The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round 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.

Collingwood (140) v St Kilda (66)

Friday Night Footy knows how to deliver some terrible football and this was no different, an awful game that left Pies supporters happy, so the worst.

You know you love footy (and may have a problem) if you watched all of this and barrack for neither team.

St Kilda were in trouble before this started, with Riewoldt ruled out. He was replaced by number one draft pick Paddy McCartin.

McCartin didn’t have a touch in the first half and finished with only nine possessions, so we should obviously write him off as a bust.

The Saints got off to a terrific start and looked like they may continue on their form from last week’s Gold Coast game.

Collingwood are not the Gold Coast, they’re at least four spots higher on the ladder better and they came storming back.

Pendlebury overcame his ankle injury and was great, while Dane Swan racked up 38 disposals in his best performance in years.

The Pies midfield dominated and went into their forward fifty almost as regularly as gambling ads are shown on TV.

Jamie Elliot took advantage of the supply, kicking four goals and taking a controversial screamer that WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT A MARK.

The commentators banged on about it being ‘50/50’ or ‘close enough’ but it was just not a mark. This isn’t gymnastics; there are no style points.

Carlton (84) v Essendon (105)

Carlton are a bit like the TV show Curb Your Enthusiasm, funny but often so awkward you often have to turn away.

This season, the hovercraft has been Carlton’s best player and it proved true again.

Blues fans can be happy their team never gave up but less happy with Chris Yarran clocking Paul Chapman with a left cross.

The Blues don’t exactly have anything resembling depth so his surefire suspension is costly.

To think, they once had Gartlett, Betts and Yarran. Don’t think about that too much Blues fans.

Essendon won what some were calling a ‘danger game’ after last week’s emotional win.

Personally, I don’t think ‘Carlton’ and the word ‘danger’ should be in the same sentence. Maybe if you said ‘Carlton’ are a danger to Friday Night Footy’s ratings.

Jobe Watson showed once again he really is the heart and soul of the club with 36 disposals and a goal, while the rest of the onballers enjoyed playing against a midfield that doesn’t really do defence.

You really get the feeling Essendon are really setting themselves up for a terrific end of season collapse.

Adelaide (80) v Melbourne (55)

Adelaide lost this one last year and there were moments in this were they looked like doing it again.

Melbourne showed they can match it with almost any team for a half, which is a massive step up from past years, where it was just six minutes.

Former Crow Bernie Vince obviously decided that the world misses Ryan Crowley and spent the game harassing Patrick Dangerfield and quite a few other Crows.

This included sparking a third quarter melee that should pay for the AFL Tribunal’s Christmas lunch.

There are some positive signs for Melbourne with Tom McDonald continuing his great form and Hogan continuing to surprise Demons fans by not being hopeless and actually quite good at football.

It does however get a bit tired when a performance like this being described as a ‘good effort’.

Melbourne had every chance to win this if they’d kicked straight and focused a little longer. ‘Good effort’ is no longer ‘good enough.’ This was a terrible effort, no excuses.

The Crows should be happy with the win in difficult conditions, they just outworked the Demons when it mattered.

Rory Sloane was impressive with 30 possessions and Scott Thompson had 28 disposals in his comeback from injury.

You can see why Melbourne got rid of him.

Are the Crows the real deal? We probably won’t find out until round five when they play Port.

Sydney (111) v Greater Western Sydney (90)

Ah, the ‘Battle for the Bridge.’

Is there any greater sporting rivalry in the World? The highlights of games past are forever fresh in our memories.

Both sides entered the game undefeated but we’re only three rounds in, so lets not get too carried away.

The Giants have definitely gone up a level but lack the polish you need to beat a team like the Swans. Turnovers against Sydney get punished and did in this game.

They also missed easy goals with Jeremy Cameron doing his best Travis Cloke impression.

For the Swans, it was the experience players like Dan Hannebery who finished with 34 possesions that kept the Swans just a step ahead all game.

Buddy Franklin kicked five (what a bust he’s been so far) and newcomer Isaac Heeney kicked four goals.

I can’t believe Isaac Heeney didn’t go earlier in the draft. Would have been a great fit for Collingwood I would have thought.

Sydney travel to WA to play Fremantle next week as part of the AFL’s ‘Overshadow ANZAC Day.’ That will be well worth watching and should give us a real insight in who is serious this year.

North Melbourne (105) v Port Adelaide (113)

This was a cracker from the moment the weird balloon-banner went up.

Both sides gave it their all and the pace was frenetic, which has been quite rare this season.

The intensity showed with Jack Ziebell going off to hospital with bruising to his lungs after a clash with Ollie Wines.

Wines himself wouldn’t see out the game with a dislocated wrist and will miss between for-to-six weeks.

The Power seemed to have the edge for most of the game, like a prizefighter with a slightly greater reach.

The Kangaroos however never gave up and it looked like ‘Diving Lindsay Thomas’ may have landed the knockout blow late in the fourth quarter.

In the end, the Power were just that bit better when it mattered and they needed to be.

