Jun 26, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Fifteen


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.


Geelong (78) v Melbourne (63)

It’s a stretch, but we can’t rule out that Yevgeny Prigozhin was watching this game and was inspired by Gary Rohan taking out someone on his own side to launch a coup against Putin.

Unfortunately, Prigozhin wasn’t as effective as Rohan, who sent Jeremy Cameron off to the hospital.

He certainly wasn’t as effective as the Cats.

With Patrick Dangerfield already out, having their best player carted off suggested the Cats were in real trouble.

But Geelong are super annoying. They have had in their DNA for years a will to win no matter what.

Rohan overcompensated for his accidental clash, Geelong’s young mids were fantastic, and their defence was smothering.

It’s not that Melbourne were bad, they were just bad in the key moments, which is what separates the top sides in games like this.

The win suggests that despite their troubles this season and the constant prediction of decline, unlike Putin, Geelong have a bright future.

Despite the Dees loss, a tragedy for me, I did enjoy watching people argue that Rohan should be suspended for his accidental bump on Cameron.

We all say stupid things sometimes, but not that stupid.


St Kilda (56) v Brisbane (84)

If they wanted to throw away a great start to the season, you feel the Saints could have just stuck with Brett Ratten. It would have been a lot easier and cheaper.

The Saints have now suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season and have lost four of the last six games.

But the good news is that Ross Lyon is a happier version of himself. I can tell that is super important to Saints fans.

Probably St Kilda’s biggest mistake was kicking the ball to Harris Andrews every single time they went forward.

It looked like he was their leading forward, such was the way pass after pass pinpointed him.

The Lions took a different approach; when they went forward they kicked the ball to their forwards, mainly Eric Hipwood.

That seemed to work a lot better.

The Saints never seemed to consider this approach, but with a week of the mastermind Ross Lyon reviewing the game, it might dawn on them that it’s an approach worth trying.


Sydney (205) v The Shattered Remnants of a once great AFL Club (34)

It’s a tough one. What was the worst thing on television this weekend, this game or the Warnie miniseries?

How to judge this game? Well, if the Eagles players had come out at the start of the game and just laid down on the ground and not moved, there wouldn’t have been much of a difference.

That might have worked better; it would have at least made the Swans feel awkward about what was happening.

The Swans eased into this with a nine-goal opening term and at one stage, had a run of 18 consecutive goals, as almost all the Eagles players gave up any semblance of trying.

It’s bad when your players aren’t trying, even worse when they aren’t even pretending to try.

In good news for Eagles supporters, their chairman Paul Fitzpatrick, wrote to them after the loss, saying, “We know our members and fans are hurting, and so is everyone inside the football club. We all take a degree of responsibility for where we sit currently and equally, we are all committed to fighting our way through this situation.”

I think the word ‘degree’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. I’d say he and the board have full responsibility.

The Eagles hierarchy have taken this club to Fitzroy levels of non-performance.

And they’ve done this despite being one of the most powerful and well-funded clubs in the AFL.

Fitzroy had been actively undermined and underfunded by the AFL/VFL over the years to kill them off. The Eagles can claim no such thing.

And sacking Adam Simpson or keeping him is a bit of a sideshow. To get this bad, a lot of people had to perform poorly.

Injuries are one thing, but their list management has been a how to guide on what not to do.

When you’re this bad, the board and senior management can’t remain in place.

Fremantle (93) v Essendon (61)

Coming off the bye seems to be a hard thing to do this year; Essendon struggled to do it, as did everyone else.

The Bombers weren’t helped by the fact the good Fremantle turned up this week.

Luke Jackson was on fire and Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw dominated the midfield.

The Dockers were certainly helped by the fact Essendon’s forward line went missing.

If anyone has seen Peter Wright or Sam Weideman, could they let the club know? They would really like to find them before they play Port.

As for Fremantle, they keep their finals hopes alive. They sit in eleventh spot and can do a great impression of a good football team or a very average one.

