Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat – Round 4 (ANZAC Day)

Which one is Australia and which one is New Zealand?

This historic week started off with Melbourne pulling off a mild upset in beating Richmond.  The game was back and forth for the first half, but Melbourne pulled away in the second to even their record at 2-2 while Richmond falls to 2-2.  The game featured this great mark from Big Ben Griffiths:

As far as I know, Australian Big Ben has never made questionable decisions regarding bathrooms and females, so I feel good about posting his highlight video.

I had promised my buddy that I would drive him to the airport on Friday night, so the logical thing was to go to a bar beforehand and watch the early St. Kilda-Carlton game on my tablet using the bar’s wifi while enjoying some beverages.

That guy in green is going to go all Big Ben on the girl in purple.

By the time we needed to leave for the airport, a little bit into the third quarter, St. Kilda was in full command with a decent 16 point lead.  Imagine my surprise when I returned home, popped the game on, and discovered that Carlton were not only leading, but blowing the Saints away!  I mentioned it last week, but it is really surprising how quickly momentum can change in this game and how teams are really not out of it until the very end.

A perfect example of that was the Sydney Swans – Fremantle Dockers battle of unbeatens which I managed to catch the end of early on Saturday morning.  Fremantle started off hot in the first quarter but really turned it up by only allowing Sidney to score 2 behinds in the second term en route to a 48 point half-time lead.  Of course, Sidney came roaring back and only allowed Fremantle 1 behind in the third to get the margin down to 3 points midway through the 4th.  Fremantle finally came back to life, though, and finished off the Swans to remain unbeaten.

The other game I was able to see live on Friday night was the Essendon-Collingwood game which has become a bit of a rivalry as the two teams have now been scheduled to meet every ANZAC Day. It was a back and forth low-scoring game which Collingwood ultimately won by 20.  It featured this great goal from Downtown BFE by Essendon’s Dustin Fletcher:

Holy Shit!  Do you realize how far that is?  That is at least 69 meters, which is roughly 76 yards!

In one late Friday night game, the GWS Giants absolutely destroyed the Gold Coast Suns. This is really worrisome because Geelong’s sole victory in the first three rounds came against Gold Coast so

No shit Sherlock! Keep digging, Watson!

 

In the other game, Port Adelaide shocked Hawthorne with a tremendous start.  At one point, the lead was 58 in the second term. Hawthorne improved in the second half, but could only get as close as the final deficit of 8 points.  Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead, who scored 7 last week, was held goal-less while Port Adelaide’s Jay Schulz scored 5 of his own.  From what I’ve read, Hawthorn had Port Adelaide right where they wanted them at the end, but simply ran out of time.

Now that Hawthorn’s record has fallen to 2-2, I may have to revisit my idea that they are the best team in the league.  On the other hand, if they learn from the mistakes that cost them these two victories, look out.

Also out of the running for best team in the league is Adelaide, who shockingly got blown out by the Western Bulldogs. Jake Stringer forced Adelaide’s Kyle Hartigan to leave his jock on the ground in scoring his fifth goal:

Btw, I understand that the AFL players don’t wear jocks, rather something called Skinz.  That same company also sells products for women:

God Bless Australia!

 

In another Saturday night game, poor Brisbane had only this lone highlight to be proud of after getting beat handily by the West Coast Eagles.

Finally, in the game I had been waiting for all week, Geelong started the Scott family derby against North Melbourne very aggressively and got out to a 25 point lead at one point in the first.  A really stupid defensive mistake, however, resulted in a North goal late in the period and foreshadowed Geelong’s undoing as they fell to the Kangaroos by 16.  If you click on the link below, you can see the critical mistake as well as several others with our coach discussing them in the audio.

http://www.afl.com.au/video?guid=744918&t=15-75

To add insult to injury, North’s Jarrad White converted this great mark into an easy goal:

On the bright side, I feel pretty good about my level of AFL knowledge.  Analyzing the game, I see the same things that the coach spoke about in his post-game press conference

“We had control of the game today but then a few really bad errors halt your momentum and get the opposition back into the game. There were actually a few parts of the game that were much better than they have been in the previous three weeks,” Scott said.

