AFL

Meaningless AFL Review: Round 3, 2020

Alrighty, straight off the bat:

It was interesting to read that the Irishman had 5 negative tests before he returned that low-level positive.

I guess they just had to be sure, to be sure.

In all seriousness, hopefully Conor is coping through this rough patch… As far as errors go, breaking the AFL’s COVID protocols, blowing your nose at training, later testing positive, having unknowingly putting all of the Bombers’ first choice defenders at risk of infection and shutting down Tullamarine for a scrub down is riiiight up there.

Back to the footy, and it was a great week for comedic routines.

Thursday: Ivan Soldo smashing into Jack Higgins and preventing a mark + shot at goal, Tom Lynch missing from 15m out dead in front, and Richmond in general.

Friday: Heath Shaw handballing to Ed Richards in the goal square, Bailey Dale shanking a kick from 5 metres out, the Giants attempt to rough up the Dogs.

Saturday: Todd Goldstein kicking like a ruckman, Nick Blakey shanking a kick from 20 out in front, Brodie Grundy kicking like a ruckman, Jack Billings keeping the ball in play and handballing to Jordan de Goey, Oscar McInerney kicking like a ruckman, West Coast, Mitch Duncan missing from 15 out on a slight angle, Esava Ratugolea going for the Golden Fist on a Tom Hawkins kick at goal (Hint: They’re teammates), Gary Ablett missing from 20 out dead in front, and Gryan Miers playing on and failing to goal from a free kick, which all led to Geelong losing by 2 points.

Sunday: Adelaide,

Did I get everything?


Hawthorn 11.5-71 defeated Richmond 5.9-39 at The MCG

Not since Dunaden won the 2011 Melbourne Cup, has the form from a Geelong meeting held up so well.

It’s a bit rich for me to go around gloating after I claimed my own team had next to no hope, but bugger it, I’m going to hell in a handbag anyway.

In the space of 2 hours, it went from ‘Richmond haven’t lost in over a year’ to ‘Richmond haven’t won in 3 months,’ and after watching how shallow the fourth-rate Hawks midfield is without Jaeger last week, this week we witnessed how shallow the Tigers are without Dusty Martin.

Jason ‘George’ Castagna didn’t bother showing up until the 4th Quarter, Shai Bolton was caught holding the ball twice in Hawthorn’s forward 50, Marlion Pickett’s honeymoon is well and truly over, Dan Rioli was so bad he was socially isolating, Ivan Soldo looked like the very stereotype of the big dumb ruckman, smashing teammate and foe alike, Jack Riewoldt played so poorly he accumulated -13 Supercoach points in the 1st Half.

And of course….

I don’t think the Suns want Tom back after THAT kick at goal:

Pictured: Richmond since the season restart

By my own recollection, that’s about the fourth time I’ve seen a player shank a kick from in front that close to goal against Hawthorn at the City End of the MCG.

Hamish McIntosh did it on Quarter Time of the 2014 Easter Monday game, Gryan Miers and Esava Ratugolea both did it 5 minutes apart in Round 18 last year, and now Lynch.

So, like I was saying, with Martin gone and O’Meara back, the balance of play swung dramatically.

Australia’s No.1 lookalike of Jacob from Twilight was deadly efficient in the middle, Isaac Smith carved the Tigers up with his run and carry (Check out that goal from the middle 30 seconds after Bolton kicked the Tiges’ first goal), Chad Wingard was the best forward on the ground, and Tim O’Brien almost took a couple of marks.

Alastair Clarkson wanted a response, and he got one.

So, Tiges were beaten by Three-Quarter Time, but, when they finally got the game on their teams in the final term and absolutely monstered the passive Hawks….

They kicked 2.6.

From about 40 Inside 50s to 2.

And one of those 2 Hawks entries was Chad Wingard getting caught in a holding the ball that was so blatant even he knew he was done.

But, the umpire was unsighted, so the Chad got a free kick for holding in the pocket, and duly kicked his 3rd goal, to absolutely kill off the Tigers.

