A highly unhelpful guide to Round Sixteen | Titus O'Reily

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A highly unhelpful guide to Round Sixteen

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 sixteen.

Friday 

Adelaide v Western Bulldogs (AO) 7.50pm

Here’s an idea, let’s see if we can get through one whole round of footy without someone king hitting someone. That goes for the AFL executive too. I know it won’t be easy.

For our reigning premiers, we are entering the point of the season where any loss may mean their stuttering title defence is over. On the plus side, they could be the first team to win the AFL Premiership and then the AFLX premiership the following year.

They’ll be without Bob Murphy this week; whose hamstrings seem less keen to keep playing than he does.

Adelaide have troubles of their own with Hugh Greenwood rested this week leaving them dangerously low in the key stat of ‘basketball background’. Probably the most important stat in football.

Veteran Scott Thompson comes in for his first game of the season but to my knowledge, he can’t hit a three and his post up work is rubbish.

The Crows have not exactly been dominant in recent times, but at home, I think they can get up over the Doggies.

Saturday

Hawthorn v Greater Western Sydney (UTS) 1.45pm

How depleted is the Giants list through injury? Well, they’ve selected former Docker Tendai Mzungu to play AFL this week.

The Giants will again miss Toby Greene. Greene’s absence has not only hurt the Giants; it’s seen Tom Bugg overtake him as the most hated pest in the league. That must hurt after the years of hard work Greene had put in.

Who knows what you’re going to get with Hawthorn these days? Off the field, the family club seems to be the Soprano family. On the field, they have shown signs of improvement, but it’s been off a very low base.

A loss here would surely mean the end of any finals chances, meaning many people will join the AFL marketing department in hoping the Giants get home.

The Giants should get up, but I’ve been trained to never write the Hawks off.

Collingwood v Essendon (MCG) 2.10pm

Ben Reid has been recalled in the footballing equivalent of closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

Nathan Buckley spent the week again stating the club was on the right track. He reminds me of someone who’s been driving around lost for several hours but still refuses to look at the map.

‘We’re on the right track.’

‘We’re lost, dad.’

‘Just a bit further. I know what I’m doing.’

‘Dad, we all know you’ve got no clue what you're doing. It’s OK to pull over and ask someone.’

This week was the week I noticed even the most ardent Buckley defenders vacated the field on social media and conceded the glorious Buckley era is over. I join those diehard supporters of Buckley in sadness that the sun is setting on this beautiful time.

Essendon have not had a fun few weeks, showing a Houdini-like ability to escape victory.

John Worsfold revealed this week that some players were upset Bombers CEO Xavier Campbell tweeted criticism of the team after they lost to the bottom side despite being up by 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Campbell came out an apologised later, which was strange in that it appeared he was apologising for stating a fact. That’s the problem with social media; people used to say all this stuff, it was just not everyone knew they were saying it. It appears ignorance really is bliss.

I’m tipping the Bombers here.

Sydney v Gold Coast (SCG) 4.35pm

Gary Ablett continues his one week on-one week off roster and will miss this game, which is music to the ears of Swans supporters, now confident their side can clinch an unlikely finals berth.

How exciting would it be that in this crazy season we could end up with a Sydney/Geelong Grand Final!

Gold Coast had some good news this week with co-captain Steven May agreeing to a new two-year deal. I hope this doesn’t stop the speculation about which Victorian team will sign him this off season though.

Trade speculation is my favourite genre of fiction.

With Tom Lynch and Steven May, the Suns have the nucleus off a great football team, they now just need another twenty players.

Sydney have got their injured players back, and suddenly they are looking ominous. They have never lost to the Suns, which sounds more impressive than it is.

That streak should continue here too.

Brisbane v Geelong (G) 7.25pm

Are you sitting down? Brisbane have won two of their last four games! I know, it’s crazy.

They even won last week without Dayne Beams, who will return from injury this week despite the fact he was meant to be off for at least a couple of more weeks.

He’s been cleared to play by the medical staff although he will be playing through pain. I’m always impressed when I hear most AFL players are playing though pain. I drop everything if I’m experiencing any sort of pain. I certainly don’t show up for work.

Brisbane needs to be careful.

Some winning is great but not when you’re sitting on the first pick in the draft. Engineering an outcome where you get the number one draft pick always works, just ask Chris Connolly, which you can do because some media hire him to give his opinion on running football clubs. I know, madness.

Geelong gets Joel Selwood back this week, one of the few players to recently be concussed in a legal bit of play.

The Cats were lucky to escape with a draw last week, but they should have the talent to get across the line here.

St Kilda v Richmond (ES) 7.25pm

Impossible to tip this one correctly. Whoever you pick will lose. In fact, if you pick one team and your friend the other, it’s possible for you to be still both wrong.

It is feasible that we are entering a new period where Richmond are a good team. It’s also quite likely that we are not.

Richmond fans spent the week celebrating the fact Ty Vickery and Jake King are no longer at their club. The fact that Hawthorn have been dragged into it instead is like finding out the Fish and Chip shop gave you extra potato cakes.

Yes, I said potato cakes because I’m from Victoria. I know the cakes-scallops divide gets people very angry, but I like to focus on the fact that we all share a common love of frying potatoes in oil and pouring unhealthy amounts of salt on them. To be perfectly frank, I wouldn’t care if they were called ‘amazing potato salty fried thingies’ or ‘scallop cakes.’ They are delicious, and that’s all that matters.

