May 24, 2021


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Ten


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.


Brisbane (102) v Richmond (74)

After years of being staggeringly brilliant, the Tigers are curating a thoroughly average season.

So average they sit outside the eight, in ninth spot, triggering a host of ‘ninth’ memes that don’t really have the sting of old. Lots of premierships tend to make you immune from these things, at least that’s what I assume.

The Tigers have a lot of injuries, but then they had those in their premiership years, they just don’t seem at the level they’ve been at in recent times.

Credit must really go to the Lions who showed they were up for the fight after falling behind early.

Early on they seemed in trouble, letting Jack Riewoldt kick three goals which is never recommended.

Brisbane’s real advantage was in the midfield, mainly because Richmond doesn’t have one at the moment.

With so many key midfielders out, the Lions realised they just needed to tackle Dusty Martin and everything would be alright.

The win puts the Lions in the top four. Their shaky start is over and with winter coming, who knows, perhaps they’ll get to play a lot of their remaining game at the Gabba when that third wave inevitably hits.


Carlton (86) v Hawthorn (63)

There were moments in this game when Blues fans stared down the very real possibility that they could lose to the team that lost to North Melbourne.

They certainly have the skill set to lose such a game, but the 2021 Hawthorn model is proving it can lose to anyone in any situation.

A big reason for this is the complete lack of a forward line. They have the offensive firepower of a loaf of bread.

The game itself was a cold mess. There was nothing to recommend it to the neutral fan, except Sam Walsh, whose class stood out like a person with charisma on Big Brother.

Walsh showed up every other player by so much, Hawthorn’s Kyle Hartigan decided to whack him, resulting in a three-week suspension.

Getting three weeks off from playing in this Hawthorn team seems more a reward than a punishment.

Geelong (91) v Gold Coast (57)

Nick Holman’s suspension for two weeks for his tackle on Mitch Duncan has caused quite a bit of outrage, but not from me.

It’s not that I think the suspension is fair, it’s just my expectations of the Tribunal’s ability to provide consistency are so low, they are buried in a bunker so far under the Earth they touch the planet’s iron and nickel core.

The tackle itself was only dangerous in the sense all tackles are dangerous on some level. Footy is a contact sport. As All Black great Tana Umaga once told a referee after being penalised for a tackle, “we're not playing tiddlywinks.”

I’m all for suspensions for truly reckless tackles, when players ram an opponent’s head like Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts executing a DDT, but that was hardly the case here.

Soon you’ll need to get a permit before attempting to tackle someone.

The game itself was nothing too surprising. The Suns continued to advertise their mediocrity, while the Cats did just enough to ensure they won, without having to work too hard.

Adelaide (96) v Melbourne (95)

I travelled over to Adelaide for this, and I must say, aside from the result, I had a great time.

It was the first time I’d left Victoria since the pandemic, and I had an absolute ball. The people were fantastic, and I highly recommend getting over there if you can, a visit to Adelaide Oval is always worth it.

The game itself though was less than ideal from a Demons supporters point of view.

They were off all game while the Crows were very much on.

The focus was on the umpires late but I’m always of the belief that blaming the umpires takes away from your own rather substantial role in the loss.

Melbourne just didn’t play to the level they’re capable of, which always puts you in danger of losing.

Convincing yourself this was as umpire’s fault is a dangerous thought process to get into.

Melbourne’s defence, usually rock-solid, really missed Christian Salem’s calm leadership.

The inability to stop the Crows scoring proved to be a big factor, the Dees just couldn’t get ahead by three or four goals, letting the Crows stay in it and more importantly the crowd, who were incredibly loud.

It was a fantastic win for Adelaide, they deserved it. As for Melbourne, it’s obviously season over with their embarrassing 9-1 record.

Western Bulldogs (144) v St Kilda (33)

Avert your eyes children.

Less a game and more a ritual sacrifice, the Saints put on a display that will have the jungle drums beating for change. The problem with that, is I don’t think anyone involved with St Kilda has the coordination to hit a drum.

In many ways, the 144-33 scoreline flattered the Saints.

The ease at which the Doggies won this only underlined just how poor St Kilda was.

The contempt the Bulldogs players showed for their opponents could be seen across the ground, they barely paid any attention to them.

If there was any justice in this world, the St Kilda Football Club should be visiting every Saints fan this week to offer a personal apology and free counselling.

