Jun 20, 2022


The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Fourteen


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.


Richmond (81) v Carlton (66)

Richmond didn’t get the memo that their dynasty is over!

It’s annoying, as we all sent it to them numerous times and the media trumpeted it after every loss for the last year and a half.

But the Tigers, instead of looking like a spent force, are very much in the premiership race, which has gone in the space of a month from looking like a one-horse race to ‘Wow, heaps of teams can win this.’

The Richmond turnaround has been swift, Tigers fans barely got a chance to get off the bandwagon before they all have to now pour on again.

Lucky they’ve had lots of practice getting off and on that thing.

On Friday, it was the Tigers of old, lots of pressure all over the ground and a ruthlessness, which included Tom Lynch, channelling Ric Flair, attempting to blind Adam Saad.

Carlton, somewhat taken aback by Richmond’s willingness to maim them, gave up the first six goals, which is never ideal.

In previous years, this would have been the end of things, but the Blues players are more scared of their coach than their opponents, so they didn’t give up.

In fact, three goals to Harry McKay almost saw the Blues snatch victory, only for the Tigers to steady.

Part of this was due to a Shai Bolton goal, in which he taunted Sam Docherty after an earlier scuffle.

People were furious about this, many of them are the same people who will at another point in time complain that AFL players have no personality anymore.


St Kilda (72) v Essendon (107)

Oh no! St Kilda’s season is over!

It was all going so well too, but on Friday night, they lost to 16th placed Essendon, so they’re probably best to just pack up for this season and get ready for 2023.

The Saints didn’t seem on from the moment the game started, but it was entering the forward line where they frustrated their supporters the most.

Every surge forward was embraced by the Saints as an opportunity to make incredibly bad decisions, and then execute those decisions poorly.

Mason Redman really enjoyed St Kilda’s efforts, picking up a career-high 31 disposals across the back half, as the Saints repeatedly handed him the ball and then got out of his way so he could send the ball forward for the Bombers.

Essendon couldn’t believe it. Usually, they’re the ones shooting themselves in the foot, but suddenly they didn’t need to defend, safe in the knowledge the Saints midfield was doing all the defending for them.

Is this a sign of better things to come for the Bombers? 

Well, no. While basing your team strategy on St Kilda imploding is tempting, it doesn’t stand up when you’re not playing them.


Port Adelaide (82) v Sydney (59)

You always had a feeling Port’s disastrous start would come back to haunt them, and it certainly feels like that when they’re beating top eight teams like Sydney.

The Power are still vaguely in the hunt for finals, it’s not quite time to grab the calculator to work out if it’s mathematically possible, but it’s close.

And this performance, without Travis Boak and Ollie Wines, showed the Power really have underperformed this season.

At one stage they were up by 42 points, only for Isaac Heeney to drag the Swans back into the neighbourhood of respectability.

The frustration of Sydney was evident when former Power player Peter Ladhams punched Ollie Wines, while Wines was lying on the ground.

You can’t hit a player while they’re lying on the ground, defenceless and not looking at you, the AFL take a dim view of it.

Take me back to the good old days when cowardly punching someone behind play made you tough.

Footy has gotten so soft.

West Coast (63) v Geelong (81)

In one of the more shocking moments of the season, West Coast have put up a vaguely competitive performance over four quarters.

Fans looked on bewildered as the Eagles tried, occasionally hit targets and even tackled.

I know, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it either.

At one point I got excited, imagining the joy of seeing Geelong lose to the Eagles, but you don’t go from being a mid-tier WAFL side to beating an AFL side overnight.

Worryingly though, you may no longer be able to pencil in the Eagles as a certain four points anymore. They’re now more an ‘incredibly likely’ four points.

Geelong may have had a slight scare, better they were never in real trouble.

A real highlight was Tom Hawkins booting his 700th career goal.

It’s an extraordinary achievement, and he becomes the first player to kick 700 goals with 400 of them coming from staging.

Greater Western Sydney (105) v Western Bulldogs (125)

When the Bulldogs piled on six of the first eight goals, this looked like it could be over early, but luckily, both sides had about as much interest in defending as most people have in the Logies.

It was a real battle of the irritating small forwards, as Cody Weightman kicked five first-half goals, while up the other end, Toby Greene booted seven for the game.

