The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round One

Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise.

On a Monday Tuesday you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.

What you really want is idiotic hysteria.

You’ve come to the right place.

Richmond (92) v Carlton (83)

Welcome back footy fans! Have you missed me? No? Not even a little bit? Oh.

Well, moving on, turns out Carlton aren’t awful or perhaps Richmond are. Maybe it’s both?

It’s probably both.

It was a spirited performance from the Blues and that Cripps guy is as good as everyone says, while that Weitering fella is not bad either.

Stand out performances by Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs showed me the Blues players don’t actively hate their coach this year and are not currently trying to get him fired.

Some of the players seem to actually want to play for Bolton.

It’s an Easter miracle! Still they lost and will be not that good this year.

Richmond had a lot of injuries such as Brett Deledio, Ivan Maric, Chris Yarran and Shaun Grigg. They suffered another one during the game with Shane Edwards suffering a hand fracture that required surgery.

Luckily, they play Collingwood this week, so its the perfect time to rest some players.

It was a disappointing night overall for the Tigers, as before the game, the four horses meant to circle the oval while Daryl Braitwaite sang got cancelled due to them being unable to stay in formation during the rehearsal.

It was a fair portent of Richmond’s inability to maintain structures during the game. The Tigers looked poor for long stretches but luckily Kane Lambert decided they shouldn’t lose and they (spoiler alert) didn’t.

Still, winning is important and it shows you why the Tigers’ Board were so keen to extend Damien Hardwick’s contract. Since he joined in 2010, Hardwick has coached 135 games for a winning percentage of 49.

Forty-nine percent! So that’s almost good.

Melbourne (80) v Greater Western Sydney (78)

Both sides gave a fair crack at losing this. The Giants kicked eighteen behinds and the Demons took the second and third quarters off.

Strangely, Greater Western Sydney decided to play counterattacking footy in this one, which is brave against a Paul Roos coached team. You could die waiting to be attacked.

It seemed to work well though for large parts of the game, with Phil Davis singlehandedly repelling attack after attack.

It raised a question, is it an intercept mark if the opposition just keep kicking it directly to you?

In the fourth quarter, the Demons midfield decided bombing it high in the air to their forwards was not a great strategy and Jesse Hogan responded with three final-quarter goals.

He also dropped back to spoil an attack in the dying moment that saved Melbourne from an embarrassing defeat. He was literally their saviour.

It wasn’t pretty but the Demons won a game they normally lose. We’re no longer in Kansas.

Gold Coast (121) v Essendon (60)

You know you’re in trouble when your good news story is the return of Ryan Crowley. Still, Essendon fans were consoling themselves that this wasn’t worse loss.

They would also be pretty happy with Darcy Parish’s debut. It’s going to be a long season though.

Hard to pick where it’s all gone wrong but it raises obvious questions about Brendon Goddard’s captaincy. He’s had plenty of time to point them in the right direction.

For the Suns, this was basically a full contact practice session and they seemed to treat it as such. They wasted the ball a fair bit and really should have won by more as they took their foot off the pedal in the second half.

Really, this game was about the return of Gary Ablett. He was very rusty. So rusty he had 34 disposals, seven tackles and a goal.

Seriously, a rusty Gary Ablett is still better than any other player in the comp. Now he just needs to stay fit because the Suns are rubbish without him.

North Melbourne (107) v Adelaide (97)

On Saturday night, Sydney-Collingwood may have had all the laughs but this game was actually a contest.

Adelaide lost Patrick Dangerfield over the summer but his performance against Hawthorn showed they’re not missing out on much.

Actually, the Crows would have probably won this if he’d stayed but I wouldn’t spend all week thinking about that Adelaide fans. Just endlessly thinking ‘what if’ and ‘why Danger? Why?’

Don’t do that.

North Melbourne broke a seven year first round losing streak with this win and they should be thanking Todd Goldstein for saving them.

He reminds me a bit of Mumford at GWS, in that if you took him out of this side they’d suddenly be Brisbane but without the blow up lion.

Sydney (133) v Collingwood (53)

And people say the UFC allow beatings to go on too long. I saw Holly Holm beat Ronda Rousey at Etihad Stadium and it was nothing compared to this.

If Damien Hardwick had been coaching this game he would have been trying to  call this off ten minutes in.

How bad were the Pies? Well they actually seemed to be missing Jesse White.

