The Thursday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Five  | Titus O'Reily

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The Thursday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Five 

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.

Sydney (75) v Adelaide (85)

With this round starting sometime back in the Mesozoic Era, you could be forgiven for barely remembering this game, especially if you’re a Sydney fan.

This season is off its head. Absolutely trolleyed. It has no interest in making tipping easy.

After showing little fight against the Pies, the Crows showed an intensity only matched by the criticism of them during the build-up.

It was a surprising turnaround from the week before and the Swans seemed surprised by how well the Crows were playing, perhaps only the Adelaide players were more so.

It was an impressive display by the Crows and exactly what they need after the previous week. 

The Swans tried to get creative to break the Crows’ dominance, with Buddy Franklin trying some ball tampering, using a cloth to wipe the ball, which is illegal.

Luckily, he doesn’t play cricket, or he’d have been suspended for the year and this would have been the biggest story in Australia, well, ever.

Instead he got told to stop and was still allowed to take his kick. David Warner must have thrown his remote at his OLED. 

The Swans had experienced tragedy during the week, and when Gary Rohan booted a goal, and kissed the black armband in tribute to his daughter Willow who had passed away during the week, there was not a dry eye in the house.

As the Swans players mobbed him, the emotion was evident and a reminder that footy is a minor thing at times.

Perhaps the amazing thing was the Swans players managed to play at all.

St Kilda (73) v Greater Western Sydney (73)

Obviously, the draw became the talking point, which is a shame considering at one point, Jeremy Cameron threw Blake Acres boot away in what was the highlight of the year.

The umpire paid a 50-meter penalty against Cameron for time wasting, which is a shame. 

Throwing an opponent’s shoe should be rewarded, it would stop congestion too if half the players were always having to but their shoes back on.

Perhaps stats for shoes removed and thrown?

The Saints have gone out of their way to torture their fans this season and in this game, they found new and exciting ways to do so.

At first, they tried to look like they were going to perform like people thought they might before the season started, only to then let the Giants run all over them.

Then, they staged a stirring comeback, only to fall short and draw. 

It was amazing to watch, after all, the draw has caused more pain to Saints supporters than anything else except for their own team.

Greater Western Sydney will be concerned that with the game so in hand, they managed to make St Kilda look good. 

If anything, that was the biggest take away from the game.

Carlton (69) v West Coast (79)

So Carlton gave up on try to win by being high scoring and went back to trying to win through defensively focused. 

Neither works but this way is slightly less embarrassing.

It is also boring and watching this on replay took all my willpower not to fast forward through huge parts of it. 

I totally didn’t though because I know you rely on my insightful commentary on tactics and my blow by blow accounts of each game.

So, some other stuff happened, and the Eagles won because they are better than Carlton.

See told you I watched it all.

Port Adelaide (50) v Geelong (84)

Lindsay Thomas’ quest to be one of the least liked footballers continued with a crude hit on Scott Selwood.

He’d come out of this game with a four-week suspension and the inability to set foot in Geelong ever again. The first bit is a worry for him, the second less so.

The whole game was pretty spiteful, although the Power seemed more interested in uncontested possessions than contested ones. 

Port started slow, but fought back, only to let Geelong go on a seven goals to one run, a little worrying when you’re at home and the other side is a man down.

Part of the problem seemed to be the Power kept chipping the ball around and retaining possession rather than going forward. 

There was a certain logic to this because when they did go forward they tended turn it over. 

After the game, Joel Selwood was presented the Major Peter Badcoe VC Medal and the crowd booed him. It wasn’t a good look but I’m sure Joel will be fine, it’s probably water off a duck’s back to him.

Are Port once again pretenders? They haven’t done enough to convince us otherwise.

Fremantle (108) v Western Bulldogs (54)

Forty-three disposals, 21 contested possessions, 13 clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal.

Nat Fyfe might be back.

It also didn’t hurt he was playing against a Bulldogs side who’s 2016 premiership feels like it was as long ago as their previous premiership. 

Whatever they are building, it’s the opposite of a dynasty.