Weightman would then dislocate his elbow in what looked an incredibly brutal injury, and he then kept playing.

If I’d dislocated my elbow, I wouldn’t even play PlayStation.

Say what you like about Weightman, and we all do, he’s tough.

In fact, this was less a footy match and more an event to injure people.

Taylor Duryea didn’t last 10 minutes before going off with a knee injury, then the Giants lost Braydon Preuss and James Peatling.

Weightman had done his elbow and both Jesse Hogan and Ryan Angwin appeared to be in trouble too.

Not since Channel Nine’s Dancing on Ice have I seen so many people injured in such a short period of time.

The difference is, seeing celebrities getting injured is fun, but seeing footballers get injured is no fun at all.


Gold Coast (116) v Adelaide (73)

While the Giants-Bulldogs game was brutal, this game had Wil Powell go off with a leg injury so bad the broadcaster didn’t replay it a thousand times, like they usually do.

It’s a reminder of just how tough and brave you have to be to play this game at any level, but especially at the AFL level.

Anyone who has sat near the sidelines of an AFL game knows the sound of the impact when these guys run into each other is something you won't soon forget.

Hopefully, Powell makes a quick and full recovery.

Powell’s injury took the shine off what was an impressive victory for the Suns, who have played past April and have even given themselves a chance to play into September.

The Suns were assisted in this match by the fact they were facing Adelaide, always a pleasure, and even more so when they’re spraying kicks at goal like a hose with a kink in it.

In fairness to the Crows, returning to the Gold Coast comes with a fair degree of psychological trauma that other teams don’t have to worry about.

Bye: Brisbane, Collingwood, North, Hawthorn, Fremantle and Melbourne

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 20, 2022

So was Wines playing for Port, or not?


Jun 20, 2022

Hey Titus, It was Robbie Gray and Travis Boak out for Port, not Ollie Wines. It's nice that the Dees are losing a few and you're back to your old self. :)


Jun 20, 2022

Thank God somebody has acknowledge lack of interest in the Logies.

Go Doggies

Jun 20, 2022

The AFL highlights package showed the Weightman injury several times, as the commentator says "hard to watch". So why did they show it? They didn't have to!


Jun 20, 2022

Love your comments re Tomahawks 700 goals - you are so spot on!! Biggest stager ever!!!


Jun 20, 2022

“Brownlow medallist Wines was outstanding with 34 disposals, including 14 contested possessions and 10 clearances…” I reckon you’re thinking of Robbie Gray, Titus. May need to employ a new proof-reader!

Daniel Fletcher

Jun 20, 2022

Nice effort all round , Titus. A pleasure to read ,especially as Hawthorn didn't lose this week.


Jun 20, 2022

Tomadork and his magic diving exploits re the Hawks at the G was the catalyst for me never going to an AFL match again.

Mark (no relation to Devon) Smith

Jun 20, 2022

It shouldn't pass without comment that the pre game to the Saint v Bombers game included all players linking arms, holding hands and singing Kumbaya while listening to sportsmen's nights rev ups from Timmy and Nathan. Apparently it was Spuds game but I thought Petter Dutton was a Queenslander? Please explain?

Scott McKenzie

Jun 20, 2022

400 goals from staging by the Tomahawk but Titus omitted to mention another 150 by pushing his opponent in the back.


Jun 20, 2022

Hey Titus and Verna, The Hawk would get a game at your clubs, in fact he would be first picked!


Jun 20, 2022

Wet toast’s effort really against experienced campaigners in the Cats was really only an meek attempt to hide the fact that number one draft pick is what this season is now all about for them


Jun 20, 2022

Titus very happy for individuals to be in the game BUT Bolton didn’t need to disrespect the AFL’s man of courage in 2022 - Sam Docherty; a man who went from pick 12 & All Australian form only to suffer back to back ACL’s & back to back treatments for cancer! Bolton began his career 17 picks & 5 yrs later! Respect please


Jun 20, 2022

What Scott McKenzie said about Hawkins and pushing in the back. At least 150.


Jun 20, 2022

'It’s an extraordinary achievement, and he becomes the first player to kick 700 goals with 400 of them coming from staging.'

Jack Ginnivan 'Hold my beer'.

And the toilet duck is still shit.

