AFL

Random thoughts on Round 14 of the AFL

First of all, I’d like to see a market on which Richmond player will commit a very questionable act on-field and subsequently get away with it when Michael Christian is tread on like a front door rug by the Tribunal.

Other than that, I’ve got a few other things on my mind:


Thursday


Hawthorn vs Essendon at the Adelaide Oval, 4:10pm ACST

While the Adelaide Oval is a historically strange place for a Hawks-Bombers punch-up, I would point out that the VFL sent both clubs to the Gabba to play a game in 1981, at a time when national expansion was being mooted, and they played an exhibition game in Japan in 1987, so Adelaide isn’t such a foreign land.

And yes, you read that part correctly – Hawthorn and Essendon played the Aussie Bowl in Yokohama, on a baseball field, on the always safe AstroTurf.

The rare sight of players going around in runners

Anyway, Dons fans must be frothing with excitement at the thought of this weird looking unit being back playing in an Essendon guernsey after 15 months on the sidelines, full of unanswered trade requests.

Look at Joey Daniher’s face.

It’s like my dog after realising I’m getting her lead out for a walk.

Richmond vs West Coast at Metricon Stadium, 7:10pm AEST

The wonderful absurdity of the AFL’s 2020 fixturing.

Richmond have to play a game in the high humidity of Darwin on Saturday, travel back to Queensland, and effectively have 3 days preparation, while West Coast play on Sunday evening, travel to Queensland on Monday, and only have 2 days to prepare.

Stuff injuries, we need MONEY MONEY MONEY.

The latest epic clash between the two most recent Premiers, and Eagles supporters will probably miss out on seeing whoever Tom Lynch whacks off the ball, because the game starts at 5:10 here in ‘Wait Awhile’, and they’ll all be driving home bumper to bumper on the Kwinana Freeway after knocking off from work.

Of course, Richmond do have a good history of committing atrocities against Eagles players – Look no further than Ty ‘Charles Manson’ Vickery randomly knocking out Dean Cox with a round arm in 2014.

That’s one way to guarantee victory in a ruck duel.

Weird fact – Despite both teams winning the last 3 Premierships, West Coast and Richmond have only played each other 3 times since the start of 2017.

They haven’t played each other twice in a season since 2009.

2021 – Sort it out.


Friday


Western Bulldogs vs Geelong at Metricon Stadium, 7:50pm AEST

Ah yes, it’s the Canines versus the Felines in the House Pet Cup.

Personally, I’ve been a Dog person for 16 years, but one thing that definitely can’t be debated between the two creatures is that Cats have historically performed better in football teams.

On another note, I imagine the Dogs will be wearing black armbands on Friday Night, as a mark of respect to former Scraggers player Neil Sachse, who passed away last night aged 69, sadly remembered as the only player in VFL/AFL history to become paralysed (In his case, a quadraplegic) by an on-field injury, which occurred against Fitzroy in Round 2 of 1975, in only his 2nd VFL game after crossing the border after a successful career at North Adelaide.

This was a story about Sachse from the 7:30 Report in 2009:

A wonderful human being who used a horrible moment in his life as a catalyst to improve the lives of those with spinal cord injuries through the Neil Sachse Foundation, and in doing so, became a role model and inspiration for quadriplegics.

From what I’ve read, Sachse’s jumper from that game, which was cut open by the Ambos, still resides in the Dogs museum at the Whitten Oval.


Saturday


Port Adelaide vs Sydney at the Adelaide Oval, 1:15pm ACST

I think it’s very nice of Fox Footy to put on a live broadcast of Port Adelaide’s Saturday afternoon training session, just to fill in the gaping hole in the timeslot where a game would usually be.

Apparently the Power will deck the marker cones out in Red and White and run a bit of match simulation as they prepare for a big September campaign, which will inevitably end in a crushing exit from stage right.

Speaking of Port training sessions, Ken Hinkley whipped out a Prison Bar lace-up at Alberton today:

I hope nobody broke a finger.

Fremantle vs GWS at Optus Stadium, 2:40pm AWST

This is Freo’s last home game in their actual home in 2020, as they fly off to Cairns to top the Cowboys as the most popular team in North Queensland, and assuming the Western Australian bid for the Grand Final is beaten by the Banana Benders, and the Eagles fail to buy that Round 18 game against North Melbourne, this will be the last AFL game in Perth for the foreseeable future.

Finally, we’re getting rid of those poorly behaved bubble-breaching Eastern Staters.

Anyway, who the heck knows which GWS will turn up.

Even Leon Cameron and the Giants playing group don’t know.

Will it be something resembling The AFL’s Ferrari GWS, or will it be this current GWS, which more closely resembles Minardi.

Melbourne vs St Kilda at Traeger Park, Alice Springs, 7:10pm ACST

It’s time for the annual Heart of the Nation Game which the Dees play in Alice Springs every year, albeit this year with a reduced crowd of 2,500 at Traeger Park, and if you want to see something unique, like we saw with the Dreamtime In Darwin last weekend:

The Dees are going to be running out to a version of It’s a Grand Old Flag in the local Arrernte language, performed by Warren H. Williams:

From Melbourne’s Twitter

I reckon they should ask Richard Fejo back for another Welcome To Country.

On another note, if the Sainters win this game, and bearing in mind it is the Demons, so you’d give them every chance – They’d almost be a moral lock to make their first finals series since 2011.

Then again, it is St Kilda, so Murphy’s Law applies to this scenario.


Sunday


Carlton vs Collingwood at the Gabba, 3:35pm AEST

It may be at a Cricket Ground that isn’t quite the MCG, but not only is this technically the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1970 Grand Final, as the Bluebaggers came from 44 points down at Half Time to win the highest-attended match in league history (121,696) but it also could be a historical moment in the 128 year history of the Carlton-Collingwood rivalry.

Through 123 years of VFL/AFL football, the current head-to-head is a mere 127-4-126 in favour of Carlton, who have been ahead on the ledger since Round 3 of 1982, having squared it in the 1981 Grand Final.

Think about that – Only a win apart after 123 years.

Now that’s a rivalry.

Anyway, it’d absolutely be Collingwood to immediately go back to being 2 wins behind with all the outs they have, as Nathan Buckley achieves the rare feat of 200 games as both a player and a coach.

Do I dare make a joke about how the man once known as FIGJAM played 200 AFL games without winning a Premiership, and now he’s coached 200 games without winning a Premiership?

Gold Coast vs North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium, 6:10pm AEST

A major stat that the Suns will have to improve on this week:

Last week, they axed more assistant coaches than they kicked goals against Carlton.

6 axings versus 4 goals.

Fix it Stewie.


BYES: Brisbane & Adelaide

Considering this will be the first Round all season where the Crows can’t lose, it’s easily the best weekend of Matty Nicks’ tenure thus far.

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