The Monday 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.

Carlton (45) v Collingwood (120)

It was Mick Malthouse’s 715th game as coach, a chance for Carlton to honour his legacy and they did it in the only way their talent would allow.

It all started well with a nice bit of pregame theatrics, which included the lights being turned off at the MCG.

Personally, having all the lights go off while surrounded by tens of thousands of Collingwood supporters is a recurring nightmare I have. I guess ‘match day experience’ can involve several minutes of pure terror.

Once the game got started though, it was clear ‘Operation Get Mick Sacked’ was on full display by the Carlton players. It’s the only legitimate excuse for how they played.

How bad was it? Well Bruce McAvaney said ‘this is difficult to watch’ at one point.

Bruce never says that! He’s a professional, he acts like every game is an amazing contest, “You just feel the next fifteen goals could get them back in the game.”

That’s what Bruce normally says, not ‘turn off your TV and spend quality time with your partner.’

Thanks a lot Carlton you broke Bruce.

Of course, then there was the moment we all saw Geoffrey Edelsten in the coaches box. It was a living (OK, kind of) symbol of all that is currently wrong with Carlton.

Pies fans must be wondering if this is some wonderful dream, second on the ladder after five rounds and Carlton a miserable excuse for a football club.

We shouldn’t discount a fairly soft draw but Collingwood can’t be faulted for their effort and improvement.

We’re all thrilled for you Pies fans.

Richmond (76) v Geelong (85)

You’d think this was Damien Hardwick’s 715th game the way Richmond played for most of it.

The Tigers had to win this one, so naturally they didn’t. The Cats had injuries galore and there were no real excuses for Richmond here, they were just poor.

Of course, being Richmond, they had to make a comeback to have their fans leave the ground wondering ‘what if we’d played like that all game?”

I swear being a Tigers fan must like having psychological warfare waged against you on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately for Tigers supporters, I can’t even see Richmond getting obliterated in a final this year. A backwards step really.

The Cats did well in this one considering the injuries they have. James Kelly added to the injury toll with a ruptured testicle, instantly winning him the sympathy of half the global population.

Tom Hawkins was excellent all day as a target and Geelong fans could go home happy knowing despite their decline, they’re still not Richmond.

Sydney (73) v Western Bulldogs (77)

We all knew that despite the Bulldogs putting in a brave and inspiring performance, the Swans would pinch this one in the end. Then that didn’t happen.

This game was so good it almost made up for the fact I had to sit through the Q Clash straight after it.

The Dogs were simply fantastic. They were tough, disciplined and skilful.

Liam Picken had 32 possessions, 10 clearances and 12 tackles, I’m no stats expert like David King but that seems good.

The Swans were inaccurate up front with Buddy spraying them all over the shop as only he can.

The last quarter was good old-fashioned wet weather football. Both teams were desperate and threw themselves at the contest as if nothing else in life mattered, a nice change from a lot of the other games.

Yet it was the Bulldogs who deservedly got over the line at the end, must be all those salary cap concessions they get.

Gold Coast (118) v Brisbane (54)

We can’t say this one didn’t live up to it’s billing. This was awful; late career Adam Sandler stuff.

Brisbane seemed to lack basic hand-eye coordination. It’s like most of them had never played AFL before because they are ‘not that into sport.’

I hope none of them have drivers’ license, I can’t see how.

The fact Brisbane made the Suns look good is damning. The Suns are awful, late career Adam Sandler…wait, I’ve done that one right?

The cruelest thing about this performance was that Jonathan Brown had to commentate it. He’s a club champion Brisbane! Making him describe this nonsense was just cruel.

It was worse than asking him to back into any pack.

In the middle of this game Fox Footy’s feed dropped out, it was a godsend and I hoped it wouldn’t come back on. Unfortunately, it did and the Suns won but really, footy in Queensland definitely lost.

North Melbourne (70) v Hawthorn (130)

Before we get to the hijinks in this game, let’s be clear, North lost this one because they played incredibly badly.

Given Hawthorn’s injury list and this being at Etihad Stadium, the Roos should have proved they are a contender for the top four again this year, instead they showed they’ve gone backwards.

Which is why the fact that two of Hawthorn’s stars saw a need to belt their opponents as strange to say the least.

Luke Hodge gave Andrew Swallow (who I have to keep being reminded is North’s captain) an elbow to the jaw in a truly bizarre moment.

Ten minutes later, Jordan Lewis collected Todd Goldstein in a very late and unnecessary spoil.

What was odd about both these incidents was how completely unnecessary they were. It wasn’t like this was in response to a series of cheap shots or similar incidents.

It’s the last thing Hawthorn needed with the injuries they’re already carrying and given they have GWS and Melbourne in the next few weeks. Oh, actually they’ll be fine.

