The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Two

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.

West Coast (131) v Carlton (62)

Carlton’s forward line was impressive this week, scarily good in fact.

Unfortunately, they are all playing for other teams. Even worse, one of them was playing for West Coast.

Carlton players seem to go elsewhere and get better. They’re the opposite of Melbourne players.

Are Carlton a professional football side? Their performances suggest no and they also didn’t have a banner.

They’re like someone who wears tracksuit pants to the shops. Just sending a signal to the world that they’re not trying anymore.

Carlton are scheduled for seven Friday Night Footy games this season. Seven!

While their footy doesn’t deserve it, I guess the thinking was that we all love a Friday night comedy.

Eagles fans would have been very happy with this and not just that fact their former club champion Chris Judd has found a lucrative post-footy gig after he left.

The Eagles had so many injuries the World Health Organisation had sent a thirteen nation taskforce to help them.

Considering that, it was pretty impressive stuff from the Eagles.

Former Carlton player Josh Kennedy kicked ten but I doubt it was in revenge.

You can’t be angry when someone lets you leave Carlton.

Instead it was probably more to do with the fact that the Blues players are making sure Malthouse’s contract doesn’t get renewed.

It may be the only thing they achieve this season.

Richmond v Western Bulldogs

Turns out the Bulldogs just needed a change of logo, coach, captain and CEO to turn things around.

I’m betting the logo change was the big one.

Also getting Tom Boyd, who earned his hefty paycheck with one mark and four disposals.

Marcus Bontempelli seems to be quite good, especially if you like second year players who get 27 touches and 10 tackles.

For a young side, the Bulldogs showed an intensity and composure above their years.

They’re also well led by Bob Murphy, who I’m personally suspicious of because he reads books, has a sense of humour and speaks well.

Is this a role model we want for younger footballers? I don’t think so.

As for Richmond, they were Richmonding all game.

It’s like the minute Brett Deledio doesn’t play they collapse.

Richmond’s intensity was on the level of one of those meditation retreats you hope no one ever tries to take you on.

While their intensity was lacking, it was their blazing away into the forward line that was truly something special.

Jack Riewoldt finished with nine touches and two goals but he was lucky to get that considering the Tigers midfield kept delivering the ball like some disgruntled postie.

Greater Western Sydney v Melbourne

Personally, I’m still coming to grips with the fact Melbourne’s winning streak is over.

Melbourne went into halftime looking like the elusive ‘win two games in a row’ challenge might actually be met.

Unfortunately, in what one can only assume was an administrative mix up, they forgot to come out for the second half.

The third quarter was one of Melbourne’s more disgraceful quarters in recent times and that’s really saying something.

To think they spent all week complaint bragging about having selection issues and who to drop.

They won’t have that problem this week.

There were probably all sorts of excuses after the game but the time for excuses was over about four years ago.

Melbourne just has a culture of surrendering and this was one of the best surrenders I’ve seen without the French being involved.

While GWS looked terrible in the first half, the second saw them have runners everywhere.

Part of this was their own improvement and the other part was playing a team that literally gave up. I use literally in the correct context here for a nice change.

The result was nine goals to none in the third term and a 45-point win. Not bad when they were down by 27 points at half time.

Are GWS good though? We’ll get a better idea next week when they play the Swans.

Collingwood v Adelaide

Collingwood were out to prove that banned substance use isn’t widespread at the club.

On this front they were successful.

Collingwood’s kicking was the stuff of nightmares for a lot of this game and fans must having been wondering what ball they practiced with in the offseason. My guess is a beach ball.

The Pies came back later and deserve some respect for not giving up but their skills wilted under Adelaide’s pressure.

It’s going to be a long year for Pies fans and a fun one for everyone else.

Adelaide have started well but they also took care of Collingwood twice last year so their improvement is hard to measure.

They do seem to be much better drilled under Phil Walsh and the only negatives were letting the Pies come back and Brodie Smith going off with concussion after he crashed into Travis Varcoe’s knee.

Seriously, Varcoe’s knee should be classed as a dangerous weapon.

Gold Coast v St Kilda

How bad are the Suns? Well, St Kilda look like Hawthorn during this one.

Gold Coast are the feel good team this year. You feel good when your team plays them.

Both Melbourne and St Kilda have so far enjoyed this experience and Melbourne got smashed this week, so the Suns must be awful.

Eade must already be working his magic on the Suns but he’s just skipping the bit in the middle where he improves them for a bit.

In some ways, this felt a bit like the passing of the wooden spoon. St Kilda who were everyone’s favourites for it said ‘here take this.’

