AFL 2019: Knee Jerk Reaction – Round 12

What did we learn from Round 12?

Give them the Cup now.

Geelong gave Richmond and their fans a false sense of security when they failed to score a goal in the first quarter. From that moment on though, they reduced a highly anticipated Friday Night contest into a painful experience for anyone without Geelong allegiances or sympathies.

In recording their lowest ever total against the Cats at the MCG, it was a painful wake up call for the Tigers. The ease at which they were swept aside by the competition leaders, was an ominous warning from a team at the top of their game.

It was all the coach part one.

After running out of patience with Brendon Bolton during the week, the Blues hosted the Lions with David Teague in the coaching hot seat at Marvel Stadium. When Brisbane ran out to a six goal lead early in the second quarter, it appeared that coaching Carlton may have been a little more difficult than the board gave Bolton credit for. However, what transpired next will give the Carlton crew a lot more confidence for the future.

For the Lions, who had no answers for a rampant Patrick Cripps who had 38 touches and kicked four goals, their trip to the Docklands may well prove a costly one. In a tight competition, a June slip up against the wooden spoon favourites could be the difference between playing finals and making holiday plans in September.

It was all the coach part two.

It seems like only yesterday that the Kangaroos executed their horrifically mismanaged exit of Coach Brad Scott. His successor Rhys Shaw has since overseen two victories to turn Scott’s farewell victory into a three game winning streak for the Kangaroos. Is there a fairytale finals charge on the cards for the men from Arden Street?

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A Giant win for the Crows.

The Crows put themselves into Top Four contention with an important win over the previously high flying Giants. Perhaps even more pleasing for Don Pyke was the performances of the much maligned Josh Jenkins and Tex Walker.

For the Giants who led at the mid way point of the last quarter, it was an opportunity lost. While they were defeated by quality opposition, their premiership credentials will remain in question until they can consistently win away from home.

Eagles continue to falter in Sydney

Despite not having won at the SCG this century, there would not have been many people prepared to tip against the Eagles ahead of their weekend match up with the Swans. Yet their performance did not match the expectation, with a rampaging Buddy Franklin putting paid to the Eagles hopes of moving into second place on the AFL ladder.

Hot Pies, Cold Dees

The Pies reasserted themselves as Geelong’s biggest threat with a comprehensive victory on Queens Birthday Monday. The two teams aren’t scheduled to meet again during the home and away season, so we will be left to watch them circle each other from a distance until a potential meeting in September.

Umpires in the news.

The AFL’s edict to protect their umpires from fans abuse hit another flashpoint on Saturday. A Carlton supporter was ejected from Marvel Stadium for sharing with Matthew Nicholls a less than flattering opinion of his performance.

In the midst of this strong arm approach from the game’s governing body, fans were left bewildered by the performances of the men in white. On Saturday night, GWS received just seven free kicks despite one umpire alone finding 11 free kicks for the Crows during the game and on Monday, Jeremy Howe was robbed of a spectacular mark by a dud decision.

History Wars

Colin Carter’s crazy submission to the AFL to rewrite the history of the competition received more media attention during the week. While his intention to recognise the history of the game is noble, the way in which he wishes to do it is wrong. The VFA history is without question an important part of the story of the game in this country, yet it is not part of the history of the VFL/AFL. If Carter wants to celebrate the Cats pre-VFL flags, there is nothing stopping him, but they are not and cannot, be recognised as part of the history of the VFL/AFL

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