May 15, 2023
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Nine
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.
Richmond (102) v Geelong (78)
The ghosts for premierships past, Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt, all came back to haunt Geelong on Friday night.
The Tigers wound back the clock to their high-pressure style, while the Tigers fans wound back the clock to Round 15 last year.
Tom Stewart got booed a lot, and why? Just because he knocked out Dion Prestia with a cheap shot?
Oh, that is a good reason to boo someone.
Other reasons it’s ok to boo someone:
· They don’t wave when you give way in a side street.
· They are playing the villain in a pantomime.
· They asked Sally Jeffries out in year ten, just before you did, and she said yes and they are now married and seem happy and you sit at home on Saturday nights and you are so lonely.
I may have gone a bit off topic there.
Geelong were off all night, weirdly up forward, where they turned over the ball a lot, and the Tigers in return punished them more than heartburn after a sausage roll.
West Coast (43) v Gold Coast (113)
Adam Simpson said after the game, “I know there’s some disappointed members out there.”
I think ‘some’ might be a bit hopeful.
‘All’ would be more accurate. It would be a strange Eagles supporter who wasn’t disappointed.
Once again, with the bar set so low worms could not get under it, the Eagles limboed under it easily.
They were less than the sum of their parts.
In the second quarter, the Eagles lost what little interest they have in football altogether.
Things like tackling, competing for the ball, running, these all became optional extras for the Eagles.
The result was eight unanswered goals to the Suns, who looked great, but everyone looks great next to the Eagles, a bit like when my friends insisted on standing next to me at a nightclub to boost their chances.
You have to wonder how long the current regime can remain in place in Perth given they are technically running a football club.
You can’t run a football club and take it to a place where it can’t play football.
It’s like taking over a restaurant and it ends up not serving food, and it used to be a really good restaurant.
The one thing the Eagles do seem good at is injuring their own players.
Sydney (86) v Fremantle (103)
The Swans started off well, so that’s something. In fact, that was everything.
After that it was pretty much all Fremantle, who appear to be getting better after starting the season with the enthusiasm of a teenager getting up for school
Dockers fans will be thrilled to see Luke Jackson delivering, Lachie Schultz booting four and their midfield dominating.
I’m sure this is what they expected, if I know Freo supporters, they always except things to work out well in the end.
The one bit of life for the Swans was Errol Gulden who had 39 disposals and finished with two goals. They should ask the other players to play like him.
The Swans are collecting injuries faster than premiership points.
Callum Mills went off with a calf injury and Logan McDonald had an ankle problem, meaning it will be quicker to list Swans players who aren’t injured.
Add to that Buddy going goalless and the Swans losing six of their past seven games and this is turning out to be one of those seasons that physically hurts.
North Melbourne (65) v Port Adelaide (135)
No wonder Tasmania was so desperate to get their own team, it’s worth it just to stop North and Hawthorn visiting them so often.
This was a hard watch. I tried to maintain my interest, but there wasn’t even any heat as the Kangaroos decided to leave Jason Horne-Francis alone.
Unfortunately, they also decided to leave the ball alone too.
It’s round nine and I’m not sure I can watch any more North games. The same goes for the Eagles.
I mean, life’s too short. I have other things to do.
Well, I don’t, but you get the point.
IF, and it’s a big if, I had other things to do, I would be annoyed that I’m spending all my time watching this stuff.
Imagine that. Having better things to do than watch Hawthorn and North, that would be something. Like a friend, or just someone to talk to.
Anyway, the big take out is Port is better than North Melbourne.
Hawthorn (49) v Melbourne (103)
Not a game you’ll be telling your grandkids about.
One thing I learnt is Hawthorn love a long high kick across the ground. They did this all the time, even though Melbourne picked it off almost every time.
It didn’t seem to occur to them at any time to stop doing this. Their fans certainly noticed it was a bad idea, as the groans grew louder each time.
Hawthorn was truly terrible in the first quarter. Their kicking was awful and the seemed so shocked to get the ball that they had no idea what to do with it.
Mainly they would run around in a circle then kick to an opponent.
They did lift after half time, but the ease at with the Dees crushed their comeback would be worrying, given Melbourne never got out of second gear.
