AFL Round 5 – Western Bulldogs v Geelong: Geelong is Making Waves (or A Genial Gigs Knew Moves)

 

I had planned to attend this game in person but THE BEST LAID PLANS are an anagram of “HANDBALLS IT STEEP” and late on Saturday afternoon I found myself camped under an unexpectedly steep handball. The pack came crashing down on me and my plans.

Those plans involved heading to Etihad Stadium to see Geelong and the Dogs after a day-long trip around suburban Melbourne on a stream train with my son Oliver, organised by STEAMRAIL, a highly appropriate anagram of STIR A MALE, judging by the high percentage of boys and men who joined the excursion. (Oliver astutely observed that the gathering could have also doubled as a Harry Highpants convention.)

But our railway friends were unable to deliver on a promise to have us back at Newport station anywhere near the advertised time, making the rearranged letters of STEAMRAIL rather apt as LIAR MATES. (In fairness to SteamRail, the fault lay mainly with several suburban services run by METRO TRAINS – an anagram of “A TORMENT, SIR!” – that we had to wait for.)

As a result, I made a late decision to watch the Cats and Dogs from the comfort of my living room. My pre-game expectations of the Bulldogs were not high and I noted before it began that GEELONG AND FOOTSCRAY can be mixed to make DONATE GOOFY CLANGERS, something I believed our boys, despite their best efforts, would be doing often in this match.

Both teams suffered cruel injury blows in the days leading up to the game. I had mixed feelings when I learnt that Chappy had tweaked a hamstring and wouldn’t be lining up for the Cats. From a playing perspective, I was glad to see the back of him but I had also kind of hoped that he might play and get into an argument with an umpire, so I could point out that PAUL CHAPMAN is an anagram of “CLAP AN UMP? HA!” Oh well.

And what about poor old CAT DANIEL MENZEL? The news that he’d need a fourth knee reconstruction was devastating for fans of all teams. The poor kid can’t take a trick. He’d probably do a knee trying to squeeze a pimple. No wonder he’s an anagram of LANCE ZIT, END LAME.

We Dogs have also had a few injury problems. Higgins is gone for the year with a navicular and Tory Dickson has a leg injury that will see him out for a couple of months too. But there’s good news for the WESTERN BULLDOGS’ ADAM COONEY, who has been unable to take the field many times in recent years because of a degenerative knee injury, entirely justifying his anagram, UNWORN BOOT – SLAM DECAYED LEG. He’s managed in the off-season to source treatment which has seen him not only back on the field but looking like his old Brownlow-winning self.

When the game got under way, the Cats had the measure of the Dogs at most times in the first half. The Dogs weren’t bad at getting the ball and inching it into the forward line but when the inevitable turnover came, the Cats ran in waves and had loose players everywhere. It reminded me of the great HAWTHORN SIDES (who SHARED HOT WINS aplenty) of the ’80s.

Leading the way for the Cats was Steve Johnson. It was in the corresponding match last year that STEVIE J made his famous “that was a bit rascalish” comment to Bob Murphy. He deserves to be an anagram of JESTIVE. (“Jestive” isn’t actually a word but if anyone deserves the honour of having a new word created to describe them, it’s Stevie J.†)

Geelong captain JOEL SELWOOD was also brilliant. He is a star. What other Geelong player has worn number 14, played over 140 games and kicked more than 60 goals? (I’m glad you asked – his anagram, JOE SELLWOOD, did just that in the ’30s and ’40s.)

With the Dogs five goals adrift at the long break, I anticipated a blow-out in the second half, but it did not come. Instead, I got a glimpse of the Dogs’ future and it doesn’t actually look so bad. Jack MACRAE (an anagram of CAMERA) provided a few snapshots of what he will give in years to come, and Jake Stringer, who is the second Stringer in history (after Geelong’s Jesse) to play footy at the highest level, kicked three goals, demonstrating that he won’t be a second-stringer for long in the AFL.

The Dogs got within striking distance in the last quarter but the Cats’ poise got them through and they won by 21 points. But I was left far from disheartened. I expected a match between THE CATS AND THE DOGS to leave me praying to a GOD THAT TENDS ACHES by the end of it.

Instead, I left buoyant and hopeful that our time at the lower reaches of the ladder might not be as long and painful as I had feared. From the WESTERN BULLDOGS, I expected to GET SLOW BLUNDERS. Instead, the FORMER FOOTSCRAY provided a ROSY FACTOR FOR ME.

 

† Anyway, didn’t SHAKESPEARE make up words to suit his writings? (Probably  unsurprising, given that he’s an anagram of SEEK A PHRASE.) Okay, so maybe I’m not quite at his level yet, but I’m working on it.

 

Western Bulldogs      3.1 6.3 10.6 13.8 (86)
Geelong                      5.5 10.9 15.12 15.17 (107)

GOALS
Western Bulldogs: Jones 4; Stringer 3; Smith, Cooney 2; Dahlhaus, Roughead
Geelong: Taylor 5; Motlop 3; Selwood 2; Podsiadly, Smedts, Johnson, Kelly, Christensen

Best

Western Bulldogs: Jones, Johannisen, Picken, Cooney, Minson, Stringer, Boyd

Geelong: Johnson, Taylor, Selwood, Motlop, Bartel, Enright, Kelly

Umpires: Hay, Findlay, Fisher

Official crowd: 26,153

Our Votes: 3 Johnson (Geel.) 2 Taylor (Geel.) 1 Jones (WB)

 

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?

Comments

  1. Lord Bogan says:

    Classic Gigs. How are you handling these ‘Honourable Losses’ or the anagram ‘A Nobler House Loss’ seeing it was the Dogs’ home game.

    Must remember to use ‘jestive’ in our next lexulous game.

  2. Excellent post Gigs, a thoroughly enjoyable read :-)

  3. Thanks Phil. I think the Dogs are in a phase where “a nobler house loss” is quite acceptable. Happy to cop quite a few as long as progress is being made and I think that is happening.

    Thanks Paul. :-)

  4. T Bone says:

    Brilliant Gigs. I loved it

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