Apr 26, 2022


The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Six


Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise. 

On a Tuesday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.

What you really want is idiotic hysteria.

You've come to the right place.


Greater Western Sydney (60) vs. St Kilda (77)

Like the drummer in Spinal Tap, being a ruckman at St Kilda is a high turnover position.

With Paddy Ryder already out due to a suspension, St Kilda lost Jack Hayes to a potentially season-ending knee injury in the first quarter, proving once again that the footy gods have zero chill.

This was followed by Rowan Marshall receiving a corked quad and spending more time on the bike than Cadel Evans.

The result was Josh Battle had to have a run in the ruck, and St Kilda’s tactic was to ignore the Giants massive advantage there and just let GWS stuff things up, which they duly did.

Perhaps the best example was when Matt Flynn marked close to goal, only to handball it to Harry Himmelberg, who called for it, who then promptly kicked it out on the full.

It wasn’t all bad news for the Giants, Max King was huge for them in defence, keeping them in the game way longer than they deserved to be, and by my count stopping seven goals.

Jack Higgins was the difference with four goals and only three behinds, which is a good ratio at St Kilda.


Western Bulldogs (62) vs. Adelaide (63)

The Bulldogs are slowly but surely building up a body of evidence that they are not very good.

On Saturday, they added to that case by crafting a one-point loss against the Crows
It could have been a bigger loss with Adelaide booting 8.15, which unfortunately for the Crows, wasn’t the most inaccurate goalkicking of the round, but it was a good try.

What has gone wrong with the Bulldogs? They would be the most disappointing team of the season if Port Adelaide didn’t exist.

A big problem is their defence, which handles tall forwards like a uni student handles Fireball; it gets messy very quickly and doesn’t end well.

The Crows are putting together a season that doesn’t make their fans wish football had never been invented.

They sit in tenth spot and have at times done a fair impression of a competent football team.

Even better, they’re ‘playing the kids’ which is usually a recipe for disaster, but in this case is working.

In fact, all they probably need is one more good pre-season to make it back to finals, and I can recommend them a very good firm that runs such things.

Port Adelaide (117) vs. West Coast (33)

During the week Adam Simpson said Port Adelaide were "probably the best 0-5 side in the history of the competition" and on the weekend his players helped him prove that.

Port certainly needed something after being awful from round one, but this was a bit like belting the punching bag at the gym. It makes you feel good, but you can hardly walk around claiming you won a boxing match.

Still, this could be the jump-start the Power needed, but let’s see how they go against St Kilda next week before deciding if there’s life in them.

As for the Eagles, I’m going to go out on a limb and say they won’t play finals.

I’m not afraid of making the big calls.

If what has happened to West Coast this season was happening to a Victorian team, the outcry would be so loud it would be the number one story every day.

Luckily, it’s happening to a non-Victoria side so everyone can just chill and not really talk about it.

Fremantle (97) vs. Carlton (62)

Carlton Fremantle are the real deal!

Could a Dockers supporter be any happier right now? They’re second on the ladder and the Eagles are delighting them on a weekly basis.

So good are the Dockers that I can name several of them who aren’t Nat Fyfe, which is a new and exciting thrill.

Why, I’m going to predict that by the end of the year, everyone will be able to name at least four Fremantle players and maybe even as high as seven.

Carlton fans have seen this sort of start to the season before, hope slowly being eroded before their eyes.

Sometimes not so slowly.

Like in the second quarter when the Dockers poured on five consecutive goals, as the Fremantle small forwards flew around the Carlton defence like it was King Kong, a King Kong that wasn’t that good at football.

The Blues are 4-2 though, so it’s not panic stations yet, and who knows?

Maybe this time things will be different.

I just hope the players don’t start focusing on all the times this has happened in the past and start to create a self-fulfilling prophecy because that would be terrible.


North Melbourne (61) vs. Geelong (121)

I sat through this on Sunday, to say I ‘watched it’ would be probably pushing it.

Mostly I was surfing the web, I had a few coffees, made myself a sandwich. It wasn’t interesting, but it was still more interesting than this game.

Played in Hobart, I’m not sure either team could write this off as a work trip.

North wasn’t in this at any point and there were visitors at MONA who covered more ground on Sunday.

Geelong treated the game like a wonderful opportunity to test out some of their more ambitious set plays.

The Cats forwards were not troubled by North’s defence, mainly because they rarely saw them.

Gold Coast (80) vs. Brisbane (132)

After watching Geelong run circles around North, I was glad to switch it over to the Q-Clash, knowing, if history was any guide, this would be a high quality, close game.

Imagine my surprise when the Q-Clash was not an entertaining, high skilled clash that reminded me of why I love football.

