matter.
This was the first time they’d done it this year.
Viney was insane. Oliver and Petracca were back as a deadly one-two midfield punch and May and Lever proved again that they are the Lennon–McCartney of defence, the magic happens when they’re together.
Luke Jackson was so impressive you could see the zeroes being added to his next contract in real-time.
If you learn more in a loss, the Lions just completed a PhD.
They haven’t won at the MCG since Round 21, 2014. Mainly that’s due to the AFL barely letting them play there, which is no big deal. It’s not like important games are ever played there.
Western Bulldogs (125) v Hawthorn (83)
Kudos to the AFL for scheduling not one, but two comedies on Friday night.
With the Bulldogs playing the straight man, Hawthorn were free to let their comedic impulse run wild.
The bit where the Hawks conceded 13 straight goals was hilarious, but it was James Sicily who took it to the next level, by ripping off Aaron Naughton’s headband.
He’s been hit with a $1000 fine, because as we all know, the headband is sacrosanct.
No word yet if Aaron Naughton will miss next week due to the trauma of such an incident, but if he needs to sit out a few weeks, no one will think less of him.
Mainly due to the fact you can’t think less of someone who wears a headband.
Sicily now in a headwear-destroying frenzy, then gave a body punch to Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, presumably because he wasn’t wearing headwear, and got a $2000 fine for that.
In fairness to Sicily, at least you knew he was out there, which you can’t say about a lot of Hawks players.
Mitch Lewis was one of the few others who can hold his head up high. Imagine if he had a midfield that got the ball!
As for the Doggies, they’re finally in the eight after going the long way round and are well-positioned to make up the number in September or run amok and disrupt anything.
Who knows what they can do? Footy rarely makes sense.
West Coast (107) v Essendon (97)
West Coast have won its first game since Round four and even though it was against Essendon, it still counts.
Both sides made a pact early on to not play defence, and even when it seemed playing defence would be the sensible thing to do, they both stuck to that agreement.
Josh Kennedy really enjoyed the space and freedom Essendon allow their opponents, booting five, as did most of their forward line.
Even Jack Darling who is terrified of needles and modern science didn’t fear the Essendon defence.
Bombers fans would be sick of the complete absence of anything remotely approaching progression this season.
The Bombers are the Jacques Cousteau of the AFL, always discovering new depths.
For the Eagles fans, they’d just be happy to have a win again, but they get Richmond at the MCG next week so that happiness is fleeting.
Carlton (81) v Fremantle (50)
Like a souvlaki after a big night out, Carlton needed this.
Damn. Now I want a souvlaki.
I won’t get one though. (Yes, I got one immediately after typing that).
Jesus, I’ve just wiped garlic sauce in my eye, and it really stings. Wow.
I need to get this review back on track.
Anyway, Sam Walsh was amazing and the thing that would be most pleasing to Blues supporters is this was a strong team performance.
Their midfield must be thanked for the victory. They dominated Fremantle at the stoppages, and this was especially important given anyone vaguely resembling a key defender at Carlton is out injured.
Of real concern for the Dockers was when Nat Fyfe attempted to murder an umpire.
A lot of people are saying Fyfe will get a light penalty, but if Toby Greene had done it he’d be in real trouble.
I couldn’t agree more, Toby Greene should be suspended for Nat Fyfe touching an umpire.
Fremantle’s season is falling apart.
They’re now on a one-game losing streak.
That doesn’t sound as dramatic as I thought it would.
OK then, they sit fourth on the ladder now!
Sure, they’re only outside second spot by three percentage points.
Alright, that’s not that bad either.
Oh, here we go, they face Port Adelaide next week.
Yeah, that’s not screaming ‘season falling apart’ either.
I’m going back to my souvlaki.
Geelong (89) v Richmond (86)
What a classic game! We had Tom Stewart purposely taking out Dion Prestia and then taking a crucial mark to secure the game.
It’s a feel-good story we can all get behind.
There was a lot of talk out of Geelong about how Stewart had ‘owned up to his error’ and that it was ‘poor execution’.
