Apr 26, 2023
The Wednesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Six
On a Wednesday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.
What you really want is idiotic hysteria.
You've come to the right place.
Fremantle (69) v Western Bulldogs (118)
First, can I apologise for the lack of columns recently, I’ve been unwell. So unwell that last week I lost my voice completely.
This was welcomed as a blessing for those that deal directly with me.
Luckily, I’m on the mend, but my doctor says I may need to start thinking about something called ‘exercise’ and eating exotic foods like fruit and vegetables.
It’s a credit to the Dockers that by round six they can give off serious ‘season already over’ vibes.
Fremantle decided that rather than try to defeat the Doggies; they would instead focus on settling scores with Rory Lobb, an odd thing to do.
I mean, sure, he left, but it’s Rory Lobb, it’s not Michael Jordan.
I get it wasn’t a great exit, it made Meghan and Harry’s look full of goodwill, but wouldn’t defeating his team be a better way to get under his skin?
Focusing on footy however, is not always core business at the Dockers.
Instead, they chased him around the ground, not the first time a group of footballers have been distracted by a peroxide blonde.
The Bulldogs tried to help the Dockers by booting 0.6 to start.
It wasn’t a great beginning.
When things aren’t going well for the Bulldogs there’s one solution, ask Marcus Bontempelli to sort everything out.
He is the ultimate Mr Fixit.
If Richard Nixon could have called upon Bontempelli, you’d have never heard of Watergate.
Fremantle tried to get back into the game, but like Shannon Noll outside an Adelaide strip club, they were no chance.
Port Adelaide (109) v West Coast (69)
The West Coast Eagles goodwill tour, where they travel the country handing out four points, continued on its merry way this week.
It’s such a nice initiative of the Eagles, and Port certainly welcomed the four points.
West Coast’s major problem is they are substandard in all the various facets of football.
This is not something you aim for in a football team, especially one that purports to be a professional one.
Unlike the Eagles, Port can do a passing impression of a professional football team, often for several weeks in a row.
They weren’t really challenged in this one.
Jeremy Finlayson kicked five goals and Connor Rozee ran around gathering the ball at will, and when he got bored, he would kick a goal to liven things up and stop himself falling asleep.
And then the game ended.
Greater Western Sydney (87) v Brisbane (108)
The question in this one was ‘did Charlie Cameron mean to kick that goal?’
The answer of course is yes.
There’s not much Charlie can do on the football field. If someone said he cured a person of blindness on the field, I would believe it.
If you haven’t seen the goal, I highly recommend seeking it out. I believe it’s on something called the ‘internet’.
Not done with booting the goal of the year, Cameron finished with seven.
Now sure, it was against the Giants, but it was still impressive.
The Giants had moments where they looked competitive, but they also had large stretches where their minds started to wander, like when you’re listening to someone tell you about their dream.
Geelong (130) v Sydney (37)
The Sydney Swans like playing the Cats like most people like visiting relatives.
For a club that’s known for always competing, against the Cats, the Swans seem to adopt Bernard Tomic as their spirit animal.
There’s not much to really review in terms of football here. The Cats midfield found the going just slightly easier than stealing candy from a baby.
So poor were the Swans that in the second half, they booted just three behinds. That’s it, nothing more.
Given Sydney didn’t really have a backline; this wasn’t the pace of scoring that was going to get it done.
Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins couldn’t believe their luck when they discovered they were matched up on players who barely came up to their shoulders.
In the end, it was brutal and incredibly one-sided, like watching Aliens, if Ripley wasn’t in it.
Hawthorn (76) v Adelaide (79)
Hawthorn were in real danger of winning this one, leading by nine points with minutes to spare, only for Darcy Fogarty to save them with a late goal.
Hawks fans will be tiring of the brave losses, given they are used to winning relentlessly.
Still, there was no criticising the Hawks effort, like me trying to make friends, they tried hard, they just didn’t get the result.
The Crows seemed surprised by the early ferocity, with Hawthorn tackling more like an NRL team.
Speaking of NRL teams, can I just add my support to them playing a season opener in Las Vegas? Nothing would please me more than sin city having plane loads of NRL players arrive.
It would be like storing chlorine and petrol next to each other.
With Hawthorn applying the pressure, the Crows found themselves in a real fight, and it’s a credit to them that they got the job done.
