Jul 06, 2023


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Seventeen


The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.

It’s your unhelpful guide to Round Seventeen.


Richmond vs. Sydney (MCG) 7:20pm Seven/Fox

Such has been the noise of the English meltdown coming from far off blighty that it’s drowned out a lot of other sports news this week.

Not that I mind. Watching the English have a collective existential crisis is one of my favourite things, right up there with a cold pillow at night and an open bar.

Of course, it’s all just cover for the fact their team talked themselves up so much before the series and now they trail 0-2 in their own country, making them the losingest losers that ever losered.

The hypocrisy is just so delicious. Either the English players know they’re being hypocrites but just don’t care, or they have the lowest level of self-awareness since The Age once ran a Wayne Carey column where he wrote about the importance of culture at a footy club.

Personally, it’s all the inbreeding in the English aristocracy that caused the issues in the members.

We’ve seen it before. Charles II of Spain, born in 1661, was inbred to the point where his mother was his dad’s niece, and his grandmother was also his aunt.

Charles suffered from numerous disabilities and congenital defects. He didn’t speak until he was four, couldn’t walk until he was eight and was barely able to chew due to his deformed jaw.

Among the Marylebone Cricket Club members, he would appear one of the more robust specimens.

Richmond to win.


Western Bulldogs vs. Collingwood (Marvel) 7:50pm Seven/Fox

Word this week that some Collingwood fans are considering protesting the treatment of Jack Ginnivan after a VFL melee last week against Frankston.

It’s not an impressive threat. Firstly, they are only ‘considering it’.

I’m considering a lot of things. Going to the gym, reading fiction, and caring about issues that don’t affect me directly.

But everyone knows I’m not going to do any of those things.

Secondly, they say the protest would occur at the MCG. Considering this game is at Marvel Stadium, that seems odd.

Look, I get it; no one wants to go to Marvel. It’s soulless, partly because AFL House is there. Protesting at an empty MCG doesn’t seem that effective, but I get it, the G is just so much nicer.

The Bulldogs will face a Collingwood side missing Brayden Maynard, Brody and Mihocek but Jordan De Goey returns from his suspension.

The question is, given De Goey does something silly about every four to six months, can he delay his next scheduled brain fade to after the finals?

I’m tipping the Bulldogs.


Brisbane vs. West Coast (G) 1:45pm Fox Footy

The Eagles showed some fight and even some light footballing skills against the Saints last week.

They still lost, but winning is not something we’re asking the Eagles to do, we don’t ask a toddler to drive a car. We need to judge them based on their stage of development.

I judge the Eagles on the following criteria this season: 

·      Do they run through the banner without injuring each other?

·      Do they have their boots on the right feet?

·      Are the kicking the ball in the right direction?

·      Are they having fun?

·      Did they all get a chance to touch the ball?

Brisbane, I’m sure, are not getting ahead of themselves and are taking this game very seriously, I can just see the pre-game interview.

“They’re struggling at the moment, but they’re a good team, and you misjudge them at your peril.”

Brisbane to win.

Greater Western Sydney vs. Hawthorn (GS) 4:35pm Fox Footy

The Giants caused an upset last week against the Dees in a freezing-cold Alice Springs.

Cold in Alice Springs? That’s enough evidence to disprove global warming for me.

I should add I also believe assassins from Jupiter killed JFK, and Tupac is still alive and works as a ticket seller at Giants Stadium as it allows him to avoid people.

The Giants can’t rely on their opponent kicking for goal like they’ve downed a bottle of Grange each before the game.

They can rely on the fact they’re playing Hawthorn.

Giants fans should be proud this week, given their inaugural captain of the GWS Giants in the Under 18 TAC Cup, Alex Carey’s heroics this week.

Carey said it was Kevin Sheedy who told him footy wasn’t going to be for him and to pursue cricket.

I had a similar conversation with my under-18s coach.

“You should pursue another path other than football.”

“What other path?”

“To be honest, I was just saying that to be nice, there is nothing in the breadth of human endeavor I can see you being good at.”

I’m tipping the Giants.        