Error? It didn’t look like an error.
Poor execution? I would say he executed it perfectly. If you wanted to take out one of the opposition’s key players, that’s exactly how you’d do it.
And owning up to it? What else was he going to do? There were 60,000 witnesses, and it was caught on camera.
It was one of the most blatant, open-and-shut cases I’ve seen in ages.
There’s been talk of bringing in red cards in response to the incident, but I can’t support that.
I’ve said it before on the issue of red cards; the only card an AFL player should ever be shown is a drink card.
The main reason I oppose it, is that the AFL won’t stop at a red card.
They’d soon have a yellow card, then a blue card and a purple card.
Plus, would you want to give Razor Ray the ability to send one of your players off? Never.
Aside from the unpleasantness, this was a cracking game with huge momentum shifts which came right down to the wire.
In the end, I thought the difference was the Tigers were probably a midfielder short when it counted, and obviously Geelong’s win has a massive asterisk next to it which you should bring up with Cats fans all week.
Sydney (83) v St Kilda (32)
Losing to Essendon told us the Saints were putting together a rubbish second half of the season, and this performance not only underlined that fact but got the highlighter out too.
Because this was rubbish. Unadulterated, industrial-grade rubbish.
The Saints looked like a group of hostages made to play a game they’d never seen before.
Make that, uncoordinated hostages.
Their movement around the ground could barely be called movement. If anyone in the crowd went to the bar more than four times, they would have covered more ground than a St Kilda player.
Sydney seemed somewhat shocked at the quality of their opposition. They were like a group of students who thought they were getting their normal teacher, only to get the biggest pushover substitute teacher in history.
From that point, they just ran amok.
The Swans could legitimately argue the umpires caused them more trouble than the Saints did, one fifty was so perplexing it hurt my brain, so a minor injury.
North Melbourne (58) v Adelaide (115)
In terms of entertainment value, this was right up there with the recent spate of footy journos arguing with each other.
In that few people were interested.
The only people that care about footy journo feuds are footy journos, and even then, it’s only the footy journos directly involved.
Adelaide can count this one as a win but defeating North is like being proud of opening a can of soft drink. Only very small children can’t do it.
I could go into more detail about the game, but you’re busy, I’m sort of busy and life is too short.
Collingwood (88) v Greater Western Sydney (77)
Well, it’s happened. Collingwood are back in the eight.
After all that effort to kick them out, they’re back in, like a guy with a face tattoo being let back into the Long Room. It’s disappointing and makes everyone feel uncomfortable.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the game was the umpiring, which produced quite a few head-scratching moments.
Like when Steele Sidebottom was called to play on because he looked at the shot clock while lining up for goal.
To be fair, that umpire was right, it’s the stupidity of the AFL’s rules that were the problem there.
Then Darcy Moore got a rushed decision given against him, which would be fine if it was ever consistently enforced. Again, more the AFL making rules so vague that the umpires can never do it consistently.
Then there was Jack Ginnivan playing for frees again and getting them. It’s almost like the umpires love a player like him or Selwood who plays for frees.
They’re like someone delighted by a magician who tricks them constantly.
‘Ah! You’ve tricked me again. Amazing! How do you do it! Here’s a free.’
Port Adelaide (93) v Gold Coast (91)
Like Adam Sandler’s latest movie, I enjoyed this way more than I expected.
In a tight game that came down to the wire, Port Adelaide’s life support has been kept on for another week.
Port started well, but it didn’t take long for the Suns to get into the game and from there it was basically a series of one-upmanship, with each side challenging the other to lift, and the opposition doing just that.
Connor Rozee would do something brilliant, then Izak Rankine would match it.
If the game had gone just a minute longer, who knows would have won. It was just a great game, and I’m so glad I skipped my afternoon nap to watch it.
For the Suns, this means they’ve still never won at Adelaide Oval, against either South Australian side. Such a shame they didn’t get to play the Crows there.
Special mention to Charlie Dixon for bringing up his 300th goal. He’s probably my favourite heavily bearded Port Adelaide key forward. Top five at least.
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