The Suns problem was they could get it into their forward fifty, but like the dog that catches the car, they didn’t know what to do next.

Up the other end, Zac Bailey was not suffering from this problem. He was more like the T-Rex that caught the car in Jurassic Park.

He was kicking very difficult goals and making it look easy, which must have hurt the Suns’ feeling as they weren’t kicking goals and were making that look very difficult.

Bailey ended up with six and the Suns ended up wondering if this is becoming a wasted season, to go with all their other seasons.

Richmond (54) vs. Melbourne (76)

The Demons faced their toughest opponent of the season on Sunday night, their woeful goal kicking.

In what I can only assume was an attempt to make the game more challenging, the Demons decided to try to beat Richmond by kicking behinds instead of goals.

I’m not a mathematician, but I believe that this is a less efficient approach.

It worked in the end, they kicked 22 behinds and won by 22 points, but I felt it was all rather unnecessary.

A reason the Demons pulled it off was that Richmond turned the ball over so regularly that the Richmond supporters didn’t know whether to yell at their players or the umpires, so they did both.

In fairness to him, the umpires were rather frustrating although a SWAT team stormed my house when I wrote that.

The general vibe of the crowd commentary was how much people hate the new dissent rule, while also calling for the umpires to award frees against the opposition for dissent every time a mark was taken.

That’s the beauty of being a footy fan, if the AFL isn’t consistent, why should we be?


Hawthorn (68) vs. Sydney (109)

It’s not every day you start the game 32-0 and manage to end it 41 points down.

Hawthorn, however, like the David Copperfield of the AFL, made a 32-point head start completely disappear!

After piling on five goals without the Swans scoring, Hawthorn weirdly got all their laurels in a big pile in the middle of the ground and then lay down and had a rest on them.

Sydney, suddenly realising the game had begun, began to show an interest in the football.

Callum Mills led the charge with 37 disposals, six clearances and five tackles, taking full advantage of Hawthorn tiring themselves out after one-quarter of football.

The big negative for Sydney though was Paddy McCartin suffering another concussion. If there’s any such thing as karma, he’s certainly due for one of the longest runs of good luck ever to occur.

Essendon (82) vs. Collingwood (93)

Draco Malfoy has led Slytherin to victory over Essendon in the ANZAC Day Clash with a five-goal performance.

Malfoy had the Golden Snitch on a string, massively assisted by the Essendon defence, which seemed more confused than an audience watching Tenet.

I know ‘Essendon Defence’ is a bit of a misnomer, it more refers to what part of the ground they stand on than what they do.

Essendon did play better than they have for most of the season, a low bar to jump mind you, but Collingwood were just one step ahead of them all game.

Worryingly for the Bombers, Jake Stringer and Zach Merrett did make it back and still, they slide to 1-5 and 16th on the ladder.

Collingwood fans however would be thrilled. In lieu of post-season success, the ANZAC Day is their Grand Final, the only difference being, Essendon are in it.

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




Apr 26, 2022

That 50m penalty makes me question why I still love this game so much. The umpires & AFL have turned ruining a good game of football into a fine art.

Mike Yanagita

Apr 26, 2022

Many thanks to Titus and his acolytes in the comments section last week for the comedy gold of suggesting crows fans turn up to Ballarat in shorts and a tshirt on the weekend - I did indeed do both of those things, only to find Ballarat quite balmy and the football and the end result quite agreeable too. Four and half stars from me.

Vic Parkes

Apr 26, 2022

Titus, post-season in Australia is a piss-fuelled footy trip. We call the games played after the home and away roster matches ‘finals’. If you are so keen to sound like a septic perhaps you could start a NFL e-newsletter.

Blue Skies Ahead

Apr 26, 2022

Fair crack Titus, Carlton did the right thing to honour the ANZACS. They travelled to a far away place, fought bravely and lost, bringing home their wounded, much like my grandfather's experience in 1915.

The g train

Apr 26, 2022

Thought the GC v Brisbane game was terrific and actually a lot closer than most think. I agree with the current scientific consensus that the winner of a footy match is the team that posts the highest score. However, inside 50s are crucial, number of scoring shots and as even an 8 year old knows—the number of kicks you get. AND the degree of sportsmanship displayed. On all these counts, The Suns were very competitive and even victorious. Perhaps one day many of such factors will be taken into account to decide the winning team. The final score doesn’t tell the whole story. Interestingly, the well known sport of Korfball awards points for good sportsmanship. So you can score the higher number of goals but still lose the game because of poor sportsmanship. Maybe Aussie Rules need something similar to stamp out dissent once and for all? In any case, It’s a different Gold Coast this season.