A lot was said about the Collingwood players being distracted by the report that a constantly shifting number of them took illicit drugs over the summer. It occurred to me that maybe the Pies players were quietly serving their suspensions on the field?

The night really couldn’t have been worse for the Pies. Dane Swan went off with a potentially career ending injury early on and Steele Sidebottom managed to get suspended and will miss Friday’s ‘Honey, I Overextended the Senior Coaches Contract’ blockbuster against Richmond.

The Swans however seemed to take a lot of joy belting the living day lights out of the club that has caused them so much pain (off the field that is).

This was like dancing on someone’s grave. Buddy was back and looked as good as ever and the Swans younger players showed those writing off the club may have gone early (don’t worry, it happens to a lot of people).

In fact, Buddy was leading Collingwood 25 to 10 at halftime and the score line flattered Collingwood.

In fact, Travis Cloke didn’t get a touch in the first half at all. I still think it was one of the better halves of football I’ve seen him play.

The Swans were so good the media ignored them totally and talked about Collingwood being betrayed by the illicit drug story instead. The best case of misdirection I’ve seen.

Illicit drugs are the least of Collingwood’s problems.

Western Bulldogs (103) v Fremantle (38)

Freo were always going to struggle after Pavlich retired but just how badly we couldn’t have predicted.

It’s possible Freo’s scoring woes have not been fixed. 38 points doesn’t seem like a good score to me but I don’t pretend to understand AFL tactics as well as Ross Lyon.

The Bulldogs were just brilliant.

They have so much depth. I mean Jason Johannisen and Shane Biggs both had 35 disposals!

Who are Jason Johannisen and Shane Biggs? Anyone that says they know who they are is lying. But there they are, dominating.

I’m also starting to think Jake Stringer may be slightly better than Tom Boyd. The fact Tom gets paid more than him is just another example that capitalism is not a meritocracy.

Really, Boyd is the new Travis Cloke. Trade him to Collingwood before it’s too late.

Fremantle were like witches’ hats in this one and arguably are about as fast as them. Luckily, Ross Lyon has until 2020 to sort things out, so no rush to turn things around.

Port Adelaide (133) v St Kilda (100)

This was the battle of the teams most messed up by Essendon’s mistakes, who aren’t Essendon (and their own poor recruiting choices). No Jake Carlisle, no Paddy Ryder and no Angus Monfries.

St Kilda showed early on they were not intimidated by the Portress, which is impressive, even Port find it difficult to win there sometimes.

The Saints though would be pretty disappointed they let this slip in the last quarter, they’d spent most of the day blowing holes in the theory that the Power are back to being a contender this season.

In fact, if not for Robbie Gray’s three second-term goals, the Power would have perhaps never fought their way towards a convincing victory.

Port’s problem is there are their stars and then a fair bit of daylight until the rest. That’s no different from last year.

You’d want more growth from the lesser players or we’ll be seeing tarp memes by round six.

West Coast (166) v Brisbane (102)

Being from Melbourne, I can’t name a single Eagles player but these guys are really good.

For instance, the blonde, curly haired guy that won the Brownlow, I think his name is Matthew Primus, was great in this.

So was Josh Kennedy, who booted eight goals. Are we still bringing up the fact Carlton let him go? I feel it’s been done to death but it’s still funny and it upsets Blues fans so I’m torn.

Best not to bring up the fact they let him go over and over again I guess, so I won’t.

Brisbane weren’t great but they weren’t as bad as it seemed. Considering their only defender Daniel Merrett was out, the dominance of Kennedy is not so surprising.

Still, it will be a long year for the Lions as they battle it out at the bottom of the ladder against the likes of Collingwood and Fremantle.

Geelong (116) v Hawthorn (86)

Geelong aren’t the first side to be crowned Premiers in Round One but they’re probably the first to do the Premiership/Brownlow double in it.

The Cats showed the Box Hill Hawks that they meant business and Patrick Dangerfield was as good as advertised. It’s great to see a star of the game go to a long struggling team and make them competitive. Equalisation at its best.

It was no easy victory though, after a poor first half, Hawthorn suddenly remembered how to play football and really took it to the Cats.

Geelong to their credit steadied and got over the top of the Hawks but given Hawthorn had a heap of key injuries, I’m not as bullish on the Cats as many seem to be.

Really my heart goes out to Hawks fans. It will turnaround someday I’m sure. Just keep believing!