It’s probably time they decided which one they are.


Collingwood (82) v Adelaide (80)

What a game.

Collingwood again win a close one, which people say they can’t keep doing, only for them to keep doing it. 

This was a delight to watch if you don’t barrack for either team. If you do it was pure stress.

Just watching Jordan Dawson with his 35 disposals, 12 tackles and Nick Daicos with 37 disposals, 15 contested possessions, nine clearances, shows the game is in great shape.

It seemed early on this was going to be a cakewalk for the Pies, only for the Crows to click. In the third quarter, seven goals were kicked, all by Adelaide.

What had been a relaxing day at the footy for Pies fans was suddenly tenser than Christmas lunch with the relos.  

It was Mason Cox who changed the game in the final quarter with two calmly slotted goals.

This led to Ben Keays ripping off Cox’s goggles, which while tempting, is frowned upon.

It was a bit like when James Sicily removed Aaron Naughton’s headband.

If there’s one thing people should know, ripping off other people’s clothing at work gets you fired, not just fined like in the AFL.

In the end, it was Pies fans who went home happy, but Crows fans should be looking forward to the future. Their team went toe to toe with the best team in the comp at the MCG, and this could have gone either way.

Gold Coast (101) v Hawthorn (34)

Hawthorn beat the Lions the last time they played, and then turned around and delivered this performance against the Suns.

I guess they can blame coming off the bye, the stress of Taylor tickets going on sale this week, global warming. 

Their lack of effort would have been noticed a lot more, except the Eagles lost so badly, every other game seemed close.

The Hawks started off well, but as the game went on, they fell away fast as the Suns got serious about putting them under pressure.

It leaves the possibility open that the Suns could play finals this season.

Since debuting in 2011, the Suns have never played finals. Could it happen this year?

Well, they sit in tenth spot, and play Collingwood next, then Port Adelaide.

So, no. They can’t.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus




Jun 26, 2023

Thanks Titus, very good as usual. And correct about the need for a makeover at West Coast. It is usually the coach so your ground breaking suggestion probably won't go far.

Fancy Pants

Jun 26, 2023

As suggested last week, the Eagles have formally been relegated from the AFL for 2024.
Sadly, their application to join the WA South West league from next year has been rejected on performance and character grounds.

Neville Prigozhin

Jun 26, 2023

Great to see that the AFL have dispensed with the holding the ball rule. It was so annoying. In other news, Test Cricket have announced they'll be deploying the AFL's playing rules method for the remainder of the Ashes. LBW won't be given out on day 3, hitting it over the fence will be worth 5 runs on day 2 (except for the 2nd session when it'll be 9), all run out attempts will be given as out in session 3 of all days even if the ball misses the stumps and anyone diving for a catch on day 4 will be fined and suspended from the next match.


Jun 26, 2023

Didn't someone get fined for dakking an opponent in recent weeks? Keys probably needed Cox's glasses to find his opponent, Nick Daicos.


Jun 26, 2023

I never I thought I'd have to add "long suffering" to "West Coast supporter", but, well here I am.

I imagine Simpson will depart at the end of the season as ours is not a club prone to mid-season coach swaps. Sacking Simpson will be about 1/10th of the changes required but I suspect he'll end up bearing sole responsibility.

Con Cushion

Jun 26, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... you make Freo sound like Forrest Gump's philosophy on life! Con.

Gareth Bevan

Jun 26, 2023

I’m supporting Prigozhin to replace Nisbett as CEO of the West Coast Eagles. He’s suddenly free and has a ruthless win at all costs mentality sorely lacking at the club at present.


Jun 26, 2023

Even if the eagles players were stationary like witches hats the swannies would have had to run around and maybe the occasional trip up but it appeared like Moses parting the sea with them just getting out of the way. Thank god for the umpires to try and even it up.


