The AFL Review: Round 1, 2019

Not even a minute in and Isaac Heeney has Mark of the Year again (Still: Channel 7)

Welcome to the new season of the “Rule Interpretations That Change Every Week” League!

And by gee by jingo by crikey, did the upsets come thick and bloody fast!

Richmond (14.13-97) defeated Carlton (9.10-64) @ The MCG

There’s a good use for the interchange signs (Still: Channel 7)

“I thought the Dow performed well today”

A white collar Carlton fan, talking about his stock, as well as the play of Paddy Dow.

The result was pretty predictable in the end, but Blues fans can point out the fact that after quarter time, the scores were tied 9.9 (63) apiece, while Tigers fans will point out that when you include the period between when the game started and ended, they won by 33 points.

The fate of the 2019 season was turned on its head in the 3rd quarter, when Richmond star, and the best fullback in the game in Alex Rance, went down with what was revealed to be a season-ending ACL injury- But full credit to Rancey, he managed to hobble off the ground with the trainers, and then put on the brave face on the bench to support his teammates.

I did find it somewhat ironic that after Rance went down, Carlton only kicked 1 more goal for the game- with 2 minutes to go in junk time.

Parting note: I was a touch off my prediction about Tom Lynch kicking 9 goals… He only kicked 3.

Geelong (10.12-72) defeated Collingwood (9.11-65) @ The MCG

Collingwood’s banner game is as strong as ever, poking fun at ‘that moment’ before the team ran out for the Grand Final… Say, let’s revisit ‘that moment’!

Both stills: Channel Seven

But just like that final Saturday in September, the Pies led for most of the game, only to get run down late and lose narrowly.

The fact that this game was close probably glosses over how horrific both teams were at performing the basic fundamental skills of Australian Rules Football.

I know it was slipperly, it was Round 1 and there’s more rust around than an abandoned farm, but the amount of times I saw players miss kicks from 15m away, the amount of handballs that missed teammates from 5m away, the numerous dropped marks, it left me with plenty to be desired.

No piece of play better represented this than in the 4th quarter, when Jordan De Goey got a Joe the Goose handball from Trav Varcoe when he was clear on goal with the Pies down by a goal…. only to handball it back to Josh Thomas, who was caught holding the ball.

All Footage: Channel 7 & AFL

Then again, Jordy did blame his dog for breaking his hand in a pub fight.

Fair dinkunm

It was quite fitting that Collingwood’s chances of victory ended with a clanger, when Jeremy Howe took an intercept mark with 90 seconds to go, only to kick it straight to Patrick Dangerfield, who kicked the handy point to seal the win.

There’s no point in Channel 7 commentators going on about how the rule changes are making games close, when players can’t do the basics.

Last but not least, well done to Tom Hawkins on reaching 500 goals! It just goes to show what players can achieve when they grow up in or around a dairy farm.

Port Adelaide (12.15-87) defeated Melbourne (8.7-55) @ The MCG.

In keeping with the theme of funny interchange signs, Chadwick Cornes decided to enforce the speed limit on the Power bench (Apparently it was for 10 minutes left in the quarter).

Source: AFL Twitter

As Melbourne hit the ground running by dominating the first quarter, Port’s upset was achieved thanks to contributions from debutantes Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, who both kicked goals, and… the other players who kicked goals.. like Robbie Gray in game 200! Well done Rob, enjoy the win!

But the real stars for Port were Justin ‘The Hoff’ Westhoff, who kicked 5 goals to take a joint lead of the Coleman, and ‘The Rock’ Tom Rockliff, who finished with 44 disposals.

Even after the Dees fought back and took the lead again in the 3rd quarter (With what turned out to be their last goals of the game), the Power fought back to lead by 8 points at 3/4 time, with the game still in the balance.

But, in the end, to cap off the humiliation for the Demons, they went SCORELESS IN THE FINAL QUARTER, which may either speak volumes of how they’re still bigger Pretenders than Chrissie Hynde, or that Port have improved more than myself and others came to believe.

The Melbourne Football Club- They promised us the world, and then delivered Frankston.

Hawthorn (12.15-87) defeated Adelaide (7.13-55) @ The Adelaide Oval


Well, I say this on the basis of one game that I predicted the Hawks would be belted in: Tom Mitchell was clearly holding us back.

In watching, it definitely wasn’t a ‘conventional’ Hawthorn win that I’ve seen throughout the Clarkson years- I.e, the Hawks kick 110+ points and win with a leg in the air- this game was built on suffocating the Crows’ forward line, who had next to no impact and went goalless in the 3rd quarter- In all, Betts only kicked 2 goals and Walker, Lynch and Jenkins went goalless.

I convinced myself to watch the whole thing, thinking the Hawks were going to get bent over, so I spent 2 hours bracing for that moment when the Crows would burst the floodgates and their many attacking options would kill our backline- Yet almost every time they went inside 50, it was the Collective Minds of the Hawks backline in Frawley, Sicily, Stratton and even Jarman Impey, who seemingly took approximately 90 intercept marks between them.

It was a brutal result for the Crows after – And it’s become even worse, with promising young defender Tom Doedee going down with a suspected ACL tear while trying to tackle Jarryd Roughead.