They’ve had a tough start and this was a much-needed win, especially given the Wines injury.

A loss here may have seen the tarp taken off the tarps.

For North, this was a very disappointing one to drop at home but they were competitive and it shouldn’t be panic stations just yet.

In fact, I think the result would have been different if Waite had played. North needed an extra goal kicker.

Brisbane (58) v Richmond (137)

Up against the North v Port game, even Tiger fans would have been forgiven for switching over.

This game was a real arm wrestle early on, if it was an arm wrestle between two fairly uncoordinated people who happened to also be not very good at footy.

Brisbane were overall, terrible.

They’ve got big outs but that doesn’t change the fact their effort was pretty close to non-existence. Perhaps they believed a bit too much of the preseason hype and are now wondering what happened.

Richmond did everything they needed to do but this was more a break between real games. Next week they take on Melbourne, which they should win.

That means Tiger fans will spend all week terrified.

Hawthorn (127) v Western Bulldogs (57)

Finally, Hawthorn’s losing streak has come to an end. It’s such a relief for their long-suffering fans.

I just hope they all know we were all with them in their darkest week, poor things.

The news Marcus Bontempelli was out gave the first clue that the Hawks were in with a real chance.

For the Bulldogs, this was a bad a situation as it gets. Hawthorn on the rebound is bad but Hawthorn after losing to Essendon in those circumstances? This was always going to be brutal.

The return of Sam Mitchell heralded the Hawks return to form and Hawks fans should have their fingers crossed he remains fit.

Captain Luke Hodge led the way with 44 possessions and two goals, which is a decent effort I’m led to believe.

Jarryd Roughead kicked seven to underline the Hawks dominance and return the family club’s sense of soaring arrogance. Hurrah!

For the Bulldogs, this was a reality check after an undefeated start and turned out to be costly with several injuries.

It’s wonderful to have a tangible example of the chasm that separates a top team from a building one. This equalization thing is going a treat!

Geelong (105) v Gold Coast (96)

Geelong won this but not before giving Cat fans a glimpse of how awful this season could be.

A lot of people talked about this being a ‘great victory,’ with the club coming from behind. I must have missed something, Geelong were terrible against weak opposition and at home.

The Gold Coast remember, are racked by injuries and are also awful. They were much improved this week because they put in some effort for the first time this season.

Geelong looked very un-Geelong like, their skills are well down on past seasons and it seemed they failed to have a plan B for when what usually works, didn’t.

Tom Hawkins, who was out due to a family tragedy, was really missed up forward and injuries to Jimmy Bartel, Mathew Stokes and Tom Lonergan didn’t help.

The Cats are going to struggle this year, the really question is, how far down do they have to go before they come back up?

West Coast (81) v Fremantle (111)

Remember when the Eagles smashed Carlton? That says a lot about the Blues because Fremantle treated West Coast with contempt.

The Dockers settled things early, with the first 11 goals of the match and led by as much as 79 points in the second half.

Lachie Neale finished with 42 possessions and the Freo midfield showed it’s arguably the best in the AFL.

The second half saw the Dockers take the foot of the pedal significantly and the Eagles scored nine of the last ten goals.

It was fun listening to Dockers fans lamenting the percentage they could have had. So sad, we all really feel for you and the awful problems you have.

For the Eagles, this shows what happens when you’re entire defence is out injured. I actually feel pretty sorry for West Coast fans and that’s a first.

They even lost Jeremy McGovern to injury in this game, making Eagles fans wondering if they’ll have any luck at all this year.

One of them must have walked under a ladder or similar.

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  1. Jack Kovacic

    Such a great read Braden Page Owen Germeroth
    ” This game was a real arm wrestle early on, if it was an arm wrestle between two fairly uncoordinated people who happened to also be not very good at footy.”

  2. mycitymelbourne

    Re: Elliott “mark”

    Any football commentator who says “you gotta pay that” should be suspended and made to read the rule book.

    Once they find the section which says players are allowed to not control the ball providing they look good doing so, we will let them back.

  3. Captain FatNavel

    Any chance, Titus, that when Bernie Vince announces his engagement to Patrrick Dangerfield you can get dibs on the photo spread?
    Should be nice seeing him hold Patrick’s wrist down by his side before the action even starts.

    And whilst we’re on this topic, any chance some of the apologies for commentators could actually offer some criticism of the behaviour, and the graduates from the Stevie Wonder School of Umpiring being subject to some censure for their part in that travesty. Worse still, Dawes get’s a shot on goal at one stage for contact that looked absolutely incidental by comparison. As for his comments on Nine on Sunday Footy Show, Nathan Brown continues to demonstrate why he is an irrelevance.

  4. Matthew Crawley

    I got 8 out of nine tips this week. But North Melbourne decided to lose.

  5. Bob Hobson

    “A loss here may have seen the tarp taken off the tarps.”

  6. Craig Simes

    “To think, they once had Gartlett, Betts and Yarran. Don’t think about that too much Blues fans.” Al Williams

  7. Knobber

    At least there was something interesting about Carlton this week.

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