Jun 26, 2023

Don't normally enjoy a lot of the grandstanding on this column by the commenters, but Neville, that was brilliant.


Jun 26, 2023

Wonder if the St Kilda board has the full support of Ross Lyon...

Vic Parkes

Jun 26, 2023

A bit harsh on those calling for Rohan to get weeks for 'protecting' his shoulder from Jeremy Cameron's jaw. Most of the other suspensions for careless, high, and high impact have been accidental. Why shouldn't he be suspended? Fits the AFL's standard of proof. Wait, I get it now!


Jun 26, 2023

I do wonder whether Collingwood deliberately relaxed in the second half just to keep Geelong out of the eight. Just the type of nastiness they’re capable of inflicting.

Bye-bye Bye

Jun 26, 2023

The Bye is just the AFL's way of buying Thursday night television. We need a grass-roots ground-swell to get rid of it. At the very least, because I keep forgetting to get my tips in by Thursday night! No club 'takes momentum into the bye' (a stupid thing commentators keep saying). Even the Pies came through with a near loss after this stupid Bye thing! God help us if a Tasmanian team gets up. Every week one team will have a Bye. And mid-season ChatGPT will be used to sort out who gets a Bye in which week.


Jun 26, 2023


The Essendonians were clearly rattled by last week's HIGHLY UNHELPFUL GUIDE TO ROUND 15's discussion on the club's official nickname. After this, coaches of the other 17 AFL clubs have, I'm sure, taken note.


"The Eagles hierarchy have taken [the Eagles] to Fitzroy levels of non-performance."

Back in the days when he still remembered to bring his false teeth with him to the studio, old Jack Dyer was asked for his opinion on why Fitzroy kept losing game after game, season after season. He summed Fitzroy up in one brief sentence: "They keep going where the ball ain't."


Jun 26, 2023

Beautifully written as always. And yes, the word “degree” is doing some very heavy lifting.


Jun 26, 2023

The amazing thing is the Weagles feeder club in the WAFL is going worse than they are.

The g train

Jun 26, 2023

The new improved version of Ross Lyon adheres strictly to Sun Tzu’s Art of War philosophy of “Emptiness and fullness”.

“Those who are first on the battlefield and await the opponents are at ease.
So Good warriors cause others to come to them, and do not go to others. Thy head for where they least expect you”. Unfortunately, Lyon misinterpreted the true meaning of this (or was badly advised). And the Andrews lad and his team benefited. As is The Way of the world—Lyon will still prosper and StK supporters become even more disillusioned and miserable.

The primary purpose of any commercial corporation is to have lots and lots of money in the bank and in assets. So West Coast remain spectacularly successful. So all good.


Jun 26, 2023

Apparently Ben Keays spent all week snatching Zimmer frames from the semi-ambulant at a local nursing home. He was also seen swiping specs off unwitting customers down at OPSM until Westlakes security asked him the leave the store.

All makes sense now.

Daicos for PM.

Plucked Eagle

Jun 26, 2023

Feeling too sad, embarrassed and grumpy to attempt any witticisms here. Our coach may now be caught in the tidal wave of discontent, but the downward slide must have started at board / management level years ago. Need some heads to roll if the club wants me to pay my 24th year of membership.

Paul Bauer

Jun 26, 2023

Every time West Coast have a huge loss, I can picture Tim Kelly saying to his partner, "why couldn't you have been happy in Geelong".

Halftime Spray

Jun 26, 2023

It's true, the use of "a degree of responsibility" is another example of the weasel words that are so popular in modern corporate-speak.

That kind of expression goes along with the familiar I'm-really-the-victim-here "apology" used by many celebrities. And the that's-not-really-who-I-am post-facto justification they give when they're backed into a corner and forced to acknowledge saying or doing something they originally thought they could get away with.


Jun 26, 2023

As bad as it is, West Coast fans do now know suffering like us Saints fans!

