AFL Round 15: Fevola Betts on teamwork

by Jill Scanlon

Shower, make rolls, grab drinks and jump in the car. Want to make that midday train.

It’s been quite a few weeks since we’ve been able to get to a match and today’s is a favourite clash.

My teenagers and I arrive at Ringwood station, oooh –  a car space close to the stairs and overpass, fantastic. On to the platform and Yes! .. we are just three among many as Blues and Tigers supporters gather, waiting for the city bound train to arrive. And we’ve made it with two minutes to spare!

Scarves, flags, ipods and chatter all through the carriage. You don’t see many beanies anymore … not cool at any age over 10 seemingly.

This is Melbourne – its suburbs and its people – and it is footy season.

Having walked with the hundreds from the station to the ground we ‘scan’ ourselves through the gate and up to level 4. And there She is…. The MCG.

Every time I walk in and look at this ground, from any level, and absorb the magnificence of this stadium – this Grand Old Lady – I smile.

On with the game.

Some morning radio reports had Jade Rawlings planning to ‘cut off’ supply to Brendon Fevola as a key to any success. My 14 year old Carlton-supporting daughter raised an eyebrow in my direction and said “ Yeah, right. Like that hasn’t been tried before.”

Well, the siren sounded and Carlton were off to a stinging start with a goal in the first 20 seconds.

Unfortunately poor execution and ball-handling allowed a promising start to descend into a scrappy display from both sides.

Morton and Riewoldt did well for the Tigers and the ever-present Chris Judd was constantly in the thick of play.

By half time, Carlton had played a more consolidating second quarter with Fevola booting four. However, it was still not pretty football and, with more handballs than kicks, must have been frustrating for both coaches.

One of the highlights of the term was the teamwork of Brendon Fevola and Eddie Betts resulting in a snapped goal by ‘Fev’. Spirits lift when these two combine successfully as they do, at some point, in most games. There seems to be a synchronicity in their play up forward which results, more often than not, in the ultimate success. And supporters applaud the sincere exuberance shown by them to each other when this happens.

The third quarter was again a better one for the Blues.

Scoring inaccuracy by the Tigers did them no favours.

A three goal quarter for Brendon Fevola, with a spectacular ‘foot flick’ goal over his head, while being held, stirred up Blues supporters and players alike and will doubtless be repeated on the ‘highlights reel’ all week.

The final quarter became a somewhat see-sawing affair that saw better established play from the Blues with delivery from the middle to the forward target of Fevola, who seemed to have gained the measure of his taggers.

One cannot, of course, go past Brendon Fevola’s 9-goal haul. Love him or hate him he is an unquestionably talented character.

The 20-point victory to the Blues has now firmed them in seventh place on the ladder with some interesting matches in the run home to Round 22.

It should be said the Tigers did not lie down however, with some of their young players showing great endeavour. Deledio, Riewoldt and King did well, supported by the experienced input and guidance of Ben Cousins, who ended with 35 disposals for the day.

The final quarter also showed glimpses of Richmond’s future with young ones Vickery and Nahas displaying a never-say-die endeavour that produced a couple of goals giving the final score some respectability and putting the devastating Round 1 result firmly into the background.

So Tigers fans should not despair, they are a team on the move showing very good signs of an improving road ahead.

The key element now is that they select and secure the right man for the coaching position at season end, although it has to be said Jade Rawlings is doing a good job.

Maybe the powers-that-be down at Tigerland should not overlook what is right under their noses when considering their team’s future.

About Jill Scanlon

Blues fan and sports lover. Development through sports advocate; producer, journalist and news follower. Insanely have returned to p/t study – a Masters of International & Community Development. Formerly with ABC International / Radio Australia in Melbourne.

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