Comrades of the world unite! It was the AFL Republican Round and it was one of the best, as our AFL review suggests. Forget about the Queen’s Birthday Honours and all that sort of business. We’re not even sure if the Queen has ever donned a pair of football boots, so all this talk about the Queen’s Birthday Round is not on, or to paraphrase John F. Kennedy, Ich bin ein Republikaner!
If you’d like to hear what we said would happen in Round 12, listen in to The AFL Protected Zone Podcast. One of the best! Listen in here! Or subscribe through iTunes. Or listen on SoundCloud. Or YouTube. There are many ways to listen to this great AFL podcast.
AFL Review Game 1: Sydney 12.16 defeated Western 6.6
It seems like a long long time ago now, but Round 12 started last Thursday, with Sydney trouncing Western, by 46 points. We got this one wrong, but Sydney will now rue their awful beginning to the year, where they lost their first six games. At the beginning of the year, we at The Protected Zone were laughed at when we suggested Western might miss out on finals in 2017. They’re not travelling well and will have to make some magic to make the finals. They were bossed by the Swans, and looked disinterested. If the Swans has their kicking boots on, they might have lost by even more. Not looking so good for the Bulldogs.
AFL Review Game 2: Adelaide 16.15 defeated St Kilda 7.12
Another Friday night fizzer. Seeing the mistakes that Western made against the Swans the previous night, but not learning, St Kilda also seemed disinterested and the promise they showed earlier on in the season has dissipated. Because they played so poorly, we still can’t accurately assess Adelaide. They defeat the weak teams easily, but struggle against some of the top teams. If it continues like this, they’ll be taking away the flat-track bully title from West Coast.
AFL Review Game 3: Gold Coast 13.17 defeated Hawthorn 12.7
This game started to look like a thriller in the final ten minutes, due to Hawthorn’s big comeback, almost snatching victory after being 43 points behind. But this is not the Hawthorn team of old, where they would laugh at such a deficit, put the foot down, and end up winning by 10 goals. Gold Coast played very well, and recorded one of their rare victories at the MCG. The highlight for Hawthorn was coach Alistair Clarkson being fined for saying “I’m not allowed to comment on disgraceful umpiring, so I’m better off not saying anything”. And, in a manner that would make the feared East German Stasi gestapo force very proud, the AFL fined him $20,000. This is also very similar to a scene from Franz Kafka’s The Trial, so congratulations to the AFL for behaving like the thought police.
AFL Review Game 4: Brisbane 18.13 defeated Fremantle 9.10
We are proud to say that we predicted this, when we said in our podcast: “an upset is on the cards” and said Brisbane would win. We haven’t had such confidence about predicting a Brisbane victory since the 2003 Grand Final, but they certainly put on a clinic. Fremantle were woeful and they are quickly picking up new catch-cry: ‘No Sandilands, No Fremantle’. Their third loss in a row without the big man. Brisbane were slick and fast, ending a run of nine consecutive losses. Fremantle were lost in the rain and the speed that Brisbane played at. A few things might be starting to fall into place for Brisbane. But not for Fremantle.
AFL Review Game 5: Essendon 19.17 defeated Port Adelaide 8.13
Of course the 2017 season was going to delivery this type of result. The win by Essendon was a surprise, but the even bigger surprise was the manner of defeat by Port Adelaide. Essendon were just too fast in the first quarter, taking Port Adelaide by surprise and running over the top of them in the second half. And knocking off 16 points from their large percentage. Before the match, we said Port Adelaide has that combination of attack and defence, but on Saturday, they forgot how to do both. We keep saying Essendon is an exciting team and the first quarter effort was probably their most destructive effort since the 2000 Grand Final, when they won the game by 60 points. Watch out for Essendon. Port Adelaide, back to the drawing board.
AFL Review Game 6: Carlton 10.11 defeated Greater Western Sydney 9.16
Of course the 2017 season was going to delivery this type of result. That’s not a typo, it’s repeated from the above paragraph. Seventeenth defeated first. This normally doesn’t happen, unless it happens in the 2017 season, were the first one now is later the last, and all types of weird results are dished out. This was a thriller, not in the style of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but pretty close. Not as musical but definitely a thriller. Carlton kept coming. And coming. And then some. Greater Western Sydney had their chances, but kicked 2.7 in the final quarter. Although Toby Greene is the AFL’s best DJ, he didn’t have his kicking boots on, scoring 0.5 and missing some very gettable shots in the final few minutes. The one that got away.
AFL Review Game 7: Melbourne 15.14 defeated Collingwood 15.10
This was, without a doubt, the match of the season so far. Thrills, spills, a few punches, excellent goals, and the mark of the year by the high-flying Jeremy Howe. The crowd aura was palpable for five minutes after this spectacular mark. It was goal for goal in the first quarter. Collingwood pulled away in the second. Melbourne came back in the third quarter, and the teams were separated by 1 point at three-quarter time. The tension and pressure was unbelievable, with Jack Watts sealing the match with an excellent goal in the final minute, before Alex Fasolo kicked a goal just on the siren to make the final margin just four points. Neither team deserved a loss, but it was AFL football at its absolute best. Football was the winner.