Fremantle (86) v Sydney (84)

Normally when Buddy Franklin boots six goals you can chalk up a win for the Swans, but Fremantle just didn’t let up in this one.

Franklin showed that he’s still got it, even if he now only works part-time.

Buddy’s dominance was offset somewhat up the other end by Rory Lobb who kicked four.

The final term was a mad scramble with the lead changing four times before Nat Fyfe snapped the winning goal.

That was probably the big change for the Dockers, who finally decided that wasting their opportunities in front of goal is counterproductive.  

The Swans were hardly embarrassed, it was a terrific game, but neither side could stop the other from scoring, result in them both just trading blows like two drunks in the pub carpark.


Greater Western Sydney (93) v West Coast (77)

West Coast continues on with their project to convince everyone they’re less than the sum of their parts.

Against a Giants side lacking Toby Greene, the Eagles were in this game until it mattered, then they slipped quietly away like your mate that leaves a party without telling anyone.

The Giants were more measured in the closing term, with stand-in skipper Josh Kelly leading the way, plus a bunch of players I need to learn the names of quickly.

It showed that rumours of the Giants decline are unfounded, there’s still talent galore there.

For the Eagles, it was another disappointing loss on the road, especially given Shannon Hurn was playing his 291st game, a record for an Eagles player.

You would have liked to have seen a bit more effort for his sake.

Collingwood (58) v Port Adelaide (59)

You just knew it was going to happen.

At no stage in this game did Collingwood fans relax and think ‘we’ve got this.’

Such is the year Collingwood finds itself in, an era of ‘if anything can go wrong, it will’.

Before the game fans were signing a petition to spill the board, and the result of the game is hardly going to blunt that momentum.

In a week when a new board member was appointed who is unable to vote due to only recently becoming a member, Pies fans continue to have numerous questions over how their club is being run.

But the real question isn’t why Collingwood appointed Bridie O’Donnell to the board, it’s why would anyone want to join the current one?

A board that let Eddie McGuire run roughshod over any attempts at proper board governance, that oversaw a culture of systemic racism and oversaw list management with less diligence than the laziest Supercoach enthusiast applies to their team.

Not that Port would take a lot of comfort out of the game, narrowly avoiding a loss on the footy field that had previously been contained to the fashion world.

The narrow victory only papered over the cracks in the Power’s lacklustre performance.

But it will be Collingwood that receive the focus. If you constantly tell people you’re a powerhouse club, you better act like one, not a travelling circus whose sole purpose seems to be entertaining the non-Collingwood fans of the world, the one job they are doing at the moment.

Essendon (141) v North Melbourne (69)

Against Essendon, North entered the game with a strategy to allow as many Bombers players to kick goals as possible.

In this regard, they were spectacularly successful.

Essendon had 13 individual goalkickers as they ran riot over a Kangaroos side that looked surprised to be out there.

North rallied a little in the second half but it was very much a case of trying to shut the stable door after the horse had bolted. Even shutting the door after the horse was long gone required too much coordination for them.

The firm of Parish, McGrath and Merrett ran riot all day, gathering disposals with a careless ease, ensuring the North defence never got a chance to get set.

As the goals piled up, that win against Hawthorn seemed very far away.

Perhaps the worst news is that North Melbourne play St Kilda next week in a game that should require the crowd not to wear facemasks but blindfolds.

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Mark McLaughlan

May 24, 2021

Yep Nup. Crap umpiring.


May 24, 2021

Melbourne - “embarrassing 9-1 record”
SMUG! Really missing the old Titus 🙄


May 24, 2021

The Dees wuz robbed!

Tex Walker's Undies

May 24, 2021

That goal when it counted, though .. What a brilliant game it was!!


May 24, 2021

"Darling, it looks like we won't lose the Hotham deposit after all!"

Shakira Albanese

May 24, 2021

Titus - you’re obviously well connected at AFL HQ. Could you have a word to Gillon and suggest that they announce the week’s rules on Thursday night along with the teams.