The g train

Jun 20, 2022

As a Melbourne supporter, Titus knows about the soul destroying misery perpetuated on loyal supporters of footy clubs that deliver chronic failure and false hope. Especially when the full misery and despair has been many decades in the making. So you’d think he’d show a bit more empathy and compassion towards StK supporters. Pitiless and heartless.

“Short period of time”. As redundant as a Brian Taylor commentary. (Payback, Titus).

“…opportunity to make incredibly bad decisions, and then execute those decisions poorly”. But that’s good, right? The last thing you’d want would be to make a bad decision and then execute that well?

You know it’s a different Gold Coast this season when winning by 40 points is no big deal and just another day at the office.


Jun 20, 2022

I must admit didn’t really feel it necessary for Bolton to show the ball like that and Hardwick and a few others said the same but in saying that I don’t believe he deliberately did it to Docherty because of his recent background. Bolton did speak to him afterwards didn’t seem to be any hard feelings
Now in the same position after the byes in 2017.

Owen the Saints

Jun 20, 2022

It's not surprising the Saints, twice every year, don't turn up for these event games. After being reminded regularly, right up until the first bounce, that someone very close to you is in fact dead, I can't understand why they aren't switched on for high performance football.. The Saints actually start the season 0-2 with Maddie's match and Spuds game in the fixture. I love the concept, I love the cause, but it costs us 2 games every year

Fat Side

Jun 20, 2022

Didn't mind Bolton showing the ball. It seemed to say the contest should be about who wins the football, not who wins the push and shove.


Jun 20, 2022

Can't believe the AFL scheduled the top three teams to have the bye in the same week. The 'floating fixture' must have a puncture. Couldn't they have asked any of these games to take another week off?


Jun 20, 2022

And the winner of the comments section is “Bloke from the Outer”, absolute GOLD.
Special Mention goes to Scott McKenzie.

Dave Parsons

Jun 20, 2022

And the other 300 Hawkins goals from pushes in the back!

Saint Peter

Jun 20, 2022

There is only one problem with the Saints. They cannot handle any type of "show case" game or major profile match, no matter were it is played. China can't win a game there. You'd think Xi Jinping would have the troops ready for an invasion when the saints fall behind. New Zealand can't win a game there. The NZ Govt was too slow in bringing in COVID restrictions and travel bans. The restrictions should have been in when the Saints played over there years ago. Cairns can't win a game there. Players must think they are on a end of season trip like DeGooey does during the season.
As Titus has enormous pull at AFL headquarters, it is time he stepped up & ensured the Saints never play a "show case" game again. Unfortunately this may restrict us from playing on GF day but that is better than the embarrassment like last Friday night.


Jun 20, 2022

Just when I thought you’d deliver a fairly ho-hum summary, you saved it all for that last sentence.

Easily in the top 5 for you this year Titus.

Back to 9 games this week - break time is over.

Running Dog

Jun 20, 2022

Loved the Auskicker being interviewed by Hamish McLachlan at half time in the Carlton v Richmond game. The kid reckoned he knew all the team songs, but couldn't recite one, so instead he sang 'Wouldn't It Be Lover-ly', from My Fair Lady. I'm stunned that he was able to read McLachlan's mind so accurately, just from the look on his face - "All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air..."

Con Cushion

Jun 20, 2022

Turn it up Titus ... Did you say AFL and dim view in the same sentence? .. What if you are a player who's kicked 1,000 goals and has the same name as my daughter's small Jack Russell? Con.

Adrian M Douglas

Jun 20, 2022

Don't forget the Dangerdive or the Selwood high tackle. Hawk should stay out of the Pacific or the Japanese will put a harpoon in him!


Jun 21, 2022

Didn't mind the Bolton "lookit my balls" episode, but I remember the 70s when you could expect a ball-ectomy next time you played the opposing club.

Salaviejus Peter

Jun 21, 2022

Melbourne going for 4 in a row. Sliding down the ladder. How good is footy.

Junkyard Hard Yuccas

Jun 21, 2022

Excuse me for barging in but split rounds make me feel torn . Looking into the abyss of byes I’m glad to have found Titus’s readings on games.

blackswamp barracker

Jun 22, 2022

I go for Geelong, Titus, and I fully endorse your comment re Tom Hawkins' 700 goal milestone.