May 29, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Eleven


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.


Sydney (77) v Carlton (51)

Board members fighting, board members quitting, embarrassing losses, heaps of injuries, kicking for goal like they’d never touched a footy before, giving up when the game is on the line.

Whatever you say about Carlton, they do have a brand.

Friday night was about as bad as it gets for a team, especially one that is supposedly on the rise.

But that’s the Blues, always on the rise, without ever rising.

The Swans have hardly been shooting the lights out this season, but against Carlton they looked like a top four side, seizing the game when it was in the balance, and showing a passion that was lacking in their opponents.

The Blues were facing an undersized and undermanned defence, and with Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay up forward, this should have been a massive advantage for them.

But like in junior footy when one team is a few short, some of the opposition players play for them, and Curnow and McKay played for the Swans.

Curnow finished with one goal and three behinds, while McKay butchered the ball with great enthusiasm.

Some of his shots for goal were so bad you had to wonder if he was doing it on purpose.

Blues fans are angry, and so they should be. But they should remember they have Michael Voss and as a coach, just think of the success he had in Brisbane and at Port Adelaide.

It’s all going to work out.


St Kilda (78) v Hawthorn (88)

At home, against Hawthorn, and up by 20 points in the final quarter, there’s no way the Saints could lose this one.

But in a David Copperfield like performance, the Saints managed to escape a victory by letting Hawthorn kick the last five goals of the match.

To be fair, the Hawks had been shooting themselves in the foot all day, it was the most accurate thing they did.

They kicked for goal like Harry McKay was their goalkicking coach. They finished with 12.16 to St Kilda’s 12.6.

A big reason Hawthorn dominated was James Sicily, who finished with 42 disposals, 21 intercept possessions and 17 contested possessions.

This being James Sicily, he also picked up a one-game ban for his bump on St Kilda’s Anthony Caminiti. Just a complete game for him.

The Saints were very lucky this wasn’t a bigger loss. They looked well off and will probably welcome next week’s bye.

But it does raise they question, if Ross Lyon is the answer, is it a question worth asking?

Melbourne (72) v Fremantle (79)

The Dees are in struggle town. After winning the premiership in 2021 and starting last season off well, they’ve been an average team ever since.

There are flashes of the 2021 team, but it occurs for a quarter or so and then fades.

Teams run all over them at clearances, and with Clayton Oliver out, this only becomes more pronounced.

To be fair, the Dees only just lost to Port last week and Fremantle this week, but against Port they only played one good quarter and against Fremantle, they were at home and Sean Darcy was subbed out late in the second quarter.

This should have set the stage for the Dees star ruckmen Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy to go for the kill, but instead Luke Jackson destroyed them with an ease that is worrying for Dees fans.

There’s a sense at the Dees that a second premiership would just happen, that now seems to be wishful thinking.

The Dockers have certainly turned things around after a terrible start to the season. Jackson is no greater example. He’s gone from bust to saviour in about four weeks. Not a bad effort.

Geelong (74) v Greater Western Sydney (81)

Winning in Geelong is hard, both in life and in footy, which made this performance even more impressive from the Giants.

It was Toby Greene’s 200th game, in what has been a quiet and uncontroversial career and he sparked them early with four goals.

The Giants then saw off a late charge from the Cats to hold on for a famous victory.

Except, it’s not that famous for the Giants, they have won their past three games at the horribly named GMHBA Stadium, making it look easy.

It certainly helped this time that the Cats have a lot of injuries. It’s hard to know how long their injury woes will last.

Their injury is is harder to decipher than the Voynich manuscript. The Cats give away less information the ASIO.

The Cats did become the first club in AFL/VFL history to field three Irish players, which is a worry. 

They come over here taking our jobs. It’s outrageous. Add in Mason Cox and soon we’ll be lucky if any Australians are playing in the AFL.

Gold Coast (84) v Western Bulldogs (77)

Look, if you did well in your tips this week, you know nothing about football.

In Darwin, the Suns led by 22 points early in the final term, but the Doggies came hard, only for the Suns to just hold on.

Matt Rowell and Jack Lukosius were huge for the Suns, with Rowell regularly killing the Dogs momentum.

He thrived with this being a night game. Playing in the day in Darwin would be a dangerous thing for a man of his complexion.

He would have had to wear a suit that covered his whole body.

Perhaps the strangest moment of the match was when Bailey Williams took an intercept mark around 70m from goal.

Ben Ainsworth stood the mark exactly where Williams took the mark, which apparently is now an instant fifty-meter penalty. That means the other umpires all missed a few hundred fifties this weekend. 

In fairness, the umpires had gone fairly unnoticed, so they needed to do something to insert themselves into the game.

They had only up until that point given Cody Weightman a free for staging. Remember, you’ve got to reward the stager in this game.

The Bulldogs main problem was they just couldn’t convert going forward. It wasn’t Carlton levels, but this was certainly one that got away.

West Coast (46) v Essendon (96)

Even Essendon can’t lose to the Eagles. At times they seemed like they were thinking about it, but it’s proved too hard.

The Bombers were hardly in the best form, but even then, they pulled away in the final quarter to make this look easy, because it was easy.

It should have been even easier for them.

For West Coast, the effort was much improved compared to last week, but then, everything had to be better than last week.

It does mean they’ve now lost nine games in a row, a club record. They’ve done that before though, three times in two seasons.

Excitingly, they have a chance to set a new club record next week by losing ten games in a row.

Their opponent is Collingwood, so get the champagne ready because it’s happening.

And ten losses in a row is just the start I reckon. The Eagles can really set their sights high.


Richmond (67) v Port Adelaide (77)

I’m beginning to suspect the Damien Hardwick era is over at Richmond.

A big clue for me was when he announced he was stepping down as coach.

My suspicions were confirmed when he wasn’t in the coaches’ box on Sunday.

Instead, some other guy was.

What an era though. It’s sad when an era ends, but it at least meant you had one. Many clubs would be thrilled to have an era to mourn.

Hardwick watch the game from his couch at home, and I hope he liked an error-filled game.

He would have enjoyed the 17th-minute mark of the first term, when the Richmond fans stood and applauded to thank him.

Going a step further, David Koch honoured Hardwick stepping down by stepping down himself from Sunrise. It was a heartfelt moment but probably over the top.

Port were far superior, so it’s strange they only won by ten points. This was mainly due to their goalkicking, a theme this week; actually a theme every week.

The good news for Port is despite this, they held on for their eighth victory in a row.

They are now favourited to lose to Collingwood in the Grand Final.

Collingwood (105) v North Melbourne (70)

The man with the greatest name in football Steele Sidebottom, didn’t really get a chance to celebrate his 300th game, going off early with a knee injury.

It was a rare blip for the Pies this year, who are cruising and that’s what they did against the Kangaroos on Sunday.

So much so that at three-quarter time, they were up by 53 points.

Now, you need to be up by 53 points at three-quarter time to have a chance of beating Collingwood, so safe in the knowledge they’d won, the Pies decided to just hit the showers. 

That meant North managed to kick six goals in the last quarter as the Pies had a shower, sprayed some Lynx, and got in their cars and beat the traffic out of the stadium.

Mason Cox also had a milestone game, his 100th. It’s still worrying to me that someone can just learn our game late in life and then go on to play 100 AFL games.

Most of us play it from childhood and play zero AFL games.

Adelaide (95) v Brisbane (78) 

While not always consistent, the Crows are making a strong argument that they are no longer rubbish.

So much so that they now sit in the top eight and ended Brisbane’s seven-win streak.

Izak Rankine was a huge reason for this win, he was connecting everything up front, something the Lions couldn’t do.

They kicked 1.9 in the third quarter, when they really should have run all over the Crows.

Things weren’t helped by Joe Daniher not touching the ball in the second or third quarters. It was a real drop off from his recent form.

In fairness, this didn’t make him the Lions worse key forward, as Eric Hipwood had just three touches for the game. That’s less than you should have at this level.

The Lions problems didn’t end there, with Dayne Zorko appearing to eye-gouge Adelaide’s Luke Pedlar.

It does appear he didn’t actually get his fingers in Pedlar’s eye, so perhaps it’s just an attempted eye gouge, which is fine among friends. 

Zorko has such a good record with these sorts of things; I’m sure he’ll be fine.

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May 29, 2023

I'd do 2 things to Dayne Psycho:
(1) Give him the James Sicily Award for Excellence in the Field of Self-Control and
(2) I forget what (2) is.


May 29, 2023

Just another week with Daicos’ dominating all over the place. Pity about Steele’s knee, but it did give him a chance to start celebrating his 300th early. And Mason. Gives hope to all 7ft giants that they can one day play sport at a high level. Looking forward to more father / sons - Texas style.


May 29, 2023

Carlton just doing Carlton things - trubble at mill.

Corporal Agarn

May 29, 2023

There's annoying footballers.....and then there's Zane Dorko!

Rodger Gibbbins

May 29, 2023

I looked it up - Voynich manuscript, a mysterious undeciphered document from the 15th century, named after its re-discoverer, Wilfrid Voynich.
"as Eric Hipwood had just three touches for the game. That’s 'less' than you should have at this level." Should be 'fewer'.
Just sayin'.

Running Dog

May 29, 2023

Oh, so you mean it was just a coincidence that Koch and Hardwick stepped aside from their respective roles in the same week? Vast conspiracy theories have been constructed on much flimsier grounds, and certainly at Richmond. How else did they finish 9th so often? And another example of how cogent conspiracy theories can be: in the same week that my tipping skills entirely disappeared... so did the Bermuda Triangle.

The g train

May 29, 2023

“But it does raise they [sic] question, if Ross Lyon is the answer, is it a question worth asking?”
Well, he’s not the answer, Titus. Never was.

Simon Goodwin is a great coach

Hardwick was a star 

But they never break hearts like

Ross Lyon the pace-car

Chris Scott is a ripper
His twin is not quite as good

Matthew Nicks is getting there

But Ross Lyon is no good

A bloke that walked out on the Saints

Could never be any good

I shouldn’t have to tell ya

It’s obvious as Sainthood

He’ll send the Saints to nowhere

Ross Lyon is no good

(Apologies to Greg Champion and The Coodabeens)


May 29, 2023

Port and Hawthorn both kicked wildly more points than goals to win this round. Carlton supporters must be hoping Voss doesn't see it as a successful new fad, like the coach standing on the ground.

Rushed Behind

May 29, 2023

I think you’ll find rushed had a good game for Brisbane but scored 5 points in the third quarter, big blemish on their game.

Noah Blicavs

May 29, 2023

Amazing to see someone make more mistakes in a game of footy than Mark Blicavs manages to do, however Noah Balta said "hold my beer". I suspect he was the sole cause of Damian Hardwick stepping down....

Born After 66 Dammit

May 29, 2023

"What an era though. It’s sad when an era ends, but it at least meant you had one. Many clubs would be thrilled to have an era to mourn". *Saints supporter sighs sadly*


May 29, 2023

There was great confusion to be fair in the Melbourne rooms before the game. Christian Salem was telling everyone that a horse he owns just won at the trials, to which someone across the room shouted: "Salem, which trials?" A surprised discussion of 17th century American history followed, which was no way to prepare for the in-form Dockers....

Matthew Watts

May 29, 2023

Hey Titus. Great call on my Blues brand. It is a strong one and has served us beautifully since Geelong beat us at Princess Park near the end of the 2000 season. If possible the brand is only getting stronger as like Shrek said: "We are like onions and have layers". The Carlton footy club keep finding new layers to peel off and crush their supporters hopes.

Son of plugger

May 29, 2023

Lao Tzu taught us that “Resist the notion of victory and defeat, as everything that happens is inevitable”. Yet Confucius said that “contentment comes only to those who endlessly strive and dream of victory”. Both teachings seemed true, and yet both seemed opposite.

Then came a voice for the present times—Titus. He preaches the middle path: “Doing or not doing. Either way, there is no question as there is no answer” (slightly paraphrased). As a St Kilda supporter, Titus has set me free. I am now content. Even amidst inevitable never ending misery, suffering and false hope.


May 29, 2023

Carlton could kicked Voss but they would probably miss.


May 29, 2023


As Carlton's problems multiply,
Their coach they'll no doubt crucify.
But, mired in embarrassment,
The new guy will not make a dent
In the fortunes of a club so low
There's not much lower they can go.

And as recriminations flow
We'll sit back and enjoy the show.

Con Cushion

May 29, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... there I am, looking for some brevity and a touch of absurdism when it comes to commentary on Naarm and you go all serious on me. You even got your tip right! Lighten up!! Con.


May 29, 2023

Best commentary on Carlton all year. Crisp, cogent, and smelling slightly of something dead behind the skirting board, that's the Carlton way. I'd say supporting Carlton was pointless but the way we're kicking we my top the league in points, except for those we kick out on the full.

Will Voss acquire a learning curve? Can he spell nourishment? Do we care?
Do we have a Ratt's chance of progress this year? Does anyone still think it possible after this latest debacle?

Watching Brett Ratten look tired and confused while fumbling with his water bottle in the box against Collingwood only served to remind us that Voss is no different in one vital regard - he's not a game day
coach who can invent and react in real time.

"We are the lazy blues, we are the old, farked navy blues..."

Kafka’s Ghost

May 29, 2023

There once was a club called the Blues,
Whose rising would fill all the news.
They created a team,
To fulfil the dream,
But despite that continued to lose.

Apart from establishing the weekend’s theme of lousy goal kicking, the most disappointing thing for Carlton fans would be pretty much packing it in once Warner kicked that goal for the Swans.

Geoff B

May 29, 2023

Toby Greene, a quiet and uncontroversial 200 games. As the only GWS fan I still can’t decide whether to like him or not, after 200 games.

Fat Side

May 30, 2023

Love Balta, stuff-ups and all. Can't wait till we get a few defenders back and he can spend some time in the ruck and up forward, or maybe on the wing, a-la Richo, to boot some more 70m goals.


May 31, 2023

If only Melbourne had an emerging gun ruckman pinch forward like Luke Jackson......wait what?