The other facet was the Hawks team named for Thursday was all set to become the oldest team to ever play a VFL/AFL game and claim the title of Dad’s Army, until Paul Puopolo was withdrawn for Jack Scrimshaw, and they fell to 20th all-time.

Typical – injury ruined the Hawks’ best chance of returning to No.1 in 2020.

The other post script to the game was Clarko’s hand grenade comment about Geelong, in regards to last Friday night’s 61-point caning.

“I hope I’m not discrediting Geelong, but they’re not that good. We were just terribly poor.”

Nek minut – Carlton 79 defeat Geelong 77


Western Bulldogs 8.9-57 defeated Greater Western Sydney 4.9-33 at Marvel Stadium

On Thursday evening, the Orange Soviets had a perfectly laid out plan to put Marcus Bontempelli in a body bag, despite already getting their revenge for his attack on Nick Haynes’ larynx last year.

Those plans should’ve been thrown out when the KGB’s top assassin, who resembles Alfred E. Neuman, wasn’t named on Thursday evening.

Then Josh Kelly was a late withdrawal.

Then the Giants sent Haynes out for the coin toss to send a message to The Bont, an apparent message that said “We also have a player with a manbun.”

Then Lachie Whitfield was knocked out by Aaron Naughton half a quarter into the game, putting the already struggling Giants midfield in a hole they never got out of.

In a long-awaited sign of promise, the Dogs were ready for every bit of biffo the Giants tried to throw at them, and if anything, it was the Giants who couldn’t respond to the biffo the Scraggers were throwing their way, which was a similar story last weekend against North.

Still, I found that the simmering hatred helped make a sloppy game better to watch, especially with Leon Cameron, the man handed the keys to the Ferrari, coaching the Giants like he was driving an AU Falcon, and the Giants defence producing infuriating turnovers.

Zac Williams hospital kick that Sam Taylor dropped before Half-Time, and Heath Shaw finding Ed Richards in the goal square, in a classic Heater moment of mandess.

But, obviously, the highlight of the night:

THE MARVEL MELEE

How to make boring games watchable – Start a brawl

Several great pieces of individual brilliance there: The person in the Channel 7 production truck turning up the crowd noise to match the biff, and Libba slotting the goal and getting involved in the rematch.

And, thanks to the AFLPA organising discounts on fines, that whole thing cost a mere $7750 across 15 players.

Absolute value.

Anyway, in another reason to forget the actual game, this was the lowest aggregate score in the history of Docklands Stadium, no thanks to Bailey Dale stubbing his toe from 5m out.

“My left foot, always better than the right one”

Luckily for Bailey, that wasn’t even in the Top 5 for worst kicks seen this weekend.


Sydney Swans 10.11-71 defeated North Melbourne 8.12-60 at Marvel Stadium

The natural enemy of the Norf.

A team who plays the exact same way as them, with far more success to show for it.

The grand streak goes on – The Swans still haven’t lost to the Roos in Melbourne since 2007.

The signs were there when the Roos were dealt a bad blow before the game, with Ben Cunnington a late withdrawal for Aiden ‘Shin’ Bonar.

It’s somewhat ironic, because North fans usually get a Bonar watching Cunnington play.

Anyway, with Feathers Cunnington gone, the Roos, despite Jy Simpkin’s top notch performance, really seemed to lack their usual Shinboner mongrel in the midfield, and the Swans ended up making North’s advantage in their cherished contested disposal count negligible, the centre clearances were only 11-10 North’s way, and George Hewett tagged Shaun Higgins all day, and kept him to 11 disposals.

The other disappointing feature of the Roos was their goalkicking, made all the more embarrassing by no crowds (Actually, the Roos are used to that), and the fact that Docklands with a closed roof is regarded as the definition of perfect conditions.

Example A – Goldie being unsure if he should go the banana from the pocket, with his brain compelling him to take step and play on.

He subsequently kicked the ball like a ruckman.

