Jun 26, 2023
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.
Geelong (78) v Melbourne (63)
It’s a stretch, but we can’t rule out that Yevgeny Prigozhin was watching this game and was inspired by Gary Rohan taking out someone on his own side to launch a coup against Putin.
Unfortunately, Prigozhin wasn’t as effective as Rohan, who sent Jeremy Cameron off to the hospital.
He certainly wasn’t as effective as the Cats.
With Patrick Dangerfield already out, having their best player carted off suggested the Cats were in real trouble.
But Geelong are super annoying. They have had in their DNA for years a will to win no matter what.
Rohan overcompensated for his accidental clash, Geelong’s young mids were fantastic, and their defence was smothering.
It’s not that Melbourne were bad, they were just bad in the key moments, which is what separates the top sides in games like this.
The win suggests that despite their troubles this season and the constant prediction of decline, unlike Putin, Geelong have a bright future.
Despite the Dees loss, a tragedy for me, I did enjoy watching people argue that Rohan should be suspended for his accidental bump on Cameron.
We all say stupid things sometimes, but not that stupid.
St Kilda (56) v Brisbane (84)
If they wanted to throw away a great start to the season, you feel the Saints could have just stuck with Brett Ratten. It would have been a lot easier and cheaper.
The Saints have now suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season and have lost four of the last six games.
But the good news is that Ross Lyon is a happier version of himself. I can tell that is super important to Saints fans.
Probably St Kilda’s biggest mistake was kicking the ball to Harris Andrews every single time they went forward.
It looked like he was their leading forward, such was the way pass after pass pinpointed him.
The Lions took a different approach; when they went forward they kicked the ball to their forwards, mainly Eric Hipwood.
That seemed to work a lot better.
The Saints never seemed to consider this approach, but with a week of the mastermind Ross Lyon reviewing the game, it might dawn on them that it’s an approach worth trying.
Sydney (205) v The Shattered Remnants of a once great AFL Club (34)
It’s a tough one. What was the worst thing on television this weekend, this game or the Warnie miniseries?
How to judge this game? Well, if the Eagles players had come out at the start of the game and just laid down on the ground and not moved, there wouldn’t have been much of a difference.
That might have worked better; it would have at least made the Swans feel awkward about what was happening.
The Swans eased into this with a nine-goal opening term and at one stage, had a run of 18 consecutive goals, as almost all the Eagles players gave up any semblance of trying.
It’s bad when your players aren’t trying, even worse when they aren’t even pretending to try.
In good news for Eagles supporters, their chairman Paul Fitzpatrick, wrote to them after the loss, saying, “We know our members and fans are hurting, and so is everyone inside the football club. We all take a degree of responsibility for where we sit currently and equally, we are all committed to fighting our way through this situation.”
I think the word ‘degree’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. I’d say he and the board have full responsibility.
The Eagles hierarchy have taken this club to Fitzroy levels of non-performance.
And they’ve done this despite being one of the most powerful and well-funded clubs in the AFL.
Fitzroy had been actively undermined and underfunded by the AFL/VFL over the years to kill them off. The Eagles can claim no such thing.
And sacking Adam Simpson or keeping him is a bit of a sideshow. To get this bad, a lot of people had to perform poorly.
Injuries are one thing, but their list management has been a how to guide on what not to do.
When you’re this bad, the board and senior management can’t remain in place.
Fremantle (93) v Essendon (61)
Coming off the bye seems to be a hard thing to do this year; Essendon struggled to do it, as did everyone else.
The Bombers weren’t helped by the fact the good Fremantle turned up this week.
Luke Jackson was on fire and Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw dominated the midfield.
The Dockers were certainly helped by the fact Essendon’s forward line went missing.
If anyone has seen Peter Wright or Sam Weideman, could they let the club know? They would really like to find them before they play Port.
As for Fremantle, they keep their finals hopes alive. They sit in eleventh spot and can do a great impression of a good football team or a very average one.
It’s probably time they decided which one they are.
Collingwood (82) v Adelaide (80)
What a game.
Collingwood again win a close one, which people say they can’t keep doing, only for them to keep doing it.
This was a delight to watch if you don’t barrack for either team. If you do it was pure stress.
Just watching Jordan Dawson with his 35 disposals, 12 tackles and Nick Daicos with 37 disposals, 15 contested possessions, nine clearances, shows the game is in great shape.
It seemed early on this was going to be a cakewalk for the Pies, only for the Crows to click. In the third quarter, seven goals were kicked, all by Adelaide.
What had been a relaxing day at the footy for Pies fans was suddenly tenser than Christmas lunch with the relos.
It was Mason Cox who changed the game in the final quarter with two calmly slotted goals.
This led to Ben Keays ripping off Cox’s goggles, which while tempting, is frowned upon.
It was a bit like when James Sicily removed Aaron Naughton’s headband.
If there’s one thing people should know, ripping off other people’s clothing at work gets you fired, not just fined like in the AFL.
In the end, it was Pies fans who went home happy, but Crows fans should be looking forward to the future. Their team went toe to toe with the best team in the comp at the MCG, and this could have gone either way.
Gold Coast (101) v Hawthorn (34)
Hawthorn beat the Lions the last time they played, and then turned around and delivered this performance against the Suns.
I guess they can blame coming off the bye, the stress of Taylor tickets going on sale this week, global warming.
Their lack of effort would have been noticed a lot more, except the Eagles lost so badly, every other game seemed close.
The Hawks started off well, but as the game went on, they fell away fast as the Suns got serious about putting them under pressure.
It leaves the possibility open that the Suns could play finals this season.
Since debuting in 2011, the Suns have never played finals. Could it happen this year?
Well, they sit in tenth spot, and play Collingwood next, then Port Adelaide.
So, no. They can’t.
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