Apr 15, 2019
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Four
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.
Sydney (78) v Melbourne (100)
Isn’t footy tipping fun? I got negative 17 this week and was relieved it was not worse.
The AFL’s rule changes to improve scoring have surprisingly resulted in less scoring.
Who could have guessed that these rule changes wouldn’t achieve their stated aims? Well, every single footy fan.
Who would have thought that testing the new rule in two VFL games between lowly teams wouldn’t be the ‘extensive testing’ the AFL said it was?
I wonder what the AFL would do? Perhaps a host of new rule changes could sort it out.
The Swans had to work very hard to lose this one, being 22 points up in the second quarter and then letting Melbourne run away with it.
Perhaps more worrying for the Swans is Dane Rampe coped a double falcon, with the ball hitting him once in the head, only to come down and land on it again.
That’s always a sure sign that the footy gods are displeased. The last time it happened was to University, and they were out of the league a year later.
As for Melbourne, they seem to remember how to play football again, tackling, kicking, even catching the ball in an exciting new development.
It was nice to see Nathan Jones prove the doubters wrong. That guy can do no wrong in my eyes, having been the only thing that kept me happy for about ten years.
Collingwood (78) v Western Bulldogs (64)
This is what they call a ‘scrappy affair’ which is code for ‘please scratch my eyes out.’
There were more mistakes than my early twenties, and the only difference seemed to be that the Doggies managed to find more innovative ways to shoot themselves in the foot. Well, if they were really shooting themselves in the foot, they would have missed.
The first half was a particularly awful match, but in comparison to the Western Derby later in the weekend, it now seems like a wonderful advertisement for the game.
Brodie Grundy was particularly impressive with 17 hitouts to advantage. In comparison, Tim English had zero, which is less impressive.
Hayden Crozier took a classic grab, and Marcus Bontempelli was terrific but the Bulldogs, like a Subway sandwich, had something just not quite right about them.
Unfortunately, this was just the win the Pies needed.
Geelong (75) v Greater Western Sydney (79)
Now, this was a classic, in a round with a few of them.
The Giants had everything going against them, one they were in Geelong, always a bad sign, and then they lost Callan Ward in the opening minutes to an ACL.
Footage of him in tears on the bench even had me feeling things, which made me uncomfortable. Compassion for others always makes me feel odd.
At this point it would have been understandable for the Giants to lose focus, I certainly do if someone is crying at work. Like when I made Simon at work cry and had to do six hours of counselling with HR, who I also made cry.
The Cats had problems too, with Patrick Dangerfield busy hitting blokes and forgetting to get the ball.
Dangerfield will have to use the ‘I’m Patrick Dangerfield’ defence if he gets cited.
Greater Western Sydney’s grit was incredibly impressive. It’s something many would argue they’ve lacked in their short history.
They’d never even won in Geelong before and to fight back was like watching George McFly finally standing up to Biff. Yes, Geelong are Biff.
Harry Himmelberg’s mark running back against the play personified the Giants desire to do anything to win this.
For the Cats, this loss was a disaster. They’re now 3-1 and first on the ladder.
Chris Scott will be lucky to last the week.
Essendon (112) v Brisbane (65)
The panic merchants that thought getting James Hird back have gone a bit quiet.
Personally, I never thought it was ‘get Hird back’ bad because, well, it never is.
Essendon’s speed was off the charts, making everyone wonder where this had been in the opening rounds. At numerous points, the Lions looked like they were standing still and early on, they often were.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, the Essendon player it’s OK to like, put on a clinic, that is he made the Lions defence look like an Auskick clinic.
He booted seven goals in one of the most joyous displays you’ll ever see on a footy field.
Brisbane got jumped early and seemed overwhelmed for much of the game. In fairness, they tried to make a comeback, but they seemed slower than someone doing special comments for Channel Seven.
It left Lions fans having to come to terms with something they’re not used to, losing.
