Apr 22, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: Round Six


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.


St Kilda (64) v Western Bulldogs (124)

Wait, I thought the Bulldogs were finished, there was a rift between the coach and players, and Beveridge was about to be sacked.

I guess there’s nothing like playing St Kilda to fix a lot of your problems.

Whenever a friend is going through a tough time, I always ask, ‘Have you thought about playing St Kilda?”

To be fair to the Saints, they have played three games in eleven days.

I’m no expert but that seems a lot, and I know other teams have had similar fixtures thrust upon them.

Between Opening Round, Gather Round, and a heap of byes, the AFL fixture is more intense than The Tortured Poets Department, especially those first 16 songs.

But remember, player safety if the number one thing driving the AFL and they wouldn’t do this just for the money.

It does mean we get some games like this every now and again.

That all said, the Bulldogs came to play, and they ran all over the Saints.

Even more exciting, if they managed to unearth a likely prospect in Jack Macrae, who the Dogs plucked from the VFL.

Luke Beveridge sure has an eye for young talent.  

I’ve added three more in Melbourne of Sport: The Unauthorised History. The first five shows all sold out, so if you want to come to these, you can get tickets here.


Adelaide (75) v Essendon (78)

Crows fans are used to umpiring decisions going against them, but this time I don’t think it will be the reason they will miss finals. They are going to do that all by themselves.

When Sam Draper dived on the ball in the dying seconds and failed to even attempt to dispose of it, the umpires stayed silent.

The AFL announced the next day it was technically a free kick, which I guess means it wasn’t a free kick ‘spiritually’.  

You can’t rely on the umpires to save you, it’s like hoping your local council will make sensible decisions, it’s a fool’s errand.

A good way to ensure the umpires don’t impact your game is to be up by ten or more goals. I’m surprised more sides don’t do that.

Essendon had a chance to be even further ahead, but they kicked 10.18. Forget the Essendon edge, it’s more the Essendon sawn-off shotgun. It can be dangerous but it’s inaccurate.

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Collingwood (123) v Port Adelaide (81)

Remember those heady days of March when the Pies were so hungover they barely got off the couch?

Now, after some KFC, a few coffees, a hydrolyte and a 1.25L of coke, and the Pies are now ringing around asking if anyone wants to go out.

Things didn’t look good early for them.

Port kicked five of the first six goals putting them up by 31 points, which really should have been a solid base to build a win off.

Not for Port though. After the opening barrage, they seemed to down tools.

With Port players holding picnics around the ground, Will Hoskin-Elliott did a credible impression of the greatest player whose ever played the game.

The Pies slammed on goal after goal, and Ken Hinkley must have wondered why his players didn’t go back to work.

Most concerning though is the Pies looked back to last year’s form and we all know how badly that turned out.

Carlton (117) v Greater Western Sydney (98)

Perhaps the most depressing thing about this game was the fact Carlton had 14 players out with injury.

Does this mean the Blues are good and have depth? Forget the recent eclipse, this is a rare event.

Add to that, Carlton had to keep fighting at stages to just stay in the game, only to come back every time before running away with it. 

In recent weeks, the Blues have beaten Richmond, North, Fremantle and then lost to Adelaide.

This was the statement win they needed and sets them up to play another undefeated side next week, Geelong.

Adding salt to the wound, the Giants also had both Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan receive one-week suspensions after this game, something they are appealing.

Giants coach Adam Kingsley was quick to defend Toby Greene.

"It's hard being Toby,” he said.

It sure is, mainly because Toby makes it hard, but let’s pretend he’s hard done by.

Brisbane (37) v Geelong (63)

Wins over Nort Melbourne and Melbourne made it seem the Lions had got their season back on track, but it’s appearing that’s what they call in finance a dead cat bounce.

As in, "even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height."

Geelong are not a dead cat. They are very much alive.

On Saturday night, the Cats wore the Lions down in the rain with better team discipline, and by noticing it was raining and adjusting to the conditions.

The win sees Geelong left as the only undefeated team in the league. The Cats may be the only consistent thing in the world right now.

For the first half of my life the Cats were a bit of a joke, the second half they’ve been a relentless winning machine.

They’ve got the good Scott brother, a great development program and they got like, 100 first-round draft pick from the Eagles for Tim Kelly.

Brisbane’s season looks in deep trouble, at 2-4, and what was strange is as the rain got heavier and heavier, the Lions decided chipping the ball around as much as is possible was a sensible approach.

Their fans were tearing their hair out, you could hear the audible groans.

It’s never a good sign when the fans figure out what is going on and the players haven’t.

Harley Reid (105) v Fremantle (68)

Don’t get vertigo Eagles fans, sitting up there in 14th spot.

In a result that surprised few, the Eagles realised you are allowed to win two games in a row.

All it has taken is the drafting of a once-in-a-generation talent to turn them around.

Reid finished with three goals, 19 disposals and seven clearances, but it was also the way he goes about it. Opposition teams have to pay attention to him, freeing up teammates.

Fremantle had returned from back-to-back games in Adelaide, but it still didn’t explain why they were down by 64 points in this one, before launching a mild comeback.

It seemed the real issue was the Dockers were in shock to be confronted with a West Coast side display a level of professionalism. It was like seeing a white tiger in the wild.

The only negative for the Eagles was Tom Barrass has been suspended for one week for rough conduct against Michael Walters in a dangerous tackle.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson presented a strong defence. It’s a bit technical but bear with him, "I hope he gets off. He's a good guy".

Case closed, let him off.


Sydney (110) v Gold Coast (57) 

With all the changes up at the Suns, one thing remains consistent, they are consistently average.

