AFL

Meaningless AFL Review: Round 2, 2020

Taking a knee as a show of solidarity for Black Lives Matter in these times is something I’m totally in favour of, but if you ask me, those wide shots of the centre circle with the Coles logo makes it look like an out of context tribute to Coles workers who were abused by Karens at the height of the lockdown panic buying.

Anyway, it’s bloody great to be back watching players make random inexpiable clangers.

Definitely not the Current Opinions on the Length of Quarters

Annoyed it wasn’t 20 minutes so they could further beat the crap out of their opposition: Geelong, Port Adelaide, Gold Coast, North Melbourne, St Kilda

Probably would’ve won with 20 minutes: Richmond & Carlton

Could go both ways: Brisbane, Fremantle, Essendon, GWS, Sydney

Wouldn’t mind reducing quarters to 10 minutes: Collingwood, Richmond, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Adelaide, Western Bulldogs


Collingwood 5.6-36 drew with Tom Lynch 5.6-36 at the MCG

Things last seen in the 1910s, prior to 2020:

A global flu pandemic.

A Collingwood-Richmond draw.

72 points – The lowest scoring game this century.

One barely watchable game in, and the AFL was breaking records.

Out of respect to those who suffered through watching that 2nd Half, this game does not deserve further discussion.

If only Jack Riewoldt could kick further than 35 metres….


Geelong 17.6-108 defeated Hawthorn 7.5-47 at GMHBA/Skilled/Shell Stadium

Pfft, this year’s an asterisk premiership anyway.

Jeff Kennett: The AFL should relegate non-performing clubs to the VFL

Hawthorn: Lose by 61 points and kick 1 goal in the 2nd Half

For the 4980th time, Hawks supporters to Jeff:

After Thursday night’s piss-up, the Cats and Hawks were set the lofty expectations of ‘Don’t be as shit as Collingwood-Richmond’, and by the end of the 1st Half, they had done it easily, in what appeared to be another top notch Cats-Hawks contest, with the hosts on top by a goal.

Then the 2nd Half started, and what was a close game turned into one of the biggest midfield beatings I’ve ever seen (Geelong were +29 in contested disposals IN THE 3RD QUARTER), in which the Cats also confirmed that this break definitely wasn’t a bye.

The Hawks looked unfit & slow, the leadership was non-existent, half the team made a beeline for the V-Line at half-time, passing that Donut truck out the front along the way:

The midfield was as shallow as a kiddies pool without O’Meara, and quite simply put, the Cats, led by Brandon Parfitt, Joel Selwood, seemingly cured of his hemophilia by the son of God in G.Ablett, Gryan Miers and milestone man Rodney Dangerfield, ran over the top of them and outnumbered them around the ball at basically every contest, and basically everything they did made the Hawks look….

Well, they were lucky to be considered fourth rate, so what’s worse – Fifth rate?

Probably fifth rate, and had it been 20 minute quarters, it would probably have been 7th rate.

The only damage the Hawks made in the 2nd Half was Silk Burgoyne’s botched assassination attempt on Dangerfield, that thankfully didn’t do any serious damage.

Dangerfield complained afterwards that he don’t get no respect.

Instead of copping an expected suspension based on sling tackle precedent, Silk snuck in with a $1000 fine based purely on the outcome, which was a lucky escape, because if he’d been suspended, I assume Jeff Kennett was preparing a statement accusing Michael Christian of being a racist for suspending an Indigenous great of the game in a time of Black Lives Matter.

In summation:

Hawthorn were unfit.

Geelong were Parfitt.


Brisbane 12.9-81 defeated Fremantle 10.9-69 at The Gabba

It’s good to know that even as Fremantle get relocated to Queensland, they still can’t escape Dean Margetts.

If you want to know why West Coast did nothing, it’s because Dean wasn’t umpiring at Carrara.

If you want to know why Fremantle were narrowly beaten, it’s because Dean’s missus is supposedly a raging Eagles fan who hates Freo, a claim started on BigFooty, so it’s a

For those of you not in Perth, Dockers fans already had it out for dear old Deano, a hatred built up by years of watching the Eagles get hometown decisions while getting none themselves, and it got even better when Matt Taberner wasn’t paid what was a legitimate mark in the goal square as a tense final quarter began.

The goal umpire was going to go to a score review believing it was a mark (AND IT WAS), but Deano, the controlling umpire 40m away, didn’t allow him, BECAUSE HE HADN’T CALLED IT A MARK.

GET STUFFED.

Still, if I’m going to crap on an umpire, the question should be asked why the hell Matt Taberner tried marking the ball instead of shepherding it from Harris Andrews through for what was going to be a certain goal to David Mundy.

