Apr 29, 2019
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Six
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.
Richmond (85) v Melbourne (42)
At the start of the season, this looked like two final sides with premiership claims facing off.
Now it looked and certainly felt, like a percentage booster for the Richmond Football Club against an embarrassing, bottom of the ladder team.
I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to watch my team lose twice in less than a week. What a wonderful thing the AFL fixture is.
Richmond, who are managing a host of injuries, are covering them by trying.
It’s an innovative strategy that I would love my Demons to consider.
It was a brilliant performance by the Tigers who hunted the ball like it was the only thing that mattered in life, which it is.
There were so many examples of a Richmond player just wanting it more, but when Sydney Stack laid out Jack Viney with a perfect bump, it summed up not only the game but Melbourne’s entire season.
As for Melbourne, the skill level, the fitness and the 1-5 start are an indictment on the coaching staff and the players.
It seriously looks like they didn’t do a pre-season at all, and that goes for the players that weren’t off having operations.
There’s been a lot of Demons fans saying we should just be supportive but how much more supportive can you be than pouring money, emotion and time into this club?
Demons fans have put up with more than any fan should, what about the club meeting the support level we’ve given them over the past decade or two?
After all, we’ve purchased memberships when we knew there was no chance of finals.
We’ve shown up week in, week out despite the knowledge that not only would we not win but the performance would be so putrid it was unprofessional.
When is the club going to lift to the level of it's small but frankly, insanely committed group of hardcore fans, who do everything for the club and rarely get the same level of effort in response?
Would Hawthorn fans be supportive of the effort this year which is so clearly unacceptable? Not likely.
Us fans show up, every year. It would be nice if the club occasionally did too. Stop asking for us to be all supportive like it’s kindergarten.
Forget us supporting you, when are they going to support us?
Am I writing this in anger? No, I'm just disappointed.
Essendon (69) v Collingwood (73)
The ANZAC Day clash had always lacked a certain theatre and emotion, so it was lucky the AFL fixed this by getting Birds of Tokyo to play before the game.
The Last Post pales in comparison to hearing ‘Unbreakable’.
In fairness to Birds of Tokyo, the AFL has had plenty of pregame entertainment before, and no one, cared.
Perhaps having a band with the capital city of one of the belligerents in World War Two was somewhat insensitive?
I can’t wait until the AFL announce a live performance of Die Fahne Hoch next ANZAC Day. The way the world is going right now, that does,n’t feel as unbelievable as it once seemed.
In terms of the actual game, something I rarely touch on, the Pies were like me on Saturday night, they went hard early before barely holding it together as everyone else caught up.
Luckily for them they held on but only just. It was the worst outcome; Collingwood got the win, but Essendon also looked like a credible finals side. A worrying outcome.
The main discussion point was the booing after the game of Scott Pendlebury by the Essendon fans.
Personally, I often think booing is an appropriate response at the footy. Why, Demons supporters often boo our own team in an effort to remind them there’s a game on.
Other times when booing is appropriate include; in a meeting when someone just repeats what another person has already said, after a bad performance in bed and whenever Cameron Ling is stating the bleeding obvious.
Apparently, the Essendon fans were booing the umpiring not Scott Pendlebury, which was odd given it was while Pendlebury was speaking and there wasn’t an umpire in sight. It’s almost like that wasn’t the reason.
I give Bombers fans the benefit of the doubt though, they’re known for having reasonable views and not a bunker mentality.
What worries me is that if we’re going to boo bad umpiring this season, that’s all we’ll be doing for the rest of the year.
Blame the AFL for that. Their constant rule tinkering and insistence on highly subjective interpretations make it a nightmare for the umpires.
Port Adelaide (88) v North Melbourne (72)
I tipped seven this week, and I say that in amazement. That’s more than I’ve tipped in the first five rounds, combined.
Perhaps the league is finally settling down into some sort of predictability (although it probably hasn’t it just wants us to think that).
Port looked way more in control of this than the score line suggests, but what would worry them is how much they dropped off in the last quarter.
Eleven minutes into the final term, Port had a 41-point lead before North booted five goals. On the final siren Ken Hinkley looked like a man who had just discovered the souvlaki joint was closed on the way home from a big night out.
North Melbourne must be glad Melbourne exists or the focus would be a lot more on their poor form.
At least there were glimpses of improvement in that last quarter, but fans are not that interested in brief moments of competency when the rest of the season is a sea of awfulness.
The Power fans booed Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard at every chance, after the pair left Port for North. I thought it unnecessary, having to play at North was punishment enough.
I also thought the Power fans should have held off the booing until the next time Scott Pendlebury is in front of a microphone, because that’s the best time to send a message about something unrelated to Scott Pendlebury.
Gold Coast (62) v Brisbane (111)
Brisbane fans will have bragging rights today in Queensland, they just have to find a Suns fan to brag too; a tougher task than the Lions had on the weekend.
The Lions needed this after stumbling after a good start.
