A highly unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week One | Titus O'Reily

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A highly unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week One

The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.

It’s your unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week One.

Thursday

Richmond v Hawthorn (MCG) 7.20PM All Times AEST

There was a lot of complaints in Melbourne about this game being on a Thursday night. 

I’m not sure why. Non-Victorian clubs have had Thursday night finals before, and in Perth to fit into the Eastern States prime time the games have to start at about ten in the morning. 

I have no problem with Thursday night finals. Why? Because finals take precedence over everything else. 

School, work, all these things can take a back seat. 

If you’ve got kids, just get the au pair to mind them and say merci beaucoup.

Isn’t it great to see the Hawks back in the finals? Like seeing an incredibly painful rash flare up again. 

The Hawks worry me. That Alastair Clarkson knows what he’s doing and it’s terrifying. 

People that know what they’re doing are a rare commodity in the AFL. There’s about six of them. 

Clarkson is so good he even offsets having Jeff Kennett at the club.

Richmond fans have had a year of bliss. You see them walking around everywhere with a look of post-coital bliss on their face. 

There’s apparently 100,000 Tigers members walking around like this, but club membership numbers have become incredibly rubbery in recent years. 

Like employment figures, people keep changing definitions to make the figures seem better. 

Once a club member meant someone that had a membership for either every game or every home game. Then it started to shift to people who bought a membership that covered three or four games. Then pets started to be counted in the figures. 

Now if you drive past Punt Road Oval, you get counted as a member.

I think Richmond can get the job done here.

Friday

Melbourne v Geelong (MCG) 7.50PM 

The bewildered people wandering around Melbourne this week are Demons supporters who didn’t even know footy could go this late in the season. 

“But it’s almost Spring; we would usually go down to Portsea this time of year to air the house out.”

The Dees face a tough game, with Razor Ray selected to resume his partnership with Joel Selwood. 

The combination of Joel’s love of staging and Razor’s love of the big stage is hard to resist. 

These two clubs have already had two classics this year, and you can build a convincing case for either to win. 

The media have been very bullish about Melbourne this week which is enough to terrify any Demons supporter. 

Geelong isn’t exactly inexperienced when it comes to finals, having played in the occasional one in recent times. 

I’ve always resented Geelong. They used to be terrible like Melbourne but then sorted themselves out off and on the field. 

It was like when a friend starts going to the gym, gets in shape, lands a great new job and settles down with someone wonderful. 

Sure, I pretended I was happy for Cats fans, but deep down I was angry. Geelong’s relentless professionalism just makes the rest of the league look bad.

I’m too nervous to be able to give any actual insight into this game. When I think about it, all the blood rushes to my head, and I have to lie down, and my staff fan me with palm leaves until I recover.

I’m going to tip the Dees, but I’m tipping with my heart, something I didn’t know I had until recently.

Saturday 

Sydney v Greater Western Sydney (SCG) 4.20PM

The Swans and the Giants are like a family, living under one roof. 

The younger sibling just wants to prove they can beat the older sibling, while the older sibling just wishes the younger one didn’t exist. 

Having someone around who wishes you had never been created is an intense experience, it’s what I feel when I attend social events, and the Giants, therefore, are no fans of the Swans.

It must be hard growing up in the shadows of a successful older sibling, but the Swans certainly had their awkward teenage stage. 

They even hung around with Geoffrey Edelsten for a while, making them the Gabi Grecko of the AFL.

Luckily it was just a phase.

There’s a great sense of excitement building in Western Sydney, and while that’s for the NRL finals, relatives of the Giants players are getting excited about this game.

These teams do not like each other. The only thing they agree on is they think the Kardashians would look at the Victorian footy media and say, ‘these people are incredibly self-involved.’

Both these clubs have had up and down season, but there’s no doubt they can perform on the day.

I’m tipping the Swans.

West Coast v Collingwood (OS) 6.10PM

As I predicted at the start of the season, West Coast and Collingwood finished top four. 

I even have proof, as I wrote it down on a bit of paper which I will show you as soon as the ink has dried.

Perth is a beautiful city, let down by the fact that it is riddled with Eagles fans. This weekend it will be even worse, with the joint teeming with Pies fans too.

My thoughts are with the hospitality staff in that city.

Like a professional Argentinian polo player trying to clear immigration, the Pies have had all sorts of obstacles thrown in their way this season.

Injuries, more injuries and then some more injuries have made things difficult, but they’ve persevered. 

It’s a lesson for all of us when life continues to throw challenges your way, give up immediately, or all you’ll get in the end is a trip to Perth.

Facing the Eagles at home is not exactly fun, but the Pies have shown an ability to overcome great odds, so write them off at your peril.

The Eagles clinched second spot and if anything, are underrated. Of all the teams, I probably fancy their chances of losing to Richmond in the Grand Final the most.

They’ve even won away from home this year making them a legitimate threat for the Premiership. 

Don’t let Eagles fans know I said anything nice about their team, however, I’ll never hear the end of it.

I’m tipping the Eagles.

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Comments

Stu 6 September 2018

The master coach WILL have a master plan, always does, been there more times than hardwick has had hot dinner's
Hawks by 25+

Dusty's chopsticks 6 September 2018

Ha ha ha

Wally 7 September 2018

This comment hasn’t aged well

Master planner 7 September 2018

Almost.

Bloke from the Outer 8 September 2018

The master coach still needs some decent players. A bit of foot speed wouldn't have gone astray either.

Morsey 6 September 2018

Absolute gold this write up! Nothing beats it! Good luck to your Dees Titus and go the EAGLES!

Morsey 6 September 2018

Absolute gold this write up! Nothing beats it! Good luck to your Dees Titus and go the EAGLES!

