Blunders of the Week – AFL Round 2

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We get it, footy is a tough game to play, and naturally, some mistakes will be made. But that is no reason why we should not review the biggest errors made on the biggest stage, and collectively ask, “how the hell did that happen?”.

Blunders will be made, and we’ll be there to assess those that make our stars look that little bit better.

James Frawley, Melbourne:

Melbourne were swamped Saturday, there is no doubt about it. They were beaten by a far superior side and look to be a shambles in 2012, but that does not excuse the basics being ignored.

During the second term, just when the more optimistic of Melbourne supporters started giving up hope, James Frawley found himself in possession of the ball under extreme pressure. It is these situations that the good players step up, and Frawley really missed his chance.

With a tackle oncoming, Frawley elected to handball over his head to no-one in particular, allowing Nic Naitanui to intercept and set up an easy Daniel Kerr goal as West Coast eventually romped home.

Travis Boak, Port Adelaide:

Teams these days have discovered that the best way to penetrate the defensive press is to have the best ball users in the side behind the attacking half, ensuring the ball movement is precise and damaging.

Certainly Port Adelaide have gone this way, putting excellent ball users such as Hamish Hartlett and Travis Boak through the back in order to set up the counter attack. However, one moment will be remembered for quite some time, much to the chagrin of Boak.

Boak had just received a kick in from Danyle Pearce 30 metres outside the Essendon goal early in the third term. Essendon had been pressuring the goals, but had yet to convert for the quarter, leaving the next kick vital for Port Adelaide’s remaining chances in the match.

Instead of getting the ball even remotely near a teammate, Boak almost completely missed the ball, immediately placing extreme pressure on the Power defence. Thankfully, for Boak’s case, some quick thinking from Pearce saved Port Adelaide, and the blunder only resulted in a rushed behind.

Michael Johnson, Fremantle:

Early in the third term at the SCG, and Fremantle are being belted by an impressive Sydney Swans outfit. The pressure had been high on the Dockers ball-users all game, with most possessions being hurried and resulting in errors.

Across the back half, Nick Suban had just earned himself a free kick, sensing that Fremantle needed to make their move; he quickly centred the ball to Michael Johnson, who was stationed 40 metres outside the Sydney goals.

Somehow Johnson managed to completely miss the mark, letting the ball go through his fingers and allowing the Swans to pounce, yet this was not his only blunder.

With the ball bouncing around, Luke Parker collected the ball and handballed to Lewis Jetta. Mysteriously, Johnson appeared to lose sight of the ball, stop in his tracks, spin around, watch Jetta waltz into an open goal and earn one mighty face palm from Coach Ross Lyon.

Michael Osborne, Hawthorn

With Geelong charging home at the midpoint of the last quarter, several Hawthorn players had opportunities to goal and settle for clearly rattled Hawks.

Michael Osborne was presented with one such opportunity, with Lance Franklin keeping the ball in-bounds and placing it on a golden platter inside the goal square for Osborne to soccer off the ground and extend the Hawk lead once again.

In sloppy, wet conditions, it was an obvious choice, one that most players would not hesitate to make.

Instead Osborne, facing pressure from a desperate Andrew Mackie, attempted to pick the ball up, fumbled, attempted an air kick before being pressured out of possession and was powerless to stop Mackie from rushing the behind.

From then on, the rest was history.

Hero of the Week:

Steve Johnson, Geelong:

Let’s be honest, when it comes to the culture and leadership that has been ingrained at Geelong over the last few years, several names come to mind: Tom Harley, Cameron Ling, Paul Chapman, James Bartel, Joel Selwood and Corey Enright amongst several others.

So when new skipper Selwood was a little groggy, it was not a shock to see him barking instructions at his second in command in order to keep the troops in line as the game came down to a close. What is a surprise is the fact that Steve Johnson was on the receiving end.

This is not a knock on Johnson, he has been a marvellous player during his career, but it is one that will be remembered more for his theatrics and brilliance rather than his determined leadership.

So to see Selwood choosing Johnson as his most trusted understudy when the team needs it most, Steve Johnson becomes our Hero of the Week.

Or maybe Selwood was just really, really, concussed.

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