The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Ten

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 (91) v North Melbourne (65)

This round confirmed my working hypothesis that this season is nuts. It’s quite possible that no one will win the premiership.

Speaking of not winning the premiership, North Melbourne’s disastrous start to the season continued as they now sit in lowly first, with a worrying 9-1 record.

Mathematically, they can still make the finals but it will be tough. This was a crushing loss for North supporters who have long complained that the Kangaroos don’t get enough respect.

This loss however proved the doubters right and if hip hop has taught me anything, it’s that you’re meant to prove the doubters wrong.

Perhaps the problem is North’s list is so old they don’t listen to hip hop?

Early on, Lindsay Thomas’ acting chops kept the Kangaroos in this one. I’ve got no problem people calling Thomas out, his diving in previous seasons makes him a target for this stuff.

We should acknowledge that a debate on ducking for frees should be focused on Joel Selwood though, before anyone else.

Thomas is John Starks to Selwood’s Michael Jordan when it comes to ducking; it’s not even close.

I know saying this will upset Cats fans but let’s just call that an added bonus.

With this win, Sydney made the strongest claim yet that they are premiership favourites.

Cue the complaints about their academy, the Giants can have the week off.

The Swans real success is recruiting players who are competitors at heart. Even their lesser players compete aggressively throughout the game.

Personally, I think Josh Kennedy is the best midfielder going around at the moment. He just quietly goes about dominating stoppages, making everyone around him look better.

Chuck in Mitchell and the ever impressive Hannebery and you’ve got the nucleus of a top side right there.

Even Kurt Tippett has put his head down and turnaround a disappointing start in Sydney to be very effective in the ruck. He got on top of Goldstein, who it must be said doesn’t look 100 per cent.

It may be time we just ban Sydney from having players. This trade ban isn’t working.

Brisbane (87) v Hawthorn (135)

Brisbane surprised everyone by actually trying this week. It’s a new tactic for them but one I would encourage them to persevere with.

Trying is an underrated tactic in AFL and possibly the one with the biggest impact on the result.

It was inevitable that the Hawks would eventually run away with this one but the fact it took so long raises some questions about the Hawks. At least I hope it does. It would be just typical that in a year they are a bit down, everyone else falls over around them.

Yet for much of this, Hawthorn looked poor and lying on the couch after eating too many chicken nuggets, I started to believe this was the end of the potential nightmare that is Fourthorn. I may have been hallucinating.

It was Jordan Lewis in his 250th game who dragged his team to a higher level and turned things around.  Cyril Rioli’s five goals also showed that while trying is great, class is hard to come by.

In the end the cream rose to the top and the Lions, despite their effort just couldn’t keep up.

Melbourne (76) v Port Adelaide (121)

Melbourne supporters are as likely to travel to Alice Springs as they are to Etihad Stadium and it seems the team didn’t bother to travel their either.

Demons players may need to stop reading their own press. All this talk of them being an ‘emerging power’ seemed laughable, as the Demons put in a performance so half assed it took me back to their performance against Essendon earlier in the year.

Not only did they continually let the Power get out over the back and kick goals, they made no changes to attempt to stop this rather repetitive outcome. It was bewildering that nothing was done to at least try and stop this and it’s not the first time it’s happened this season.

Considering Brendon Bolton has done what Paul Roos has done in only ten rounds, it makes you wonder if the Demons have really got the improvement they should have in the past few seasons. Still, at least Paul Roos is a lot more expensive.

Port on the other hand just couldn’t believe that every time they went forward they had space and spare men in their own fifty. Surely this has to end? They must have wondered but to their good fortune they shouldn’t have worried.

It keeps the Power’s chances of making the eight vaguely alive and they travel to the MCG to take on the injury plagued and Nathan Buckley coached Collingwood.

Win that and things get interesting but I just can’t see which team is going to drop out of the eight.

St Kilda (101) v Fremantle (67)

Ross Lyon’s masterclass in tanking almost came unstuck this week but ever the competitor, he got things back on track and then some.

In danger of potentially winning, the Dockers allowed the Saints to kick the last nine goals of the game. It was a masterstroke that has kept their dreams of a wooden spoon alive.

Next week, the Dockers play Essendon at home and it’s going to a tough ask for Fremantle to lose that and pretend they’re not tanking.

St Kilda did well in the end but they really let Freo back into this after the Dockers put in a really terrible first quarter.

David Armitage was incredibly impressive for the Saints, with 17 tackles, which I think is seven more than the Dockers have had all season.

Essendon (67) v Richmond (105)

Dreamtime at the ‘G and it was a wonderful sight. In fact, I really enjoyed the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round. Australians seem to enjoy it overall with no one freaking out when various traditional weapons were brought to the coin toss.

It seems only imaginary weapons upset some AFL fans. I don’t pretend to understand their ‘thinking’.

With Richmond involved, this could have gone either way. To their credit, the Tigers got the job done and have rocketed to 14th on the ladder.

