AFL Round 18: Saints just manage to keep unbeaten record intact

By Tony Dalton

Usually I try to avoid attending or watching games between the Swans and the Saints simply because of its low spectator value. I can watch my students play “all on the ball” every other day of the week. I don’t understand the AFL’s scheduling, why these two teams twice a year? It is bad for everything: attendance, promotion, television ratings the whole box and dice. I am settling for the television tonight and donating the airfare to the visually impaired.

The game begins in its usual style: more tags than a clothing shop at sale time. Lacklustre footy, ball-ups, tags, scrums, flood and full zone presses. It seems to me from the television that the saints lack intensity, Goodes is giving Fisher a bath and I think Goddard is the match-up, lots of saints not in the game. Kosi is best for the Swans, taking care of Reiwoldt in a marking contest. It is hard to believe that this is the top side playing the Swans. One goal is the margin in the game and 10 games on the ladder.

Well let’s open up another box of umpires, there just is no game without punch is there?
These umpires are certainly not reading from the same hymn book as their colleagues who officiated at the Cattery today.

Another very ordinary quarter of football. Kosi takes out Bolton but Roo can’t convert.  Goodes still giving Fischer the run-around and hardly a sighting of Hayes, Montagna, and Gram, with  the Swans  dominating on ball and the clearances and fully deserving their lead at half-time. Looks to me like a whole heap of saints missed the flight from Melbourne and have arrived late for this game; I have seen us in this position this season against North but am not so sure that the signs are there for a recovery.

Looks like the stat sheet has been put on display in the Saints’ rooms and some of those missing in action are starting to join the game. The Saints lift the intensity, tackling is on the agenda again and they are starting to overlap from the half-back line. King dislocates his shoulder at the centre bounce and the Saints medical staff sprint the 65 metres to assist him in Stawell gift time (about 2 minutes).

Kosi immediately moves into the ruck and begins to have a decisive influence, Goddard is dominating across half-back and both Schneider and Milne are very active. Raph Clarke has also continued to be in the game with a lot of forward carry (all saints know that this is not a good sign for the opposition when Raph begins to dominate). Goodes still is “in” the game but poor vision and lack of finish undo a lot of his work. O’Loughlin thinks so, too, and tells him.

“He who dares wins” and the last quarter is simply a battle of wills. Players behind the ball dominate, Sydney has injuries and the margin  bobs all over the place, the Saints rally only to be followed by the Swans, Lenny Hayes puts a rib-tingling bump on O’Keefe, who leaves the ground, Kosi marks but can’t convert and  the lead changes again, the Swans are in front, then it’s a draw and in those last 40 seconds Montagna tumbles a kick for a point and the game is secured.

The Saints remain unbeaten and the Swans’ season is over.

Final scores

Sydney Swans 3.4 8.9 8.12 13.15 (93)
St Kilda             4.4 7.8 11.13 13.16 (94)

Best Players-3 Goddard 2 Raphael Clarke 1-Goodes

Comments

  1. pauldaffey says:

    Tony,

    Can you contact me re- the book?

    We need a 35-word bio and a pic. Also a longer report.

    Hope you’re not in Ireland at the moment.

    PD

    pauldaffey@hotkey.net.au

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