Jun 07, 2021
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twelve
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.
Melbourne (97) v Brisbane (75)
We all know we live in strange times. Lockdowns, saturation reporting on the Royal family as if they’re interesting and a rock-solid Melbourne side.
Not that they looked rock-solid in the first half. Melbourne supporters felt the darkness returning as the Dees floundered under the white-hot pressure of Brisbane.
Yet nothing underlines the seismic shift in this team than the fact they adjusted on the fly, got things under control and went on to win comfortably.
I’m still in shock, I’m not used to feeling proud of my team.
Brisbane looked great early on, they applied so much pressure that Melbourne looked like a deer in the headlights.
Up forward Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher were dominating. Things got so bad that I saw one Melbourne fan tweet that the Dees desperately needed Ben Brown.
But footy games are long, they’re a test of stamina as much as skill, and in the second half, the Dees ran all over the Lions like they weren’t even there.
One bit of play showing Joe Daniher barely making an effort to defend has been shared widely on social media, as the Dees chained together a bunch of handballs that led to a goal, but he was hardly the only Lion out on his feet late in the game.
The only thing for Dees fans to worry about now is it’s a long season, but this is better than anything we’ve had in decades, and I am here for it.
Sydney (92) v St Kilda (83)
You’d think St Kilda fans have suffered enough, but every Saints supporter knows their team’s ability to hurt them is infinite.
On Saturday, they watched Jack Higgins, arguably their best player on the day, also kick 1.6, blowing numerous chances to win the game.
Only St Kilda could participate in a scenario where your best player is also a key reason you lost.
Saints fans don’t need this nonsense, especially while in lockdown, these days are had enough without your football team torturing you.
The Swans dodged a bullet in this one. They controlled stoppages early but against a Saints side that has been underwhelming in recent weeks, this was hardly a dominant display.
Still, a win is a win, and while relying on opponents to miss set shots isn’t an ideal strategy, it’s amazing how often it works.
Adelaide (73) v Collingwood (78)
Collingwood ventured into South Australia with more security surrounding them than the plane in Con Air.
While we know the results of this game, it will be a few days until we discover how many people got Covid from the poison ball in use of the game.
If Jamie Elliott can have this big an impact on the Pies, perhaps he should be the one putting together a ticket to run for the board.
He was so good I expect him to be released to free up cap space at the end of the year.
Unlike previous games, the Pies seemed to have both a game plan and the will to execute it.
Even handballs and kicks were hitting targets, and astoundingly, these handballs and kicks were going forward, not backwards. And people say miracles aren’t real.
Despite the Pies hot start, it felt like Adelaide were going to run over the top of them because that’s what always happens to Collingwood.
But when the Pies needed him, again Jamie Elliott bobbed up and kicked another goal.
The relief from Pies fans could be felt across the Victoria, something good happened to them, for the first time in some time.
Darcy Parish (84) v Richmond (123)
Dreamtime at Optus Stadium certainly provided the crowd such an event deserves; 55,656 people crammed in to watch Richmond reassert their position as a top team.
This game itself was pretty entertaining too, with Essendon coming back from 30-points down in the third quarter to take the lead in the final quarter.
But that effort to get back proved to be all the Bombers had, as the Tigers then piled on the goals, for a winning margin that properly flattered Richmond.
While Essendon didn’t get the win, but their performance wouldn’t have Bombers fans too disheartened, given the fight they showed and one Darcy Parish.
Parish was simply ridiculous, racking up a club-record 44 disposals and he almost singlehandedly got the Bombers back into the game.
It was an important performance due to Andrew McGrath going off injured early in the game.
But Richmond are still a pretty good side, what with that Dusty Martin guy running around doing things.
Claims Richmond are on the slide seem premature. What if they are doing that thing they peak at the right time again?
Oh my god, it could happen again.
Carlton (73) v West Coast (95)
In a world so unpredictable, there is something comforting about the unwavering predictability of the Carlton Football Club.
Against a severely depleted Eagles side, playing away from Optus Stadium, the Blues did everything to not win.
Before the game Eagles forward Liam Ryan didn’t look fully fit, so of course, he kicked four goals and took nine marks, including one that will be the mark of the week (pending irregular voting patterns).
Carlton wasn’t helped when their entire forward line went off concussed early in the game, but I believe they could have lost even if that hadn’t happened.
What’s most frustrating about the loss for Blues supporters is all the same things will be said this week by the club and nothing will change.
It’s amazing Collingwood’s board is the only one under the threat of a spill.
Fremantle (65) v Western Bulldogs (93)
Less a game and more an opportunity for Fremantle players to injure themselves.
It was like putting ten kids on a trampoline at once. Total carnage.
The Dockers tried, but the Doggies skill level was just too high, plus that Marcus Bontempelli guy got in the way a lot, especially with the two long bombs he kicked.
Aaron Naughton continued this week’s tradition of kicking inaccurately for goal, booting 1.5. He took a nice mark though.
For the Bulldogs it was a good bounce back after their loss last week, for Fremantle, it looks like any chance of finals have been severely injured.
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