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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