So bad were the Doggies, that the made the Dockers seem like an exciting, free flowing team.

On top of that, they seemed to be in some sort of competition amoungst themselves to see who could come up with the most innovative way to turn the ball over. 

In this at least, they were all winners.

It was a disappointing performance for the Bulldogs faithful who had at least come to expect their team to show up after the last two weeks. It seems they are way off the pace.

North Melbourne (98) v Hawthorn (70)

Hawthorn’s dominance of the Demons the week before was put in perspective, as in, it was against the Demons.

Against North, they were completely taken apart early on in a stunning display. 

North were outstanding in every way. There are wins and then there was this. 

A hard fought, and at time spiteful game that required the Kangaroos to dig deep to win.

The Kangaroos not only imposed their will all over the Hawks early on, they stood tall when in one passage of play, but in separate incidents, Shaun Higgins and Ed Vickers-Willis both went down.

Neither player would return and Higgins would have to be stretchered off. It was a scary moment, heightened by the fact his wife had given birth just that morning. 

With two players out for the game, North perhaps played their most impressive footy, and that was to hang on for dear life.

As the Hawks came at them the Kangaroos showed the kind of grit that was so lacking from a lot of teams this round. 

The Hawks fought back but it came after two disastrous quarters where North had made them look third rate.

And while the comeback would have been heartening, it wasn’t enough, as North proved to everyone that rumours of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. 

Brisbane (71) v Gold Coast (76)

This was at least entertaining, something that seemed unlikely in the build-up to this as both sides had been awful the week before.

The obvious highlight was when a fan tried to grab the footy as it flew into the stands and he fell over the rail and had to do a flip while holding on. 

Not only was it spectacular, it proved that there were actually people in the crowd.

The Suns had control for a lot of the game and in the third quarter were up by 27 points. 

They must have reasoned at this point that since the Lions only scored 17 points in a whole game the week before they could relax.

This was a mistake, the Lions suddenly stormed back, with the Brisbane fans wondering where this had been all game.

It would take a Touk Miller spoil and a Cam Rayner miss in the dying seconds for the Suns to get across the line.

It leaves the Lions winless but it least it was watchable, a rarity for a Q-Clash.

Melbourne (56) v Richmond (102)

When Simon Goodwin became coach, there was talk of how he would bring a more offensive mindset to the team, building off the defensive focus Paul Roos had instilled at the club.

Like a lot of talk about the Demons, this appears to now be a myth, with the Demons seemingly turning not scoring into an artform.

Perhaps most concerning, is that on the MCG, their home ground, both Hawthorn and Richmond seemed to have completely figured them out. 

And there appears to be no plan B, no adjustments, just bombing it into the forward line with a faith that is delusional.

There were signs of improvement from the week before from the Dees, and for periods of the game their effort couldn’t be questioned, which is why the drop off in the second half was so disappointing.

Richmond’s pressure was so consistent, so intense that it seemed after a while the Demons just figured it was all getting too hard, like a pre-season army style camp.

Tiger fans will be thrilled with the effort and the fact that for the first time since 1995 they sit top of the ladder. 

A reminder that even the most hopeless case can change in sport, if a group is willing to work and work and work.

Collingwood (101) v Essendon (52)

I don’t want to live in a world where Collingwood aren’t awful. 

And Essendon being awful isn’t quite enough to offset the pain of a Collingwood win. 

Although it helps.

You always know when Essendon are having a shocker when Brendon Goddard starts pointing and yelling at his teammates, and they respond by playing worse. 

Never once has his approach worked and the only surprising thing is that one of his teammates hasn’t been reported for striking him.

Essendon probably did deserve to be yelled at though. Their decision making was the sort usually reserved for three in the morning with a lot of drinks under your belt. 

They also got worse as it went on, their scoring drying up in the second half.

I’m just telling myself that the Crows were having an off week last round and Essendon are terrible. 

Obviously, I’m holding out on having to give any credit to Collingwood, but if they keep playing like this, I may have to.

Titus will be performing at the Sydney Comedy Festival. 