They hung in there for a half, before the Swans midfield went up a few gears, and the Suns discovered they didn’t have those gears.

It looked a lot like the Suns were more worried about what the Swans were going to do to them than what they would do to the Swans.

They were more reactive than a talk-back caller.

It was just what the Swans needed, after a few lacklustre weeks, although struggling against the Eagles no longer seems the unmitigated disaster it once was.

North Melbourne (68) v Hawthorn (113)

North Melbourne have secured a vital loss to remain undefeated, the only team without a win this year.

The Kangaroos kicked the first two goals of the game, which turned out to be a tactical mistake. The effort exhausted them, and they were barely sighted after that.

At one point, the Hawks booted nine consecutive goals, as they flexed their muscles as the 17th best team in the league.

Hawthorn might be bad, but they are not North Melbourne bad. They have had one victory in the last 27 games.

That’s not good. One of the main things a football needs to do, and this gets forgotten sometimes, is win.

Winning is important. It gets you premiership points, which, if you get enough, gets you into finals, and if you keep winning there, you can win a premiership.

If feel North Melbourne have forgotten this.

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Apr 22, 2024

Has anyone told North Melbourne it's too late to tank to get Harley Reid?

Mosis Syndes

Apr 22, 2024

Circling back to the new Good Guy clause, O'Reily; young Jesus Christ, out of the late BC draft, was crucified at the peak of his career.

Margaret Tavener

Apr 22, 2024

Why can't you write hilariously about the inside story of Netball Australia in 1994 not awarding the premiership to Garville over Contax in a scorekeepers error? What excuse/reason did Netball AUstralia not have for admitting its error and awarding the cup to Garville the next day????

PS - If you just want to investigate just for one, me - please do.


Doggie Dancer

Apr 22, 2024

Adam Simpson already going for the Charlie Cameron defense. I would suggest this new case law will be a frequent "go to" for most teams now. Oh AFL, you've done it again!

Sam J

Apr 22, 2024

Hey, the good guy defence worked for Charlie Cameron...

Janice Matthey

Apr 22, 2024

Yeah that Jack kid at the Doggies… looks like we might have one who goes alright, eh?

Running Dog

Apr 22, 2024

Round for round I think you punch above your weight, Titus. But being a well-rounded fellow I was wondering when you were going to get around to rounding on the AFL for the number of rounds they promote. The AFL just sees a nest full of hatchlings squawking along with the Beach Boys: 'Round, round, get around, I get a round.' Anyway, I'll see you 'round.

Sitting Down

Apr 22, 2024

The coffee spitting moment of the Knee Jerk Reaction was "Forget the Essendon edge, it’s more the Essendon sawn-off shotgun". A more accurate description has never been uttered.

the g train

Apr 22, 2024

Agree with everything you wrote, Titus. It was Technically a very good knee jerk reaction for Round 6 2024.

The AFL did concede that Technically it was holding the ball against Draper. But they said it was also Technically a good decision, because none of the 4 umpires were certain that Draper was Technically caught holding the ball. Technically, it can't be adjudicated as holding the ball unless at least one of the 4 umps were certain that it was Technically holding the ball, even though it was Technically holding the ball. It's subtle, but The AFL always is.


Apr 22, 2024

Six and Oh baby, 6 n 0 !


Apr 22, 2024

Supporting Fremantle is like getting back with your ex. You think things will be different this time but they never are.

Fat Side

Apr 22, 2024

You could just see the ump thinking "Tex, if you gonna try and stage for a fake high tackle with a minute to go, you're gonna see who's the real boss here when I don't pay this free against Draper with 10 seconds to go."
It was priceless watching Tex cry foul after the siren to no avail, and I can't believe the AFL would then drop the ump in the poop the next day.

Sir Charles Court

Apr 22, 2024

Harley is the biggest heist for Western Australia since the GST


Apr 22, 2024

Is AFL played in NSW?


Apr 22, 2024

Harley Reid FC had a magnificent win over Fremantle FC, but the Dockers had the last laugh with David Mundy dudding Reid out of winning the Glendinning-Allen medal in a petty act of revenge.


Apr 22, 2024

…..and if it is played in NSW, does anyone care?


Apr 22, 2024


I saw what you did there.

Fifth umpire

Apr 22, 2024

Good call Running Dog. Imagine what fun they will have when there are 19 teams!
As to which, if South Melbourne and Fitzroy can migrate north, why can't North Melbourne migrate south?

Son of plugger

Apr 22, 2024

Titus—how many AFL teams are there now? 3 weeks ago you declared on prime time national tv there were 17 AFL teams. Plus the WCEs. So, now there must be 16 AFL teams—plus Harley Reid and North Melbourne?


Apr 22, 2024

I’ve just noticed that Titus is still doing these Monday wrap ups. I making the same late start to the season as the pies this year.
Big thanks to Port for breathing life into our 2024 season.
Nick D. 3 votes.


Apr 22, 2024

The Saints played 3 games in 11 days!…
…and in other news that debunks that excuse, the Bulldogs played 3 games in 12 days


Apr 23, 2024

I'll rephrase this sentence for you Titus: "You can’t rely on the umpires to save you" to "You can rely on Victorian umpires to save Victorian sides who are playing non-Victorian sides". There, done.


Apr 23, 2024

To be fair to us Saints, we also had our best 22 out. Winmar, Riewoldt, Gehrig, Loewe, Harvey, Hayes, Burke, Frawley, Barker, Goddard, Aussie Jones, Montagna, Everitt, etc, etc. Footy life is very hard without them!

Darren J Ray

Apr 26, 2024

FAT SIDE - too right!

If anything, it was in the back.

And I support neither side.