Jun 06, 2022
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.
Western Bulldogs (70) v Geelong (83)
With the benefit of hindsight, the Bulldogs would have to concede letting Geelong get 40 points in front was a mistake.
This looked like it was going to be one of the great beltings, as Geelong started off kicking everything, while the Doggies looked like they couldn’t hit the side of a barn even if you laid every barn in the world side-by-side.
Up the other end, Jeremey Cameron was having a field day, helped by the fact the Bulldogs' defence is undersized to the point where quite a few rides at Luna Park are off-limits to them.
This all changed when Tom Stewart, a one-man defence system who should be deployed to Ukraine, was concussed while attempting to tackle Bailey Smith.
Suddenly, the Doggies could score, just like when my friend at school Simon Waterson got his braces off in year twelve, just as his acne cleared up. I didn’t see him much after that.
With the Bulldogs now on a tear, Geelong tried to hold on.
Bailey Smith, suddenly with a taste for concussing opponents, decided to headbutt Zach Tuohy as they scuffled at three-quarter time.
This resulted in footy journos dusting off the phrase ‘nervous wait’.
Touhy of course stuck to the players' code, denying there was anything in the incident, claiming he grazed his head on the grass, and that there was no game of footy and he was home in bed with a cup of tea by 7.30pm.
Despite Smith’s best efforts to take out every Cat player one-by-one, the Cats held on.
Adelaide (88) v West Coast (57)
Horrible. Just horrible.
Less a football game and more an exercise in extinguishing anyone’s love of this great game, the AFL should offer compensation to anyone who saw this, let alone anyone who paid to be at it.
The Crows had lost five in a row, so this was a chance to boost confidence, and in the first half they did, helped by West Coast looking like an interpretive dance troupe performing a work loosely based on Australian Rules Football.
So bad were the Eagles early on that Adam Simpson was covering his eyes and while we would all like to not watch the Eagles, it’s not an option if you’re their coach.
By halftime, Adelaide would have been feeling pretty good about themselves, only for the second half to happen, a half the Eagles would win.
Fittingly, the Crows did win the entire game but was still a game where everyone was a loser.
Both sides have a bye next week and in this troubled world, we should be thankful for small mercies.
Gold Coast (109) v North Melbourne (47)
Getting North Melbourne the week before a bye is a bit like the boss giving you a week off before you go on holiday.
To make things fun, the Suns let the Roos lead by 17 points at quarter-time, which was like the bad guy in a horror movie letting the victim get a head start in the woods.
The second quarter saw the Suns pour on seven goals, while North didn’t score at all. This was not good from a Kangaroos point of view.
Many top footy analysts believe scoring lots while limiting your opponent's score is a big reason for success. I believe only Champion Data don’t see this as important.
North’s ability to completely disappear for large parts of the game would make them one of the best hide and seek teams in the world, but unfortunately, they’ve chosen Australian Rules Football as their sport.
Is it possible that’s why they let their recruiting manager and list manger go? Had they mistakenly been building a world-class hide and seek team?
I’d say that was a fanciful idea, except for the fact North are involved.
Melbourne (61) v Sydney (73)
Is it panic stations yet?
I would say so. Two losses in a row has seen the Demons plummet to first on the ladder and just one game clear.
Probably a sensible option would be to trade Petracca and Oliver for draft picks and start playing the kids.
While Melbourne’s dynasty is now a distant memory, the plaudits must go to the Swans, who managed to come back in this with a suburb defensive effort and something called ‘tackling’.
The Swans had 75 to 53 tackles, with Callum Mills finishing with ten, as did Sam Reid, while Luke Parker had nine and Tom McCartin had seven.
The Dees seemed to not enjoy this, with the major outcome being the Demons completely inability to score after quarter time.
Their forward line looks impotent, and I get it, it happens to a lot of forward lines, but you must do something about it.
Often, it’s mental more than physical, or so I’m told.
And while the focus will be on Melbourne’s troubles, if you’re a Swans supporter, that was a pretty great weekend.
Hawthorn (68) v Collingwood (72)
Umpiring remains a hot mess this season, but to be fair, the players don’t help themselves at times.
Take for example players like Jack Ginnivan and Cody Weightman who stage for frees, then also complain when they aren’t given them.
Weightman throws himself so far forward in his attempts to get a free, he could win an Olympic long jump event.
Ginnivan is learning that if you duck all the time, you sometimes don’t get the ones you should, only Joel Selwood gets away with that.
Personally, I think if you cry wolf all the time, I can’t mourn you that much when you then get eaten by a wolf.
While Pies fans weren’t thrilled with some of those non-decisions, they’d be happy about everything else.
They’ve won their third game in a row for the first time since 2019, proving not everything was bad during lockdown.
They’d also be happy with Nick Daicos who had 36 disposals and was best on ground. It’s early, but by the time his career is over, I predict the name Daicos will be a famous one in football.
Hawthorn will be happy to have responded after last week’s game, and it turns out having a ruckman makes a difference.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, they get the 2022 premiers, Fremantle next week.
Fremantle (99) v Brisbane (85)
If you want to convince people you are the real deal, beating Melbourne and Brisbane in a fortnight is a good way to do it.
How have the Dockers accomplished this miracle?
Partly through having really good players, and then having them all commit to defending across the entire ground.
This is the blueprint for every premiership, yet people seem amazed when it works.
In fairness, most AFL teams know this is the blueprint, it’s doing it that’s the hard bit, and the Dockers are doing it.
And Brisbane do that very well too.
Watching Lachie Neale and Andrew Brayshaw go at it was worth the price of admission alone.
Then you had Zac Bailey up one end and Bailey Banfield up the other duelling it out.
No wonder the crowd was electric watching this, it was a great game.
So big was the crowd, it got me thinking, with the success of Fremantle, is it time for a second AFL team in Western Australia?
Bye: Carlton, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Essendon, Greater Western Sydney, Richmond.
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