AFL

Meaningless AFL Review: Round 8, 2020

I would like to shake this man’s hand if I ever escape Western Australia (From Dan Cherny)

Things that are no longer possible due to COVID-19:

Handshakes

High-Fives

Travel to the USA

3 Quarter-Time Comebacks

I can’t tell what’s funnier – The fact that there’s only been 1 comeback from a deficit at the final break through 71 games of this season, or the fact that the only team to pull off the fabled comeback was North Melbourne.

Against a St Kilda team currently in 4th.

Reality is strange.


Western Bulldogs 7.9-51 defeated Gold Coast 6.10-46 at Metricon Stadium

Another prime time thriller, and through everything, I think I saw Touk Miller execute one of the all-time great tackles to get a holding the ball.

HE DID A FRIKKIN’ FRONT FLIP ON MARCUS BONTEMPELLI AND BROUGHT HIM DOWN.

That is A-grade.

To state the obvious, despite the low scoring, it was a very good contest, but I think the Suns youthful exuberance probably did them in.

Look at the 2nd Quarter, where the Suns took the lead early on thanks to a goal to Izak Rankine, then spent at least 15 minutes pinning the Dogs in their own defensive 50.

They could only manage 3 behinds.

The wise heads in the Dogs defence didn’t panic (Caleb Daniel was bordering on best afield), and they finally got the ball forward just before Half Time, and one thing leads to another, Patrick Lipinski snapped through a goal to put the visitors back in front.

It happened again at various points in the last quarter, specifically for young Rankine, who had his first down night in his mighty 3 game career.

4 shots on goal in the last quarter, and he came away with 4 behinds, the most frustrating of which had to be his last one, when he took a fantastic mark in the right forward pocket, only to miss near side, when a goal would’ve tied the scores with 4 minutes left.

Sure he may have failed terribly each time, but in what I can only take as a positive, he had the guts to back himself and actually take those kicks…. he just had none of the execution.

On a night where he gave us the cracking double meaning “Add that to the Rankine file”, Dwayne Russell’s buzzword of the night was “Spanked it.”

Imagine using that to describe an everyday event.

“He spanked it in the presence of his wife and kids.”


GWS Giants 9.8-62 defeated Richmond 6.14-50 at GIANTS Stadium

The Orange Soviet Victory Dance

Yes – Toby Greene is quite good.

While Dusty played his best game all year for the Tiges and earned most of Channel 7’s possibly homoerotic praise, that loveable little rascal Toby returned from injury and one-upped him big time on the scoreboard with 5 goals straight, ensuring GWS stood up in a game they absolutely needed to respond in, especially with how barbaric last year’s Grand Final turned out.

In watching Toby, I’,m inclined to agree that the likes of Darren Parkin, Riley Beveridge and Cam Mooney are on to something.

If you ranked the most important player to every team through 1-18, Greene is No.1.

Ben Cunnington for North might very well be up there, given the way the Kangaroos have turned into roadkill without him, but Toby turns the Giants from 22 limp-wristed individuals to the actual Top 4/Top 8 contenders they can be.

On the other side, despite all of their outs, the Tigers definitely weren’t disgraced, but that scoreline tells the story – They were nothing short of crap in front of goal.

6.14, after winning the Inside 50 count 46-32, and yet, there was a time in the 3rd Quarter where they went behind by 27 points.

To their credit, they got back to within a goal in the last quarter, but despite a glut of chances, they didn’t actually kick a goal in the final stanza… The only major for either team was Greene kicking his 5th off the pack like a good small forward should.

Anyway, for many like-minded individuals, there was only one important takeaway from the game….

RICHMOND ARE 9TH AGAIN.

Cheap regurgitated humour.

It’s my forte.


Carlton 9.10-64 defeated North Melbourne 9.3-57 at the Gabba

Well, better start straight from the top:

Jasper Pittard doing a good impression of me, and being a blonde fake tough guy, costing Jared Polec a shot on 3/4 time to potentially put North in front.