Rory Sloane wound the clock back with 30 possessions. That must be nice to be able to wind the clock back to your peak, I am yet to have one.
Carlton (60) v St Kilda (82)
St Kilda are 5-1 and top of the ladder!
Even the most delusional of Saints fans wouldn’t have predicted this. Not that there are many delusional Saints fans, with the team grounding them into reality over several generations.
The Saints have totally transformed themselves under Ross Lyon and are playing with a level of accountability and energy not seen at St Kilda since, well, since Ross Lyon was last at the club.
Sure, at times they are more boring to watch than a primary school play, but Saints fans won’t care.
St Kilda had winners everywhere but special mention needs to go to Harry McKay in defence.
For Carlton fans, two losses in a row are nothing to be concerned about. When you saw the success Voss had coaching Brisbane and as an assistant at Port, why would you worry?
I’m sure this is just a minor blip.
Gold Coast (97) v North Melbourne (54)
It was the match the captured tens of people’s interest, and it did disappoint, being almost unwatchable at times, and I mean that in the sense Kayo kept crashing, as it seems to enjoy doing.
It was a very disappointing performance from North in Todd Goldstein 300th game, as the Suns seemed to do as they liked.
For a player who has given so much, you’d have liked to have seen some more effort.
The Suns focused early on Harry Sheezel early, curbing his influence and leaving him with just 11 possessions for the day. North should consider trading him immediately.
Ben King relished the opportunity to play North, booting five. He looked good enough to reheat those articles speculating which Victorian team he will go to next.
The only negative for the Suns was Touk Miller, who went out early with a knee injury, but even this didn’t slow them down.
For North, after some promising early signs this season, the reality of the approaching long cold winter was only too evident.
Melbourne (96) v Richmond (78)
The Anzac Day Eve clash is fast becoming one of my favourite games of the year, and you can tell it’s popular with Collingwood and Essendon copying it on the Tuesday.
It’s a great occasion at night, and the complete silence shows the respect people have for those who have served.
Melbourne were keen to prove themselves after a frankly awful effort against Essendon the week before, but any signs things had changed didn’t appear to be there early.
The Tigers were all over the Dees early on, their work rate was far superior, and while Lynch might have been missing, Noah Cumberland was looking like Gary Ablett Senior up the other end.
Jack Riewoldt was also looking dangerous, despite the fact he had more stitches in his head than someone who had just undergone major surgery.
At half time, the brie was tasting like ash in the mouths of Demons fans, while for Tigers fans the Woodstock Bourbon was tasting like Grange.
The second half, however saw the Dees slowly reeling in the Tigers.
A big reason was Max Gawn, whose return highlighted just how much they had missed him.
Another reason was the Tigers kept missing very gettable goals. This would become a recurring theme.
On three-quarter time, a Clayton Oliver goal saw the G explode as the Dees took control.
The last quarter was all about Jacob van Rooyen, who had barely been sighted, only to explode in the last quarter and boot three.
For Dees fans this was about as much fun as you can have with your chinos on.
Richmond fans now look at their team sitting 16th on the ladder and, for the first time in a while, turn their attention to the draft.
Collingwood (90) v Essendon (77)
There were huge chunks of this game where the footballing public had to ask the question, ‘wait, are Essendon actually good?’
The answer in the end was no, but it wasn’t as an emphatic ‘no’, as it has been for the past two decades.
Perhaps the most telling moment of the game was before it, when Jake Stringer went out of his way to bump Nick Daicos repeatedly before the bounce.
It was mind games, and you never send Jake Stringer if you want to play mind games.
Nick looked about as intimidated as a lion being stalked by a hamster.
Fast forward four quarters later, and Nick Daicos had 40 disposals, nine score involvements, four points and the Anzac Day Medal.
The game itself was a classic, with both sides slugging it out in the first half before Essendon ran amok in the third.
Collingwood went into three-quarter time 28 points down, but this is Collingwood, and late comebacks are to them what songs that capture the very essence of what it means to be Australian are to Paul Kelly.
The Pies managed to kick the final seven goals of the game to swamp the Bombers.
The Collingwood faithful were in heaven, while Essendon fans could only watch on in horror as their team wilted faster than an English tourist on St Kilda beach on a 22-degree day.
Let us never forget there were people who tipped Collingwood to miss the finals this year.
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