West Coast (120) v Greater Western Sydney (33)

West Coast are not that good, which made this performance by the Giants unforgivable.

They were abysmal on a panoramic scale. With the start to the season they’d had, this should have been a victory but the effort was just not there.

Dylan Shiel had 36 disposals and played his heart out but he was one of the few who seemed to pack his footballing ability for the trip. Cue the Melbourne media columns predicting which club he’ll go to next year.

The Giants would kick just one goal after quarter-time and Leon Cameron said it was a step backwards. More like a Giant leap backwards (see what I did there? Top shelf comedy that is).

Josh Kennedy kicked six goals in another display of Carlton’s terrible list management but given the midfield were bringing it in almost unopposed this was to be expected.

Melbourne (50) v Fremantle (118)

Nat Fyfe is strong, really strong. Melbourne players looked like they were participating in the running of the bulls when he had the ball, the terror in their eyes was visible from the Frank Gray Smith bar.

Fremantle are the real deal. Their midfield is probably the best in the comp, they’re well drilled and they have numerous goal kickers up front.

Against Melbourne, they just sat back and waited for the Demons to make mistakes and Melbourne sure didn’t let them down.

Melbourne can get about three-out-of-five things right in any chain of possession. They just can’t get those last few possessions to work and score a goal.

Someone will spill a mark or miss a handball just as they’re about to break.

This performance was pathetic. Too many players still don’t have the basic skill set to play at this level.

Jack Watts ended his 100th game with seven possessions and while fellow Demons supporters often urge me to cut him some slack, the truth is that far too often Watts hovers around packs refusing to chase his own ball.

That would be maybe OK if he was racking up possessions on the outside or booting goals but more often than not this year he drops marks he can take or turns the ball over.

Too often he looks like an actor plying the part of an AFL player than an actual footballer, all the gesturing and pointing without impact on the actual game.

Compare him to Salem, Brayshaw and Hogan and you wonder where he’ll fit in two years time.

Not at Melbourne I’m tipping.

St Kilda (80) v Essendon (82)

Let’s start this one off by reminding everyone that St Kilda lost by a fair bit to Carlton last week. Yes, the Carlton we mentioned earlier.

On another tangent, I’d also like to add how much I hate Etihad Stadium. It is a blight on the fair city of Melbourne and the quicker it is demolished the better.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, the Saints should walk away from this shattered they lost.

I should probably add something like ‘proud of their efforts’ or ‘gave it a real go’ but Saints fans don’t want to hear that nonsense. They should have won this game, pure and simple.

They outworked their opponents for most of the game and Adam Schneider had the chance to seal the game not once but twice.

Considering Nick Riewoldt was out, the Bombers have to wonder how this was so close. They played as badly as those awful grey jumpers they were wearing.

Basically the Dons were lucky, not for the first time this year if you count the ASADA investigation.

They play Fremantle next week in Perth and they’re going to need better form than they’re currently carrying.

I’m sure Master Coach James Hird will sort it all out.

Adelaide (91) v Port Adelaide (115)

I’m actually a big fan of the Showdown, it feels like a real rivalry compared to some of the more manufactured ones. Battle of the Bridge anyone?

The fact it’s buried in the death slot of 4.40 Sunday is a real shame.

Adelaide has gone from early Premierships favourites (not in reality but in the media) to looking very wobbly.

Much has been made about the Power having far less inside 50s than their opponents recently but when you can counterpunch like the Power it works, especially against the Crows.

The Crows were like a dog that catches the car it’s chasing, they didn’t know what to do with it when they got it.

I haven’t seen someone botch possession like that since Karmichael Hunt. They wasted possession after possession, in a display that would have Crows fans wondering what they’re practicing at training each week.

They need to get they’re act together. Only eighteen more rounds left of Patrick Dangerfield for the Crows.

Jay Schulz kicked five again as did Eddie Betts. Between Richmond and Carlton they’re providing forwards to the rest of the league. Unselfish of them, considering they both don’t have any of their own.

Thanks guys!

The Power midfield were good but they’ll be keen to stop the ball going into their own forward fifty every few minutes. One day they may run into a team that takes advantage of that.

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  1. Bianca Henderson

    “The Power midfield were good but they’ll be keen to stop the ball going into their own forward fifty every few minutes. One day they may run into a team that takes advantage of that.”

  2. paul

    Just stumbled onto your kneejerk response to a big weekend of footy where too much sport etc….. gold ! move over HG and Roy, put another lazyboy at the card table, there’s informed commentary in the room, love your work !

  3. Kristie Wilkins

    Roseanna Khabbaz…please show this to my Carlton Mate xxx with lots of love U0001f60dU0001f60dU0001f60d

  4. Roseanna Khabbaz

    He sends you even more love back U0001f602U0001f602U0001f602

  5. paul

    This is good stuff — made me laugh harder than Josh Kennedy kicking for goal.

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