And you thought Jamie Macmillan’s handball to David Cunningham for a cheap goal in the 1st Quarter would be the dumbest thing a North player would provide us.

If Pittard is a leader at North, I can see why they’re absolutely rooted.

A good tough win to the Blues, which was far better than an honourable loss like last week, and they did it the hard way, considering Harry McKay was withdrawn, robbing us of the identical McKay twin battle against Ben, Mitch McGovern spent the 2nd Half on the bench with a bad hamstring, and Patrick Cripps was nullified by some extreme tactics by the Shinbonders, including crash-tackling the skipper off the ball.

On a rainy day with a glorious total of 56 free kicks, a player getting tackled off the ball was not one of them.

Still, at last, Carlton have a Kennedy who can play up forward that they won’t trade to West Coast.


Sydney 9.6-60 defeated Hawthorn 7.11-53 at the SCG

44%

That’s not Hawthorn’s percentage after they play Carlton on Friday, that was their kicking efficiency FOR THE GAME – The 4th worst performance of any team in the last 15 years.

In the last quarter, it was 28%.

As if you needed reminding, this is the same club that as recently as 5 years ago, prided itself on kicking the ball better than any other, a strategic fundamental focus that helped win them a hat-trick of premierships.

And look at them now….. that 10 hour video of TV static on YouTube is easier on the eyes… and the ears.

The Hawks were the oldest team in Round 7, compared to the Swans, who were the youngest, and by golly, they both played like their age profile.

They may be devoid of some quality players, but the Swans actually showed a bit of youthful exuberance and made a point of taking the game on, which is something the Hawks were once again too shit-scared to even attempt out of fear of making a mistake and getting yelled at, Dane Rampe had one hand functioning yet still had Mitchell Lewis covered, the Swans used the ball far better, they set up plenty of situations for their forwards to make an impact, and the end result was Tom Papley shat on Blake Hardwick all ends up, and became the game winner with 4 goals to keep his nose in front in the Coleman.

Of course, all we can talk about is Alastair Clarkson, in relation to Papley’s only free kick of the night that got him that extra goal before Half-Time, saying Papley milks free kicks as good as anyone, which lasted about 30 seconds of a 10 minute presser, and had Horse Longmire and the Swans crying with laughter in the aisles, so much so they cracked the shits and demanded an apology.

The Frawley bump on Papley was downright stupid for the simple fact that Chip did it in front of an umpire, like he had an actual potato for a brain, and the resulting extra goal was the full stop on the sentence.

And that’s pretty much where we’re at… the Swans had a crack and they earned their first win in a month, and the Hawks are just too stupid to function as a unit.

I feel disturbingly confident saying that Hawthorn will not win another game in 2020.

The senior players aren’t just down on confidence, they’re just no good anymore, they have absolutely no pride, and this shithouse negative defensive gameplan Clarko persists with is just the knife in the heart.

Riding the bumps with a grin? What a laugh.


St Kilda 12.1-73 defeated Port Adelaide 6.8-44 at the Adelaide Oval

July 19, 2020 – St Kilda has never won at the Adelaide Oval, and hasn’t defeated either South Australian team in 9 years.

July 25, 2020 – St Kilda have defeated both South Australian teams at the Adelaide Oval…..

With the most accurate goalkicking performance by a winning team in history.

And to back that up, the Saints are the first team to win a game kicking 1 behind in 120 years, and it’s all thanks to this guy turning up at Moorabbin:

As for who kicked their only behind, it was Dan Butler, who kicked a dribbler from the boundary line in the 1st Quarter and hit the post.

The Saints had winners everywhere – Paddy Ryder and Todd Marshall made Peter Ladhams squeal like a pig, thumping him in the ruck and kicking 2 goals apiece, Cal Wilkie put Robbie Gray to sleep, Dougal Howard came back to haunt Ken Hinkley & Charlie Dixon, Butler and Tim Membrey kicked 2 goals up forward, Zac Jones & Jack Steele in the middle…

Their ridiculous accuracy kept them in it, and in the last quarter, they pulled Port’s pants down.

