The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Ten  | Titus O'Reily

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The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Ten 

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.

Collingwood (90) v Western Bulldogs (55)

Collingwood is in the eight people. This is not a drill. 

I’m not panicking yet, but I’m currently putting a lot of effort into preparing to panic. 

Let’s just see who the Pies have got next week… oh, Fremantle at the MCG. 

OK, now I am panicking. I don’t want to live in a world where the Pies aren’t getting worse year-on-year.

The Bulldogs started this off well, going into halftime 18 points up. They must have thought that was an insurmountable lead and decided to only score four points in the second half.

It turns out that wasn’t enough, as the Pies in a brilliant strategic move, decided to play the second half, completely catching the Bulldogs by surprise. 

Will we ever know why the Bulldogs decided not to compete the second half? 

The more worrying thing is that they thought they were and this is all they’ve got. 

Coming off the back of a two-goal game last week, being held to four points for an entire half is a worry. They currently have the firepower of Fremantle.

The Pies are now well in the hunt for finals, and while many will point out that a lot of their wins have come against dead wood, this isn’t enough to comfort me.

After all, we all thought North were going to be terrible, GWS would be good, and the Cats would have a midfield, and none of these things are true.

Anything can happen, and the Pies are terrifyingly competent. 

Richmond (105) v St Kilda (77)

I was at this game, and I must say, being surrounded by happy Richmond fans is possibly as terrifying as angry ones. 

They were angry early on, when five minutes in, Jake Carlisle decide to channel The Undertaker and launch a flying clothesline on Jack Riewoldt, leaving the Tigers key forward concussed and playing no further part in the game.

The Saints were further helped when Richmond lost Bachar Houli to a groin injury before halftime.

To add to the Tigers woes, the Saints were giving ‘trying’ a go and in a new development, were managing to hit targets. 

The Saints even kicked 12.5, a level of accuracy St Kilda fans have only dreamt of this year.

This all meant the Tigers had to put in real effort and they weren’t helped by the awfulness of the AFL’s score review system.

Hey, here’s an idea to fix the score review system, get rid of it. It’s more horrible than communal tables at cafes. 

Sure, the umpires make mistakes, but we lived with that for over a century. The review system seems to manage to get things wrong and slow down the game.

Despite all this, the Tigers class shone through, with Josh Caddy plugging the hole up forward by booting six. 

The Tigers may be spluttering a bit, but they are second on the ladder, it’s only round ten and on the MCG, they are very tough to beat. Richmond fans can stay happy.

Brisbane (49) v Sydney (67)

I was incredibly drunk when I watched this, and it was a good thing too because there was nothing enjoyable about the actual game.

It was a hard slog, watching it I mean. The big problem was I got hungry and couldn’t decide what food to order.

It took me until the third quarter before I finally settled on souvlaki, which I have to say was a great choice.

About the time it arrived, the Lions were having a real crack, and the lamb in this thing was so well cooked. The meat to salad ration was also ‘on point’ as the kids in 2016 would say.

It had garlic sauce too, which is always great and given I never get close enough to anyone for that to cause problems, I could just enjoy it. 

I’ve been told souvlakis are even good sober and while I can’t vouch for this personally, I’m sure it’s true.

Geelong (73) v Carlton (45)

Someone was glassed at this game in something called the ‘Stella Artois Lounge’, which came after an all-in brawl that occurred at the Medallion Club on Friday night.

Personally, I think ‘Stella Artois Lounge’ would serve as enough of a warning not to enter the venue.

There seems to be a lot of crowd violence at AFL games this season, which must mean one thing, a lot of A-League fans are coming to games this season.

A bigger crackdown on soccer fans is what’s needed. How long is the Football Federation Australia going to sit on their hands?

Geelong wanted to make a big statement after last week’s comically inept performance against Essendon, and they almost did, but not really.

Instead, the Cats were not great, with Chris Scott calling it accurately a "horrible game". 

Worst of all, Esava Ratugolea suffered a broken ankle and was in great distress. Luckily people shared the footage of it a lot on social media. I despair for the world sometimes.

Carlton, who seemed in trouble early on, actually showed a lot of heart, not something you often associate with them, and despite being well below in class, they would not let the Cats get away from them.

In the end, it was an excellent result for all neutrals, Carlton lost, but Geelong didn’t look good either.

Greater Western Sydney (60) v Essendon (95)

Essendon’s post-Neeld renaissance continued with a terrific victory over the injury plagued, but also very disappointing Giants.

Despite their injuries, the Giants have now lost four games in a row and seem to have no idea what they are doing. 

Trust me; I’m very familiar with having no idea what I’m doing and can easily recognise it in others.

Despite the Giants woes, a lot of credit has to go to the Bombers who worked hard all game and ran over the top of the Giants in the final quarter.

Essendon had key injuries too, but now everything seems to be going right for them. 

Even Jake Stringer played well, making it less fun for the rest of us. Have the Bombers turned the corner? It’s upsettingly possible.

Hawthorn (60) v West Coast (75)

Let’s see how many times I can get the phrase ‘real deal’ in reference to the Eagles because saying the ‘real deal’ a lot seems to be compulsory for the AFL media when referring to these real deal Eagles.