St Kilda vs. Melbourne (Marvel) 7:25pm Seven/Fox

Footage of Clayton Oliver arguing at practice with a trainer because he couldn’t keep training showed just how far the Dees have come.

Under Mark Neeld, the players didn’t want to train at all.

Still, his absence is being felt and the news Bayley Fritsch is out for eight weeks is a below both in a footballing sense and in a hairstyle sense.

The Dees can’t really drop this one. They’ve been destroying teams in every stat except on the scoreboard, which contrary to popular opinion is the only stat that matters.

Apparently, Melbourne are working harder than ever on their goalkicking, which might be the problem.

Just tell them to try to kick a behind each time. See, fixed.

The Saints have their own problems, that being they almost lost to Eagles.

That’s really hard to do and takes a team effort.

The good news for the Saints is that they’re back at Marvel, where the Saints defensive game works a lot better.

Combine that and the Dees goal intolerance and I’m tipping St Kilda.

Port Adelaide vs. Gold Coast (AO) 7:40pm Fox Footy

Two teams currently heading in opposite directions.

Like Parker Lewis, Port Adelaide can’t lose.

Even when they probably should lose, like last week, they win. They are a reverse England Cricket team.

The Suns however can lose, and against Collingwood they lost big.

Stuart Dew was angry at the speculation he could be sacked this week, but to be fair, when your team hangs you out to dry like that, there’s going to be speculation.

One way to avoid speculation that you are going to be sacked is to win. A win here would see everyone shut up for at least a week.

Being a senior AFL coach and being annoyed people are speculating you’ll be sacked is a bit like being a firefighter and being annoyed you have to keep going to fires.

Ken Hinkley knows all about that, and apparently, he is on the verge of a contract extension, which was unthinkable even back in about round three.

Coaching is all or nothing, you’re either a genius or hopeless, and that can change week to week.

Port to win.

Sunday, Jul 9

Geelong vs. North Melbourne (GMHBA) 1:10pm Fox Footy

I wish Geelong would make their mind up and decided if they’re going to play finals this year.

Last week’s draw wasn’t ideal, but they probably should have lost, so it was a win of sorts.

Jeremy Cameron is likely to return. No word yet if he has asked Gary Rohan to play in defense.

“You just go down the other end of the field Gary. No, no hard feelings; I just think you’re a great defensive player.”

Alastair Clarkson has returned to Arden Street but has not yet taken back the senior coaching role.

I’m not sure what he’s up to. Maybe he’s doing stationary, making sure people don’t steal any pens. I can’t see him having the patience to be doing Excel spreadsheets or dealing with expense claims.

Cats to win.

Essendon vs. Adelaide (Marvel) 3:20pm Seven/Fox

This is a game with huge ramifications for the finals. Huge! Ramifications!

Both sides are so close to playing finals but neither group of supporters would be confident to clear their September schedules just yet; it could jinx things.

Essendon fans are pretty used to their team getting out of playing in September like they all own timeshares on the Gold Coast.

No matter how certain it seems, they find a Houdini-like move to escape.

Two losses in a row, and that kick after the siren have opened wounds that are not even old.

Adelaide fans are a little different. They are still adjusting to their club no longer just producing laughs for the rest of the league.

Now they are a high scoring, free-wheeling side that play exciting footy. It’s so weird.

For either side a win here means their fans can dare to dream, a loss makes things harder due to the ramifications and all that.

I’m tipping the Bombers.

Fremantle vs. Carlton (OS) 4:40pm Fox Footy

Carlton have lulled everyone into a false sense of security as they lurk dangerously in fourteenth position, perfectly positioned to launch their run to the finals.

In recent weeks they’ve shown power club Gold Coast and Hawthorn whose boss and now it’s Fremantle’s turn.

The Dockers are all over the shop this year. They can match it with the best and the worst.

Their performance against the Giants makes me question any chance they have of playing finals.

Surely, if they’re a chance they win here? They’re at home, it’s against Carlton and a loss almost certainly takes them out of contention.

If they need any more motivation than that there is something wrong with them.