With the game in the balance with 10 minutes to go, Port’s fate was sealed by the last action Justin Westhoff may ever perform on an AFL ground.

Dropped and given a reprieve when Trent McKenzie was injured, The Hoff took a very nice intercept mark in St Kilda’s 50, and he spotted up a target at half-back.

The only problem was he missed Darcy Byrne-Jones by a good 10 metres, and kicked it straight to Dan Butler, who slotted a goal straight over the Hoff’s head, who had the look on his face that said “I am stuffed with a capital F.”

But, I can’t end on that note, so here’s Tim Membrahimovic kicking one of the most accidentally brilliant goals ever seen:

Port Adelaide….. what a bunch of hub track bullies.


Essendon 9.8-62 defeated Adelaide 8.11-59 at the Adelaide Oval

More correctly, Essendon defeated Essington.

In fact, the Essington was so strong in the last quarter, it made Conor McKenna completely forget which ball sport he was playing at an inconvenient moment, and gifted Lachie Murphy what turned out to be the last goal of the game.

Another possible example of an Essington that I noticed was Matt Crouch and Jacob Townsend getting reported…

FOR A SIMULTANEOUS HEADBUTT.

They ended up bloodying each other, but on the bright side, they were having a laugh about it post-game, and so was Michael Christian, who let them off.

Aside from the Essington lurking within them, the Ned Cahill-Bombers had to overcome the dreaded 93-year drought of Ned-less wins for VFL/AFL teams.

Then again, the Crows also had Ned McHenry, so the drought was guaranteed to end, in a triumphant moment for Neds everywhere.

Despite the closeness on the scoreboard, the trend of the game was that the Bombers would kick a goal, the Crows would respond, then the Dons would hit back and keep themselves ahead.

Further to that, the last time the Crows led in the game was 7 minutes into the 2nd Quarter, which seems funny to think, given the game wasn’t decided until 15 seconds remaining.

Essendon may have Essington’ed themselves to the brink of oblivion against the bottom team, which they’re no strangers to actually pulling off, but right now, the Crows have reached the stage where you could claim they’ve got amnesia.

Because they can’t even remember how to win.

1.6 in the last quarter…. just when life couldn’t get any bleaker at West Lakes.

Well, at least they’ve actually got a home ground to go to, so you can see them winning sometime soon.

Chayce Jones has still never played in a winning team.

Poor bastard.


West Coast Eagles 18.3-111 defeated Collingwood 6.9-45 at Optus Stadium

I like how Josh Kennedy has this uncanny ability to look absolutely cooked, but simultaneously look like he’s still one of the best key forwards in the game.

It’s probably the beard.

Following his 4 goals last week, JK kicked 7 goals without a miss, falling agonisingly short of being awarded the 4 points for outscoring Collingwood and setting the new benchmark in 2020 goalkicking.

All because bloody Tom Cole got caught holding the ball late in the game.

In hindsight, the Pies were skewered the moment Scott Pendlebury withdrew himself from the game 5 minutes before the bounce with quad tightness, having done everything short of toss the coin, forcing the Pies to play a game without Pendlebury or Steele Sidebottom for the first time since the end of 2009.

Without their leader, combined with losing their best forward long-term, the Pies still had their typical fast start and led by 20 points at one stage in that opening term, although given it was Collingwood after Quarter Time, the scoring dried up and the guts fell out of the arse, as the Eagles terrifyingly sprouted wings for the first time all season.

It was the most thorough destruction of any team I’ve seen this year: Up forward, the Eagles had the highest score of the year, and their kicking at goal was arguably better than St Kilda’s the previous night, considering they kicked about 13 goals in a row without a miss, Nic Naitanui and Oscar Allen demolished Brodie Grundy so thoroughly in the ruck that Bucks had to throw Grundy up forward, the quick & direct ball movement through the middle from Yeo, Shuey, Gaff and Kelly, and their McGovern-less backline barely had to blink after quarter time.

