Jun 12, 2018
The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twelve
Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise.
On a Tuesday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.
What you really want is idiotic hysteria.
You’ve come to the right place.
Port Adelaide (72) v Richmond (58)
No MCG, no Richmond. At least that’s what the lazy AFL commentators will say, of which I am one.
Richmond learnt that Dusty’s best position isn’t in New Zealand and have already whisked him back.
The Power proved all the doubters, so everyone, wrong in this one. They played the way you think they should be able to but often don’t.
All it took was a burst in the second quarter for Port, when they kicked seven goals to Richmond’s two to secure the victory.
It was a strange quarter, as the game seemed to be very tight if anything Richmond played better for the rest of the game, but Ollie Wines went nuts with 13 possessions and Justin Westhoff had one of his games that makes you think ‘hey this guy is really good’.
The Tigers then worked hard to get back into it, but like someone who ate too much bread before a big meal, they couldn’t come back from their earlier tactical missteps.
LED Advertising Sign (96) v North Melbourne (59)
While most people retire to the Gold Coast, Gary Ablett has gone the other way, and despite being obviously past it, showed he can be a handy role player, with 34 possessions, 16 of them contested. Not bad for someone who apparently should have retired a few weeks ago.
The Cats have always had a significant home advantage, but they have now arranged for their LED advertising signage to take a more proactive role in injuring opposition players.
North Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell cut both his knees quite badly on the newish signs as he crashed into them.
Personally, I like the idea of the ground being surrounded by dangerous surfaces, to encourage more corridor play. Perth Stadium is already trialling it.
Where is the Look of the Game Committee on innovative ideas like this? Probably too busy trying to work out ways to ruin our great game with zones.
North were not terrible but not great either. Like focaccia.
I knew they were in trouble when I read an article this week asking the question, ‘can North win the flag?’
Whenever a journalist writes a piece like that, you should worry. It’s more dangerous than LED signage.
Greater Western Sydney (134) v Gold Coast (26)
The good news first, only 7,131 people saw this in person, and while it’s sad they’ll never watch Australian Rules again, it’s low numbers.
I can only assume the Suns players have never watched Australian Rules before because the way they played certainly suggested that.
How bad were the Suns? As bad as they always are. All this talk of moving them to Tasmania is fanciful.
The Tasmanians are campaigning for an AFL team.
The Giants were great; it was impossible for them not to be, with the Suns applying as much pressure as a Luke Darcy interview.
In fairness to Gold Coast, it’s pretty hard to run an AFL side when you can’t play at your home ground for the first half of the season and the AFL also send you to China, Ballarat and Western Australia for two weeks, just to make sure you’ve racked up more frequent flyer points than the Foreign Minister.
Despite these very real problems, it doesn’t excuse a performance that at best could be called ‘one of the worst performances ever by a Suns team and that is saying something because it’s been a never-ending train wreck that shows no sign of stopping.’
St Kilda (55) v Sydney (126)
The Pride Game told us the ‘Everyone is Welcome’, which is undoubtedly true of footy, but that doesn’t mean footy is for everyone, which certainly seems to apply to the 2018 Saints side.
Inspired by the Suns’ earlier ‘efforts’, St Kilda allowed the Swans to kick the opening nine goals, which is considered by footballing purists as ‘not ideal’.
Alan Richardson was coaching from the bench early on, before then moving up to the box later in the game, proving he cannot coach from the coaches’ box or the bench. That’s versatility.
The Saints did try to do a reasonable impression of a footy side after the first half, but by then the damage was done.
The Swans would have been thrilled with the entire night, especially when they could just practice scoring drills for the first quarter before involving an opponent in the second quarter.
This sets up Gold Coast v St Kilda next week in a match that is to be avoided like a reality TV contestant.
Brisbane (62) v Essendon (84)
All this talk of congestion ruining the game, when really, it’s the fact there’s an awful lot of not very good players floating around an eighteen-team competition.
Some of the poor goal kicking in this stood out even in this season.
We also had the rather bizarre goal review were a clearly touched Jake Stringer kick was overturned from a point to a goal on review.
The AFL conceded later on that the reviewer looked at the wrong player when deciding it was touched.
One can only assume the AFL recruited reviewers by going to the cinema and hiring people who seemed to have trouble following the plot.
“Who’s this guy? Have we seen him before? Is he one of the good guys?”
It would be laughable except, actually it’s just laughable, like all the AFL’s fresh new ‘innovative’ ideas. They are doing my head in at the moment.
Essendon hardly excelled in this one and losing Dyson Heppell to a Luke Hodge bump (that was legal because it was Luke Hodge) didn’t help, but the Lions apologised by turning the ball over frequently to the Bombers.
Fremantle (71) v Adelaide (68)
Adelaide should be able to beat a Dockers outfit lacking Nat Fyfe, right?
Not this season, where everything that can go wrong for the Crows does.
With all the injuries, much of this is understandable to a point, but in this one, they really should have won.
The Dockers jumped them early, but from the second quarter, the Crows were on top, only to invent new and exciting ways to not convert in front of goal.
Eddie Betts, normally a match winner, managed to boot 2.6 and miss three key shots in the fourth quarter.
Fremantle showed they can outscore a team if that team boots 9.14.
The Dockers do seem to have found some young talent in recent weeks in Brennan Cox and Adam Cerra, but this was a lucky win.
Melbourne (91) v Collingwood (133)
I’m writing this from a dark place.
Both emotionally and physically, because I’m still in the bathroom with the lights off where I went to cry after the game. I like the acoustics in here as my sobbing bounces of the tiles, and the floor is so cold, like my heart.
What’s new? When it matters, the Melbourne Football Club go to water in the most embarrassing way, and if they want people to stop saying that they need to stop doing it with a predictability so perfect it must be Swiss engineered.
Collingwood were simply better in every single way; they worked harder, played smarter and took advantage of the fact the Demons seemed to have decided defence was not important.
Even an American that barely knew the game existed played better than almost all the Melbourne players.
Who knew that all of Collingwood’s previous problems resulted from Nathan Buckley’s previous unwillingness to grow facial hair?
Most concerning for the Demons, is they’re 2-4 at the MCG this season, with one of those against Carlton, so it’s really 1-4.
What hurts, even more, is that Collingwood are indeed back. I feel like everyone lost yesterday, humanity lost.
I suddenly don’t care if the Trump-Jong-un summit ends in a nuclear war that consumes us all in hellfire.
I told you I was in a dark place. I’m going back to some sobbing now.
Bye: Carlton, Hawthorn, West Coast, Western Bulldogs
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