At the end of the day, it was just another chapter in the frustrating career of Tabs – He just a few good things, then he randomly plays on and drops the ball cold on the wing.

It shouldn’t overshadow what was a pretty good game, filled with some quality performances from the big names.

Sir Charles Cameron with 4 goals, all of them kicked before half time, Lachie Neale with 29 disposals and 2 goals, Nat Fyfe with 24 disposals and 3 goals, and Sonny Walters with 28 disposals and a pair of 4th Quarter goals that dragged Freo into it.

Yet, the difference in a game that was still up for grabs with 2 minutes remaining, was in the coaching box.

Brisbane have Lord Fagan, who could cure insomnia with a click of his fingers.

Fremantle don’t.

Two games into the Longmuir tenure, and Freo have had 2 competitive performances for no result.

Still, they put up more of fight than another relocated Perth team.


Melbourne 8.6-54 defeated Carlton 7.11-53 at Marvel Stadium

Carlton: Concede the first 7 goals

David Teague:

Unfortunately, that trap card was countered by a goal post.

Repeatedly.

In the most appallingly captivating 1 point result involving Melbourne since Round of last year, Melbourne were bordering on horrid in victory (Some things stay the same), but if you ask me, Carlton deserved to lose for a number of reasons:

Once again allowing a team to establish a massive break on them in the opening half.

Completely pissing away dozens of chances in attack, most notably hitting the post 400 times, missing shots in front of goal, not to mention Sam Walsh sent 2 kicks Inside 50 in the final 1:30 to the advantage of Demons defenders.

And disrespecting that beautiful virtual banner that Fox Footy prepared for them by running around it.

In response, the Karma Bus ran over them in the 1st Quarter… it was painted Red & Blue and driven by Max Gawn, while Christian Petracca was saying “Tickets, please!”

21 disposals & 34 hitouts for Gawny, plus a big contested mark when the Dees were clinging on for dear life after Fritsch put them ahead, and Petracca gave the kind of performance that he’s always been capable of – 24 disposals, 5 clearances, about 11 Blues players shoved into the earth, and 2 crucial goals – The second ended up being Melbourne’s last of the day just before 3/4 time, right as the Blues had all the momentum.

But bloody oath, it was a cracker.

There’s another name I didn’t mention for Melbourne – Jayden Hunt kicked 3 of the first 7 goals.

The other good news for the Dees was Harley Bennell getting through his comeback unscathed, but on the other end, capping off the horror 1st Quarter for the Blues, in which they barely escaped their own half as Gawn & co hogged the ball, Nic Newman ruptured his patella tendon in a seemingly innocuous contest, which had us changing our tune from Hello, Newman to Bye, Newman.

Poor old Nic – His elbow gets wrecked in Round 1, then the season shutdown hits and he gets a bit of luck with surgery, then he busts his kneecap barely a quarter into the restart.

Considering the way both teams went missing for extremely long periods of time, a draw with neither team getting a point would’ve been a fitting result, but, Melbourne got the 4 points, almost fittingly, thanks to Bailey Fritsch shanking a kick from 15m out on an angle.

This game does not need to be discussed any further, so let us instead enjoy the utterly frustrating final 2 minutes.

And….


Port Adelaide (17.8-110) defeated The Crowna Virus (5.5-35) at The Adelaide Oval

This wasn’t a Showdown, it was a Snowtown.

But, we expected nothing less from the runaway ladder leaders, who smacked three shades of softness out of their struggling rivals, and made it look wildly entertaining.

Aside from Travis Boak winning the Showdown Medal, the highlight in a HISTORIC rout was the performances of the 3 young guns of Port’s 2018 draft class – Connor ‘Whole Lotta’ Rozee, Xavier Duursma whipped out the Bow ‘N Arrow, and Zak Butters, who casually kicked a mid-air volley better than most players kick drop punts.

That was followed by Paul Seedsman getting what the new American viewers would call ‘Posterized’ by Steven Motlop, which seems an absolute lock for Mark of the Week.

Call me crazy, but Chad Wingard took his 2014 Mark of the Year not even 10m further up the ground.

And I can recall Cyril Rioli nearly making Bruce shoot his load with an almighty leap in that pocket in Round 16, 2016, only to spill the ball on re-entry.

The Adelaide Oval, where the right forward pocket next to The Hill is a vortex for freak goals, and the right forward pocket is a vortex for hangers.

As the game got so boring and lopsided, Port fans decided to send a terrifying message about SANFL premierships and black and white guernseys to a guy named “Eddy.”

Yes, a terrifying message that says, “We cannot spell Eddie.”

