May 06, 2019


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seven


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.

Collingwood (108) v Port Adelaide (69)

Like watching a lava flow slowly heading towards a village and ruining countless people’s lives, Collingwood’s terrifying march to a potential premiership continued.

The Pies jumped the Power, with the first quarter being so one-sided that Port fans scrambled for the remote to find something less brutal to watch, settling on Game of Thrones.

At quarter time, Collingwood had booted seven goals to none, as Port stalled on the starting line. It seemed this was going to be one of the great beltings, but the Power showed some signs of their early season form in the second quarter.

But when the highlight of the night is getting within 18 points early in the third term, you know the Power are a step off the pace of the front runners.

Flattering the Power is their greatest asset on the night was Collingwood’s inaccuracy. 

Are Port Adelaide pretenders? Almost certainly yes, but you knew that, as did the players.

The Pies now go on to play Carlton, which would already be cancelled if the AFL had a mercy rule.

Melbourne (79) v Hawthorn (74)

It’s been a week of near misses for the Demons, almost drowning Christian Petracca on Tuesday in a training incident and then doing their best to almost lose this one.

Neither side would be ecstatic with their performances; I’ve seen fewer errors at a country hospital.

The Demons once again showed an astounding ability to not convert forward entries, and at several stages, it looked like the Hawks would take advantage of this, but it turns out they’re not very good either.

The frustration of the Hawks players was obvious, with several Hawthorn players, including former captain Jarryd Roughead, speaking sternly to Chad Wingard at one point. 

I’m not sure what was said but I imagine it was something like ‘this isn’t Port, we value consistency and doing hard things here.’

Melbourne fans again booed Tom Scully all day, something I’ve never understood. 

If someone had offered you a million dollars to leave the Demons when he did, you’d have been bonkers not to do it. I’d probably boo him if he hadn’t taken that amount of money and run as far away as possible. And he can run all day apparently. 

In the end, the Demons probably should have won by more if they had any efficiency going forward. 

Their challenge now is to not to celebrate this like it’s a Premiership and remember their still 15th on the ladder and 2-5 with lots of work to do.

Greater Western Sydney (114) v St Kilda (70)

The grind of the season has caught up with the Saints, as the Giants belted the suitcases out of them on Saturday.

Perhaps most impressive was the Giants had Josh Kelly and Lachie Whitfield out through injury and still batted aside the Saints with a casual ease that would have those south of the border getting nervous.

Jeremy Cameron booted six goals, keeping him on track for 100 goals this season which is outrageous in the modern era.  

I remember when players kicking 100 in a season was as common as rule changes are now.

The Saints can’t be faulted for their endeavour, but they were a fair bit off in terms of talent. 

They now sit eight on the ladder and are setting up for an impressive slide.

Brisbane (103) v Sydney (81)

The Lions prodded the Swans on Saturday afternoon to see if they were still alive and were relieved to find they were not.

It’s taken ten years for the Lions to beat Sydney and in the end, it was a bit of an anti-climax. 

The Swans certainly tried, but they lacked polish and were flattered by the fact the Lions kicked 14.19.

It opens the door for the Lions to play finals. For Brisbane fans, Finals are when the top eight teams play off for something called the ‘Premiership’. 

You guys used to actually win Premierships, back when R. Kelly was in the media for his music.

Sydney now sits bottom of the ladder in a position as unfamiliar to them as having an audience would be for The Footy Show.

The Swans ability to rise like Lazarus seems unlikely this year.

Aaron Naughton (99) v Richmond (52)

Richmond, who have managed to cover their injuries for much of the season, ran into Aaron Naughton on Saturday and it hurt.

Naughton, just nineteen years old, dominated the game with 14 marks (nine of them contested) and five goals. It was like watching a 90s key forward come to life.

At one stage, he booted three goals in seven minutes, tearing the game apart. 

His marking was something to behold. Every time he got near it you just knew it was his.  

Damien Hardwick said after the game, “We could’ve had Jesus Christ playing down there tonight, and I reckon he would’ve struggled on him.”

He’s spot on there. Jesus was a great goal kicking midfielder but a rubbish defender. Not that accountable.

I mean, if you want a lockdown key defend, go for Krishna, easily the best defender of the deities, even better than Poseidon (who relied a lot on flooding) in my opinion.

Adding to Naughton’s heroics, Marcus Bontempelli did what he liked, finishing 27 disposals, 14 contested possessions, seven clearances and three goals.

Richmond now sits ninth on the ladder, blowing the dust off a bunch of memes that haven’t seen the light of day since 2017.

West Coast (80) v Gold Coast (57)

The Eagles did what they had to do but hardly reassured their fans that their premiership defence is well on track.

Being 42 points ahead halfway through the third quarter would have done that, but then the Eagles let their percentage boosting lead slip, with the Suns booting five unanswered goals.

