Don’t put your arms out, don’t even look at the big screen with a grunt when near an umpire – that’s the main lesson the Football world got over the Easter weekend.
But what did the punters learn from it?
What tidbits of hindsight can we take heading into the next round?
It’s all here in AFL 5 Lessons Learned – Round 5
(1) If you DO mind umpire
When the AFL announced a total crackdown on umpire abuse at the start of the season, there had been a market we would have offered $1.01 for it to frustrate the hell out of the fans with the over/under being Round 2.
The over had saluted with Round 5 providing two of the most bizarre 50-meter penalties dished out on the footy field since it was first changed from 15 meters back in the late 1980s.
It all started on Thursday night when Brisbane’s Harris Andrews had a 50 paid against him for having his “arms out” and was topped off with Tom Hawkins (who dived) off Hawthorn’s Sam Frost, before another 50 for giving the umpire a funny look at the video screen.
No one disputes that the crackdown on umpire abuse is valid and much needed for the good of the game.
However, the officials at the top level need to be consistent and not just on random weeks crackdown for looks of frustrations paying pedantic 50meter penalties.
This has to be the norm week in, week out.
Show any frustration at the umpire, get paid a free kick or 50m penalty. If not, it’s a farce.
We all know this is the right thing to show respect, but the umps are not making it easy for anyone.
On a more positive note, at least the Hawkins free-kick gave Triple M stats man/Twitter legend Ethan Meldrum a chance for a classic Shooting Stars meme.
Sure, Matthew Lloyd has already written them off but it’s our call that matters right?
Essendon’s much-dreaded (amongst the Bombers faithful) finals drought will turn 18 on September 4th this year.
It will be able to drink, vote and open its own Ladbrokes account.
At the rate Essendon is going, their finals drought will be celebrating a 21st birthday.
Despite Mick Malthouse tipping them to win the flag, the Bombers won’t be playing finals in season 2022.
Currently sitting 1-4, they were completely blitzed by Freo on the weekend and don’t really have much to show for their season to date.
The Bombers are $2.75 underdogs to beat Collingwood on Anzac Day and have drifted out to $4.50 to make the final eight.
Save your money.
(3) Top Birds
Both the Hawks and Crows have proven to defy all the odds this year.
Hawthorn had one of their best wins in years over the Cats on Easter Monday and Adelaide made the most of every opportunity on Saturday to chalk up an upset win over Richmond.
Many pundits and experts had both Adelaide and Hawthorn down the bottom part of the ladder this year, and they very well might end up there as the season progresses.
However, both teams are plucky and have proven that they can beat anyone on their day.
The Hawks are currently $3 to make the eight with the Crows way out at $9.
And while we’re on the subject of top birds, the Sydney Swans just keep on keeping on 4-1, third in the premiership betting at $8 and a solid $1.91 to make the top four.
(4) Saints and Freo mean business
St Kilda and Fremantle are flying right now with both sides 4-1 and sitting in the top four after Round 5.
The Saints outclassed the Gold Coast Suns with Jack Higgins booting a career-best five goals and Max King booted three.
King is now second in our Coleman Medal betting market at $5.
Freo put on a clinic against Essendon at Marvel Stadium, with Matt Taberner’s career-best of seven goals (four in the third quarter) as they tore a new one into the Bombers after half-time.
The Dockers are winning on the road and kicking big scores, the Saints are winning games with class.
Can they both keep this up? There’s no reason why they can’t.
(5) Dees v Daylight
Melbourne is taking the piss right now.
The Demons have a 4-0 start and it doesn’t even look like they’ve gone an extra gear.
In the third quarter of their 67-point win over the Giants, Melbourne kicked 10 goals from 10 individual goalkickers and made it look easy.
Melbourne is the clear favorite to win the flag at $2.80 with the Brisbane Lions lagging behind in second at $6.50.
Do we just hand them the cup now?
Be careful – the likes of Geelong in 2008 and Richmond 2018 suggest never, ever get ahead of yourself.