This apparently keeps the Tigers finals hopes alive, which is really just cruel.

Essendon continued their effort but it’s obvious they lack the skills of to really compete at AFL level consistency.

They do play Freo this week though, so Melbourne fans will be hoping they win that so they don’t remain the only side to have completely embarrassed themselves this season.

Adelaide (107) v Greater Western Sydney (85)

This was a very enjoyable game and given that a lot of Victorians had panicked and engraved the Giants on the premiership cup for the next decade, an interesting result.

The Crows had been a bit up and down but here they reminded everyone that when it clicks, they are one of the better sides in the league.

Their midfield stood up to the Giants and were impressive inside, with Richard Douglas and Jarryd Lyons getting the clearances for the Crows.

Eddie Betts was again spectacular, including a goal of the year contender, while Tex Walker was also terrific with five goals.

Considering Geelong then lost the next day, it was a great weekend for Crows fans.

The Giants wouldn’t be too upset by this loss. They weren’t at their best but given the youth in the side, the fact they kept coming all game was impressive.

There were moments it looked like they were going to get on top but they just lacked that final link when they went forward.

When Betts is kicking some of the goals he kicked, you sort of know it’s not your day.

Carlton (104) v Geelong (85)

This Carlton having a good coach thing is truly a terrible outcome. We’d all come to really appreciate the Blues being comically awful.

Then along comes Brendon Bolton with his ‘competency’ and everything is now ruined.

The worst thing is he hasn’t just turned around the club, he’s reinvigorated Blues supporters. It’s like discovering you’ve got termites back in your house after you thought you’d got rid of them in the 1990s.

This was really impressive from Carlton. They had injuries but ignored that to focus on what had got them they lead, tough, contested footy and nothing too fancy.

Bolton seems to be able to create an environment where players can perform. There’s no clearer example than Bryce Gibbs who had 34 touches and two goals.

Where the Blues where hard, the Cats just looked soft. As well as not competing as hard, their skills were embarrassing, with frequent turnovers leading to Carlton goals.

The worrying thing for Geelong is they’ve now lost to Collingwood and Carlton, which despite some improvements are not great sides.

It seems the ghosts of last season have reappeared, despite Patrick Dangerfield being brought in to fix everything.

Collingwood (53) v Western Bulldogs (74)

If it was within my DNA to feel sorry for Collingwood I would, given a terrible run with injury in this game.

For most of the day, the Pies looked likely winners with the Doggies looking very suspect against good pressure.

Four injuries meant Collingwood couldn’t use their bench in the last quarter and with that, the Bulldogs managed to finally get over the top.

How bad is Collingwood’s injury situation now? Well they are in in real danger of having to to recall Travis Cloke. That’s season over really, although you could argue it never really began.

The Bulldogs were deeply unimpressive in this one. They started the year so full of dash that they were really exciting but they have recently looked lethargic.

There’s been some injuries but a lot of good players looked down yesterday. Still, it’s always good to win ugly and next week they return to the safe confines of Etihad Stadium.

If I’m ever feeling a bit flat, I eat a mountain of chicken nuggets. That might not work for athletes though.

West Coast (132) v Gold Coast (55)

The battle of the Coasts was more a beating, with the outcome was as predictable as it was boring.

With the Eagles at home, this was always going to be a big ask for the injury plagued Suns.

From the first quarter, the Eagles were never challenged although it was probably more of a grind than they would have expected.

To give you a sense of how boring this game was, I briefly considered switching over to the Leaders debate at one point before remembering that I still have the will to live.

Seriously, this election is going on forever and I’ve heard no one talking about the big issues like ducking for frees, the shot clock and northern academies. Where do the parties stand on these things? What’s their position on dynamic ticketing?

There’s not a lot of point in investing in health and education if the Giants are going to win the next ten premierships. Forget defense, that’s not a society worth defending.

Anyway, I’ve gone off topic.

The result in this one means the Suns have now lost seven in a row and recently that’s been by big margins. Hey, perhaps Rodney Eade isn’t the answer? But you all knew that didn’t you? Seems only the Suns didn’t.

Next week the Eagles have to travel; they face the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium. Can they start to win away regularly? They should give it a go. This season is still wide open.

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  1. ElaineAgapiou

    TitusOReily on a serious note; ‘The sydneyswans real success is recruiting players who are competitors at heart’ #truedat #HCFgoswans

  2. mcars

    As usual Titus you have hit several nails on the head, especially mounting concern over the resurgence of Carlton…most of us prefer comically awful

  3. Bonjour_Pippy

    TitusOReily Lucky Dangerfield didn’t go to Carlton

  4. TalkingCarlton

    TitusOReily The termites are coming! 🙂 #BoundByBlue

  5. rixonl44

    TitusOReily live Qland where Ch7 believe we follow NRL & 2 AFL teams. Tweeted Ben Roberts-Smith which won’t change a thing I guess.

  6. Hugo Von Winterhalter

    How unselfish was Malthouse to put in place the basis of a great team and then walk away and let Bolton take all the credit.