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Magpieboy 26 April 2018

Is it just me, or are Brendon Goddard and Tex Walker fighting it out as to who could be the biggest whinger in the AFL.

John Nicholls 26 April 2018

An interesting observation, but for me its Eddie

The Captain 26 April 2018

I think you’re doing your best to confirm the rest of the comp’s opinion of magpie ‘supporters’.

Macca 26 April 2018

What has Tex whinged about ?

SteveD 26 April 2018

Given that Tex hasn't whinged about anything - it's just YOU

Tibbs 26 April 2018

It's just you. The only thing Tex has whinged about is why Fireman Kornes continues to be paid when clearly he's some sort of a disinformation agent planted by rival codes.

Bloke from the outer 26 April 2018

Tex did seem to have a bit of a bleat about players leaving (Lever anyone) whilst, somehow, not noticing that other players were leaving their clubs to go to the crows.

p.s. I don't mind Tex and he wasn't your worst in the GF; I thought he got an unfair pasting when, clearly, the whole forward line was rubbish.

Stu 26 April 2018

It’s just you, Tex hasn’t whinged about anything, you flog

george smith 26 April 2018

After 7 years, Eddie finally has precious little to whinge about.

With Collingwood, Adelaide, Freo, Saints even Brisbane doing an impression of the Bulldogs impression of "On the Waterfront" - "I'm not a bum, I'm a contender!!", it makes it very hard for the Bulldogs. Maybe they are a bum, after all...

J Carlisle 26 April 2018

Does anyone know if those gloves help you catch the football?

Maxy Go Pies 26 April 2018

Not sure, but they help at directing your teammates to man up while guarding empty space.

warren perso 26 April 2018

"I’m sure Joel will be fine, it’s probably water off a duck’s back to him." I see what you did there Titus. Well played.

mdso 26 April 2018

Thank god for BJ. Most of the supporters would like to have screamed too but they were to busy crying in their coffee. Worst game of footy Essendon have played since losing to the Bulldogs a couple of weeks ago but this game was their very best worst. I guess we had better get used to it there could be more coming with injuries thinning out the available cattle.
Melbourne next week onwards and upwards.

Steele Blade 26 April 2018

"worst game of footy since a couple of weeks ago" - that's gold. Are you Titus?

Steve 26 April 2018

You can always be somewhat comforted by a Collingwood win as it means that Buckley is more likely to stay in charge. In fact, the commentators were already talking contract extension for him yesterday!

Andy Roo 26 April 2018

Titus, on behalf of all north as supporters, we accept your apology

Freo Pete 26 April 2018

So my Freo boys kicked over 100 points and had the biggest winning margin of the round. Does this mean I have to prepare for some kind of biblical Armageddon while at the same time having to like Ross Lyon again? The former is more palatable to me than the latter.

Suma 26 April 2018

Thanks for the recount of the Eagles game. As a supporter, it was a real treat to relive such a memorable game for us through your unique prism of sight. Such story telling is a gift to us all

Qcrash 26 April 2018

Watchable is not a word i’d use to describe the Qclash... those spectators who were not devising their own form of gymnastic entertainment were searching twitter in hope of true entertainment.

Bladdamasta 26 April 2018

I love your stuff, Titus, but you’ve taken a step up with your acknowledgement of the Rohan moment. Very sensitive and beautifully observed.

Leave Lindsay alone 26 April 2018

Duck long enough and you'll get your head knocked off.
The Selwood brothers are a blight on the game.

FunBoyOne 27 April 2018

Looking at the replay Melbourne played well, managing to stay with our boys for over 3 quarters. Dees supporters have to start being positive. Tiger fans always get excited then turned. Dees fans are always negative.

Tipster's Knightmare 28 April 2018

Unhelpfully, where was the round 6 unhelpful guide?

Without your advice, I wasn't sure whether to risk tipping the Bulldogs. So I went with Carlton.

Fred 30 April 2018

Did Round 6 even happen? Personally I'm blocking it out because Eddie was doing commentary, which is a lot to take at the end of the week. Is Titus okay?

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