As the back-up ruck and third tall forward, Allen played his part superbly, summed up by this individual effort to start the 3rd Term, not only keeping Liam Ryan’s snap in play, but completely hoodwinking the Pies defenders and popping through another goal.

West Coast’s performance up forward also came with Jack Darling producing yet another another random moment of “Let’s drop an absolute sitter in front of goal,” only this one wasn’t at the Punt Road End in the crucial stage of a Grand Final.

Finishing on the subject of Eagles forwards, Liam Ryan had every right to sit out the game, given he was still grieving the loss of his nephew/godson, who was hit and killed by a truck riding to school on Wednesday, which wwas why the Eagles all wore black armbands.

But, he played, and I think everyone at West Coast was glad he did, because with the game sealed, Ryan took that mark in the goal square, kicked the goal, and pointed to the sky with tears in his eyes, and what followed left even heartless bozos like me with a lump in our throat.

And just for good measure, he did a Flyin’ Ryan on Matt Scharenberg’s head with 4 minutes remaining.


Brisbane Lions 7.11-53 defeated Melbourne 7.7-49 at Metricon Stadium

It was a hard-fought contest between the twin hoodoos of ‘2nd On The Ladder Can’t Win’ versus ‘Teams Trailing At 3/4 Time Can’t Win’, and at the end of the day, the 2nd Place Curse was BROKEN.

In a game where goals were like liquid gold, I think there was a decisive moment deep in the 3rd Quarter, when Harley Bennell was clean through on goal, and shanked his kick from 15m out.

Wouldn’t you know it, the Lions worked the ball forward with some excellent tap work straight to Charlie Cameron, who turned up the wick on the Harley, and sailed in to kick what would turn out to be Brisbane’s last goal of the game.

While one Harley spluttered and misfired, the other was going better than Peter Fonda’s bike in Easy Rider.

So obviously Melbourne charged at the Lions in the last quarter, as their momentum was not stifled by an utterly needless score review for a Jake Lever mark that never crossed the behind line, and while that was a slight arse-up, what Bailey Fritsch did to give away that 50m penalty with 90 seconds remaining was idiocy at it’s finest.

The clock isn’t even running because the kick from Mitch Hannan went out on the full, and you can absolutely hear the umpire tells him 3 times “Bailey give him the footy….”

BAILEY, GIVE HIM THE FOOTY.

After that, the only time Melbourne touched the ball for the rest of the game was Steven May’s stray handball that ended up in Eric Hipwood’s hands, who sent up the kick inside 50 that Dan McStay marked and saw out time.

On that note, McStay will be McGoing to the McSidelines for the next 2 games…. The AFL obviously weren’t too happy with him electing to bump Nevilla Jetta when Nev was charging head-first into him, leaving us a couple of centimetres away from another potential Neil Sachse incident.


Geelong 6.12-48 defeated Fremantle 2.4-16 at Optus Stadium

“David Mundy has waited his entire career for Mundy night football” – Huddo

Of all the games of VFL/AFL footy that have been staged, that was one.

It honestly reminded me of a WAFL game I had to cover for Uni between Peel Thunder and West Perth in 2016.

It rained all day, the home team couldn’t buy a goal, and they got well-beaten in a low-scoring game to forget.

When you think about it, Peel and Freo really are perfect for each other.

With their tall players being wiped out one by one, Brennan Cox was a late out for Freo, and in came Tobe ‘Linguini’ Watson, who sounds like he was cloned from Jobe & Tim Watson’s back hairs, while looking like a French chef in a Pixar film.

I reckon he did have a rat on his head, because he wasn’t awful.

Of course, Linguini wasn’t the only player to debut – Brad Close, grandson of acclaimed actress Glenn Close, debuted for the Cats, and he provided the only discernible highlight of the opening half, by joining the First Kick, First Goal club within the opening minute.

That was just about the best kick all night

And besides Geelong getting a percentage boosting win in a game where they kicked 6 goals, and Caleb Serong being so right and ensuring Freo only kicked their 2nd lowest score ever…..

Nothing else of note happened.

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