Still slightly more accurate than the ARC in the 2nd Quarter.

The Swans made them pay time and again for their errors, despite failing to reach their unofficial quota of 11 goals a game for the first time in 2020, and those old Souths supporters would’ve loved to see the Bloods fighting spirit on display.

Like when Will Hayward didn’t give up on a pissy stoush with Jy Simpkin, despite getting turned into Cornholio.

Apparently Hayward smacking Jasper Pittard high after the ball was well and truly out of play wasn’t weird enough from him.

In amidst their unsuccesful final quarter comeback, North have also revived the interchange ‘Flash cards’ fad from the start of 2019, sending some kind of message using the old logo of Georgia Tech.

A clear message to go to Plan Bee, and attack any Swans players with allergies to bee stings.

Apparently they didn’t have any.


Collingwood 12.9-81 defeated St Kilda 5.7-37 at the MCG

That’s 3 games in a row where Collingwood have conceded their highest score of the season.

Pissweak Bucks, fix it up.


Carlton 12.7-79 defeated Geelong 11.11-77 at GMHBA Stadium

“Carlton are beatable” – Chris Scott

Can I just say that beard is immaculate

Well, now we know the precise train that was blaring it’s horn during Gil McLachlan’s impromptu press conference on Saturday afternoon:

IT WAS THE TEAGUE TRAIN HEADED FOR GEELONG.

Based on things I said in the Preview, it also appears I have eggs headed for my face, because I declared the Blues would get flattened, and Kade Simpson would join Kevin Murray on the all-time record for most losses for a player, only for the Bluebaggers to turn up and produce what could very well be their best win this century.

And it was all set up by managing to do the donkey work in the opening 3 quarters, and waiting until the Final Quarter to get absolutely dominated.

Instead of leaving Blues fans frustrated that they’d gone 7 goals down, they left them all clutching at their hearts at almost blowing a 7 goal lead.

Sure, some of them might go close to death, but at least you’re winning.

For the first 3 Quarters, it was as if the Cats had an arrogant mindset that they were playing what everyone thought was a pack of overawed shit kickers, and just assumed they could half-arse it and win – Which they very nearly did.

Then again, Geelong does have a bad history of counting their chickens before they hatch.

08 was replaced with “F**king Nearly”

Aside from Patty Cripps, it was the big guys who did the job for the Blues.

Jacob Weitering creamed Tom Hawkins, Mitch McGovern shaved his beard, Harry McKay and Levi Casboult were clunking everything, and Marc Pittonet was the dominant force in the ruck, and it should say something about Geelong’s non-approach to ruckman that Tomahawk was more effective than either Rhys Stanley or Esava Ratugolea.

Speaking of Esava, he did do a very good job at manning the goal line and giving us a beautiful Golden Fist contender, saving a certain goal…

To the Tomahawk.

Mitch Duncan hitting the post from 15m out was bad, Ablett shanking a kick from 20 out deep into the 4th Quarter was bad, Miers playing on from Rohan’s free kick and getting spoiled by Sam Docherty on the line was bad, and they all helped the Cats get rolled..

But, why the hell WOULD YOU NOT AT LEAST ATTEMPT TO MARK THE DAMN BALL.

YOU HAD THE BLOODY POSITION, ESAVA.

EVEN DANE RAMPE WAS LAUGHING AT HOW DUMB THAT WAS.

Still, if all those moments helped the Cats lose, then there was one beloved Navy Blue in baggy shorts who kept his head in a crisis, created something from nothing, and won Carlton a famous victory.

EDDIE.

The best small forward still on Adelaide’s books.


Brisbane Lions 10.14-74 defeated West Coast 6.8-44 at The Gabba

Praise be to Fagan.

It was only fitting that Thursday was the anniversary of the Battle Of Waterloo, because the Gold Coast hub is turning into West Coast’s Waterloo.

I lie, it’s probably closer to their Vietnam.