The dynamic rule system is an exciting feature of our game and we all love tuning into the Friday night game to see what the week’s rules will be but it’d be nice to get a hint in advance. It could work like this:

Ins: Insufficient intent whilst having a shot at goal, 3 consecutive 360s in a tackle now legal

Outs: Incorrect disposal, Holding the ball

The g train

May 24, 2021

Adelaide—wooden spooners in 2020, lost last 5 games (including against Hawthorn!!!) that involved many shellackings. Melbourne—on an incredible 9-0 run in 2021. So we have entered the realm of impossibility...the impossibility of an Adelaide victory. But everyone forgets about “the inevitable impossibility”, especially footy commentators. Even Titus.


May 24, 2021

As a Hawks supporter, I'm obviously avoiding live telecasts. But I think its a bit rich blaming our forward line. Tom Mitchell aside, our midfield is getting smashed in clearances and contested footy, every single week, and the ball is hardly getting near the forward 50


May 24, 2021

AFL HQ started the season on fire. Turns out it wasn’t a metaphor. What a smoldering hot mess the game has turned into over the past month.

3 confused umpires are not better than 1 little man in white who knows exactly what the game is about.

Immediately sack the rules committee and sack the Umps boss because these blind mice are at plague proportions.

DP Machine

May 24, 2021

Thank you Titus for not falling into the typical dees supporters whine re the late decision (which as it happens was at least partially affected by a dees players hand...) as usual, a balanced viewpoint. and talking of balance, I remember going to watch the crows vs a 0-9 dees at the G in 2007, knowing that true to type, we would almost certainly gift the dees their first win of the season - which we duly did... balance finally restored... most enjoyable win in many years.


May 24, 2021

Their discarded players are shortening in Brownlow markets, the speculation of the coach’s demise is deafening, the board is backstabbing and dysfunctional and their most obnoxious supporter is receiving laser-like focus from the constabulary.
My team lost on the weekend but I am walking lightly on a cushion of air such is how wonderful this pandemic riddled world we live in is at the moment when they lose by the smallest margin against a basket case team
Life is good

Halftime Spray

May 24, 2021

Titus on Collingwood:

To quote General Buck Turgidson in DR. STRANGELOVE. "The truth is not always a pleasant thing!"

To quote myself last night: "I think I speak for the majority of AFL fans when I say how enjoyable this Schadenfreude is."

Ken Olah

May 24, 2021

Nice one, DP!

Across the Face

May 24, 2021

And they need to do something about the video review of whether the ball was touched crossing the goal line and similar situations.

Why do they need to (a) replay an obvious case of the ball not being touched multiple multiple multiple times
(b) make such a meal of the announcement? "Blah blah blah...insufficient evidence...blah blah blah...umpire's call."

Just say "Goal" or "Touched". End of announcement.

Balance required

May 24, 2021

Titus, As much as we all hate Collingwood, comment are a bit unfair. Their club does 50 things right and has a few unaddressed faults and now the boots are stuck in. On Melbourne v Crows, everyone knows the umpire chocked in the moment on a basic decision in front of the home crowd. It happens- quite a bit this year.

John Smith

May 24, 2021

Does Collingwood want to borrow The Power’s tarps?

Darren J Ray

May 24, 2021

Thanks, Titus. So much to love here.

Thanks for commenting on those two pathetic suspensions for a legitimate tackle (where the tackler was rewarded with the free kick) and a collision in play. Hopefully, the AFL will review them and not continue to wreck OUR game.


May 24, 2021

ABC - love your work!! Great piece of writing!
I am a Crows supporter, still basking in the joy of our win over Melbourne, but your final line about the Power's win over Collingwood filled me with even more joy!


May 24, 2021

Titus I know we should not blame umpires for the result with the last decision but God they made some other shockers against the DEES at very important times of the game. That said I have made an appointment to see a shrink over the pies situation. I am starting to feel sorry for bucks and I suppose by extension the pies. I really need help as I am worried about my sanity and absolute hate of anything black and white. HELP PLEASE


May 24, 2021


You win!


May 25, 2021

Have the Saints forward coaches considered adopting Contact Tracing in order to locate what, somewhat hilariously, is referred to as their 'forwards'?

Pies Committee

May 28, 2021

You are underestimating what Collingwood's goals are for 2021. Because they had such a horrible trade/draft period in 2020 they are determined to rectify the situation. The whole club is united and strong on its one goal of getting draft pick # 1. The plan is going exceedingly well, Port almost stuffed it up for us but we had to work very hard to get Port a win. You can't tell me that isn't great coaching. Bucks will be signed on for another 4 years at least.