“Keepings off is beginning to turn into an epidemic in our sport.” – Mark Robinson, 3AW
“… One other spherical riddled with aesthetically woeful video games managed by danger averse, defence-first coaches.” – Damien Barrett, afl.com.au
What’s unsuitable with these folks? The above feedback went public on Sunday.
Saturday noticed two of probably the most stirring victories of the last decade.
Higher Western Sydney have been up in opposition to one of many hardest duties in footy, going through an undefeated Geelong at GMHBA Stadium as heavy underdogs.
They then misplaced Callan Ward to an ACL within the opening minutes. With their shattered captain brazenly crying on the bench, the Giants have been the most effective a part of 4 targets down for lengthy levels of the primary two and a half quarters earlier than prevailing in an epic and memorable arm-wrestle.
For GWS, it was their first ever win on the stadium. It was a victory of metal and emotion, the sort of win upon which a premiership may very effectively be constructed.
In Adelaide in opposition to Port, Richmond have been lacking Dustin Martin, Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin, Jayden Brief and Bachar Houli. That’s the Tigers’ prime midfielders, first-choice operating half-backs, plus their key place superstars at both finish of the bottom.
Whichever approach you narrow it, they have been decimated.
Richmond went in with 5 gamers on ten video games or fewer, and on common player-for-player have been 29 video games and over a 12 months youthful than their Energy counterparts.
It was a win for the idea of a proud membership, and most supporters would recommend was the most effective home-and-away victory of Damien Hardwick’s teaching profession.
It was a pulsating match of high-intensity assault and counter-attack that thrilled Richmond followers and impartial supporters alike. Energy followers will be excused for not appreciating it.
Elsewhere, North Melbourne had their first win to cease the season slipping away. Admittedly it wasn’t fairly, however Adelaide are in poor kind proper now, and none of their video games have been high quality affairs this season. Some groups are like that for patches inside a season. It may well’t all be sugar and lollipops.
Melbourne and Essendon have each been below the gun within the early components of the 12 months, however now have a foothold into the season. The Demons produced a powerful efficiency on the street with their backs to the wall on Thursday night time. The Bombers discovered the steadiness between assault and defence to win their second match in a row, enjoying some excellent soccer in doing so. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti set the MCG alight.
Gold Coast and St Kilda are each sitting within the high six with Three-1 data, inspiring their supporters and nurturing hope that the darkish days may very well be over quite a bit faster than imagined. There are some great tales rising this season.
But the 2 most outstanding AFL journalists within the nation felt that possession soccer must be a unfavourable speaking level.
This is likely one of the issues we’ve as an business when a Friday night time sport doesn’t scale superior heights. The short-term reactionism is mind-numbing.
And it’s honest to say Collingwood versus Western Bulldogs wasn’t both sides most interesting hour. And sure, there have been a variety of uncontested possessions and marks.
However guess what, groups have totally different types.
Richmond gained the 2017 premiership off the again of unrelenting strain, notably within the ahead half of the bottom. They continued on to be top-of-the-line groups of 2018.
West Coast and Collingwood have dismantled the Tigers within the final 12 months by enjoying a sport fashion that diffuses the strain factor. This has been executed by aggressively profitable the ball off the opposition within the again half of the bottom and spreading themselves round to kick and mark to realize management earlier than attacking.
That is great evolution, precisely what we would like from our coaches and gamers. Workforce A does this. Workforce B does that to counter. A mixture of types and aesthetics.
Some groups like a kicking sport. Others want handball. Some need to make it a stoppage sport. Others need it out within the open. Ruckmen are a key to some groups, minor gamers for others.
There appears to be a tragic obsession some within the media have with wanting soccer to all the time look precisely the identical, based mostly on some legendary previous that doesn’t exist besides in creativeness.
Are Robinson and Barrett tired of the game? Are they simpletons that don’t respect the nuances of the sport? Are they nothing greater than shock-jocks who see themselves as larger than the sport, and are thus decided to vary it?
I’d prefer to suppose none of this stuff are true, however they don’t make it simple.