Yet, readers of this column know what high esteem I hold Michael Voss in as a coach. I’m sure the mastermind has war-gamed this whole season.

He knew being in the eight at this point of the season would just draw too much attention.

Like a crocodile waiting for the herd to cross the river, he lies in wait, and the herd is about to arrive.

But yeah, I’m tipping Freo.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus




Jul 06, 2023

The Bulldogs to beat Kollingwood, you say? That, as my butler has often said when I finally opt for what tie to wear to a formal event, is an undeniably kourageous selektion.

In no partikular order:

GWS will disembowel the Hawks.

Adelaide will simply rub the Essendonians' noses in it.

Geelong will have a massive %age-boosting win against the Kangaroos.

The Saints are destined to just fall over the finish line slightly ahead of Melbourne, thereby engendering in St Kilda's fans an ardent hope of their team going on to bigger and better things in September.

Fremantle will draw strength from deep down within themselves and somehow defeat the Blues in a tight one.

The Magpies are bound to make WB look embarrassingly slow and unkoordinated.

Brisbane will make the West Koast Eagles lament having to travel all that way for nothing.

Port will overpower the Suns.

Tonight we'll witness how Sydney snaps out of whatever's been holding them down by beating the Tigers.


Jul 06, 2023

I judge the Eagles on the following criteria this season:

· Do they run through the banner without injuring each other? Well.....they don't run through a banner for home games!😁

Sheldon Wiebe

Jul 06, 2023

My biggest takeaway from this week's tips?

Someone else remembers Parker Lewis Can't Lose!

Running Dog

Jul 06, 2023

Gee, the Just Stop Oil invertebrates who protested at Wimbledon would be disappointed that the English cricket meltdown "drowned out a lot of other sports news this week". Not much point in exhibitionist narcissism if nobody other than the Grauniad credits a tantrum with a serious purpose. And now they'll have to walk everywhere for the rest of their lives.

Con Cushion

Jul 06, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... your U/18's coach never ever began a sentence with "To be honest" ... He told me as much during our weekly hook-up from his small cell in rural Victoria! Con.

Halftime Spray

Jul 06, 2023

My U/18 or U/17 or whatever coach used to always begin his pre-game speech the same way:
"Now listen in, youse blokes, because I'm only going to say this once. We have to win this match. I'll just repeat that: We have to win this match."

Fat Side

Jul 06, 2023

I'd love to see Larry Kubiak have run in the ruck for Port Adelaide this weekend.

The g train

Jul 06, 2023

“The Dees can’t really drop this one. They’ve been destroying teams in every stat except on the scoreboard, which contrary to popular opinion is the only stat that matters”. Respectfully, Titus, that’s wrong. You win the stats and probability theory says you win the game—assuming all the random events cancel each other out. Melbourne have just been randomly unlucky. So could argue they are winning these games. Or it felt like they had won. Or something like that.

To wit:
England lost on the scoreboard, but are up 2-0, because they had fun (except day 5, test 2), it felt like they won; and because Australian blatantly cheated in a game England were clearing winning on the scoreboard at the time. Or something like that.


Jul 06, 2023

Can we stop taking Elsternwick By Storm yet? Sigh


Jul 06, 2023

As a Melbourne supporter I feel quite let down by the behaviour of the members at Lord's, I am also extremely grateful to the Test team for giving me something else to watch other than the Demons goal kicking.


Jul 06, 2023

Is losering losers the same as St Kilda Saint Kildering


Jul 06, 2023


Your wish is my kommand.

Snorri gunderchuckson

Jul 06, 2023

Titus… I decided this year to follow your tips in our Footy Tipping cluster at work…
I am at the bottom of the tip… coming last… wooden spooning it… just wanted to tell that…
So thanks Matey…
Love your work

saint peter

Jul 07, 2023

Well its another week for the Saints and who do we play into some form. Thats right it is Melbourne. There is a huge gulf between those 4 teams above us and the Saints. What do we have to do to slip out of the 8. We can't be waiting for the other sides to win, Any one below us on the ladder is hopeless, I'd rather be in an intelligent conversation with an Englishman right now than listen to any side below us.