AFL Round 6 – Sydney v Lions: Lion around doing nothing

Christ Friday already and the only things on my mind are knocking off early to make sure I get to the airport on time so I can be there at the ‘G for Saturday night’s Grand Final rematch against the Hawks.

And that, by all appearances, was apparently the only thing concerning the Swans last Sunday afternoon.

I’ve been lugging a wretched notebook of carefully scrawled notes from the game to and from work all week struggling to dredge up enthusiasm to write about anything beyond the first quarter; a blitz of seven goals and four behinds that for all intents and purposes was the game. If not for the umpire’s lenient judgement on how far the ball was kicked I doubt The Enemy would’ve registered on the scoreboard at all. Horse’s press conference may have left one with the impression the boys had fought to the finish but really anyone not in a medically induced coma could see the Swans put the cue back in the rack somewhat beyond the first term.

Still my resolution this year to write something about every Swans game has guilt tripped me into a forming a few shambling words of footy commentary.

Both sides were missing key personnel that afternoon but The Enemy were particularly lacking. Even the elements were against the poor bastards with the wind ripping their club banner apart, leaving nothing but tatters for their players to run through.  It must have been a demoralising sign because the Swans proceeded to do the same thing to their defence for the next thirty minutes.  After weeks of being a minor presence Sam Reid stood up getting a couple of goals on the board.  Pyke is proving that it might be Mummy making way for Tippett later this year especially if the Bunyip boy goes on anymore late night benders.

Our bombardment of The Enemy eased up in the second but they still didn’t look like getting anywhere near us.  It was a dull quarter of footy only made more interesting by lambasting every mistake the boys made.  I cannot fathom the decision making at times.  We won a free then hurried the kick turning the ball over.  Is it paranoia?  Are the team being driven collectively mad by phantom tacklers bearing down on them?  Kennedy didn’t seem affected though with a superbly judged low kick from the pocket that rolled in for six points.  A late scoring flurry from The Enemy was halted by Bolton.

The Record provided amusement at half time when I spied an advert for the new AFL endorsed board game.  I’m a bit of a board game enthusiast, even going so far as to have to a couple of footy related ones (which may merit an Almanac article at some point.)  Still something disturbed me about the cover art.  At first I thought the positioning of bodies and facial expressions was perhaps too risqué and suggestive.  It took until yesterday to really nail down my disquiet.  The headphones, why would you need headphones for a board game?  Someone must buy me a copy as I need to know.

Back to the game inconsistent umpiring plagued the third and fourth terms.  Odd rulings about holding the ball and high tackles kept cropping up.  Still it wasn’t stopping the Swans momentum.  Jetta worked himself into the game very nicely.  A few quiet weeks hasn’t dulled his aim or speed any by the looks things.  There was a great shepherd by Smith during a Jetta run up the wing resulting in Reid goal.  Making the tackles stick is still proving to be an issue though.  The Enemy were able to shrug off half arsed efforts that against a tougher side will leave us majorly exposed.  Here it didn’t matter with our fifty four point lead extended out to sixty by the final siren.

Thanks to City Rail’s radical, yet reliant, disregard for customer service I ended up on a train destined for the dubious delights of Bankstown and beyond.  Backtracking to Canterbury Station the surprising absence of a cab meant a freezing walk home.  Sunday was done and dusted, bring on Saturday.

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."

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