As both teams get an unearned prison sentence on the Gold Coast for being west of the Murray, the Crows play the Suns.

Time to pop down to the TAB and load up.

On the Suns.


Gold Coast 14.6-90 defeated West Gold Coast 6.10-46 at Metricon Stadium

Sound the trumpet of victory

You only need two words to describe this performance.

Matt Rowell.

Brownlow?

More like BRowellnlow.


North Melbourne (12.8-80) defeated GWS (8.12-60) at GIANTS Stadium

All I see in that photo are two unbeaten teams sharing a flight together and keeping Virgin afloat.

For a half, it appeared this game was heading down the Collingwood-Richmond path in terms of watchability, as the Roos got the game on their terms from the opening bounce – A contested slugfest, capped off by both teams forgetting what the goals looked like, which was understandable, given how long the break had been.

Still, Rhyce Shaw had a plan, and the Roos delivered.

Shaun Higgins was BOG with 28 disposals & 6 clearances, Cam Zurhaar with his stunned mullet kicked 3 goals, the youth brigade of Curtis Taylor, Tarryn Thomas and Bailey Scott all nailed goals in a 5 goal burst either side of 3/4 time, and back and brilliant in the ruck feeding Higgins was Todd Goldstein, The All-Australian Hebrew.

No surprise that Goldy got Business Class on the flight home.

Summing things up for the Giants, Matt de Boer tagged Ben Cunnington in the 1st Quarter, and he did a damn good job, keeping Feathers to 1 handball, then for some reason, Leon Cameron switched him to Higgins in the 2nd Quarter.

In the most brilliant tactical move since 20th Century Fox gave George Lucas 100% of the merchandise profits from Star Wars, Higgins went bananas with 13 disposals and 4 clearances in the 2nd term, while Cunnington ended the game with 21 touches, and Cameron spent the rest of the game making de Boer chase his own tail.

Conversely, I assume during the half-time break that Darren Crocker told Rhyce that the Roos could kick goals in addition to extracting a pound of flesh on the Giants.

Case in point, North were 2.8 early into the 3rd Quarter….

Their final 10 scoring shots?

10 goals, 0 behinds.

The end result = 2 wins, 0 defeats, 2nd on the ladder.


Essendon 12.7-79 defeated Sydney 11.7-73 at the SCG

Get up at 5 in the morning, get to the airport for a 6:30 for an 8:00 flight that you have to share with those povvos from Arden Street, land at 9:30, bugger off to the hotel for a few hours, get to the ground, play, get back to the airport, fly back to Melbourne and get home by 8:30.

And they said having to fly on game day was the worst preparation.

That’s not the worst preparation, that’s the preparation of champions.

Darcy Parish proved it.

The right-footed Dom Sheed.

Speaking of things staying the same, the Bombers won their last game before the lockdown by 6 points…

They win their first game out of the lockdown by 6 points.

It’s like poetry, it rhymes.


St Kilda 14.4-88 defeated Western Bulldogs 7.7-49 at Marvel Stadium

The Dogs should’ve seen this coming, especially after St Kilda gave that cracking one-liner to an Instagram porn account:

Based on today, it was a Dan Butler tackle that was long and hard.

Or a Dan Butler running goal.

The Dogs seem to love giving games to blokes with names from left field (Must be a Western Suburbs thing), and this evening was the debut of Laitham Vandermeer, who sounds more like a Springboks scrum-half than an Australian Rules player, or the answer to the trivia question ‘Who was the leader of South Africa before Nelson Mandela.’

In a game that turned into a fairly convincing belting the way of the Saints, I implore you to cast your minds back to the 1st Quarter, when the Dogs had an early 7 point lead after kicking 2 goals in a row, and had several chances to build on that lead.

Here’s what happened.

Vandermeer had a shot in front of goal to kick his first goal, but it narrowly missed to the left.

Bailey Dale kicked a behind.

And finally, Aaron Naughton had a very kickable snap at goal from the left forward pocket, but instead of going the banana on his preferred left, he snapped on the right and missed across the face.

By that stage, it was 2.3 to 2.1, when it should have been, with better skill, 4.1 or 5.0 to 2.1.

The Saints went down the ground, and Jack Billings put the home team back in front by actually nailing a set shot with consummate ease, given he is sub-50% in front of goal, Sam Lloyd missed a kickable shot at goal for the Dogs before quarter time, and it just got worse and worse from there, as Zac Jones, Brad Hill and the Moorabbin mob treated the Dogs like Hamish McLachlan treated Trent Cotchin’s dog.

By accidentally running them over.

Turns out Round 1 was absolutely no anomaly.

The Dogs really are terrible right now.


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