“I’m not a mathematician”. Oh, but Titus, you ARE a mathematician.


Apr 26, 2022

North Melbourne's "performance" was proof that there has to be a Tassie team. If there was one, they surely would have played much better than North & certainly would have got a better crowd.

David O'Leary

Apr 26, 2022

Agree with Gyfox. No Tassie team in the AFL is just becoming absurd now (not that AFL House are opposed in any way to the absurd). Tassie even made the NBL Playoffs in their debut (this time 'round) season! The place is goin' off and totally deserves its own footy team. There should also be an NT team, playing in Darwin & Alice. Both neither at the expense of North. Rather, the AFL should see sense (finally, and for once!) and admit the massive and very dumb over-reach and revoke the GWS* and Gold Coast licences to be given instead to Tassie and NT. [*GWS, or the Fake Footy Club, as we call them here in Sydney. If you guys in other states don't like 'em, we don't like 'em even more!]


Apr 26, 2022

22 points plus those which went out of bounds on the full or those that, within easy kicking distance didn’t make it to the big sticks.

Tarax Club

Apr 26, 2022

Titus just to round off the cast list for Knee-Jerk Reaction’s forthcoming pantomime production ‘Harry Potter’s Mad Monday’. So Jack Ginnivan is confirmed for the Draco Malfoy role. Darcy Parish is a shoe in for the lead as Harry Potter, just add spectacles and a magic wand. (No trouble finding the ball just needs to do something with it.) Hagrid, Jake Stringer of course.. Which begs the question of who plays Dobby? Perhaps best left open for the first coach departing Hogworts.

ps. Demons will be auditioning for ‘Oklahoma the Musical’ to see if they can hit the side of a barn.


Apr 26, 2022

Draco Malfoy has led Slytherin to victory over Essendon in the ANZAC Day Clash with a five-goal performance Is just comedy gold
Love your work Titus


Apr 26, 2022

I spent most of the weekend watching for Umpire Abuse events, they were potentially more exciting than most games

Daniel Fletcher

Apr 26, 2022

Most unjust of you Titus to say the Hawks played for only one quarter. I watched the game and can assure you they played three. Hawks were even nine points up at 3/4 time. They're a young side and they just forgot that games divided into quarters have a marked tendency to have four of them. They might remember next Saturday against Melbourne , though in the predictable circumstances it will likely prove irrelevant. Though in home and away last year Hawks and Dees played a draw so i retain a sliver of optimism. Hawks will have only four clear days without a match and the Demons five. Not great. You might think they'd fix the fixture a bit better .


Apr 26, 2022

Titus - the AFL dissent rule is like a high school head master dictating to primary school students. It is even worse in country football where, if you are unfortunate (which is most games), you have 1 experienced & 1 inexperienced umpire leading to huge discrepancies in application of the stupid rule. We must respect the umpires but respect is earned & this rule further exacerbates the gap between umpires, players, & worse still, spectators (who can't hear the so called explanations). Spectators "deal" with this by booing the umpires (e.g. ANZAC Day at the G) - an even worse look for the game. There are also some dumb players too and examples of that are seen in the "stand" rule - in the players defense, this rule also is "unfair". Both rules are "un Australian" in that they stamp out personality, passion & instinct which is contrary to what clubs are trying to promote from within. Heaven help those trying to increase participation in the game - these rules might be attractive to robots but won't attract prospective players with flair and creativity.


Apr 26, 2022

Agreed - get rid of GWS to Tasmania - they are no use and there is no room here in Sydney for them!

Owen Greenwood

Apr 26, 2022

You gotta laugh watching our once beautiful game now ruined by the boys club (they know who they are) at head office. Orchestrating comical rules like STAND, UMPIRE DISSENT, HANDS UP WHO’s IN THE RUCK, VIDEO GOAL REVIEW SYSTEM and of course the MRP.
And then you’ve got chuckle at the Scott brothers (we know who they are) implementing and defending their new rule that would have seen them jailed for life during their playing days and current coaching tenure.
Oh it’s a real giggle fest our game, oops THEIR game !

Mister Magoo

Apr 26, 2022

@Vic Parkes do you really think Titus wants to sound like a septic?
Wonder what he wants to smell like!


Apr 26, 2022

## Draco Malfoy has led Slytherin to victory over Essendon...Malfoy had the Golden Snitch on a string##

I don't understand any of this.