Playing the Hawks at their not home ground of Etihad Stadium was always going to be a challenge to the Eagles credentials as the real deal, but like the true real deal these real deal Eagles are, they sent a strong message to the rest of the competition that they are in fact, the real deal.

OK, I’ve had enough of that.

What the Eagles are doing is winning all the time. This was number nine in a row. It’s exhausting.

This wasn’t an easy win either, with the Hawks making it a hard slog. Hawthorn’s major problem was turnovers, with them being punished quite a few times as a result.

The only other moment of note was when Willie Rioli patted Ray Chamberlain on the hip. Umpire uniforms are like catnip to AFL players; they get all handsy. 

There aren’t too many workplaces where touching a co-worker on the hip is ok. 

Perhaps in ballet or figure skating it’s OK, but I can tell you it’s not taken well in a budget meeting if the message relayed to me in my exit interview is correct.

Melbourne (146) v Adelaide (55)

This is the first time Melbourne has won five games in a row since 2006, which was also the last time they played finals. 

You remember 2006; it was the year Shakira taught us that ‘hips don’t lie’, something Willie Rioli would do well to remember.

And boy did they win. This was a smashing on a grand scale, so much so that people got carried away and started saying ‘premiership contender’ before, I can only assume, needing to go and have a good lie down.

Now, you’d be foolish not to notice that the Crows had a lot of their best players out, with Paul Seedsman adding to the pain by being a late out.

The ease with which the Demons dominated the Crows was impressive as you can only get the job done against who is out there. 

Melbourne still have points to prove though, beating a good side on the MCG would be a big step, but there’s no doubt that they seem to have started to believe in what they’re doing.

Adelaide are reeling after this. At three-quarter time, Don Pyke just stared at each of his players without speaking for a long time. It was incredibly awkward, like being on a date.

Pyke said he was doing it to impress upon his players how bad the situation was.

It’s a tactic I’ve used myself at family events, with some mixed results.

In many ways, the surprise is this hasn’t happened more to Adelaide with how disrupted their team has been. I wouldn’t be overreacting to this one game, even if I have already watched the replay eight times. 

Fremantle (58) v North Melbourne (86)

When I predicted North Melbourne to be a dead set certainty to play finals this year, many people thought I was crazy, but now I’ve gone back and edited my earlier columns to say that, I seem clever.

North’s defence has been outstanding all year and add to that the fact Fremantle’s forward line is extra defenders, the Roos only need to get above 60 points to be a great chance. 

Fifty-eight points at home is not exactly a platform for great success and considering North kicked pretty inaccurately for goal, the final score flattered Freo.

While the Roos have defied expectations, perhaps the most surprising thing is the form of Jarrad Waite. When at the start of the year Brad Scott said he thought Waite’s best footy was ahead of him, we all laughed. 

He’s 35-years old. But here we are, with Waite being the difference, and Brad Scott being right about something.

If I was a North supporter, I’d be thrilled by proving everyone wrong almost as much as the winning. That and never having to worry about being able to get tickets.

Bye: Gold Coast, Port Adelaide

I have two new dates to announce for my show A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport. Exciting!

The first is 7.00pm Wednesday 6 June The Comic’s Lounge in Melbourne.

The second is 8.00pm Thu 7 June Arkaba Hotel Adelaide.

The last ten shows at the Melbourne Comedy Festival sold out so get in early.

Tickets for both shows available here:

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls. 

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blinker 28 May 2018

your review of swans v Lions is on point. i was sober and wished i was eating a souvlaki as then i would have hurled less abuse towards the umpiring fraternity who were having a game with each other to see which decision would bring the most derision from the stands. my 3 month old nephew screamed all the way home back to the sunshine coast and that was more relaxing then watching live at the gabba.

Skinnard 28 May 2018

I believe Don Pyke was channeling Tony Abbott's wonderfully incisive and illuminating interview with Mark Riley:
Maybe Pyke should have just told the players "shit happens" and then headed to the nearest Stella Artois Bar for a round or two.....

Bladdamasta 28 May 2018

“It’s more horrible than commutable tables at cafes.” Yep - with you all the way.

Jonathan 28 May 2018

Any Brisbane dates on the calendar Titus? We long suffering Saint fans living up here need something to laugh at :(

JohnB 28 May 2018

Other than in a maniacal sort of way

Timmy La 28 May 2018

Stellacidal maniacs

Pete Docker 28 May 2018

No panic here at Fremantle, because we know that Ross is contracted until 2020 to complete the rebuild and turn things around. It's all good. Question, can you mix vodka and red wine in the same glass?

Pheebs 28 May 2018

Off topic, Titus, have you considered using the white space in the left column of this blog for advertisements? Wouldn't make much difference to the page, really, and you wouldn't have to worry about a paywall

Keith Renshaw 29 May 2018

Great stuff mate But what about mactch fixing

biggus 29 May 2018

After all, we all thought North were going to be terrible, GWS would be good, and the Cats would have a midfield, and none of these things are true.
Brilliant, Titus. How could things go so seriously wrong?

Herman Kretinbuger 30 May 2018

I was at the Melbourne game.Only dissapointment for me wss that Liam Jurrah and Tony Locket didnt run on to the ground and kick 20 goals!They were both there.

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