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Ten Things I Learnt After Round 13

1 - The bye can’t come soon enough for the Tigers.

Injuries finally took their toll on the last three weeks as the Tigers limp to the mid-season bye sitting precariously in 8th position with seven wins and six losses.  They’ll have a week to lick their wounds, and they can look forward to the return of Cotchin, Edwards and Astbury for Round 15.

Not too far down the track we should see the return of Riewoldt, Nankervis, Lambert and Short.  All is not lost just yet, but a finals berth is no certainty, especially if any more players go down. 

2 - Those criticising Sydney Stack for acknowledging Eddie’s freak goal are idiots.

Betts and Stack had a great battle on Thursday night, and for most of the night Stack had him covered.  When Eddie snapped that freak goal, it was a moment where Stack had no choice but to acknowledge how good it was.  It was a good bit of sportsmanship, yet many were critical saying one should never offer any plaudits to an opponent during a game.  I couldn’t disagree more. 

If I was Eddie’s opponent, and I had front row seats to that goal, I’d have no choice but to bow to the man.  In fact, I probably would’ve given him more than just a little hug. 

3 - Have we seen the last of Jarryd Roughead?

With Mitch Lewis being dropped, and no other tall forward to choose from, it seems strange that Roughead didn’t get a call up.  I'd say his papers have been signed, and with the Hawks looking set to miss the finals, the best we can hope for is the obligatory farewell game later in the season.  Is his form that bad? 

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4 - Ben Stratton is possibly dumber than Dane Rampe.

Dane’s done some stupid stuff this year. Climbing the goalpost was a beauty, but now we have the Hawthorn captain using pinching tactics against Orazio Fantasia. Did he think nobody would see? Tuesday night at the tribunal will be interesting, but under the current laws it should be just a fine, although surely the AFL won’t raise the bar to make an example of Ben right?

5 - Why do we play games in Townsville and China?

In Townsville, the Suns v Saints game attracted 7243 people. It’s a pretty poor crowd so it’s hard to understand why the AFL bother. The population is around 180,000 in Townsville. That means 4% of the people of Townsville went to the game. In China, the population is 1.386 billion people, yet the game between St Kilda and Port Adelaide was just 9412. In percentage terms, that’s just 0.0007% of the people. I’m guessing the Chinese people aren’t into AFL in a big way.

6 - Them Dockers look like they want to play finals.

A quick look at what appears to be a reasonably favourable draw would have the Dockers finishing the home and away season with 14 or 15 wins. If they were to go up another level, they could even threaten Top 4. Nobody really saw this coming, and I’m guessing even Ross Lyon is surprised judging by the way he keeps cuddling his players.

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Look! Mongrel Punt Stubby Holders. Buy one and be cooler than all your friends! It also helps the site out.

7 - Charlie has arrived, just as Bolton left.

The first half of the season saw a very lacklustre start by Charlie Curnow’s, with many wondering if he was as good as what many said he would be. Charlie has only played eight games in 2019, and his first six games yielded a very modest return of just seven goals. His last two games under Teague has seen a return to form with 10 goals, including seven against the Bulldogs.

There are whispers Charlie and Brendon had “philosophical differences".

8- The Roos have lost all their games in Tasmania this year.

They played in Launceston against the Hawks in Round Three, and have been to Blundstone Arena for two home games against Sydney (Round 9) and GWS (Round 13). They’ve lost on all three occasions. It used to be a fortress for North Melbourne.

They won all three games there last season, including one late in the season to the eventual premiers.

9 - The score review system is still no good.

Last week a clear goal was deemed a point in the Richmond v Geelong game. Plenty was said about it, but little seems to have changed. Ben Brown snapped a goal during the second quarter on Sunday, and the umpire’s call was a goal. Several replays later, and to anyone with a modicum of common sense, it shouldn't have been overturned as it was definitely not conclusive that Phil Davis’ outstretched fingers made any contact with the ball.

I’m now starting to think that the score review decisions are based on a feeling or the “vibe” of the situation. What are they seeing that none of us can?

10 - The AFL said there’s been no change in crowd behaviour policy even though Marvel Stadium management say they may have been a little heavy-handed of late.

This is laughable. Of course there’s been an escalation in crowd behaviour enforcement. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous, and Gil is clearly getting to the end of his tenure as CEO if he thinks we’re going to buy the nonsensical claim that nothing has changed. I’m not sure if his time in the top job will be remembered well. It seemed more about preaching tolerance and inclusivity, unless you are an actual football fan, then it seems you’re treated with contempt.

If people banded together and not show up one week, maybe something would change. The AFL could then be ascribed the saying, “Get woke, go broke!”

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