The Hawks have now won 11 out of 12 games against the Crows since 2012, and haven’t lost to the Crows at the Adelaide Oval in 4 meetings.

Dogs of Thor (11.16-82) defeated Sydney (9.11-65) @ Marvel Stadium

Thor himself Chris Hemsworth was in attendance, Gillon was in attendance, and in an added bonus, so was this guy!

It took just over a minute for the game to explode to life, as Isaac Heeney, fresh of winning the 2018 Mark of the Year, decided to sit Bailey Williams on his back and take another hanger to kick off the year.

He then kicked the only Swans goal of the 2nd half, as the wayward Dogs took full control, led by the performance of promising young key forward Aaron “The Antivirus” Naughton, who finished with 15 disposals, 6 marks and 3 goals.

At one stage in the 3rd quarter, the Dogs led by 40 points (Actually it was twice), but we kind of expected a Swans comeback, especially with Buddy having been dormant for the whole game thanks to the recovered Williams, but he ended up only recording 7 disposals and 1.2- Next to no impact on the game.

Even after trailing by 32 points at 3/4 time, the Swans charged back and got within a goal with under 10 minutes to go, amazingly enough Zac Jones had a shot to put them in front (He narrowly missed), but with 3:32 to go, The Bont (Who I GUARANTEE will be portrayed by Hemsworth in a future biopic) snuck out the back and revitalised the tired Dogs, and another goal to new recruit Sam Lloyd sealed the win.

Fortunately for the Swans, it wasn’t the worst performance of the night from a New South Wales team in Red.

Forget the naysayers, if The God of Thunder can inspire the Dogs to victory, I hope they wear the Thor jumpers for the entire season!

Brisbane (15.12-102) d. West Coast (8.10-58) @ The Gabba

Scores at Quarter Time: West Coast 6.2-38, Brisbane 1.5-11

Scores after Quarter Time: Brisbane 14.7-91, West Coast 2.8-20

Earlier this week, Bridget Lacy of The West Australian came out with this nugget of wisdom about the Eagles being “dishonoured” by having to play the lowly, 15th placed Brisbane at The Gabba in Round 1, while Richmond, Carlton and Collingwood all got marquee games on free-to-air to the MCG.

And Lacy was absolutely correct- West Coast were dishonoured, as the former Bad News Bears unloaded on them and made them look second rate after quarter time.

To top off the humiliation, Liam Ryan earned a free kick at Darcy Gardiner in the final minute in front of… So he decided to smack Darcy with a right arm jab, and ended up in the book.

Let’s look at the facts:

Scott Lycett goes to Port Adelaide- The Power go to the MCG and smack one of the premiership favourites in Melbourne square in the face.

West Coast without Scott Lycett- Go to Brisbane and cop a ball-tearing from the Lions, losing to them for the first time since 2012 and suffering the worst Round 1 loss by a defending premier since Richmond in Round 1, 1981 (Lost to Carlton by 62 points)

I’m willing to conclude that No Lycett=No Eagles.

I don’t know why people are saying the premiership favourites performed poorly at the Gabba- I thought the Lions won?

At this point in time, my tips were up the creek without a paddle.

St Kilda (13.7-85) defeated Gold Coast (13.6-84) @ Marvel Stadium

The Docklands surface was a sandy, shifting craphole 19 years ago, and 19 years later, it’s a sandy, shifting craphole.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch most of this as I focused on seeing if the Crows’ Women could hold Geelong scoreless in a final, but when I tuned in for the final quarter, it was one of those where you knew that the quality of the game wasn’t great, yet the scoreboard meant you just couldn’t look away- Kind of like Friday night.

Then as the siren sounded, Dwayne Russell described the win as the “Stuff of dreams in the end!”

I agree Dwayne, every footballer’s dream as a youngster playing in the backyard is to fall arse backwards over the line against the Suns by a point in Round 1.

Although it is St Kilda- They’d consider not losing every week the stuff of dreams.

GWS (16.16-112) defeated Essendon (5.10-40) @ GIANTS Stadium


Hang on, sorry everyone, I’ve gotta take a breath!

Hahahahahahahahaha, okay I’m done.

This goal from Lachie Keefe from a kick in should sum up how easy it was for the Giants.

Well look at the bright side Bombers fans, at least you’ve won Back to Back Trade Period Premierships. Do they make shirts for that?

Fremantle (21.15-141) defeated North Melbourne (9.5-59) @ Optus Stadium

He warned us

Wow, Fremantle played daring attacking, exciting football for the first time since Chris Connolly was coach!

11 goals to half-time, Sean ‘The Fridge’ Darcy palming it down the throats of Nat Fyfe and David ‘No Undie’ Mundy all afternoon, Lobb proving a viable forward target with Cam McCarthy going ham with a bag of 5 goals- It was footy we’ve rarely seen Freo play under Ross The Boss!

Surely the key to getting the Wharfies to play like this for the entire season is to leave Rosco burning on the hot seat for the entire season, with his future under threat, he won’t be able to rest on his laurels and play defensive football.

Sure, his arse may get singed beyond recognition, and he may not even get another contract, but at least his team will entertain the baying masses.

As for North, well that was a performance more befitting ‘Norf’ Melbourne.

Great round of the JLT Series, when does the footy start?

-John Worsfold

And now for no reason, here’s the Coodabeen Champions:

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