Jun 24, 2019
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Fourteen
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.
West Coast (106) v Essendon (71)
Don’t let the score fool you, Essendon wasn’t in this at all.
Their best players were easily the Eagles’ goal kickers who seemed to be new to the art of goalkicking.
West Coast kicked 14.22 to Essendon’s 11.5, making a relatively easy task seem incredibly difficult. It was like listening to Michael Clarke speak.
Josh Kennedy was the main culprit, kicking 1.5 in the first half, before finishing with 3.5. Not that the Eagles ever looked worried, they could afford to be that wasteful as Essendon don’t have a forward line at the moment.
What would be worrying Bombers fans is the lack of pressure in this game, it was concerning.
This season has settled into a familiar pattern for Bombers fans.
Preseason delivers hype that this is the year they return to winning finals, the season starts, and John Worsfold’s game plan reminds them of reality, sadness and disappointment sets in, someone mentions getting James Hird back, rest of the competition laughs.
Sydney (82) v Hawthorn (63)
Last week, I described Sydney’s start to the season as being like a drunk stumbling out of the bar, and like me on a recent early Sunday morning, they’ve now done their hamstring.
With Lance Franklin now out for a month, it seems the Swans slim chance of making finals have been put to bed.
The Swans looked in trouble when Buddy went off in this, and it was only when they realised they were playing the Hawks did they relax and finish the job.
It certainly helped Sydney that Hawthorn lack firepower at the moment, with Jarryd Roughead having a quite night in his return to the AFL.
James Sicily also struggled up forward, which was nice to see. Alastair Clarkson referred to ‘the James Sicily Experiment’ after the match which makes me worried Sicily is about to release an album.
The real shame of the match was the fact Ben Stratton wasn’t playing. I would have loved to see the two craziest captains in the league, Stratton and Dane Rampe go at it.
In my mind, I was imagining Rampe climbing the goal post to escape Stratton who was trying to pinch him.
Melbourne (85) v Fremantle (71)
Jesse Hogan remains a key player for the Demons, with his absence helping the Dees score a much-needed victory at the MCG.
The Demons started like they’ve played all year, displaying a skill level normally reserved for backpackers having a kick for the first time.
But with Hogan going off with an injured foot, the Dees finally displayed some desire and competency that has been missing all year.
It appeared like the Demons had wound the clock back to those heady days of late 2018 when Melbourne fans were happy for several weeks in a row.
Tom McDonald remembered how to play football, Jack Viney was more aggressive than a Queenslander with a few Bundy’s in him, and the Dees actually went into their forward fifty with some thought.
It makes you wonder where it’s been all year, although some of those players back from injury certainly helped. Melbourne just needs to win all their remaining games to have a real chance of playing finals. Too easy.
Not that they dominated this one, Fremantle was very close to winning this at times spiteful game, especially considering they were down one for most of the game.
Their frustration boiled over at times, like when Michael Walters, unable to get the Dockers ahead this week, used his head to headbutt Jay Lockhart.
St Kilda (59) v Brisbane (115)
Charlie Cameron seemed to go out of his way to end Alan Richardson’s coaching career on the weekend.
His five goals were brutal, with the small forward making St Kilda’s defence look, well, I was going to say ‘like spectators’, but the spectators at least knew what Cameron was doing.
The Lions as a whole were very exciting and only got more so as the game went on.
The only people who appeared keener to end Richardson’s coaching career than Cameron were the Saints players.
St Kilda started alright, but then strangely they let the Lions, in the middle of the game, kick 13 of the 14 goals scored.
Such a weird thing to do. If I were Alan Richardson, I would have sent the runner out to tell them to stop letting the Lions score.
The lazy performance was a surprise; I would have thought the Saints would have been super excited that boom recruit Dan Hannebery was finally playing for the club.
Hannebery was actually pretty good, but with so many of his teammates actively campaigning for their coach to go, there was only so much he could do.
Port Adelaide (67) v Geelong (56)
I suppose the Cats were due an off night, but we should also give the Power credit, something I never like to do.
Getting the Cats after the bye is always a good thing, they’ve lost their past eight games coming off the bye.
I wonder what it is the Cats get up to on the break? They probably exhaust a lot of energy planning their mad Monday costumes.
The commentators did draw a lot of attention that Patrick Dangerfield was playing incredibly well, considering he had just become a father for the second time, the day before. They went on about it so much I started to think Dangerfield had been the one who gave birth.
As for the Power, they were just better across the ground, with Robbie Gray best on ground, and former Travis Boak dominating again.
The win continues the Port’s ability to confuse everyone who watches them. A side that can get hammered by Hawthorn and then beat Geelong.
It means their game against the Bulldogs looms as a danger game.
Western Bulldogs (73) v Collingwood (82)
There were moments in this when the Pies looked very ordinary, and I thought, ‘have these guys got money on the Doggies?’
But even Collingwood at their worst is better than the Bulldogs at their best, as this game proved.
After the week they Pies had, I can understand why they may have been a little distracted. But the Pies have been off for a while, just ask a Collingwood supporter, they’ll spend the next two hours telling you all the things currently not working.
Still, I’d love my team to be struggling and sitting 2ndon the ladder, that must be tough to deal with.
The secret to the Pies victory was better players. The Dogs were working harder for long periods, but the Pies only needed a few chances to make it count.
They also had Brodie Grundy, who basically kept the Pies in it singlehandedly for long stretched of the game.
For the Doggies, this was a brutal reminder that their best is just not good enough. It’s why I relate to them.
You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus