Mar 18, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: Round One


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.


Carlton (86) v Richmond (81)

For forever this was the season opener, and it was often terrible. The minute it’s not and we get a great game.

Carlton have certainly changed. Before they seemed to go out of their way to find ways to lose games in the most heartbreaking fashion.

In this, their approach seemed to be targeting Nick Vlastuin whenever they went forward.

I went back and looked at the replay and can confirm he wasn’t wearing a Carlton jumper, so it was an odd approach.

What did work for the Blues was the Tigers kept injuring themselves at a rate not normally seen outside of a third-world diamond mine.

They finished with just two fit players, and it certainly told in the dying moments, as the Blues overcame being down by eight points. 

Most pleasingly for Carlton fans, they didn’t screw things up when the opportunity presented itself.

The one negative was Charlie Curnow finishing with stitches after being kicked in the face.

Being kicked in the head by someone wearing a footy boot is always something best avoided.


Collingwood (69) v Sydney (102)

The Melbourne Comedy Festival put on its best opening in years.

I was watching this in the pub and the laughter was infectious.

It’s almost like rushing the season back early has a bigger impact on the teams that went deep last season.

The Swans were simply brilliant, and scarily, they did it without Callum Mills, Luke Parker and Taylor Adams.

I’m no great footy strategist, but I thought the six goals in a row the Swans kicked before halftime was probably not ideal for the Pies.

Collingwood looked a real mess as Isaac Heeney and Chad Warner sliced them apart with a casual ease.

Logan McDonald was great up forward with four goals, meaning there will be even more speculation that the Western Australian clubs will try to get him to come home.

It’s really unfair. The Melbourne media never carry on about Victorian players coming back to their home state.

For Collingwood, their poor start raises one big question, Is it too soon to sack Craig McRae? I mean what has he done for them lately?

Can this guy even coach? I would encourage them to get rid of him immediately.

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Essendon (107) v Hawthorn (83)

Essendon and Hawthorn have the sort of relationship that makes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s divorce look good-natured.

Early on, after an Essendon goal, James Sicily, usually a cool head in the chaos, bumped Andy McGrath to the ground.

This led to a heap of off the ball incidents as both sides did their best to prove they could live up to the rivalry, and they could. Not in a footballing sense but in a niggly, spiteful sense.

The Match Review Officer was rubbing his hands in glee as the AFL Christmas party coffers were filling up before his eyes.

Mason Redman tried to jumper punch Jai Newcombe, but lacking the required coordination punched him in the face.

Both he and Sicily have been offered one-week bans.

Former Pie and horse racing enthusiast Jack Ginnivan proved a hit for the Hawks with two goals, 17 disposals.

Thank god he got off the sinking ship that is the Collingwood Football Club.

Greater Western Sydney (121) v North Melbourne (82)

North Melbourne had twelve different players this year compared to last year’s Round One team.

This really made me glad I didn’t bother learning any Kangaroos player’s names last year.

Round Zero really paid off for the AFL, with 8,034 pursing through the gates at Engie Stadium.

North had some pleasing performances from their new players, but their defensive stocks are threadbare at the moment.

Jesse Hogan certainly enjoyed this, booting six goals, which was needed as Toby Greene kicked 0.4 but in a positive move didn’t get suspended.

Amazingly, the Giants had never beaten North at home, until now.

Geelong (76) v St Kilda (68)

It was an exciting night for Geelong, as they officially opened the new Joel Selwood Stand

The attention to detail in that stand is astounding.

Great seats, utilities and fittingly, when you enter the stand, the entryway is so low you have to duck.

The completion of the stand means Geelong might have to wait a few months before a government announces funding for a new stand.

St Kilda once again put on a gallant performance, while also not winning.

They have not won in Geelong this century. Their last win was there was in 1999. They’ve had 12 straight losses down there, which made this, even more painful as they were so close to changing that. 

The third quarter was key, as Geelong kicked 0.6, yet the Saints helped them out by kicking 1.3.

The last quarter was a mad scramble until a poor clearance from defence was marked by Patrick Dangerfield, who went back and nailed it.

Gold Coast (60) v Adelaide (54)

Jarrod Witts executed one of the biggest falcons you’ll ever see, and Matt Rowell was an absolute beast as the Suns tried to lose but couldn’t quite do it.

Booting 8.12 made this a lot worse for the Suns than it really should have been, given the Crows managed a solitary goal in the entire first half.

At half-time, Matthew Nicks subtly pointed out to his team that the game had started, and the team, surprised to learn this, responded.

The Suns 36-point lead evaporated after halftime, despite a heavy downpour, as the Crows showed if they played the whole game they could have won this thing.

It did prove the Crows can lose the close ones, without needing an umpire’s help.


Melbourne (109) v Western Bulldogs (64)

Some strange decisions from the Bulldogs, with Caleb Daniel made the sub and the midfield avoiding Aaron Naughton like the plague.

That all said, they started strong, and what was most disappointing was how much they dropped off in the dying stages.

Melbourne started slowly, but the usual suspects dragged them back into the game.

Clayton Oliver, with his unorthodox preseason, delivered 35 disposals and six clearances.

I’m not saying every player should take his approach, but I’ve seen worse results.

There was a sense of being in a French restaurant at one point as former Dee James Harmes and Steven May got into it, resulting in Harmes headbutting May.

Port Adelaide (120) v West Coast (70)

Port delivered a 50-point belting to the Eagles, despite booting 16.24, as the Eagles showed Western Australia still only has one AFL team.

Harley Reid on debut was disappointing, with 16 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s, not the 48 possessions and eighteen goals the Eagles needed from him to turn them around.

The umpires tried to help the Eagles, at one stage allowing Jake Waterman to leave the field with the ball, head into the stands, go to the bathroom, wait in line to get a pie and coke, pay the $47, eat and drink them both before returning to set up a goal. 

Yet despite the Eagles not being confined to the field, they were still way off the pace.

It’s hard to read too much into this for the Power. It was basically training if, a bunch of amateur footballers had been invited along as part of a sponsor’s competition.

Fremantle (93) v Brisbane (70)

We all knew Lachie Neale meant a lot to the Lions, but that point was rammed home on Sunday night, as the Lions turned in a tepid performance.

The Dockers started about as badly as you can, turning the ball over and conceding goals before figuring it out.

They stormed all over the Lions, scoring 11 of 12 goals running into the last quarter.

Even more amazing was the Dockers were losing players at a fair clip.

Brennan Cox went down with a hamstring, Oscar McDonald had a knee injury and Karl Worner went off with concussion.

The Lions major concern is that their midfield, like a slow kid doing Naplan, seemed to have no answer for what was going on.

Brisbane gets a bye next week, and they looked like they need it, which is concerning given its Round Two. Sort of.

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saint peter

Mar 18, 2024

Excellent summary of the games played this week. You managed to get to the bottom of every loss & every win. I agree with your comments about Craig McRae. Only they play St.Kilda this week & watch them bounce back & get their 1st win for year. This is a big game for the Saints & typically we lose these types of games as there are shown case games. Can the media stay away from this game this week & forget about it. Just treat like it is a usual match, not a must win for the Saints. I'd go now before I start something here before it is too late.


Mar 18, 2024

"The Bulldogs started strong, and what was most disappointing was how much they dropped off in the dying stages."

Not so surprising when you consider Bevo's strategy for 2024 is to put everything into the first half and let the second half take care of itself.

Nth Qlds' only Dockers supporter

Mar 18, 2024

My mighty Dockers 30 year rebuild is right on track...

Pete C

Mar 18, 2024

It was great to see the western conference teams get a game this week, as well as the eastern conference team that had their bye last week ( Hawthorn). Congrats to the AFL for sneaking that through. Just need to see the individual conference tables now. Cant wait for East v West all-star game.