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  1. Bradley Quinnell

    Nicholas Munro give this a read. U0001f602U0001f602

  2. Duane Harrison

    I liked this because for once you didn’t use the last few days of Facebook posts to make another one of these.
    That said I was busy all weekend and didn’t check Facebook.

  3. Rhedyn Milecki

    There’s still 21 rounds to go? I thought today was mad Monday.

  4. Geoff Schaefer

    Powerful start to the season Titus. You’ve hit the ground running like the Dogs, Eagles and dare I say it, Demons…

  5. Mummy's Little Helper

    Nice comment Duane. One of us needs another drink I think.

  6. Edna Merkle

    A very funny read Titus. If I wasn’t 91 I’d have your baby!

  7. Benno Napier

    Freos and collingwoods Hamish Bigwood Jordan Hounsfield Thomas Duke

  8. Derek Mott

    You neglected to mention that Luke Hodge can take things Lite ‘n’ Easy for a few weeks

  9. Annie Haddad

    Welcome to season 2016 Edna Merkle. You’re as awesome as titus.

  10. Annie Haddad

    Titus… why has your site crashed? Fix it. Now. Please.

  11. Luke Gavin

    Adrian Peggie first line of the Fremantle report- gold

  12. Edna Merkle

    Don’t confuse me Jimmy. I take my Valium at 7 o’clock.

  13. Rick McClean

    Has anyone cosidered Hodges knee to Bartels head? Pethaps karma that he has broken his arm.

  14. Edna Merkle

    Annie Haddad arent you a sweetie! Thank you. Since my son connected me to the internet web with this ipad thing life has just been so much fun. I cant believe that i write someting and someone sees it in Sydney. Speaking of which, why do you barrack for the Swans? Did you have a confused childhood? Theyre not really a proper afl team.

  15. Matthew Pope

    This is why I’ve missed footy season.
    The premiership/Brownlow double…

  16. Mitch Rutherford

    Nathan Wright Mitchy Varcoe always a good read

  17. Mitchy Varcoe

    “The blonde curly haired one who won the brownlow, I think his name is Matthew primus” hahaha

  18. Jordan Coombe

    Adam Gordon Sam KokotisJosh Keain this is amazing U0001f602U0001f602

  19. Jordan Coombe

    His take on the Adelaide game had me in stitches

  20. Gary Bruce

    Disappointed at the Hawks loss but always a pleasure reading Titus after the weekend

  21. Teresa Glenn

    Great read….best sentence….”Friday’s ‘Honey, I Overextended the Senior Coaches Contract’ blockbuster against Richmond.”…..laughed ’til I cried……

  22. Simon Bierwirth

    Hopefully lances book is as good as this. Some serious love for Freo and some good ammo for this weekend. Whoop whoop. Ben Catterall Lance Hinds Andrew Decet Scott Reed James Kemp Timothy Vallelonga Izac Mascall Arnie van Lent Chris Syme

  23. Samuel Neil Proudfoot

    On Collingwood v Richmond:
    Friday’s ‘Honey, I Overextended the Senior Coaches Contract’ blockbuster
    cc: James Abbey

  24. eatay3

    TitusOReily Enjoying the fantasy of the double – as Pope wrote – ‘Hope springs eternal’

  25. James Abbey

    Let’s see Goddard’s win/loss ratio at the end of a full season as Captain before pointing the finger.

  26. Lucy Henningham

    Nikki Henningham Robert Henningham is there actually a better football writer?

  27. Nikki Henningham

    See – now you know why I always quote him! Although he is sick of us winning (he is a Melbourne supporter) he is still quite respectful of us!

  28. Lucy Henningham

    I definitely understand now! Some respect is all I ask for!!

  29. Lucy Henningham

    I particularly enjoyed how he refereed to us as the box hill hawks hahaha

  30. Billious

    Lmao off at Mathew Primus you dont get any more deliberate in not naming a single player than that Titus very cleverly disguised.

  31. Prashant Ramesh

    Stephen Ryan Matt Gough Stefan Giapantzakis Chris Giapantzakis one of the great reads of all time

  32. Divye Goyal

    Peter Willis Patrick Hayden the box hill Hawks line is class hahaha

  33. Patrick Hayden

    Div – I’m taking the lid off now. I’m calling Cat Empire II (2016-2020). Dangerfield for PM (as long as it doesn’t distract him on weekends).

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