Think about it – It’s a humid landscape with unique conditions, the natives have beaten them senseless for weeks, everyone who got sent there seems to absolutely hate the place, and a majority of their supporters want the Government to bring them home.

Adam Simpson already nailed his team’s colours to the mast and said the Eagles are going home regardless of what happens after the Richmond game in Round 5, although with the rate that Victoria is tracking with another outbreak, they’ll probably get back before then.

It’s not just that they’re all pissing and whinging about their lot in life, it’s that they’re also bordering on useless on the field.

Case in point, Andrew Gaff had 30 disposals, second-most on the ground behind Lachie Neale with 32, apparently making him close to the best Eagle on the ground, other than Nic Nat, who was only up against The Big O and Archie Smith, a work experience kid who apparently has a basketball background.

You wouldn’t even know that Gaffy had 30 touches, because half of them didn’t even find a teammate, whereas Neale would be $1.05 to get 3 Brownlow votes, thanks to racking up 7 clearances, 7 tackles, and nailing 2 goals.

Still, Gaffy was more effective than Tim Kelly and Elliot Yeo, which sums up the Eagles midfield performances this past fortnight.

Wild fact – This is the first time Brisbane have won a game without skipper Dayne Zorko (Who was withdrawn with achilles soreness) since he debuted in Round 7 of 2012.


Gold Coast 12.10-82 defeated Adelaide 4.5-29 at Metricon Stadium

Sound the trumpet of victory

It appears Channel 7 wanted Matt Rowell on free to air ASAP, and they abruptly got their wish, after someone in the production department hatched a scheme to lure Conor McKenna to an open house viewing.

Whoever that individual was, well, they’re a creative brain with a bright future, because Victoria got to witness a piece of history; The Suns finally complete the set of victories against every current club in the game.

The first victim was Port Adelaide… the last was Adelaide.

They also brought up a nice milestone in their opening quarter bashing of the Crows – The first time they’ve kept a team scoreless in a quarter after 800 previous attempts.

The Crows didn’t even register an Inside 50 until 16 minutes into the game, such was the Suns dominance.

Still, they could only kick 2.7, giving the Crows a slight sniff that they could find a way back, but Stewie Dew just said “Kick straighter” in his Quarter Time address, and they kicked 8 goals without a miss to really turn this game into a well-deserved thumping.

One of those goals was kicked by their lord and saviour Matt Rowell, who apparently won Nathan Buckley’s admiration by playing with a tucked-in jumper, and running towards goal and casually slotting a sausage roll from 50 on his non-preferred, because he’s Matt Rowell, and he can do that sort of thing.

Life continued to crap on the Crows when Darcy MacPherson centered a kick for Ben Ainsworth in a 1 on 2 in the goal square.

All the Crows could do was watch, as it floated through for a goal.

No wonder Matty Nicks was nearly in tears.

And, in light of Mark Ricciuto’s comments this week about several of the ex-Crows who have left the club – One of them being Sun Hugh Greenwood – Let’s enjoy Hughie’s Twitter conversation with Roo this evening, given he was traded for apparently being slow and not fitting their age profile.

THOSE 13 TACKLES WEREN’T HALF-BAD EITHER, ROO.


Essendon vs Melbourne at the MCG

THIS SECTION HAS BEEN QUARANTINED DUE TO A COVID-19 CASE


Port Adelaide 10.10-70 defeated Fremantle 6.5-41 at Metricon Stadium

It looked like the makings of very nice contest in the 1st Quarter, as the Dockers came out flying and led by a goal, really matching it with a Port team who are leading the race to become the June premier.

Then it started raining.

As we all know, if you combine electricity with water, you’re in deep shit.

Port had 22 Inside 50s in a row.

They kicked 5.4 to nothing, as Freo spent 20 minutes getting beaten with a lead pipe.

It was pretty much over after that.

Just to rub it in for Justin Longmuir, it didn’t rain for the rest of the game.

And Fremantle have to play the Gold Coast next week.

It truly is a great time to be a WA footy fan….

Who doesn’t support either the Eagles or Dockers.

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