Mar 18, 2024

Like the Freo Doctor you bring fresh, cool air, Titus.
Oh...and a bit of seaweedy pong sometimes.

Mosis Syndes

Mar 18, 2024

TO BE HONEST O'Reily, the best part of the new Geelong facility is The Elasto Plast kiosk. Sauce with everything.

The g train

Mar 18, 2024

Funny you should say that, Titus. Friday night we saw a great stand up comic as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival (it was Titus O’Reily—you should check him out). We then went to the bar in the same establishment and watched Sydney vs Coll. Can confirm there was lots and lots and lots of raucous infectious laughter there also. Just a great night out. Where were you watching, Titus?

Was expecting irrational idiotic nonsense at Mr O’Reily’s gig—but it was, on the balance, rational idiotic nonsense.

Korean Jesus

Mar 18, 2024

'It’s almost like rushing the season back early has a bigger impact on the teams that went deep last season.'
Yes, it's the first time that the two teams that reached the previous season's Grand Final have opened the following season by going 0-2. But look at the other two teams that made the prelims - they've both opened the new season by going 2-0.

Fat Side

Mar 18, 2024

Re: Harmes headbutting May - there's often lingering resentment if the restaurant doesn't allow you to split the bill.


Mar 18, 2024

re: Jake Waterman - was it a pie and Coke or pie and coke that he got for his $47? After all, this is the Weagles we're talking about...

Derek Fletcher

Mar 18, 2024

Titus , Titus , Titus, maaaate. Jake Waterman did not go to the bathroom. He went to the dunny, or toilet if you want to be more polite. Please spare us that stupid coy American euphemism. Other than that - great to have you back.


Mar 18, 2024

I agree. Sack McCrae immediately. He's had two chances and squandered them.
Never liked him.
He suffers from small man syndrome.
Never thought he had what it takes to be a winning coach (too short to be at AFL coaching level). I guess i was the only one seeing him bring the club down to his level (short).
I saw it day one.
And, as for the Magpie Army, sack them as well... and while we're at it sack the board, put Vic Park on the market, we could put flats, sorry apartments, on that prime real estate land.
And, just watch, they'll bring back Nathan Buckley... because we did so well under his reign of success.

Son of plugger

Mar 18, 2024

My grandma was upset that Collingwood have been written off after losing in round 1. Tried to explain that after round 1 they’re actually 0/2. I then tried to explain that there was a round 0 which was really round 1. Gma said that’s just crazy and just became more furious. I then tried to explain that it’s actually arbitrary what you call round 1. You can call it round 0 and you can then call round 1 round 2, round 1a or any other round. It all went downhill from there and now me and Gma are estranged. Thanks a lot, AFL.


Mar 18, 2024

I also caught the show Friday Night and yes it was a great gig, well worth checking out.
Collingwood losing its second game in a row capped off the night perfectly.


Mar 18, 2024

Had to duck the entryway was low a beautiful back hander ala Joel Selwood stand - surprised no one from the cattery took you to task on that one — even the responses to MKJR are proving to be irrational nonsense with humour thrown in Great to see you back T O’R!!!!!

LA Conic

Mar 18, 2024

When are you coming to Perth, leave that Molloy in Mudbourne


Mar 18, 2024

It turned out that the umpire who awarded Carlton a 78 meter penalty in the last quarter thought a 50 meant moving the kicker to the 50 meter line.


Mar 18, 2024

Heehee 'you have to duck' :)


Mar 18, 2024

Change out of bounds rule. It,s not out until a spectator over the fence has the ball in their hands and if the section of stadium has no spectators player jumps the fence and plays on. Weagles showed how it works.

Merlin’s Mum

Mar 20, 2024

Where’s Tarax Club when you need him/her?

John B

Mar 22, 2024

Your appraisal is like a used car salesman trying to flog a glamour