The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Three

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.

Fremantle (67) v Hawthorn (94)

Ah Domain Stadium, or ‘The Stadium Responsible Serving of Alcohol Forgot’ as I like to call it.

Much will be made of the crowd’s behaviour, as it should but what I loved is hearing people describe it as a ‘bad look’. It’s not really ‘a bad look’ what happened, it was just bad.

Saying it’s ‘a bad look’ seems to suggest it would have been OK if everyone hadn’t seen the various incidents.

A ‘bad look’ is everything we wore in the 90s, not someone punching a woman in the throat or shaping to hit a player.

Perhaps the people who would be most disappointed about the general behaviour would be the Docker fans who do behave themselves. A sizeable group have tarred them all with the same brush.

Karma has responded too with Dockers fans now realising that to barrack against the Eagles next week they will have to go for the Hawks. Freo fans will be wishing the world will just implode in the next few days.

The shame is that the Dockers started off so well. They came out strong until the umpires steadied and managed to slowly wrest back control.

It was a creative weekend for the umpires, who seemed to invent free kicks that not only don’t exist in footy but in any other sport I’ve ever watched.

Apart from the umpiring, signs were worrying early for Fremantle with Nat Fyfe looking injured from the start.

A collision with Brian Lake early on didn’t help.

It turned out Fyfe played the game with a broken leg. I’ve played FIFA with a bruised thumb so I can relate. Sometimes you just have to tough it out. Are Fyfe and myself heroes? That’s for others to judge but probably yes.

Still, it would be nice if Fremantle could afford some medical professionals who could work out if someone’s leg is broken or not.

Some people try to point out it wasn’t a broken leg but a ‘fractured fibula’. Well, if I’ve got a fractured fibula I’m calling that a broken leg when anyone asks. Easy for those without one to say it’s not.

Fremantle’s ‘walk it off’ medical philosophy would probably have come under a bit of questioning this week if Fyfe had been permanently injured.

It is amazing though that on one leg, Fyfe is a better player than almost every other player in the league.

The Hawks again reminded everyone how slick they are under pressure. They just don’t make the mistakes other teams do.

A lot will be made of Tom Sheridan’s dropped mark but there were a quite a few other examples of poor skills by Freo when it mattered most.

Sam Mitchell was amazing with 35 possessions and Hawthorn’s defence was great, although keeping a Ross Lyon team to a low score is not usually seen as an amazing achievement.

Fremantle fans will be left wondering how they couldn’t get one of those good Carlton forwards the Blues hand out like candy.

For the rest of us, it will be exciting to see Hawthorn chase a third premiership in a row next week.

Kill me.

West Coast (80) v North Melbourne (55)

This was the first preliminary final to be played in Perth since the day before and the Eagles crowd were better behaved, although that was a very low bar to jump.

You’re in trouble when an Eagles crowd is seen as better behaved than yours.

Like the night before, it was the underdog that got out of the gate early only to have the umpires again find their feet and right the ship.

I don’t usually think the umpires are that bad or have a huge impact on a game but this was worse than the night before.

It probably didn’t change the result but it was bad enough top have you wondering if it played a bit of a role. North fans have every right to be filthy as it’s hard enough to win over there already.

I also thought Razor Ray Chamberlain handing out West Coast Eagles footballs to the crowd after the game was a bad look for the AFL.

Funnily enough, it was the fact that the Eagles seemed better rested that made the difference in this one.

The Roos looked tired, which is strange considering they rested in Round 23 and for the first half of the season.

Jarrad Waite returned to form, kicking two behinds and gathering 11 disposals, while Ben Brown ran under the flight of the ball so often it made you think he was doing it on purpose.

The West Coast defence have been terrific this year considering their injuries and Sharrod Wellingham showed that it’s not just Carlton who ship off good players.

Considering Collingwood got rid of Heath Shaw too, who won the Giants best and fairest this season, maybe we should again thank Eddie for the ‘transition’ that’s ruined both clubs and provided so much talent to the rest of the league.

The only silver lining coming out of this for North fans is they won’t have to see Bryan Adams perform live.

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  1. AussieJazzman

    TitusOReily brief correction, it was Heath Shaw, not Rhys, who won GWS’ B+F

  2. sliedude

    Actually it was Heath Shaw Collingwood shipped off to the Giants.

    It shipped his brother Rhys to the Swans years ago (another act of collingwood  largesse to struggling interstate teams)

  3. whatevsAU

    TitusOReily this long weekend has given me a feel of what it’s like to be a Dees or Carlton supporter. Fyfe had better win that Brownlow.

  4. Declan Ferguson

    Richard Rossmann – best AFL wrap up going around.

  5. bothanspies

    TitusOReily Will HawthornFC wear their PowerRangers strip as the lower-ranked team to WestCoastEagles?The hard questions must be asked.

  6. Kiriana Meha-Bettison

    Alex McCormack Joel Pearson I don’t know what I’m going to do without my Monday knee jerk reaction or highly unhelpful guides for the next painful 6 months of my life!

  7. Drewsa Fiedler

    It’s almost like the umpires and the Channel 7 commentary team put in a joint syndicate for a Hawks v Eagles grand final before the season started and were riding them home like Zorro on the weekend.

  8. Troy N

    bothanspies TitusOReily HawthornFC PowerRangers WestCoastEagles  Nope. The VFL have allowed Hawthorn to wear their home Guernsey as they think a team winning the premiership wearing a Power Rangers Guernsey Is a bad look for the game. West Coast agreed for the good of the game and as the higher ranked team that they should wear their alternate strip.

  9. llenten

    TitusOReily Great piece as always…but any mention of Carlton at this time of the year is simply unacceptable

  10. NicHamley

    TitusOReily Great piece Titus. I’ve had a fractured fibula before and it bloody hurt so I can definitely attest to this being equivalent to a broken leg.

    Can’t think of anything worse that Hawthorn winning a third premiership in a row (maybe Carlton doing it, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon). Usually, being a full MCC member, I would be there at 5:30am to line up on the day but not sure I want to be at the ‘G to hear the Hawks’ song play yet again after the final game of the year.

  11. Tim Drok

    “Still, it would be nice if Fremantle could afford some medical professionals who could work out if someone’s leg is broken or not.”

  12. Bonjour_Pippy

    TitusOReily This is so funny you can’t say it’s a good look, it’s just so good! EncoreU0001f44dU0001f44f

  13. Bombres Away

    Hearing Bryan Bloody Adams sing would make me want to hear the Hawthorn theme song … or is that vice versa?

  14. JohnMoloney22

    TitusOReily Gil might be finished by the time the ads are done.

  15. Fremantleking

    TitusOReily titus…Please put your hand up to coach the dockers or the demons. I’m sure the results wouldn’t get any worse..and who knows!

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