The Suns even got within 11 points and the Eagles fans, who are usually a very understanding and clam lot, lost their minds. 

It was a credit to the Suns who over in Perth could have given up, but instead kept coming. 

It puts them in the category of ‘honest triers’ which is far better than the category everyone had them in at the start of the year ‘the worst AFL list ever assembled’.

What’s wrong with the Eagles? A lot of them seem just out of form. That could be the best thing for West Coast. I’ve heard peaking later in the season is better than peaking at the start. Counterintuitive huh?

Carlton (62) v North Melbourne (120)

How bad are North Melbourne this season? Well, we found out on Sunday that they’re not Carlton bad. 

That would be a huge relief for Roos fans but hardly grounds for celebration.

The Blues had an incredibly young side out there, but after a win a few weeks ago that was meant to herald a turning of a corner, Carlton were back to being the impotent side we’ve all come to know and love.

Losing by ten goals to North is the universe’s way of telling you that the builder doing the rebuild is dodgy.

Carlton fans are now beyond angry, just a burning low-level rage that never stops. I never thought I’d say this, but I feel for them, I know how awful this situation is. It feels like things will never get better, probably because it won’t. 

The Club will say they have to stay the course, but they’ve been saying that for decades. You can’t keep preaching patience at this stage. Do or do not as that guy from Lord of the Rings said. 

For North, this performance sends a warning to the rest of the league, as they leap to 15thon the ladder. Could they go as high as 14th?

Geelong (86) v Essendon (54)

Is there a better game than the Country Game? Yes, heaps. 

Still, it’s always nice to reinforce the stereotypes of rural Australia and seeing livestock out grazing outside the MCG took me back to the last time Melbourne won a premiership.

We need to talk my friends. Geelong are actually a good side, and we need to accept that. 

I know it’s disappointing, but they did this without Joel Selwood and with Patrick Dangerfield, and it was easy. They are the real deal.

Essendon were not even close. They might as well have been in the country, circling in plane above a town and not able to land.

Geelong’s defence works, their midfield works and their forward line works. It’s so depressing. 

The Bombers had their moments, but they reacted to Geelong’s defence like I react to a Sudoku, confusion, building to panic before leading to resignation.

It raises significant questions over Essendon, but not new ones, just the ones we’ve had all along.

Adelaide (51) v Fremantle (34) 

Technically this was a game of football. In reality, it was an affront to our great game and should see both teams booted out of the game forever. 

My long-held belief that Ross Lyon is out to ruin our game singlehandedly gains further evidence, making it an open and shut case now. 

The only way he could do more damage to our game is by working at AFL House.

The 42,383 people that attended this should not only get a refund but compensation from both clubs for inflicting what was essentially a form of torture.

There have been people who have accidentally woken up in the middle of a significant operation who have experienced less trauma.

I could recap the game itself, but I like you too much to do so and no one involved deserves any attention. 

Instead, be glad this wasn’t on free to air, it would have turned the entire next generation off our great game.

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May 06, 2019

"Their still 15th"...?

Mr Briggs

May 06, 2019

Good write up, but disappointing you didn't mention the worst non-holding-the-ball call in the history of Australian Rules football.

Bemoaned West aussie

May 06, 2019

Unfortunately, the Crows vs Dockers was on free to air in WA...... my eyes are still burning.


May 06, 2019

Being bottom of the ladder with Carlton feels like being held back in school right now. but honestly its our time after years of over achieving. Wins will now be a pleasant surprise instead of an expectation and I feel like the young team will take value in losses, but this is really going to be a time for Longmire to show some brains as he has coasted on the work of his top stars for a while now.

SciFi Guy

May 06, 2019

"Do or do not as that guy from Lord of the Rings said."

I think you'll find that was the guy from Star Trek.


May 06, 2019

Best way to improve the game would be to get Ross Lyon away from coaching and into AFL house. From there all you need to do is implement the opposite of every idea he comes up with.


May 06, 2019

I was at Adelaide Oval - when the Crows kicked their second goal, in the 3rd quarter, there was a standing ovation....

That guy

May 06, 2019

Harsh on the freo v adelaide game. It was terrific. Everything you want in a game of football.


May 06, 2019

Nice summary Titus, but why is it you seem to subscribe to the "umpires are a protected species" bandwagon? Get stuck into them, some of the worst deliberate, non-holding the ball and 50m penalty decisions I've ever seen. The umps seem more confused than Michael Christian.


May 06, 2019

SCIFI GUY, I think you'll find that the guy from Star Trek used to say, "Engage".


