May 02, 2022
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seven
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 (56) v Richmond (165)
Avert your eyes from all that is unholy! This was blasphemy against the one true religion, Australian Rules Footy.
How a Free-to-Air broadcaster could show this, and in primetime when kids are watching is beyond me.
Watching an actual Tiger maul an Eagle would have been less traumatic and would at least have some educational value.
Do we really need to analyse the game? It seems a waste of everyone’s time.
Richmond’s first 11 goals came from turnovers, that’s all you really need to know.
Some goals didn’t come from turnovers, when you kick 25 goals they tend to come from lots of different sources.
In the end, chairing Tom Lynch off after his 200th game turned out to be the hardest any Tigers had to work all night.
Injuries and covid protocols alone don’t seem to be able to explain the depth of the problems at the Eagles.
West Coast are not only at rock bottom, but they are also aging. More than half their side would be on Geelong’s trade radar.
The Eagles need to improve their youth policy beyond offering face painting before the game.
Geelong (66) v Fremantle (69)
If you want to prove that you’re a genuine premiership threat, beating Geelong on the narrow confines of GMHBA Stadium is a pretty good way.
Doing it without Sean Darcy, Matt Taberner and Nat Fyfe, doesn’t just prove it, it sends a message, like beating up the toughest guy in prison on your first day does.
Hayden Burbank taught me that.
Behind the win was an astounding defensive effort that kept Geelong goalless from the 28-minute mark of the first until the 20th minute of the third quarter.
Many top footy strategists argue you shouldn’t go almost half the game without kicking a goal.
It’s a controversial position but I tend to agree.
While Freo’s defence was good, it was certainly helped by Geelong moving the ball at a pace that to be called ‘glacial’ would be charitable.
Chris Scott said after the game that losing to Fremantle was “not the end of the world,” which is true, for most of us it was just fun to see.
Perhaps more worryingly is Geelong are not always winning at home, usually the bedrock of every season for them.
Perhaps they could make the ground narrower? There’s plenty of money left in the pork barrel.
Adelaide (54) v Greater Western Sydney (113)
Being the favourite for the first time in about four years didn’t sit comfortably with the Crows.
I can relate. Anytime someone has had any belief in me, I’ve stuffed it up royally.
Luckily for me, that rarely happens, and after this display, being favourite will probably not be happening to the Crows too often either.
Worse still, they played Toby Greene and the Giants into form, so thanks for nothing Adelaide.
The Crows weren’t helped by acting captain Brodie Smith taking a brilliant mark, only to land knock himself out.
It was that sort of day for the Crows.
Adelaide’s midfield made the spluttering Giants midfield look like the Ferrari people used to call them.
Even if they are more of a Ford Focus than a Ferrari these days, that’s all you need to beat Adelaide at home apparently.
Melbourne (91) v Hawthorn (81)
Losing Simon Goodwin and five premiership players is what we in the business call a ‘sub-optimal’ preparation.
And by ‘the business’ I mean ‘stating the bleeding obvious’ or as it’s more commonly known ‘AFL journalism’.
Despite all this, Demons fans were left dealing with the fact that despite these outs, they still had Jack Viney and Jake Lever as ins.
This is a level of depth Melbourne supporters never even dreamed of.
That all said, Hawthorn took it up to the Dees in a way no other side has this year, and a big part of their success is they can run more than Forest Gump.
The Dees were in control most of the game, but the Hawks should be very proud of themselves for trying so hard.
They have a great little footy team down there.
St Kilda (42) v Port Adelaide (43)
This can be described as a ‘gritty’ win, meaning it was so ugly that if it was your child, you’d dress it in a lot of bonnets and hats.
Maybe put a mask on it and say you’re worried about covid.
Both sides spent a lot of the game missing targets, but it was when it came to missing goals, they both shone.
But you never want to get in a goal-kicking inaccuracy duel with St Kilda, they’ll always beat you.
Port’s 5.13 was impressive but not compared to St Kilda’s 4.18.
Max King again showed he can miss standard set shots with the best of them.
Port will be thrilled to get their second win of the year and keep their season limping along.
As for the Saints, selling a home game to Cairns will be questioned, but it’s the fact they avid kicking the ball through the two big sticks like I avoid the gym is their big problem.
Carlton (114) v North Melbourne (64)
Carlton didn’t lose to North, a good sign for Blues supporters that this team is not actively trying to break their hearts.
The Blues were not really challenged by a North side who are not only well below AFL standard but are also undisciplined.
That’s not a great combination. I can understand it’s frustrating playing for North, but it can’t be as frustrating as watching them.
Nick Larkey got in hot water after tunnelling Lewis Young at one point in a truly bizarre moment. It led to a melee that was about as anti-climactic as the game.
It meant there was a bunch of suspensions and fines coming out of this match,
Based on this performance, the Kangaroos shouldn’t be asking for a priority pick, they should be asking for two.
Collingwood (115) v Gold Coast (90)
Jack Ginnivan has in a short time become Collingwood’s most talked-about player.
Backing up his ANZAC Day heroics, Ginnivan booted three goals.
He’s young, has platinum blonde hair and hasn’t been to jail in New York, making him a marketing dream for the Pies.
One goal of his saw him dance around three Suns players, who seemed to dance with him rather than tackle him.
Collingwood have long needed to get their forward line working and on Sunday they did.
It certainly helped they were playing the Gold Coast, who have managed to start 2-5 despite promising a lot more.
Gold Coast hung around all game, but there was a real sense they were just making up the numbers.
Will Gold Coast have a new coach next year? It’s a big decision for Gillon’s replacement.
Western Bulldogs (103) v Essendon (71)
Essendon’s commitment to delivering one of the most disappointing seasons of all time is unwavering, with a 32-point loss against the Western Bulldogs.
The Bombers can get the ball, Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish get it more than most, but they don’t really know what to do with it.
Add to that their complete inability to defend and the surprising thing is they have a win at all.
Considering their poor team defence, it sent a strong message to drop Dylan Shiel this week, so imagine my surprise when he ran on as the medical sub.
I’m not sure Ben Rutten understands how punishments work.
I guess if you don’t play every player who isn’t defending, he’d have to drop about 16 players.
The Bulldogs spent a lot of time enjoying the benefits of Essendon’s sloppy ball handling.
And while they got the four points, it wasn’t exactly a dominating performance, still they’re hanging around which may be enough at this point of the season.
Sydney (89) v Brisbane (113)
Lance Franklin decided in the third quarter to remind everyone that he is one of the game’s greatest players.
After the Lions established a 33-point half-time lead, Franklin activated beast mode and shrunk the Lions lead to 3-points.
He would end with six goals, and there was a ten-minute period where Franklin booted four goals in what was a terrifying performance.
Even worse for the Lions, Joe Daniher had been subbed off with a shoulder injury.
It was at that point that Lachie Neale decided he’d had enough of the Buddy show and dragged the Lions back on top.
His stats show he had 37 disposals, 26 of them contested, 11 clearances, nine tackles and a goal.
What that doesn’t tell you is how he was everywhere when the Lions needed him and where.
A loose ball in the defensive fifty, a goal, a goal-saving tackle. He did it all.
Why this guy could win a Brownlow one day, that’s how good he is.
This was such an entertaining game.
No wonder the AFL buried it in the Sunday twilight slot, why watch this when you can watch the Eagles run around in prime time.
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