The Hawks could have done with some veteran leadership from Chad Wingard but he was an out.
As a long-term Dees supporter, I’m somewhat of a connoisseur of terrible football teams, and the Hawks are in for years of pain.
There seems a complete absence of confidence, a gameplan, and their skills hurt to watch.
The Auskick game at halftime was welcomed by the crowd as a palette cleanser.
Melbourne wasn’t at their best, some of the Dees supporters near me were annoyed the Dees didn’t put the throttle down.
How far we’ve come. For so long we didn’t even expect to win. Now we’re annoyed if we don’t win by enough.
Brisbane (87) v Essendon (45)
One thing Essendon supporters have comforted themselves with in recent years is that Joe Daniher hasn’t always set the world on fire.
They didn’t even have that comfort on Saturday, as Daniher booted six as he led the Lions to an impressive victory.
A few Bombers fans booed him, but by the sixth goal they had their own team to worry about.
Essendon are a bit like a great magician. No matter how much they seem to improve, ta da, here they are still outside the eight.
They are the Gob Bluth of the AFL.
It’s a trick they’ve well and truly mastered, but it’s losing it lustre if you’re a Bombers fan.
We all know what happens next, the powerbrokers at Essendon will soon become frustrated with Brad Scott and force him out, and they’ll go back to the start all over again.
It happens every time. What Richmond did with Damien Hardwick and Melbourne to a lesser extent with Simon Goodwin, couldn’t happen at Essendon.
They get annoyed, go saviour shopping, and then end up disappointed.
Carlton (59) v Western Bulldogs (79)
What an absurd game.
The first half saw Carlton boot just 1.4, only for the Blues to bounce back, and the lead changing four times in the final quarter, only for the Doggies to still win by twenty.
It was pure Carlton. Hopeless, then giving their fans hope, then smashing that hope.
The result means the Blues have lost four of their past five games, and now sit outside the eight.
It’s lucky they believe that playing finals isn’t necessary for the season to be a success.
I mean every Blues fan I talk to is totally chill about missing finals.
If things couldn’t get more ridiculous, Patrick Cripps was fined for pulling Bailey Smith’s mullet during the game.
Look, who wouldn’t want to pull Smith’s mullet? But it’s 2023. Consent is important Patrick.
Adelaide (121) v St Kilda (69)
The Crows made Ross Lyon’s ‘defensive genius’ tag look a little far-fetched on Sunday, scoring at will throughout the game.
The Saints, who started the season on fire, have started to struggle, partly due to teams figuring them out, and partly because they can’t score.
It makes you wonder how long the cute and cuddly ‘I’m chilled out now, I promise’ Ross Lyon façade can remain.
The Crows found no issues getting through the Saints' defence early; they finished the first quarter 6.2 to 1.1,
That meant the Saints couldn’t sit back and keep it tight; they had to attack, which was like making a shark fight on land.
It just let the Crows get them into a shootout, and the Saints have no weapons.
The Crows do, Tex Walker kicked five, and Izak Rankine, Darcy Fogarty and Luke Pedlar each had two goals.
It’s not panic stations yet for the Saints but if you’re a Saints supporter, it’s worth knowing where the panic stations are.
But of course, you do know where they are.
Collingwood (120) v Greater Western Sydney (55)
If you are a mum and you barrack for Collingwood, Sunday was a great Mother’s Day.
You wake up and your kids have stolen something nice for you, and then you get to see the Pies ruthlessly finish off the Giants.
And what time is better for footy than the traditional and super convenient time of 4:40pm Sunday?
Ask any footy fan what’s the best time for footy, and the inevitable reply is ‘4.40pm on a Sunday’.
It’s not like people are trying to get dinner on the table and the kids off to sleep before the week starts on a Sunday evening.
The game itself was just a reminder that the Pies are the best team in the competition and certain Premiers.
They haven’t even had their preferred ruckmen in recent weeks, and it hasn’t mattered at all.
Mason Cox was all over the Giants. Not since Operation Desert Storm have I seen an American dominate an opponent like this.
To be fair, if this were a movie the Giants wouldn’t even have got a supporting actor credit.
In the credits, they would have been ‘men in background.’
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