  7. Snert Underpant

    Eade said this morning that the Suns can still make the finals. I’ll have what he’s having.

  8. katieoh9

    TitusOReily Come on man, give Cats supporters a break. We already have to cope with losing to Collingwood and Carlton in consecutive weeks

  9. Gus19

    . Yeah, at least O’Reilly gets to watch some good games. #HoldingFootyBackInQueensland

  10. Edna Merkle

    It’s a pity Dangerfield’s family didn’t live in Adelaide. Then he could be with his family AND play in a premiership team.

  11. Prue Kearvell

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou Titus.You have made my Monday U0001f603U0001f603U0001f603

  12. jonathantrott

    TitusOReily I think you leave all those typos in there each week so that nobody mistakes you for a serious journalist

  13. Marijana Mihaljević

    “It seems only imaginary weapons upset some AFL fans. I don’t pretend to understand their “thinking”” Hahaha!!! I love you Titus!!!

  14. David Walsh

    Chloe Walsh… “Considering Geelong then lost the next day, it was a great weekend for Crows fans.”

  15. Nikki Henningham

    Robert Henningham Lucy Henningham ‘lying on the couch after eating too many chicken nuggets’

  16. Robert Henningham

    ‘if hip hop has taught me anything, it’s that you’re meant to prove the doubters wrong.’ HILLLLLArious

  17. Danielle Cook

    Loved this! How very true. Would’ve been better if Port lost as well U0001f609

  18. Mathew Rodda

    Have the Swans or Hawthorn re-located to Adelaide?

  19. Lucy Henningham

    I am holding off on reading this until after 4pm as a study treat! These little teasers have me very excited though!!

  20. Vanessa King

    Nathan. Neal. Shannon. This may help your mondayitis U0001f642

  21. Shaul Arnold

    Port must of thought they’d run out onto the Parade and were playing the Redlegs!

  22. Con Papas

    Chris Miltiadous Peter Kouvoussis read the Carlton one. Lol

  23. Neal Delpero

    Check out The Age today….seriously.. …..keep a lid on it….Gibbs for the Brownlow…Champion Data to upgrade their Pre season List assessment…..

  24. Vanessa King

    Let’s hope ur boys don’t start believing their own press!!!

  25. John O'Connell

    Are Collingwood really calling for extended lists to avoid the need to recall Travis Cloke?

  26. Chris Miltiadous

    You calling me a termite or a maggot re.. just thank us for half your side and stop the malakies alrite

  27. Lucy Henningham

    His reference to Joel selwood definitely made me giggle U0001f64a definitely a highlight of the week!!

  28. David McDonald

    Also Moggs Creek attracted him home. Adelaide can’t compete with that

  29. Con Papas

    Farkin funny Beetle. Blues lost Eddie and the other Menzel has not played a game and doesn’t look like he will, while Kerridge and the slow Matt have played nearly every game. Two players half a side. Pfft.

  30. bomberdi

    jonathantrott TitusOReily Yep he’s got his ‘where’ and ‘were’ confused … never mind I enjoyed reading his comments and sense of humour U0001f606

  31. Chris Miltiadous

    Ti crows supporter ise how could you forget Jackobs or not rate him

  32. Sharyn Obrien

    Sorry but I don’t like your page…your sarcasm isn’t my cup of tea..’bye.

  33. KentuckysaChris

    TitusOReily right on money with Melbourne just different coach

  34. GarethElliott9

    TitusOReily could you rename this the Monday “Head Duck” Reaction? Thomas is horrible…. But Joel “Daffy” Selwood started it all…..

  35. Paul Jacobs

    The North Melbourne write up was my cure for Mondayitis. I’m a North Melbourne supporter knowing we are staring at a miserable rest of this season at a lowly first. And you’re absolutely right; this will be the first season no one wind the premiership!

  36. Dan Gaskin

    Dean Hayden… Here’s some light reading for you.
    Take note of the part about hip-hop.

  37. Con Papas

    Forgot nothing lads. Did he ever get in double figures at Carlton? Spent at least four years and played FA. Fourth string at best traded for peanuts. Most Melb supporters didn’t know his name.
    Like I said two players is not half a side. Menzel hasn’t played and probably won’t.

  38. MacHawk

    Love your stuff, mate, but you either need a proof reader or else drink less while typing. Loved the bit on Carlton. I really relate to it and felt distressed and soiled after experiencing myself barracking for them.

  39. MacHawk

    She is a Roo supporter and she only has 14 friends. What is the point of even commenting, then?

  40. Robyn Hay

    Yes, we were flat as a tack and Collingwood played very well, but ” Bulldogs have had some injuries” Titus, you should perhaps win the award for the understatement of the year, difference is we don’t sob into our cornflakes about it.

  41. Billious

    Titus almost every week you spell the word were as where.  This is about as Irish as Guinness but can’t we get it right please here in OZ especially when you have only a word between the two it looks rather silly.

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