Port Adelaide v Sydney

Don’t they build up the atmosphere well at the Portress? Having Jon and Tim Farris lead the crowd in ‘Never tear us apart’ was amazing.

Turns out ‘Never tear us apart’ is actually based on a letter a stalker sent to Kane Cornes.

Unfortunately, the Power were more J.D. Fortune than Michael Hutchence on the night.

From the opening bounce, Sydney were all over them like a giant tarp. They strangled them, took away any space.

It was a real test of whether the Power players could maintain their skills in the face of such an onslaught and the ultimate answer was that they couldn’t.

Obviously they should sack Ken Hinkley, immediately.

Buddy was terrific for the Swans, a huge physical presence and ended with three goals.

But it was a team effort, with the Swans giving the Power no time and space for four quarters.

I do hope Sydney fans aren’t wondering why they didn’t play like this in the Grand Final. That could really get to you if you let it fester.

Geelong v Fremantle

While the Power’s match day experience is second-to-none, Geelong’s match day experience is being able to spend a few hours forgetting you live in Geelong.

The problem in this game for the Cats was that they fell into the obvious trap of getting into a shootout with a Ross Lyon coached team.

They also seemed to be missing a Steve Motlop-type.

Is this the end for the Cats? Is the long predicted decline finally here? It certainly looked like it.

Personally, I knew Geelong were in trouble the minute they started a strategy of recruiting Melbourne players.

As for Fremantle, they looked very good. Their ability to get away from Geelong and into open space came down to a lot of hard running.

Nat Fyfe has 36 disposals and three goals, which is handy, while David Mundy had 39 disposals.

He’ll need to find more of it if he wants to keep his spot in the side.

Essendon v Hawthorn

So, Essendon fans will be fun this week.

This was a huge win and a cracking game. Everyone is happy to see the Bombers do well!

Hawthorn were without Sam Mitchell and Josh Gibson and it showed but that shouldn’t take much away from the effort of the Bombers.

They started so impressively that there was a sense of déjà vu from last week’s game.

Of course, they were helped by the fact Hawthorn’s kicking into their forward line was very un-Hawthorn like.

The second half saw Hawthorn go up a gear and the prevailing mood across the country was of immense Schadenfreude, as the Hawks looked like they were about to clinch a predictable comeback.

Enter stage left Cale Hooker, with an unlikely goal to seal the game.

Across Melbourne remotes were thrown, beer was spilled, unless you were a Bombers supporter. Then it was just pure joy.

The devastation for other fans was the realisation they had been barracking for Hawthorn.

As people wake up this morning, it’s slowly dawning on them that we may be living in a world where Essendon are good and James Hird can coach. Pray for us.

Bombers fans have every reason to be excited but let’s see them do that against a top team.

North Melbourne v Brisbane

So Port Adelaide roll out fireworks and two members of legendary Australian band INXS to pump up the crowd.

What did North do? They had a helium balloon.

I don’t know about you but I get pretty fired up about a helium balloon. At least, I did when I was five. Haven’t tried it recently if I’m being honest with you.

North bounced back from being smashed by a good team by belting a bad team that had their best players out.

Jarrad Waite continued Carlton’s potent weekend by kicking seven goals and giving Kangaroos fans a false sense of confidence in him.

Brisbane were awful and there is a lot for them to work on but it’s hard to judge when they have that many injuries.

I thought Brad Scott thanking Travis Varcoe’s knee in the media conference was a bit much.

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  1. PC

    The devastation for other fans was the realisation they had been barracking for Hawthorn.

    So very true.

  2. Steve Loffler

    Is immense Schadenfreude that centre half back with the bad hair who did his knee?

  3. Chris

    The Knee Jerk Reaction

    – brought to you by Travis Varcoe

  4. curious

    They dont tend to hand out flags in April.

    Nice to see GWS, Crows, Eagles and Dogs getting some wins unlike last year. Trick is doing it week on week on week.

    Long year for Pies and Blues fans – structural problems at both ends
    Neither coach can do much with the cattle they have.

    Mind you, Demons fans are in no position to give anyone grief. If there was a relegation system in the last few years there is a real chance Melbourne would now be in the VFA and Port Melbourne an AFL club.

  5. Brian

    Isn’ t it great to see the AFL have achieved the impossible and evened up the competition. If only the top 6 keep playing each other for the rest of the year it could remain an even competition until September.

  6. Brian

    Isn’ t it great to see the AFL have achieved the impossible and evened up the competition. If only the top 6 keep playing each other for the rest of the year it could remain an even competition until September. Can see it now Melbourne versus Gold Coast at MCG in front of 1500 spectators on the last day in September.

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