The Tuesday 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.

Fremantle (70) v Richmond (97)

I have no idea what happened here. It was like watching the laws of physics being bent right in front of your eyes. Like when Neo begins to believe he is the One at the end of The Matrix.

Fremantle were just not themselves and neither were Richmond, with the Tigers launching an eight-goal opening term and leaving us all stunned.

Ross Lyon really needs to learn to prioritise defense, you can’t have a coaching career based only on freewheeling offense.

While Fremantle were a bit off, this was all the Tigers doing and they deserve the full credit.

Even a truly spectacular performance by the Channel Seven commentary team couldn’t get the Dockers back in the game.

It was a performance that will have those straggling Richmond fans sprinting for the bandwagon.

Dustin Martin had 34 touches and a goal in a best on ground performance, although if you closed your eyes and just listened to the commentary, you would only know that Nat Fyfe was playing.

Alex Rance kept Pavlich goalless, Vickery kicked three goals and Brandon Ellis was terrific.

I’ll be honest, I was positive the Tigers couldn’t win this, I don’t have any humble pie at home but to make it up to Richmond fans I’ve drinking lots of humble whiskey ever since.

Carlton (90) v Adelaide (99)

Adelaide spent the day making Carlton not look horrendously awful, which is almost impossible to do.

The Blues players proved what I’ve long suspected, they can play a lot better when they’re not actively trying to get their coach fired.

Carlton’s improved performance was overshadowed by the injury to environmentalist and pressure point practitioner Chris Judd.

In all likelihood, it will mean the end of his career although it seems that won’t be confirmed straight away. I’ll be sad if Judd does retire as I worry his mum will write a song in tribute.

In good news for the Blues, Matthew Kreuzer had a good return and the Blues’ players seemed to remember that football is a contact sport.

For Adelaide, this was an unmitigated disaster. It’s the worst win you can have.

The Crows appeared to be a team surprised to be facing an actual opponent. You could seem them whispering to each other ‘I thought we had the bye this week’.

It looked like they hadn’t practiced in anticipation, at least with footballs if their kicking was anything to go by.

Gold Coast (41) v Sydney (93)

Man this was terrible to watch. The whole way through I was just hoping the power in my house would go off, the roof would collapse on me or the Suns players would leave early for the pub.

I must say that I am getting a bit over the booing of Goodes.

I’ve never believed everyone doing it is a card-carrying racist (although a sizable component are and some are waiting for their cards to arrive) but now it’s just getting old, like someone who is only now posting a ‘What colour is the dress?’ photos on Facebook (it’s totally black and blue).

Let’s all move on and save our booing for Boomer Harvey and the next time Timomatic does pre-game entertainment.

The Suns added to their current woes with more players suspended for drinking before a game. Are we that surprised that working with Rodney Eade is driving players to the minibar?

The only interest in watching the Suns this season is trying to work out which players are hung-over and which ones are still drunk. The AFL should publish the answers the next day so you can see if you’re right.

For a team that has been given a ridiculous amount of help, the Suns are a mess. How the current board survives is beyond me, if they were based in Melbourne the media focus would make the recent Malthouse furore look like a minor story.

Sydney just went through the motions, with Buddy Franklin booting three and Hannebery continuing his excellent form.

Kurt Tippett turned in perhaps the ultimate Kurt Tippett performance, five possessions before being subbed off in the fourth quarter, yet he still booted three goals.

He’s worth every hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Essendon (53) v Geelong (122)

It was a night of pure schadenfreude for everyone but Bombers supporters, with Essendon turning in a historically awful performance.

That’s the problem when you bunker down and develop an ‘us against them’ mentality, the ‘them’ have a field day when things go badly.

Kept goalless in the first half, James Hird showed he can’t coach from the box or from down on ground level.

In fact, most of the time Hird looked like a man whose wife had dragged him along on a shopping trip. Just sitting there bored, desperate to be elsewhere and increasingly bitter.

He actually didn’t appear to be doing much coaching and the scoreboard backed that view up.

Channel Seven did some trolling of their own when they cut to Mark Neeld up in the Essendon box. Dees supporters made the sign of the cross, while Bombers fans just drank faster.

The players made witch’s hats look dynamic in the first half as the Cats did as they pleased.

At halftime, Brendon Goddard gathered the team together while still on the ground to publicly blame them for the performance and attempt to convince the rest of us that he was in some way not part of the problem. Nice try Brendon but even in Standard Definition we could all see your efforts too.

