Footy’s back and so is the dull ache in my heart from twenty years of supporting Freo. As Pelican doesn’t have a sports editor (but we’re well on top of the weather) I’m taking it upon myself to bring you a heavily editorialised account of the AFL week that was.
ROUND 2 RESULTS
ADELAIDE (118) V RICHMOND (82) @ ADELAIDE OVAL
After an embarrassing performance in last year’s Grand Final, Adelaide brought it home for the game that really matters: the Grand Final Rematch. Josh Jenkins and skipper Tex Walker bagged five and four goals respectively for the Crows, while Dustin Martin kicked five for the Tigers. Congratulations once again to Dusty for being the AFL’s first one-man premiership side.
NORTH (95) V ST KILDA (43) @ ETIHAD OVAL
The Good Friday Match was not good, although it was on a Friday. This may be the first and last time I use the phrase ‘North Melbourne dominated.’ It was a relatively low scoring and tight affair until the fourth quarter, when the Roo’s resident eight-year old/ talented tall forward Ben Brown helped them kick away for a comfortable eight goal win win.
CARLTON (67) V GOLD COAST (101) @ ETIHAD OVAL
I did not care about this match. Suns skipper (co-captain?) Tom Lynch kicked an impressive eight goals, nearly single-handedly outscoring the beleaguered Blues. A quick glance at the stats tells me that Carlton had most of the football with 17 more inside fifties, but evidently failed to translate possession into scoring shots. Gold Coast took an early and substantial lead, and kept Carlton well and truly out of it.
COLLINGWOOD (79) V GWS (95) @ MCG
By all accounts, this was a game that happened. I did not watch it. Injuries aplenty apparently, with GWS losing Tom Scully to an ankle injury and a particularly rough accident taking out Collingwood youngster Broomhead, potentially for the whole season.
BRISBANE (74) V MELBOURNE (100) @ THE GABBA
After Max Gawn’s heartbreaking game losing miss on the siren against Geelong, Melbourne was keen to exorcise some demons (get it?) against the perennial sick man of the AFL. Jessie Hogan and Jeff Garlett shone against the Lions, scoring a handful of goals each. A high-scoring effort from both sides in the fourth quarter saw Brisbane fail to bridge the deficit left by a goalless first term. I love Dane Zorko.
FREO (106) V ESSENDON (90) @ OPTUS STADIUM
Finally, the only game I actually give a shit about. All the unkind things I’ve ever said about Matt Taberner came back to haunt me on Saturday night as he kicked four and consistently took strong overhead marks. Dave Mundy competed for the ball like a man half his age. First-gamer Michael Cera (Adam Cerra?) kicked two and instantly became a crowd favourite, alongside fellow 2018 debutants Brayshaw, Banfield and Crowden. A few slip-ups out of the backline marred an otherwise excellent game from a Fremantle defensive perspective, and probably prevented a total blowout. Joe Daniher was totally AWOL for Essendon, managing only one behind and 14 disposals. Recent Bulldogs recruit Jake Stringer (AKA the Package) still has plenty to prove to his new club. Essendon’s away strip (red on red?) is one of the worst bits of kit I’ve ever seen and probably the reason they lost. Perth Arena is a terrific venue with a huge array of public bathrooms to choose from. The post-game light show is an epilepsy lawsuit waiting to happen.
Games without Danyle Pearce: 1
Adjective that best describes Cam McCarthy’s haircut: Vile, but improving
BULLDOGS (70) V WEST COAST (121) @ ETHIHAD
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate that 23 rounds ago the Bulldogs were premiers. I refuse to give any West Coast players credit by name, especially not Luke Shuey. Some fresh faces for West Coast shone against a pathetic looking Footscray.
SYDNEY (71) V PORT ADELAIDE (94) @ SCG
Port Adelaide may be actual contenders this year, but I feel like people have saying that for years. A big second half for Port (with Charlie Dixon doing a stellar job filling in for Ryder in the ruck) and Sydney’s inability to capitalise on inside fifties did the job. Buddy was Sydney’s only multiple goalscorer and to add injury to insult to injury, Hannebery might miss next week’s derby with in-form cross town rivals GWS after a knee injury in the final term.
HAWTHORN (118) V GEELONG (117) @ MCG
Yawn. The two most successful teams of the last ten years played a highly competitive and exciting brand of attacking footy. Give me Ross Lyon’s 2013 defensive fuckfest over this high scoring, energetic crap any day of the week. Seeing the life drain out of Chris Scott’s face as they conceded the game losing point was refreshing. Selwood is a ducking cheat, but what else is new?
BAD TIPS FOR ROUND 3
Carlton v Collingwood
Port v Brisbane
Melbourne v North Melbourne
Gold Coast v Fremantle
Sydney v GWS
St Kilda v Adelaide
Richmond v Hawthorn
Bulldogs v Essendon
West Coast v Geelong
More to come next round.
Hugh Hutchison | @ugh_hutch
Kepler Bradley was an under-appreciated key forward.