Once again Lachie Neale showed how happy he is to not be working for Ross Lyon, putting on a classy display.
Watching Neale is a joy and his ability to will the Brisbane midfield over the Suns’ was the difference.
The Suns struggled under the Lions pressure and while a few battled hard, they looked more like the team we expected them to be, rather than the ‘hey these guys are not too bad at all’ team we got over the first five rounds.
The crowd of 13,694 was pretty disappointing considering both teams have been much improved this year.
It’s almost like when it’s 27 and sunny on the Gold Coast there are other things to do.
St Kilda (68) v Adelaide (97)
The St Kilda juggernaut hit a snag this weekend on the way to their 2019 premiership.
Against the Crows they seemed to have none of the run they displayed the previous round and there were worrying signs early, as the Crows forward line had made the trip over to Melbourne this time.
Tex Walker took marks and kicked goals and the forward set up worked in some weirdly functional way.
St Kilda struggled all day with the Crouch brothers, who had 66 disposals between them.
It’s nice to siblings taking out their aggression on someone else and not each other. The family that tears apart AFL teams together, stays together.
For St Kilda, they struggle when going forward, but mature age draftee Matthew Parker offered something, taking some stunning grabs and kicking three goals.
Unfortunately, Jack Lonie hyperextended his right knee adding to the Saints injury woes. St Kilda’s injury list is longer than The Avengers: Endgame.
Sydney (79) v Greater Western Sydney (120)
For moments this appeared to be a classic game until the Giants went up a gear and Sydney crashed into a series of parked cars.
Both Lance Franklin and Phil Davis were ruled out before the game, effectively cancelling each other out.
The Swans fought hard early but their skills were, how do I say this? Horrible. Yes, horrible is the right word.
Sydney also seemed to get distracted all the time, checking their phone constantly, liking things on Instagram. That’s what the kids do these days, isn’t it? Or has it moved on? I can’t keep up.
In my day, the only social network we had was some tin cans and some string. Sure, occasionally you’d get a sex pest call the landline, but you mainly only communicated with about six people.
Things were simpler back then before the internet came along and gave us access to the entire World’s knowledge and pictures of what everyone is having for lunch.
It certainly has made the World smaller and made me realise how disinterested I am in a lot of it.
The Giants had all the class in this one, with Stephen Coniglio getting 24 possessions and four goals, which is not a bad effort.
GWS’ midfield was genuinely scary. Time to fire up the ‘they’re here to destroy us all and ruin football’ articles.
Fremantle (88) v Western Bulldogs (69)
David Mundy showed why his 300thgame was rightly celebrated by all footy fans, by booting two goals in four minutes to put the Dockers clear of a tenacious Dogs side.
The Bulldogs were in this game, which made their fade out in the last quarter all the more disappointing.
Their real problem was themselves, constantly butchering forward entries and when they weren’t, kicking so poorly they acted like extra Fremantle defenders.
They ended up booting 9.15. Some would call that wasteful. Accurate goal kicking might be important, not that it seems to be something teams focus on that much.
The Dockers were in trouble for parts of this match and it really was Mundy’s heroics that set them up for the win.
It puts them second on the ladder, as we all predicted at the start of the year.
Hawthorn (93) v Carlton (88)
Footy is cruel.
The Blues, settling into that winning feeling, got a rude awakening on Sunday, when their team botched this one up big time.
Still it was nice to see one of the battlers of the league, Hawthorn, finally get a win.
Carlton were well in control, six goals up at one stage and seemingly on track to complete the something rarer than seeing a unicorn, two Blues wins in a row.
What happened next? Wel,l Carlton did, plus the most annoying thing in footy, Alastair Clarkson doing a little coaching.
The Hawks entered the second half like a side more terrified of their coach than the opposition and ran all over the Blues in the third.
Credit to Carlton, they kept trying but the skill of the Hawks was significantly higher.
It certainly didn’t help that Jaeger O'Meara went into beast mode, gathering 43 possessions in his best ever game.
Blues fans were once again left pretty annoyed at another honourable loss.
This game attracted 15,888 people, which was more than the Gold Coast game.
Imagine if Tasmania was a heartland footy state like Queensland, it could have its own team.
Geelong (104) v West Coast (46)
The lid was quietly slid back on at West Coast after this surprisingly lacklustre performance from the Eagles.
Geelong were ruthless, smashing West Coast at the contest and then springing forward to put the game out of reach early on.
The ease at which they did this made me wonder how much it was the Cats and how much it was the Eagles.
A host of Eagles players didn’t even get to double figures in terms of possessions, preferring to instead watch on in awe as Gary Ablett put on a masterclass.
The review of the tape by the Eagles players will be harder to sit through than a Nicole Kidman movie.
As for Geelong, we may have to concede they are ‘the real deal’.
They seem to have all he answers, although it was weird when Tim Kelly stopped mid game to ask the Eagles players what role he’d have next year.
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