Jun 05, 2023
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twelve
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.
Melbourne (61) v Carlton (44)
Oh, this was awful. A game so bad it was like Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote it.
This was just turnover after turnover, as players missed teammates, missed tackles, missed shots at goal. There was more missing than a vegan meal.
While the focus was on Carlton with their recent (if you count several decades as recent) struggles, the Dees delivered a horror show of a performance.
They said Carlton made it scrappy, but when players are not under pressure and still miss targets by several suburbs, that’s not Carlton’s doing.
If they serve this up against the Pies next week, Collingwood will have a percentage-boosting win so big their percentage will have a four in front of it.
The Dees were just lucky that they were playing Carlton. Harry McKay may have started kicking goals, but everyone else stopped.
When it comes to scoring, the Blues are impotent. Trust me, I know.
Paddy Dow must be furious. Imagine not being able to break into this Carlton side! You could have never played this sport and break into this Carlton side.
Port Adelaide (151) v Hawthorn (96)
For a time, this looked like it could have been a 200-point belting.
Parents were covering their kids’ eyes in the first half as the Power did unspeakable things to the Hawks.
When Kayo glitched for the 7000th time on the weekend during this game, I was relieved.
The Hawks, without James Sicily, were putting up the sort of fight that would make Bernard Tomic proud.
At halftime, Port were up by 82 points, the only highlight for the Hawks being Luke Breust kicking his 500th goal and the half ending.
The second half didn’t continue the trend of the first, the Power put on cruise control while the Hawks fought back somewhat, kicking eight of the last 10 goals of the game.
While the Hawks did fight back, that was really because the Power had decided they’d done enough in the first and had decided to just run out the second half.
To be honest, they strolled out the second half.
West Coast (57) v Collingwood (120)
Are you sitting down? Jordan De Goey did something stupid.
I know, I was as shocked as anyone.
With the Pies well in control early, De Goey decided taking out Elijah Hewett would be a good idea.
It was not a good idea.
It’s possible De Goey has had good ideas in his life. I’m unaware of any, but theoretically it is possible, but we do know he is great at bad ideas.
What Leonardo Di Vinci was too good ideas, De Goey is too bad ideas. A true genius.
West Coast were not thrilled with his act, and they responded with two of their best quarters in years, pushing the Pies right into the third quarter.
It made the game way more physical than it possibly would have been.
The injuries piled up on both sides. Collingwood lost Beau McCreery (foot), Will Hoskin-Elliott (ankle) and Ash Johnson (corked leg), while the Eagles added Shannon Hurn (hamstring) and Connor West (knee) to Hewett being off.
Now it would be a long bow to say these were all De Goey’s fault, but yeah, totally De Goey’s fault.
It took Nick Daicos to return things to normal programming.
He finished with 30 disposals and three goals, with two in the last quarter, as the Pies pulled away.
The difference was the Pies have a second, third, fourth and fifth gear. They booted nine of the last ten goals to win by 63 points in what had been a close game.
Western Bulldogs (75) v Geelong (97)
The Western Bulldogs are allergic to defeating the Cats.
The Cats have won 17 of the last 19 games, and even the Bulldogs interesting tactic of not kicking any goals in the last quarter didn’t work.
And the Bulldogs form has been so much better than the Cats, and Geelong was coming off three losses in a row.
But none of that mattered, as the Cats just keep finding a way.
A big part of that way was Tom Stewart, who was the rock countless Bulldogs waves crashed upon.
Sure, the Bulldogs could have tried to kick the ball where Stewart wasn’t, but where’s the fun in that? Better to kick it to him every time.
The disappointing thing for the Dogs, was they were just a goal down at three-quarter time. Poor goalkicking was the one thing stopping them leading.
So to then have Geelong kick the final six goals and not kick one yourselves is a capitulation that would have had the Italian Army in World War Two shaking their heads.
Gold Coast (112) v Adelaide (87)
I made a mistake last week in my Highly Unhelpful Guide and didn’t upload the preview to this game.
What’s worse, is I had written it, so my work was wasted. And it was a good preview too if you don’t mind me saying.
Here’s a snippet: There is no surer thing than Adelaide winning in Darwin. I would bet one of my houses on it. And not just any house, one of the good ones.
If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that I am an idiot.
The Crows were up by 35 points in the second quarter, but this was the high-water mark for them, as the Suns grabbed the momentum.
Matt Rowell was a huge reason why, as he started destroying the Crows in close. It’s a wonder more players don’t eat grass before the game, it’s obviously working.
I could see every player soon eating grass before a game like a herd of cows.
Add to Rowell, you had five goals from Jack Lukosius, Noah Anderson being extra damaging and Ben Long putting Izak Rankine in his pocket.
It all added up to the Suns living up to their potential.
The Crows also lost Tom Doedee to a knee injury early making this a costly trip.
It keeps the Crows in the ‘sort of OK’ zone.
Greater Western Sydney (104) v Richmond (110)
I didn’t have a lot of hope for the two Sunday games, but to answer Russell Crowe, I was entertained.
This one had a lot of rivalry, after all these two almost played each other in a Grand Final.
Add to that the fact the Tiger raided the Giants in the off-season and this was a lot more interesting than a normal bottom half of the ladder clash.
Richmond were helped by Jack Riewoldt booting five, in a reminder that he hasn’t yet retired, and Tim Taranto lifting against his old team.
Taranto was booed by the crowd, and as you can imagine, it was deafening at Giants Stadium.
The Giants responded to the Tigers by hitting the post more than was really necessary. This proved to be a costly approach later on.
As the game went on, no one could break free, mainly due to their own skill errors.
The final two minutes, with the score tied, were pure chaos as both sides tried and failed to seal the game.
That was until 24 seconds remaining when the weight of errors saw the ball fall to Marlion Pickett, who gathered the ball and slotted a goal.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was exciting. ‘Pretty, not exciting’ is the motto on my family’s coat of arms.
Essendon (105) v North Melbourne (99)
This shouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it was.
The Kangaroos were down by 20 points at quarter time and had lost Jy Simpkin and Hugh Greenwood to concussion before halftime.
This should have equalled an easy win for the Bombers, but the Bombers rarely do easy, preferring to torment their fans.
Instead, North lifted to make this one of the most exciting games of the year, with the lead changing constantly in the fourth quarter.
The Kangaroos young midfield lifted with Will Phillips, Bailey Scott and Harry Sheezel impressing, and George Wardlaw’s attack on the ball was something to see.
The AFL’s new face of its ‘Respect for Women’ campaign, Tarryn Thomas, was also impressive.
In defence, Ben McKay was as good at stopping goals as his brother has been recently, while Cameron Zurhaar kicked four goals up forward.
In the dying moments, it was Nic Martin who remained as calm when all around him were losing their heads, he kicked, marked and headed his team over the line.
In the end, it was Massimo D'Ambrosio who kicked the winning goal.
It’s a saying as old as time, ‘Never leave Massimo D'Ambrosio unmarked in the forward fifty.’
Unfortunately, North forgot this ancient teaching.
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