May 06, 2019

when all else fails, dig into the classics - and you found gold ! "....even better than Poseidon (who relied a lot on flooding)" - on a side note, I was at the Adelaide game and still recovering thanks - I thought someone had reinvented the game - they had thrown a cloak of invisibility over the goal and point posts and put ear pieces in all the players ears, into which they kept saying "keep kicking it down the line, down the line, down the line - it will work eventually"


May 06, 2019

Johnno, at least you’ve acknowledged that poor non-holding the ball decisions were not confined to Eddie’s - who now has not just the goal of the year up his sleeve, but the non-decision of the year - hopefully this is the incident that makes it to the umpires wrap for the clubs early next year - ‘this is the new litmus test for when we pay holding the ball’ in other words, never... There was obviously a clear decision to pay, not just less frees this week, to pay way less... for the most part, the games had a better flow to them, apart from the freo game which overall resembled the movement of Cam Ellis-Treacle...

Keith Martine

May 06, 2019

I had already seen that Crows Freo game, it was in 1963 in a junior school match on a wet and muddy day.

Mad Dog

May 06, 2019

Your wild metaphors are my favourite part of the week...

"Like watching a lava flow slowly heading towards a village and ruining countless people’s lives, Collingwood’s terrifying march to a potential premiership continued."

My second favourite parts are the razor sharp, 3D insights you let slip...

"Geelong’s defence works, their midfield works and their forward line works. It’s so depressing."

I haven't been able to even visit THIS site as a result of the previous two weekends Eagle's results. I elected to stay massively drunk until they won again but failed due to the unwelcome emergence of hope just prior to Saturday's "game" against the Suns. Then I was fine until Gold Coast kicked all those goals and I flew into a white-hot inchoate rage. Which is understandable right? So I found your negative comments about our fraternity misguided and sad to see in print...

"The Suns even got within 11 points and the Eagles fans, who are usually a very understanding and calm lot, lost their minds."

-Conflicted Mad Dog

p.s. Is the Adelaide/Freo scoreline even legal?

Jupiter Two

May 06, 2019

@Enterprise .. I always thought the Star Trek guy said "Danger Will Robinson."

Bloke from the Outer

May 06, 2019

Vintage Titus, vintage!


May 06, 2019

If the crows v dockers was a finals match it would have been 'one for the ages'. Neither team gave any space. So does the scoring matter again? I thought we fixed it?


May 06, 2019

The Crows Freo dour struggle reminded me of the 3 hours I’ll never get back having watched Sly Stallone’s straight to VHS arm wrestling classic “Over The Top”.


May 06, 2019

Agreed "That Guy" - if you didn't enjoy that first half at the Adelaide Oval (despite it being low scoring) you don't know what you are looking at. It was a shame the umps ruined the 2nd half. I won't be surprised if one day they just hand their whistle to a Crow-eater from the crowd.

Dave Power

May 06, 2019

So the Saints are on target for a “spectacular slide”? 😂😂😂 ahhhhhhh but they cant match the Demons in that department Mr O’Reilly 😂😂😂😂 from Prelim Final to 15th in the space of a season😂😂😂 🔴⚪️⚫️


May 06, 2019

Why all the handwringing about the low scoring in the WCE-FRE game?

Games where every goal means something are more gripping than shootouts any day.

And if you're a coach or player would you prefer your team to kick 7 goals and win or kick 17 goals and lose?


Brad Vallance

May 06, 2019

Last Saturday I got deep heat in my eyes and they burned and watered a lot and I couldn’t see much for a day! Sunday afternoon had me wishing I had more of it! Yuck!


May 06, 2019

@Dave Power What about my Swans? 7th to 18th.....embarrassing! In 2017, we were 1 - 6 after seven rounds but there will be no miracle rise into the finals this year.....


May 06, 2019

Ok can't resist: it was Yoda in Empire strikes back who said "do or do not". Perhaps Titus is baiting us?


May 06, 2019

Mr Briggs I assume you are talking about Eddie Betts? If not, I shudder to think there was an even worse non-decision than that one.


May 06, 2019

Good to know Eagles fans are a very understanding and clam lot.


May 06, 2019

Reffo, As an Eagles fan on Saturday night I'll have you know I was very clam.

It's just that the clams were obviously off and I spent the next 36 hours spewing about the game.


May 06, 2019

@Jupiter Two... “Danger Will Robertson” was Lost in Space. “Do or Do Not” was Yoda from Star Wars (Empire Strikes Back) when he’s training Luke to be a Jedi.


May 06, 2019

@Richard and @Jess. Thanks for ruining satire.

Rhys Mc

May 07, 2019

We could all tell, before the bounce, that Port were doomed.
Why were they wearing those ugly, shitty cast-off guernseys from Carlton.? I hope that hey weren't fooled into buying a truckload.
Having the cheer squad stitch a couple of vs onto the front didn't make them any less shitty. At least Carlton had the good sense to get rid of them. The only positive remark for the Blues, this season, but a beginning none the less.
Great to see the Crows are developing Elliot Himmelberg into the fabulous forward he'll be when he joins his brother, Harry, in the GWS forward line.

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