AFL Round 13 – Port Adelaide v Sydney: Our best win since 2007

By Dan Hansen

I had a good feeling about this game. Last year when we played Sydney at home we pushed them for three quarters before they ran away in the last. This year we had Darren Burgess. I knew this wouldn’t guarantee us a win but I also felt confident we would put up a fight and weren’t going to lose by 77 points.

 

So it was off to the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills to watch the game with the NSW Port Adelaide supporters group. It was a wet, windy and cold day in Sydney and I couldn’t talk the wife into coming with. I arrive at the pub about ten minutes before the opening bounce and notice there are only two others there. They were new to the supporter group so I approach and they introduce themselves as Mark and Murray. Due to lack of time we only did a brief pre-game analysis where we decided we could win if everything went our way and it was good to see Port captained by an Ebert again.

 

Right from the start we could see it wasn’t a big crowd. Port tried to lure Crows supporters to the game and get them to boo Tippett. It obviously didn’t work. At the opening bounce there were four of us and we all had the displeasure of watching Tippett kick the opening goal within the first minute. He kicked another goal about fifteen minutes later. After those goals he gave nothing and later in the week I heard Gerard Whateley call him the Yoko Ono of the AFL, suggesting he could be the one who breaks up the Swans. I was hoping someone would take black, white and teal banner saying “Thanks Kurt”. After all the Crows did everything (and a bit more) for him and he has stuffed them for the next five to ten years. He also has the potential to cause a rift in the Swans. All this for about a ten percent increase in pay.

 

By quarter time there were over a dozen of us there and Port was seventeen points down. I thought we were playing well and had a bit more intensity. I also thought their goals were far from convincing. So it was off to the bar to get a beer and whilst there I saw supporter group president Nathan by the betting machines. I approached and asked what Port was paying and he said ten dollars. I thought “wet weather and only seventeen points down after kicking into a stiff wind” and promptly put five dollars on Port to win.

 

The second quarter was typical of many quarters by Port this year. They seemed to fight hard, win most of the contested ball, have the ball in their attack for most of the time but couldn’t get the score on the board. At half time the Swans were nine points up but Port had more scoring shots. I felt if we could keep it within a few goals at three quarter time we were a real chance.

 

Jake Neade was on fire during the first half. One of the guys in the supporter group calls him “the steak knives”. I asked him why and he said that when Port did the deal for Jack Hombsch they threw in Neade for free rather than delist him. Nathan suggested that instead of getting him into the change rooms at half time where his muscles would tighten up they should let him run around with the Auskick kids to keep him warm. No one would notice.

 

The third was beautiful in its ugliness. It was a good honest scrap. There would have been a lot in the small crowd who came to support the club and keep it alive, without really expecting a win. Half way through the third everyone in the pub could sense it and I’m sure everyone in the crowd at the game could sense it too. Port were all over the Swans and the noise from the crowd was building up into a crescendo. There were only sixteen thousand of them but they played their part as they urged Port on and two late goals saw Port within a kick at three quarter time. The commentators still thought Sydney were going to put their foot down and race away with it. All except Mark Ricciuto, who knew better.

 

The last quarter was like the previous two. It was a congested tight struggle with a lot of contested ball to won. Port were winning most of but we had seen quarters like this in previous years and we always seemed to lack a bit of polish to finish of the hard work. However this time the polish was there and his name was Chad Wingard. I remember a photograph of the top ten draft picks of 2011 straight after they were selected. Chad Wingard looked like a midget compared to the other nine. He was expected to go top three but slid to sixth and it was suggested GWS didn’t pick him because he wasn’t big enough. They got it wrong. Wingard was everywhere in the last quarter and his two goals were influential.

 

With a bit over five minutes to go Westhoff marks and goals and Port are nineteen points up. Mark, sitting next to me leans over and says in disbelief “They can’t kick four goals in five minutes, can they?” They score a rushed behind and Tom Logan misses what could have been a sealer.  With three minutes to go Mark leans over again and says “They can’t kick four goals in three minutes, can they?” I said it’s unlikely but I’m not going to jinx them. Another tense few minutes where the Swans score another behind. With five seconds on the clock the ball goes out near the wing. Mark asks one more question “They can’t kick four goals in five seconds, can they?” I said “No they can’t” and waited for the siren where the supporters in the pub erupted in ecstasy.

 

The post match gloating started where I suggest it was our best win in five or six years. Someone put forward our win against North last year. I said that wasn’t a win against a genuine premiership contender. An hour or so later I talked to my brother on the phone. He said he was at the game and said the atmosphere was electric. He also agreed it was our best win in years. The following Monday I heard Kane Cornes on the radio. He said the same thing but he put a date on it. He said it was the club’s best win since 2007 … and he’d know.

 

 

PORT ADELAIDE                                1.2          3.5          5.6          10.12 (72)

SYDNEY SWANS                                4.1          5.2          6.4            8.6   (54)

 

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Wingard 3, Monfries 2, Broadbent, Neade, Schulz, Westhoff, Gray

Sydney Swans: Goodes, Jack, Tippett 2, Mitchell, Morton

 

BEST

Port Adelaide: Ebert, Wingard, Lobbe, Broadbent, Cornes, Gray, Westhoff

Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Jack, O’Keefe, McVeigh, Pyke, Malceski

 

Umpires: McBurney, Farmer, Pannell

 

Official crowd: 16,096

 

Our Votes: 3. Brad Ebert (PA), 2. Wingard (PA), 1. Lobbe (PA)

 

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Good Article Dan I like The stak Lives Line re Jake Neade and I agree The Non Slection of Wingard by GWS will end up rivalling The Dockers Trade of McLeod for Chris Groom
    The only and I repeat only defence of Mr Crabs is the Sydney Leadership Group voted to have him thanks Danny

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