Hank 6 September 2018

Portsea might have to wait mate. I'm tipping the Dees too. Cats are Gawn ! (that was a pun in case you didn't notice).

Pablo 6 September 2018

'Clarkson is so good he even offsets having Jeff Kennett at the club.'

This is just pure gold.

Borissimo 6 September 2018

Like the kid with the curl, when good so very very good.

CLIVE WATERHOUSE'S UNDERPANTS 6 September 2018

Go Pies

G-Rant 6 September 2018

Yep. Hawthorn in the finals again. It's about as inevitable and welcome as the return of seasonal hay fever.

Phreo Phrank 6 September 2018

We are done but still ‘luv yor werk’ Titus. PP

The Kraken 6 September 2018

A beautiful city riddled with Eagles fans sums Perth up nicely. Optus Stadium will be a literal hive of scum and villainy when the Collingwood supporters pack in there with them.

Eagle Eye 6 September 2018

I'll be one of them ☺

Pete 6 September 2018

I'll miss my Melbourne supporter friends who I routinely catch up with on holidays in September.
Pete (Saints fan)

Eagle Eye 6 September 2018

Go the Ds. And us, of course.

TezB 6 September 2018

You were so kind to Eagles fans faces when u did ur Perth show?!

Ozsprinter 6 September 2018

Well, Port did a great job of underachieving and over-promising for me, so as a token of my appreciation for all the entertainment Titus gives us, I am on the Deeeeee Train!

Giant Swan 6 September 2018

"The only thing they agree on is they think the Kardashians would look at the Victorian footy media and say, ‘these people are incredibly self-involved." that has got to be the quote of the year. Nice work again Sir.

Warney 6 September 2018

Arsehole, we do so much better when you tip against the Dees!!! Kiss of Death or what... Anyway sorry for the hospitality staff? I am sorry for the midwives in 9 months time when the babies are born with tattoos and an ice addiction after these miscreants breed. That said really rather Collingwood salute here, the idea of a Pies/Dees clash in September will make me think Eisenhower is back in the Whitehouse and that the colonial boundaries of the world are intact.

If Youre Not Dees, Youre Dum!! 6 September 2018

"Perth is a beautiful city, let down by the fact that it is riddled with Eagles fans. This weekend it will be even worse, with the joint teeming with Pies fans too"

Not sure who is worse here, as one has no teeth and the other no brains...Good luck Optus staff trying to figure out who is getting boo'ed the most. Go Dees

Half Empty Beanbag 6 September 2018

Statistics would suggest that 50% of the people you meet are of below average intelligence.
This figure will blow out to 100% at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

Suma 6 September 2018

Is it possible for channel 7 to provide French/Italian/Dutch commentary for all the au pairs watching the finals from home?

Football Analyst - Sigmund 6 September 2018

Titus,

I have worked the Richmond game plan out! I’ve kept off the Chardonnay tonight and analysed it using psychology.

Hardwick has developed a game plan that has done a number of things:

1. Push the umpires on their interpretation of the rules at each contest. The umpires will not want to call free kicks at every contest and if 60% go in their favour or the whistle isn’t blown, then they’re ahead.

2. The pressure Richmond exert is on the umpire, not the opposition. Clever.

3. Richmond are dickheads

4. Watching the hawthorn game, you could tell that they push the rules to the maximum. When the umpires are intimidated into creating a free flowing game and not calling obvious free kicks, it shows Richmond have sucked in everyone.

5. I’m not a hawthorn supporter

6. Good show in Melbourne last weekend

7. I’m not a big Chardonnay fan

Mr.Freud

Waddster 7 September 2018

Considering we are 100 frees down, we've done OK.

Eagleedgar 7 September 2018

Didn't realise eagles fans were so hated! Although, admittedly we should pay more respect to the umpires and opposing teams. Another gold article though Titus! Very refreshing in a politically correct industry

HotPies 7 September 2018

New combo at Geelong, "ChamberWood"

Tiger17 7 September 2018

Oh Sigmund........before you write something you should check the facts. Richmond are now -119 in the free kick count for the season after having won just our fourth free kick count this season last night.........by 20 to 19! I think it's a bit like junior footy............pay the free kicks to the team getting belted!

Rance - 3rd best full back this century 7 September 2018

If you believe fair umpiring results I each team getting the same number of frees, this is a solid argument. For sentient humans, however, this shows you don’t understand your own team’s game plan...

Bloke from the Outer 8 September 2018

I don't mind the tiges getting the raw end of free kicks during the home and away games. Typically, the teams that get an armchair ride during the season can't adjust if and when the free kicks even out in the finals.

Sigmund’s cousin, Euler 8 September 2018

Ok, let’s do this mathematically. Let’s say Richmond creates situations that 50 free kicks should be awarded against them. But the umpires only awarded 20 free kicks against them.

But in the non-awarded free kicks (30), Richmond either went on to kick a goal or they stopped a goal being scored.

It’s not the overall free kick count that matters when you’re assessing Richmond’s game plan. In fact, the fact that Richmond has-119 free kicks is actually a indicator of their game plan.

It’s an absolute not a comparative.

Leonhard

bigED 9 September 2018

First weekend of finals has produced three great games of football .
Does anyone enjoy watching the tigers play at the G apart from their own supporters ?
Any rule changes that can remove them from the big stage are more than welcome , they are essential . Long live football .

Hutstar 10 September 2018

Three great games of football? Tell that to the Swans supporters who saw their team kick a whopping 15 points for the game prior to junk time.
If you don't like watching Richmond play, that's up to you. I like watching the best players, fastest ball movement and most robust defence, so I'm 100% with it. Anyway, Winners are grinners and all that. Go Tiges.

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