 “I think we’ll get better as the season goes on but we have just got to bridge that gap between that first quarter of really good solid footy and then just gifting the opposition four really easy goals in the second quarter to get them back into it.”
 As the coach said, the main problem with this team is consistency.  At points, they looked just as good as Fremantle, Hawthorn, or Adelaide.  In others, they looked worse than Brisbane.
Let’s take a look at the table, shall we?
Pos. Team P W L D B F A % Pts
1
Fremantle
4 4 0 0 0 364 269 135.32 16
2
GWS Giants
4 3 1 0 0 397 298 133.22 12
3
Collingwood
4 3 1 0 0 358 279 128.32 12
4
Sydney Swans
4 3 1 0 0 335 268 125.00 12
5
Adelaide Crows
4 3 1 0 0 378 306 123.53 12
6
Western Bulldogs
4 3 1 0 0 364 348 104.60 12
7
Hawthorn
4 2 2 0 0 417 295 141.36 8
8
West Coast Eagles
4 2 2 0 0 417 335 124.48 8
9
Richmond
4 2 2 0 0 359 304 118.09 8
10
North Melbourne
4 2 2 0 0 384 371 103.50 8
11
Essendon
4 2 2 0 0 292 301 97.01 8
12
Melbourne
4 2 2 0 0 309 321 96.26 8
13
Port Adelaide
4 2 2 0 0 324 363 89.26 8
14
Carlton
4 1 3 0 0 345 422 81.75 4
15
St Kilda
4 1 3 0 0 329 424 77.59 4
16
Geelong Cats
4 1 3 0 0 293 406 72.17 4
17
Gold Coast Suns
4 0 4 0 0 314 443 70.88 0
18
Brisbane Lions
4 0 4 0 0 248 474 52.32 0
Some new faces are at the top of the table this week.  After the next round, we will be at roughly the quarter mark of the season.  Only Fremantle remains unbeaten while everyone else except Gold Coast and Brisbane is bunched up in the middle.  As Rex Ryan likes to say, there is still plenty of footy to play.  As Round 4 showed, being in front at the quarter mark means nothing.  See you next week!
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8 thoughts on “Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat – Round 4 (ANZAC Day)

  1. Holy shit. I just discovered this blog existed today. A whole new way to waste time at work!

    I can confirm that Hawthorn only needed maybe 3 or 4 more minutes to complete the epic comeback and swallow Port Adelaide’s souls. Port had nothing left by the end. It was like a complete reverse of last year’s final (for some reason, AFL calls all playoff games “finals”, and what they call “semi-finals” are actually sometimes not) where Hawthorn had a huge lead and Port climbed within 3 at the end.

    BTW, this is WhyEaglesWhy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awesome! I’m glad you found the blog! I actually mentioned you in last week’s AFL Beat post. I was telling Rikki that I was going to reach out to you to see what you thought of the blog and the posts.

      Like

  2. Damn I miss having a sport to actively follow. The Blazers are going to be out of the playoffs quite soon it looks like, and while I might be interested in following the Padres this year, I’m not willing to shell out money right now for either cable or the MLB online thing. Becoming a fan of the Timbers would mean having to interact with local Portland soccer fans, and nobody really wants to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like soccer and even I want nothing to do with Timbers fans. If you want to do a S.D. soccer thing, you can root for the Tijuana team in the Mexican league. They’re actually pretty good and their mascot is a wild dog.

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      1. Another good thing about the Tijuana team is that they make it a policy to seek out American-born kids (usually of Mexican ancestry) who aren’t playing in MLS.

        Be patriotic. Cheer for Tijuana.

        And I’m a Timbers season ticket holder, yo. And even I want nothing to do with Timbers fans.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m so happy BBR is here. Honestly, I do really enjoy Timbers games, but REAL TALK my heart was always with the Beavers (HEYYYOOOOO). I grew up going to minor league games on hot summer days all the time, and I miss having that closer. Timbers are fun, but the fandom has made it less of a casual thing–which is cool for Portland, and makes it a little more special the few times I get out there for a game.

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