Port Adelaide (92) v Richmond (99)
The Power handle being favourites like I handle compliments. I draw within myself and become physically awkward.
I then proceed to self-sabotage my life in every way possible.
Facing a Tigers side missing Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt, Alex Rance and Dustin Martin, and forced to make six changes before the game, the Power must hate their fans to lose this.
I’m still not sure how they did it.
Lucky for the Tigers they got Tom Lynch in the off season, who booted six goals. The Richmond fans would be praising Free Agency.
Worryingly for the home side, the Tigers kept the ball in their forward half for so long that it could have claimed permanent residency.
Port kept coming, but they were a side ready to fail at the important moments, something that seems to be a trait of theirs.
Power fans will be angrier than Sky News After Dark following that performance.
North Melbourne (71) v Adelaide (59)
Try as they might, North just couldn’t manage to get the loss in this one, although they gave it every chance.
Booting 9-17 went a long way towards them not getting the four points, but they were frustrated at every turn by a Crows team turning in one of the greatest performances in slapstick comedy.
When the Crows went up by 20 points in the third, many would have thought them likely to go on and win it, but Crows fans had no such confidence.
When you consider Adelaide are meant to have a forward line, scoring 59 points is pretty poor. You won’t beat many teams with that, not even North it proved.
For North, this was the victory they desperately needed, but while they can take four points from it, I wouldn’t be taking confidence.
You can’t play the Crows every week, although if you could, it would be awesome.
West Coast (69) v Fremantle (56)
There were some good games of footy on the weekend and then there was this.
Less a game and more like watching two drunks fighting in an alley, both so out of it they’re basically just leaning on each other.
Andrew Gaff got booed of course, but it was mainly drowned out by the Eagles fans cheers, a perfect encapsulation of how the Perth footy media works.
The Dockers, who are still working on developing some sort of a forward line in Ross Lyon’s ninth season, managed to kick 1.9 in the first half.
It was somewhat of a miracle that they got back into it at all, with West Coast struggling to put the Dockers away.
There was a noticeable sense of relief when the Eagles hit 65 points, a score usually beyond Fremantle.
For the Eagles, it was an off night against a scrappy opponent. For the Dockers, it was a standard night.
Gold Coast (59) v Carlton (57)
Can anyone engineer a defeat better than Carlton? They are the Harry Houdini of getting out of victories.
They are so good at making you think they are going to win and then, with a sleight of hand that’s impossible to detect, they pull a loss out of their hat.
Even when it seemed the Blues might get across the line in the dying moments of this, you just got a sense that one of the Suns players, whose name you’d never heard of, would bob up and snatch the win.
Enter Jack Bowes, whose snap bounced through the goal in the last minute sealing the Suns a third victory for the season.
While there’s everything predictable about Carlton’s ongoing malaise, there’s nothing predictable about the Suns being 3-1 and sitting sixth on the ladder.
Like this entire season, they’re proving that every single person has no idea how football works.
Brendon Bolton would certainly be feeling the pressure. If you can’t win with a team featuring Patrick Cripps and Liam Jones, can you coach?
If Carlton were a non-Victorian team, they ‘which Melbourne club will Sam Walsh end up at’ stories would be flying thick and fast.
St Kilda (74) v Hawthorn (69)
There was a point in this game, with the Hawks suffering multiple injuries, that St Kilda fans though ‘great, they have no bench and we’re still going to lose to them’.
It certainly seemed that way for a lot of this. Hawthorn’s ability to disappoint us all with relentless winning and St Kilda’s ability to live up to their brand of being consistently disappointing seemed to be holding.
The Saints, however, showed their 3-1 record is not an absolute fluke, with an admirable level of commitment throughout.
St Kilda’s improved season has been reflected in a bunch of players playing as well as people thought they would last year. Jack Billings was the prime example here, picking up 34 disposals.
If only they could figure out this goal kicking thing. The Saints kicked 10-14. I think they should aim for behinds. That should fix it.
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