AFL Round 10 – Sydney v Essendon: Delivering the Goodes

Gee it was nice to get back to the footy.

After a tumultuous week starting with one of the most stupid remarks I’ve had the misfortune to hear followed by days of speculation and national self reflection it was hard to remember that the Swans actually had a game to play on Saturday. It’s probably fair to say though that it would have been only the most churlish and bitter fan at the SCG who didn’t want to see Adam Goodes turn up and play a blinder.

Still he’s just one man. An inspiring and remarkable leader no doubt but as I shambled into the O’Reilly stand, on a grey and drizzly afternoon, I figured we’d need the whole team on fire to win this one. The Enemy have been touted as the next BIG thing and their past duels with the Swans have been nail biters; Goodes missing a winning goal after the siren in 2011, The Enemy nearly going over the top last year. I took my seat with the niggling sensation that the SCG is becoming somewhat unsuited to the Swans style of play.

Obviously a coaching career is not on the cards for me anytime soon as they pretty much owned that ground from about midway through the second quarter to the final siren. I don’t think it truly classified as exciting footy; too many stoppages and a new record for boundary throw ins for that. But what it did highlight was the Swans’ fitness level to flood up and down the field along with Longmire’s tactical finesse.

The first quarter was close. Both teams hit the scoreboard early with two behinds each until Mumford eased us ahead. Malceski tried one of his Grand Final snaps to no avail. The conditions were atrocious with neither team able to cleanly mark and fumbling the disposals. At times the game was more like Rugby Union with roving mauls and kicks down the ground looking for territorial advantage rather than the man on the mark. The umpires seemed to be operating with judicial openness, or blindness depending on your take. Just twelve points up at the siren I figured we were in for three more quarters of the same.

Walsh going down early in the piece was not a good sign. The crowd groaned at the replay of the unlucky forward snapping his hamstring as he chased the ball to the boundary. Jetta tried to ignite the crowd but hit the post. Debutante Mitchell made a nice effort for a point. The rain increased and turned the game into an even scrappier affair. Still although we were behind on forward fifty entries our defence was again superb and our perceived pressure meant The Enemy rushed their kicks when more patience may have hurt us. Goodes chased down The Enemy on the wing and was unlucky not to be awarded the free for them dropping the ball. Minutes later he was lucky not get pinged himself as he out muscled a player to take a mark and goal.  Three goals up at half time but not out of the woods.

The Enemy had a player stretchered off after a crunching spoil from Smith. They’d made a tactical error subbing off a seemingly fit player and this was a major setback. The Swans applied the pressure. Jetta’s massive six pointer got a roaring reception.  Mitchell’s debut goal got a louder one. We’ve got a lot of exciting footy to look forward to with this son of a gun.  Goodes was really firing by then, sliding in to power the ball across the line off his upper shin. The Enemy rallied with a massive roost off the boundary line to close the gap to twenty five going into the final term.

Despite some early exploitation of our empty backline The Enemy were overrun in the forth. McGlynn, Goodes, Pyke and Malceski got on the board. Malceski and McVeigh made fantastic use of the ball off half back and it’s a selector’s nightmare when Shaw, LRT and Mattner are match fit. Romping home to a forty four point lead the Swans have set themselves them up for a strong finish before the bye.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

Comments

  1. bob speechley says:

    Mummie was obviously the dominant ruckman on the ground and one wonders if Essendon need to look at this aspect of their team. Pyke also showed the Enemy up in the closing stages of the contest!

  2. Tasman Hughes says:

    Where did you get the idea the SCG didn’t suit the Swans’ style of play?
    Tom, that’s where they play the best!

  3. Ross Smith says:

    Research in recent days proves claims of a “new world record” number of out-of-bounds/throw-ins in this Sydney vs Essendon match is untrue.

    There are at least four matches in 1967 or 1968 where the figure is 100+

    121 – at Arden St (Nth Melb vs Melb) on 27 July 1968

    117 – at Moorabbin (St Kilda vs Nth Melb) on 3 Aug 1968

    105 – at Western Oval (Footscray v Nth Melb) on 26 Aug 1967

    105 – at Arden St (Nth Melb vs Sth Melb) on 25 May 1968

    Figures published in the various contemporary issues of “Footy Week” are the source of information used.

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