Apr 08, 2019
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Three
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.
Adelaide (75) v Geelong (99)
The relentless competency of the Geelong Football Club is starting to become tiring.
Many of us would fondly remember the time when Geelong were a basket case, whose mission statement was to break the hearts of their fans in the most brutal fashion possible.
Now they’ve started the season 3-0 and seem like the only team that can stop the dominance of the Queensland teams.
While the Crows made a bit of a comeback in the second half, this one was all Geelong, who controlled the game from the start.
In worse news for the Crows, Paul Seedsman was stretchered off with what was suspected to be an ACL, although scans suggest he seems to have avoided that fate.
Interestingly, many of the Geelong players went up to wish him well as he was carted off, like the Erin Phillips moment in the AFLW Grand Final. Basically, if you don’t acknowledge an opponent being taken off the ground you are now the worst person in the world.
It’s a big change to the game. What’s next, thanking a water carrier for giving you water?
Are Adelaide finished for the year? If talkback radio in South Australia is anything to go by, they’re finished forever.
Melbourne (112) v Essendon (130)
A lot of people said to me that Melbourne were a sure thing in this game, but I’ve learnt the Demons can ruin my life in ways previously thought impossible.
This wasn’t even that innovative for them, although starting the season 0-3 after making a Prelim is certainly a new approach to making me wish I’d never been born.
Melbourne ran out through a banner filled with abusive tweets and going by the reaction online to this performance, they have enough to now cover every banner until the end of time.
All credit to Essendon, after looking like a team who hadn’t trained for years in the first two rounds, they were full of energy and responded to Melbourne’s strong second quarter by booting eight unanswered goals in 21 minutes.
That’s quite a worrying amount of goals to give up in such a short period of time and can only really be achieved by an entire team switching off. I’d say it was time for some soul searching at Demonland, but this club has done more soul searching over the past decade than every new age retreat combined.
Melbourne’s problem was their inability to stick to any sort of structure.
I watched the vegan protest that shut down Melbourne’s CBD this morning and must admit, I was jealous of their ability to hold their structure under pressure. Perhaps those vegans would like a harder challenge than ending meat eating, and help the Dees’ learn some discipline.
Nothing gets easier for either team next week, with Melbourne travelling to Sydney for their fourth loss and Essendon taking on Premiership favourites Brisbane at the MCG.
Carlton (74) v Sydney (93)
Carlton would do well to change their name to the ‘Honourable Losses’.
It’s a continuing source of frustration for Blues fans but at least it’s a change from their ‘Not even an AFL team’ era.
With the Blues not making it to triple digits in 58 games, the honourable losses don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Patrick Cripps carried the Blues at times, and his opponents, while Liam Jones, kept Franklin quiet proving once again he is the greatest defender currently alive.
While it pains me to say it, Carlton are on the right track. The current administration’s discipline in trying not to land a ‘messiah’ to fix everything overnight is commendable. That’s probably as hard a mind shift as Keith Richards going clean.
Sydney will be thrilled to get their season started, and not waiting six games to do it.
The Swans biggest concern is perhaps the SCG, whose surface looks like it was designed to injure people. Who would have thought that playing four codes on the one ground incessantly would damage it?
I’m sure the AFL has a contingency plan to deal with this. It will involve inspecting the ground when it’s too late to do anything about it and then surprisingly describe it as ‘safe’.
Greater Western Sydney (125) v Richmond (76)
Richmond may be not as good without Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance. And people say this column lacks insight.
It certainly didn’t help that Dustin Martin was a bit distracted by the close attention of the Giants players, seeming to throw an elbow at one point and reminding Shane Mumford of his previous enjoyment of cocaine.
If every player out on the field reminded every other player of the time they’d done cocaine, no football would ever get played.
Miming on the field has long been a problem in the AFL. There was Sam Mitchell miming a needle to the Essendon players, Adam Goodes throwing an imaginary spear, which somehow upset adult humans and Hawthorn’s Mark Williams pretending to fire a rifle.
I’ve long said any form of mime should be illegal and subject to the highest penalties possible under the law. This goes for off the footy field too.
The AFL itself needs to take a harder stance. Mime is a gateway drug to both interpretive dance and street theatre. Both far dangerous than cocaine to young minds.
The Giants had stars everywhere, with Jeremey Cameron booting seven goals and Jeremy Finlayson kicking five.
Most impressive was Lachie Whitfield, who was once most famous for going missing. He’s certainly not hard to find anymore, just look for the ball and he’ll be there. His 41 disposals meant the Giants had the run of it in the midfield.