David O'Leary

Apr 26, 2022

Totally agree Swanette! I'm a St Kilda fan, but really respect the way the Swans put in the (very) hard yards since 1982 in a rugby league mad city to slowly but surely build up a large fan-base and establish themselves as a legit footy club within the overall Sydney sporting landscape. GWS, on the other hand, are an absolute joke. All they represent is AFL House over-reach, ignorance of Sydney social/sports culture, a massive waste of funds and some of the best young Aussie Rules players in the land, AFL House delusions of grandeur and outright stupidity! It's a travesty that they're running around while Tassie awaits a team. And I'm FROM Sydney - god knows what poor Tasmanians must think about it?! It's not as bad as the News Corp Storm running around in the NRL in 2000 & 2001 while the South Sydney Rabbitohs were fighting News Corp through the courts and with astonishing displays of People Power to be "allowed" to play again, but it's still pretty shockin :-)

Con Cushion

Apr 26, 2022

Turn it up Titus ... you said you could name a Docker other than Nat F and still you couldn't name one. P*ss and Wind, Titus. Cox is a really easy name to spell, even for you. Con.

Fat Side

Apr 26, 2022

I just say thank goodness for New Zealand or we would have been commemorating AAC Day and eating AAC biscuits for the past 107 years.


Apr 26, 2022

GWS gets a crowd in canberra. Canberra is not a politicians cellar as some may think.
several great players ran on to manuka oval on friday night representing st kilda and GWS who were Canberra juniors
We can make rules in the nations capital so send GWS to canberra full time and watch new rules proliferate
Razor Ray is a Canberra boy too

the footy fan

Apr 26, 2022

@ Swanette, seems you forget South Melbourne were transplanted in Sydney all those years ago, and those piss poor crowds thet attacted for years.


Apr 26, 2022

‘Luckily, it’s happening to a non-Victoria side so everyone can just chill and not really talk about it.’

I talk to anyone who will listen. And laugh a lot too. Seeing West Coast struggle is like seeing your rich dickhead uncle lose a tonne on crypto.


Apr 26, 2022

"ANZAC Day is their Grand Final" hahahaha, a classic.
I think only rusted on Melbourne supporters would get that one

Fat Side

Apr 26, 2022

And also, is there a sarcasm clause in the dissent rule? What if a player says "great decision ump, your a f*#@ing genius", how will the umpire know if the player is being sarcastic, or sincerely complimenting the ump because they tried to fool them and failed? Will potentially sarcastic remarks have to go to the third umpire for immediate review and adjudication?

Fat Side

Apr 26, 2022

and will the ump give an extra 50m because they said "your" instead of "you're" ?

Robin Mavrick

Apr 26, 2022

Bunnings probably won round six like they win most rounds, ruining the household infrastructure of one's investment property is probably far more appealing than being a Carlton supporting hopeful.

David O'Leary

Apr 26, 2022

Peter - wot? So Canberra should have an AFL team ahead of Tassie and NT?? Naaaah, man. Besides, you've already got The Green Machine. That's enough footy representation for Canberra.
The Footy Fan - Exactly. As I said, the Swans have done the very hard yards and toughed it out in Sydney since 1982. They've struggled through general disinterest (which was the case for all VFL in Sydney in the 80s), dreadful crowds and financial woes to emerge out the other side as a genuine Sydney footy club with a large number of fans. That should only be respected, not diminished. They've done well to slowly convince Sydneysiders that Aussie Rules ain't such a silly game after all, and maybe they should even sign their kids up to play it! However, the Swans have already swept up all of the limited number of AFL fans in Sydney. Don't forget, this is the home of rugby league in Australasia, PNG & the Pacific, and we have 9 x NRL clubs in Sydney. So GWS will never work. Especially where they're situated in NRL heartland. They've already been in Prelims and a GF, but their fan-base hasn't increased at all. It might have even gone backwards throughout 2020/21 covid-affected seasons. Handing their licence over to Tassie is WAY overdue!

Son of plugger

Apr 27, 2022

Late call, but think Fat Side is on to something. Imagine the final seconds of a grand final. 5 points the difference. A free kick 120m out to team losing. Offending player says very sportingly and politely, “Good decision, ump”. Siren sounds. Ump interprets it as sarcasm: 50m penalty. Offending player shakes his head in disbelief. Umpire interprets that as dissent and another 50m. Now, 20m out. Kicks the goal and GF decided in somewhat controversial circumstances.

Think it could never happen?? Let’s not kid ourselves. It could and therefore it will happen. Sooner or later.


Apr 27, 2022

BIG FELLA i nearly fainted when you went out on that very flimsy branch and said you dont think the eagles would play finals. huge call but i suppose that is why you get the big bucks. I think the AFL are getting into politics in their treatment of the demons.i mean why else would they seasonally adjust our team by demanding we rest several of our young players just to try and help the (free kick hawthorn ) comes to mind.Any way the dees will turn up and try to put on a good show under these cicumstances,,GO DEES