There wasn’t a lot to note for Geelong. They were good but it’s hard to know how much of that was them.

Probably the highlight for them was Steve Johnson winning some mind games against Jake Melksham but like the overall result, it was a victory against an opponent severely deficient in the faculty required.

Port Adelaide (100) v Western Bulldogs (62)

It’s no coincidence that Port have been better since Ollie Wines got back from injury.

Against the Bulldogs, he had 33 disposals and a goal but more importantly, he’s just a battering ram around the contest. He reminds me of how I used to play, if I had physical courage, basic hand-eye coordination and a modicum of aerobic endurance.

It wasn’t all the Power’s way, especially in the first three quarters. The Bulldogs would have liked to have kicked a little straighter in the opening quarter.

The Power flicked the switch (took me three hours in a darkened room to come up with that) in the fourth quarter and did what Port can do when they get on a roll.

The Bulldogs did nothing that takes away from the fact they are going somewhere but they would be very disappointed that the fourth quarter was more 2014 than 2015 Bulldogs.

Greater Western Sydney (97) v Brisbane (67)

GWS v Brisbane, it’s like the AFL’s version of State of Origin without the crowd and public interest.

Pretty much every single player at the Lions is injured and I’m fairly sure some of the people running around for them we’re people who had won the club raffle.

Still, they didn’t make it easy for the Giants, competing all day.

GWS were a bit like the uni student who leaves their essay until the night before, just because they know they can knock it over at the last minute.

In the final quarter, the Giants slammed on four straight goals but the rest of the game they were as inconsistent as the warmth of Chicken McNuggets.

North Melbourne (85) v West Coast (75)

North Melbourne tried a new strategy this week called ‘tackling’ and it could really catch on given the result. Even Ray Chamberlain played a more physical game.

This match was played in a gale force wind which is probably the real reason the AFL doesn’t want a team in Tasmania.

At one point the ball was kicked into the wind only to land back in 1929, where it was marked by North Hobart’s Alan Rait, who lined up and kicked true.

Both sides showed admirable effort to keep coming back in this one and it looked like the Eagles were in striking distance at three-quarter time and with the wind in their favour in the last.

However the Kangaroos were able to stop the Eagles taking advantage of the wind.

Controversially, Brent Harvey at one point knocked the ball out of Matt Priddis’ hands after a free kick against Priddis. He then looked to the umpire exclaiming that Priddis had thrown the ball away.

It was just cheating. That’s not an opinion; it’s there on the replay. It didn’t decide the game but it’s pretty much classic Boomer. It’s why North fans love him and everyone else wonders what raffle he’ll ‘win’ this year.

Harvey responded later saying “Thanks to all the people who like me, but an even bigger thank you to all the people who hate me, because you motivate me.”

That’s a lot of motivation then.

In fairness, North were not exactly helped on the night by the umpires with a free kick count 21-14 against them and one of their players cleaned up by one of them. They would see Harvey’s 50-meter penalty as poetic justice.

When the final siren went, that all didn’t matter, the Kangaroos deserved the win and the Eagles will rue the one that got away.

If you listen carefully on Sunday night, you could here James Brayshaw telling Brad Scott to take all the time he needs to recover.

St Kilda (69) v Hawthorn (132)

The long, dark nightmare is over; finally the Hawks have won two in a row. It’s been inspiring how stoic Hawthorn fans been in this difficult time. Here’s hoping they finally see some success in their lifetime.

The Saints are my favourite not very good team because they try. It’s often underrated this ‘trying’ stuff but the Saints give it their all each week, which is all you can really ask of a team at their stage of development.

Here they were just out matched talent wise. Still they have signs of longer term hope with 100-gamer Jack Steven gathering 38 disposals.

On the other side, Sam Mitchell had 35 disposals, which is pretty much standard for him.

Alastair Clarkson said he thought the game was “strange.” I think that’s code for ‘I thought we’d belt the living suitcase out of them but we didn’t’.

Melbourne v Collingwood

Who hasn’t wanted to plunge most of the footy media into freezing water at some point?

The fact ‘The Big Freeze at the G’ also raised money (you can still donate here) and awareness for motor neurone disease just shows what a smart bloke that Neale Daniher is.

It was pretty great seeing the Reverend dominating the ‘G again. How this Demon supporter still misses the days when he had us actually functioning like an AFL team.