Brisbane (107) v Port Adelaide (90)
You can see why Fremantle weren’t that interested in retaining the services of Lachie Neale. He has only been one of the best players of the season, if not the best.
The young Lions now have serious claims to be legit. They are also exciting to watch and their rebuild now seems to be ahead of both Carlton’s and Melbourne’s. Which isn’t that hard actually.
This game easy, with Port seeming to have the upper hand in the last quarter, only for the Eric Hipwood and Charlie Cameron to come through when it counted.
Ken Hinkley said after the game ‘someone has to win; someone has to lose’.
Power supporters would agree with this but wonder why it has to be them that does the losing bit so often in these games.
They certainly weren’t helped when Tom Rockliff went off after a collision and sat on the bench for the last quarter.
The Gabba crowd even applauded him off, in a display of good sportsmanship from a crowd that I’d thought we’d forgotten how to do.
Collingwood (76) v West Coast (98)
The Eagles being a Premiership team was not some fluke or fever dream, they’re actually really good.
I guess the irritation of getting no credit for being the best team in the competition can be offset by winning a lot.
Dom Sheed and Liam Ryan again haunted the Magpies, while Andrew Gaff returned with 35 disposals.
It was inspiring to see him make a comeback and with such a great performance. Oh, hang on, he wasn’t the victim, was he? I got confused the way some people were talking about it.
The problem for the Pies is they just can’t stay with the Eagles for an entire game and on the MCG that’s a problem.
When it counts, the Pies just couldn’t find a winner. De Goey started strong but was well held, and when it came to the big moments, it was all the Eagles.
Western Bulldogs (68) v Gold Coast (73)
If Steven May is to be believed, the training standards are so low at the Suns that he was shocked to discover how high they are at Melbourne.
Imagine my surprise then, when I read the ladder this morning and saw the Suns are 2-1 and the Demons are a miserable 0-3.
Is it possible it was just Steven May who was really unfit?
It certainly seems that way after watching a very cohesive Suns side win away from home against a fast finishing Bulldogs side.
The Suns look well drilled and with a discipline they have previously lacked. Is not having a bunch of stars who do their own thing a benefit? Is teamwork the most important thing in footy rather than individuals? This is mind bending stuff.
It’s almost like this is a team sport.
The Bulldogs played well, but only for three quarters. Their first quarter, in which they gave up 40 points, was shambolic to say the least and ultimately cost them.
If this game went another few minutes and the Doggies would have probably won.
Don’t leave things to the last minute kids.
Hawthorn (87) v North Melbourne (71)
Hawthorn are the first side in VFL/AFL history to kick the same score in their first three games. It’s a stat that means, well, absolutely nothing.
Typical Hawthorn though, achieving even pointless things.
Watching this game on TV, I heard something I’d never heard before, Tom Scully is really good at running all day. The commentators really made sure I remembered this fascinating new insight by mentioning about every four minutes.
It’s the new ‘Scott Pendlebury has a basketball background’.
North appeared to have the Hawks measure early on, but with an inevitability that was monotonous, Hawrthorn started to slowly peg them back and every North supporter at the ground just new they’d get overrun.
Chad Wingard, in his Hawthorn debut, stepped up when it really mattered, which he needed to do as he’d corked Jarryd Roughead’s thigh in training during the week causing the former captain to miss this game.
The Kangaroos are now 0-3 and perhaps worst of all they’re just sort of nothing. They can play well enough for parts of the game, but they are like a boxer who lacks a knockout punch.
Fremantle (71) v St Kilda (66)
A surprisingly engaging game with more drama than you’d expect from the Sunday twilight slot.
A sickening head clash between Nat Fyfe and St Kilda’s Josh Battle saw Fyfe knocked out and out for much of the second half.
His absence certainly didn’t help, but St Kilda were already showing that their good start to the season wasn’t a fluke before he went off.
While a lot of the Saints’ game has improved this season, one thing hasn’t, goal kicking.
If they’d kicked straight, this was there for the taking.
The Dockers face the Eagles next week, and they’ll want to consider occasionally scoring, if they have any chance to win that.
And in a final note, a comment on the umpiring this round. It was more shambolic than Brendon Fevola at the Brownlow.
It’s almost like changing heaps of the rules and making a lot of them highly technical, for no real reason, is making the game over umpired. If I wanted games ruined by the umpires, I’d watch Rugby Union.
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