AFL Round 14 – Sydney v Carlton: Raining Premiers

There’s a different kind of flooding going on at the SCG this Friday night. A week of rain has left the entire ground waterlogged and as we walk up to our seats I’m thinking we’re in for a long night of scrappy footy. The complete capitulation to a rampaging Port makes this one a must win game in order to keep our finals credentials alive and kicking. But with half the premiership winning side out injured danger is lurking. There it is, hovering just beside the goal post chatting to the umpires.

We’ve also got line up changes of our own. My wife’s out sick with Laryngitis and replaced by Garry, a work colleague and Carlton tragic. Garry’s a vocal supporter and though I’m not particularly fond of the Channel 7 commentary, or of have having a throat feel like it’s being shredded with broken glass, it makes me think that perhaps my wife could be getting the better deal.

The Enemy get off to the stronger start trapping the ball in our defensive fifty for the first ten minutes or so. However their aim’s off and the Swans eventually work themselves back into it. Tippet is putting in a very agile performance for such a big guy in these conditions to even the score and minutes later Bolton boots a goal that takes an eternity to go through. Jesse White, surely feeling lucky to be in the side, takes a good mark but he’s offline. Hannebury is like a greasy eel in the pocket. We’re really dominating now with both Parker and Tippett taking strong marks. White scores one of our best non-goals ever. Bird is having a blinder and Garry’s bemoaning his teams marking. He’s also wondering why after each Swans goal The Enemy forwards and backs are talking to each other. Swapping lipstick tips I suggest. He doesn’t disagree.

Back at home the Smiths potato factory quality control is slipping. Chicken Chips, a long time pub and match day staple are likely to be off the menu if it continues. Thankfully Tippett’s proving a visual feast looking much better in red and white than the Crows lollipop colours.

We start the second quarter with a twenty seven point advantage but as the rain ups its own game to torrential scoring for both sides becomes very difficult. Actually simple tasks such as merely getting hold of the ball are becoming very problematic. It’s not really until the back half of the quarter where we start stringing anything together with Tippett again showing why the club fronted all that dough for him. A bit later The Enemy catch us napping but muff the kick.

Then comes THE WORST UMPIRING DECISION IN THE HISTORY OF AUSSIE RULES.

Well perhaps not but it’s up there. Malceski, on the goal line and under pressure, has to rush the behind. The umpire rules deliberate gifting The Enemy a goal and the crowd erupts. I get a text from home, the umpire can’t recall his own ruling. Still we go into the break with a hefty advantage.

The rain eases slightly in the third as does our attacking pressure. We’re on the back foot practically the entire quarter and it’s only our trusty defensive tactics holding up against the onslaught. The Enemy hit the post several times and there’s a sense of déjà vu occurring here. McGlynn scores one back for us but The Enemy respond and whittle the lead down to thirteen, going into the final break with the momentum.

Garry’s in full voice now and for a while his optimism is justified as The Enemy surge forward closing the gap to nine points. Rampe has to affect a water assisted sliding save after The Enemy find space. However momentum shifts again with behinds to Parker and Hannebury. Then I rip the page out of my notebook as McGlynn lays a fantastic tackle to win the free. White is subbed off and Ted Richards’s brother Xavier makes his debut. Mitchell is taken high and scores effectively sealing the game. I leave the ground impressed with our younger squad and overall performance. It’s not a situation that can continue but so far so good.

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. Sal Ciardulli says:

    The worst umpiring decision? Methinks not – but certainly one of the bravest. The rule for a deliberate rushed behind was brought in after the 2008 Grand Final where the Hawks rushed their way to the premiership. (They were not the only team that season to exploit the rule.) Since the rule was brought for the hundreds of rushed behinds I have watched, many of them not under the hammer this was the first I recall seeing paid. What is the point of having a rule if it never enforced?

    To the intent of the rule the umpire got it right. Malceski took possession, had time to go left or right, but instead waited for the opponent to approach before fumbling the ball through for a behind. He never showed any intention to clear the ball and had prior opportunity to use the ball.

    Perhaps it will be a rule that umpires do actually enforce in the future as they have certainly given up on “Incorrect disposal”. I reckon Judd blatantly threw the ball away when tackled on Friday night with no penalty.

  2. Tasman Hughes says:

    I think that there needs to be some consistency in the AFL. The umpires let hundreds of deliberates go and then they go pull up one which, in my opinion, wasn’t deliberate at all. Malceski had quite a lot of pressure on him and he paused before taking it over rather than just running over without looking for options.

    Chris Judd, Luke Hodge, Buddy Franklin and a few other ‘gods’ are untouchable. They never give away free kicks. They can throw the ball, manhandle their opponents, hold onto it in a tackle; it does’t matter. These guys could get away with murder.

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