This felt like an actual ‘event’ for the first time in years. I even saw a Collingwood supporter in the MCC, which was a little jarring. Anyway, he emptied the bin and went on with his chores, so no harm.

This was a more competitive match than it seemed in the early stages. Collingwood jumped out to an early lead but the Dees responded.

They were led again by Nathan Jones and supported by the very impressive Angus Brayshaw, who showed glimpses of what he could become.

Brayshaw is everything Melbourne supporters hoped those thousands of failed first round picks that Barry Prendergast selected would be.

The Demons should not see this as a good effort. That’s been their problem for too long, being happy when they are not simply horrendously awful. Truth is, this was there for the taking and the Dees fumbled it like they did so many possessions.

Collingwood far too often scored off Melbourne turnovers and when Adam Oxley was moved into defence as a loose man and began turning the game, no one manned him up.

Paul Roos did his usual trick of pretending he is somehow not really the coach by revealing later that it was the players fault as he had told them to mark him.

Must be nice to have no accountability while still receiving millions of dollars.

It turns out Travis Cloke didn’t need a sports psychologist; he just needed to play Melbourne, the AFL’s ultimate confidence builder.

His seven straight goals meant he went home having earned his paycheck for the first time in a while.

In the end, the Pies did what they needed to do and it seems Nathan Buckley has the Pies going in the right direction, which is a shame.

In some ways, the real season starts for them now as the draw gets much tougher but considering everyone thought they’d be somewhere near the bottom at this stage Pies fans will be pretty happy. Sigh.

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  1. Mattlevy74

    TitusOReily Tragedy….the Woman’s Soccer team score more goals in a half than Essendon, but I will always #StandByHird

  2. bgmn5

    TitusOReily knee jerk is a bit of an insensitive title for this Chris Judd memorial week.

  3. Darren O'Leary

    Cloke has had his one great week for the year. Back to 1-3 goals per week and his constant spiking from now on.

  4. misanthropicfcuk

    “At one point the ball was kicked into the wind only to land back in 1929, where it was marked by North Hobart’s Alan Rait, who lined up and kicked true.”

    That’s comedic gold right there, still wiping the tears from my eyes.

    Speaking of tears, I thought the Mark Neeld line was an attempt at some good old dark humour but Google tells me it’s the depressing truth. Who the hell is running EFC? I’m starting to wonder if Dermott Brereton has nudes of Paul Little, forcing him to run the club into the ground.

    We need a major cleanout starting with the board and Hird.

  5. SteveWorner

    TitusOReily “Even a truly spectacular performance by the Channel Seven commentary team couldn’t get the Dockers back in the game.”

  6. MJRathjen

    TitusOReily Love the reference to the Hobart wind and Alan Rait. Very funny. Now, who’s Alan Rait?

  7. GrogsGamut

    TitusOReily surely it was logical of the Crows to expect they did have a bye. The AFL should investigate Carlton stuffing up the fixture.

  8. gracextapscott

    TitusOReily do you proof read before you publish

  9. TitusOReily

    gracextapscott yes but I always miss stuff. Always hard proofing your own stuff.

  10. GrogsGamut

    TitusOReily Coupled with Eddie’s commentary, surely there are grounds for damages to be paid to somebody

  11. gracextapscott

    TitusOReily hahahhaha okay, this was funny though good job

  12. wombat1974

    GrogsGamut TitusOReily oh god, Eddie was almost squealing with delight when Judd was injured. They shouldn’t let him near a call

  13. pwoiter

    TitusOReily Goodes being booed is the AFL’s answer to “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi” Both moronic and cringeworthy.

  14. t01132715

    TitusOReily Oi! Careful! U0001f608U0001f608U0001f608 #gopies

  15. willkingwill

    TitusOReily Your take on footy/sport keeps me sane. Would love to have a beer with you at some stage in my life. Tiges for the flag

  16. eatay3

    TitusOReily It’s funny. Couple of typos- would you like details so you can edit them?

  17. sebbroome

    ncbnnsn willkingwill he’s run out of ways to pan us, so has forced himself to applaud us. V little time for this man

  18. sebbroome

    willkingwill ncbnnsn ah yes. The man lives to take the p155 out of us

  19. willkingwill

    sebbroome ncbnnsn takes it out of absolutely everyone including himself . I find it a breath of fresh air

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