I like your thinking, John

Jun 26, 2023

John, you might be right; the new, likeable Magpies might be capable of that sort of nastiness, but if they were serious would have conceded another rushed behind to again beat the Crows by just one point. I don't think they were playing with the same level of calmness as when they won in Adelaide.

I blame Steele Sidebottom's knee.

Andrew Fidler

Jun 26, 2023

At least West Coast will have a chance cor a quick rebound this week against the Saints. In true Ross Lyon style we will make sure not to kick too many goals while keeping the other side to a low score, sounds good in theory but a 10 minute burst of momentum is normally enough to beat us.

The g train

Jun 26, 2023

PETE: your comment is the greatest and most honest comment out of all the comments ever posted on Titus’s comments section. This is what binds StK fans—endless suffering.


Jun 26, 2023

Ross Lyon as the next Ted Lasso, you reckon? I'm not quite sure that I can see his personality trajectory go all the way from "not suffering fools gladly" to being a "highly successful (apparent) fool", but we wait and watch...

Running Dog

Jun 26, 2023

I agree with Halftime Spray about the pervasive weaselisms of corporate-speak. But hopefully we'll never hear 'programmatic specificity' ever again. Just like there are certain names we'll probably neville hear again.

saint peter

Jun 26, 2023

Long bombs to King in the forward line is obviously Lyons motto. He is trying to develop modern day players with the old time play from the seventies. (Even North have given that up.) Maybe we think we have Plugger up forward where he said just kick it to me anywhere & I'll do the rest. Now we have 2 players hanging off King & a third coming across in case the 2 muck it up.

I had a good meal at the Thai place only for it to be ruined by a footy game that followed.

As for the eagles I think they have the final position on the ladder sown up. But wait they could be in for a rude awakeing this week & actually win a game. No need to say who they are playing.


Jun 26, 2023

All we are waiting to hear from West Coast now, is that Adam Simpson has the boards "FULL" support.


Jun 26, 2023

Magpies saved from defeat by 4 blind Victorian umpires missing Jordan Dawson losing some teeth within kicking distance.

Who Flung Dung

Jun 26, 2023

Prigozhin will find the road to Perth easier than the road to Moscow and will replace the entire Board at WCE with himself. The new West Coast Wagongles will start recruiting mercenaries like Barry Cable, Jimmy Cracker, Pickett, Big Nick to lead the come back dreams of their long-suffering supporters who visit Optus oval in numbers for prayer meetings each fortnight.

A string of gentle persuaded average players will be seconded, Daicos Brothers, Neale, Dusty, Tex, Danger, Oliver, Petraca, De Goey, Moore, together with some more experienced players, Dermie, Buddy, Diesel, Plugger, Balmy and Sheedy to add speed to the team.
With the projected #1 selections for 2024 thru 2028 they will go to the Carlton Draft and add Kane Corns, Hutchy, Gaz senior, high flying Smithy and Tony Modra and for cultural/ comedy balance Sam Pang, Sammy Newman and Mick Malloy and they are back in town with a competitive team once again.

Prigozhin will lead a coup and convince the commissioners to resign en-masse for bringing the game into disrepute with so many confusing rule changes and dictate that all points collected by teams to date in 2023 be counted in reverse. he will declare that the reverse ladder applies and Wagongles are on top and Collingwood back where they belong.

The people will finally get what they have been longing for over several decades !!! leadership and stability at last in the AFL.

Stay retired Bruce McAvaney

Jun 27, 2023

Dozed off in front of the news. Woke blearily to hear excited Channel Seven reporter congratulating Bruce McAvaney on his entry to the AFL hall of fame. Decided I must still be asleep, and to avoid eating cheese then lying down.

Beau from Beaumaris

Jun 30, 2023

Interesting scenario re Rowan v Cameron - was it reckless high, serious - yes. Had he collided with an opponent would he have been executed - probably (though he is at Geelong).
So is it just a matter of chance who he recklessly hits - one to put in the file for later.