Let’s not fight amoungst ourselves, lets channel out anger on the real enemy, healthy people.

If it turns out Jake King is guilty as charged, we should at least acknowledge that many retired players struggle to find a career after footy and we should at least recognise he’s carved out a job that suits his skill set.

St Kilda have lifted in the past month and are now looking to stay in the eight.

This is Maddie’s Match which raises money for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, a foundation created by the Riewoldt family to raise funds for research into a cure for Bone Marrow Failure syndromes.

The St Kilda players donated $10,000 to the charity this week, which shows you not all players run around belting people or getting questioned over extortion cases.

I’m tipping the Tigers here.

Sunday

North Melbourne v Fremantle (ES) 1.10pm

Oh man. I’m probably going to have to watch this if I’m going to review it. Would it be OK if we all just pretended I did?

Here’s a list of things I don’t want to do on Sunday in order of how much I don’t want to do them:

  1. Watch North Melbourne play Fremantle
  2. Interact with people
  3. Join ISIS

Now think about that, I would prefer to interact with people rather than watch this game. Oh, the ISIS thing?

I meant the International Society of Itinerant Satirists. They really should change their name. They’ve been raided six times this week.

Who will win this? Probably North but really who cares? Both these teams are already training on soccer fields for September.

Carlton v Melbourne (MCG) 3.20pm

There was a lot of debate about having a send-off rule following Tom Bugg belting Callum Mills last week. I can see the appeal of the rule, but given how Bugg played the rest of the game, if I was a Swans supporter, I would have been happy that he stayed on.

Melbourne have a few players not injured but it’s slim pickings, and we’re yet to know for sure that Garlett and Hogan will return.

I knew when everyone started mentioning Melbourne and a premiership in non-satirical articles that they were inviting the wrath of the footy gods.

Since then, the Demons have lost so many players that it’s starting to look careless.

Carlton will remember Jordan Lewis cracking Patrick Cripps in round two fondly. Lewis spent time this week defending Bugg in the media, in one of those ‘thanks, mate but you’re probably not helping’ moments.

The Blues would have to be favourites here. They still have a midfield while Melbourne’s will be absent. This could get ugly.

West Coast v Port Adelaide (DS) 4.40pm

Interesting. Port are above West Coast on the ladder so should be favourites, but West Coast are at home. Two ironclad laws of tipping meeting head on, like Gorilla Monsoon, used to say, ‘It's the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.’

West Coast though haven’t been that great at home this year but to counteract that, they shocked even themselves by winning in Melbourne last week.  

The Eagles will still be without Josh Kennedy whose injury seems to be going on a lot longer than predicted. Is there anything less accurate than those listed injury times? Well, your tipping Titus, you might say.

After last week, Port acted like their season was over, not that they’re sitting fifth on the ladder.

Sure, not being able to beat any of the teams who you’ll face in the finals is a worry but Stephen Bradbury taught us that you never know who will collapse at a critical moment.

People are calling them pretenders, a tag Ken Hinkley didn’t dispute but we’re all pretenders really. We just keeping faking it until someone else stuffs up.

I’m tipping Port here.

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Comments

MM 7 July 2017

"the Demons have lost so many players that it’s starting to look careless'

Very Wildean, Titus

Margaret 7 July 2017

Very erudite MM.

The Origianl Buzz 7 July 2017

They are Potato Fritters in SA.
Yes, you can pretend to have watched North vs Freo. You can really say what you like about this match, not many will watch it anyway.
As for the Grand Final, I have no idea and I am not yet ruling out a Carlton - Hawthorn Grand final because of the way things are panning out this year.

Jona 7 July 2017

Titus my suggestion is to have a little punt on the North v Freo game. Maybe a margin bet to make it slightly more interesting? But I stress, like Nathan Brown, to always gamble responsibly, which isn't actually a thing.

Bigusdickus 8 July 2017

Well said. There's entirely too much gambling encouragement around.

Pancho Pete 7 July 2017

Don't usually get anything useful from social media but this week someone called Jake 'a stand under man'.

Daniel B 7 July 2017

Thanks for the laugh, Titus. And spare a thought for the Illiterate Sods In Suspenders.

Margaret 7 July 2017

Better than itinerant!

Dion"Woosh"Turner 7 July 2017

It is feasible that we are entering a new period where Richmond are a good team. It’s also quite likely that we are not. Ah... Richmond, finally some consistency in this crazy season. Look out ninth.

Vic Parkes 7 July 2017

You've been a bit tough on Toby Greene, Titus. Ballantyne is head and shoulders below him (and everyone else) as the biggest/smallest pest in the league. Ballantyne is to pesting what Dawson is to fumbling.

Nothing Better To Do On A Sunday 7 July 2017

Looking forward to having all of Level 2 to myself on Sunday arvo. The Roof better not be open and ruin my annual Sunday outing!

Stuart Page 7 July 2017

Glorious work, Titus. You summed up a Richmond fan's state of mind precisely. Bravo.

Bluebird 7 July 2017

The comment about Richmond fans rings true. As a Carlton supporter I always toasted Fev's off-field antics in Brisbane.

Marcus Holt 7 July 2017

"Off the field, the family club seems to be the Soprano family"

Line of the Year Titus, Bravo

Mick 8 July 2017

The real enemy, healthy people... and, of course Hawthorn fans.

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