AFL Round 9 – Collingwood v Sydney: A much needed win

Adam Goodes stole the show on Friday night for both the right and wrong reasons. Or maybe history will show that it was all for the right reasons; that his Winmar’esque gesture at the boundary fence will have positive consequences. It’s hard to see that far ahead and all I can really say is that you’re left in a strange place when your story of a win is hijacked by one naive and hurtful outburst. Still I’ll be adding precious little to the acres of coverage about that issue and a match write up is what The Almanac requires so let’s roll with that.

The last few big tests haven’t gone our way and after nearly blowing it last week the alarm bells must have been going off for Longmire when the boys failed to show up in the rooms on time. Were there tremors of doubt that Mumford hadn’t taken control of the bus at knife point and roared over to Crown Casino for a booze-filled orgy of some kind? That the normally rock solid McVeigh wasn’t now a gibbering wreck in his hotel room leaving the rest of the squad to shamble rudderless around the hallways?

What we thankfully got was a fired up Swans and after weeks of patchy performances finally showing us their premiership winning style for four quarters. Accuracy was missing early on with just three behinds to show for the effort but the very encouraging sign was the Swans finding space which has been sorely lacking over the last few weeks. Still you would never write off The Enemy. One thing they possess is an instinctive inbuilt guidance system that allows them to slot the ball home. They responded to our attack with scything runs up the corridor and two goals of their own. After one too many poor decisions by the Swans my wife erupted in a tirade about handball basics that put my past rants to shame. We were both annoyed at Jetta not exploiting the gaps opening up in The Enemy’s defence but you couldn’t fault his kicking accuracy. Maxwell of The Enemy got his nosed bashed in and came back on resembling something out of an Albert Tucker painting. It was a close run thing at the first siren but we were ahead.

The Swans opened up The Enemy like a tin opener in the second quarter. Goodes really imposed himself, playing a role at both ends of the ground. Morton showed why he should be in the starting line up every week. I figured The Enemy would switch around their forward press, leaving loose men out the back in defence, but they stuck to the same tactic perhaps hoping to force an error. It was a grave error as the Swans managed to either thread it out of danger or kick over the top. They kept The Enemy goalless for thirty minutes whilst extending their lead to twenty nine.

It was more of the same in the third. A twenty six point flogging that put all ghosts of Friday nights and trips to the MCG to rest. The only downer was Reid going off, clutching at his quad.  A month on the sidelines was the initial estimate; a sour note in an otherwise flawless quarter. Jetta finally ignited with a sprint down the wing and banging one in from outside the fifty that bought back memories of last September at Olympic Park.

Even when The Enemy responded with four early goals in the last terms I didn’t get that sense of rising dread that this normally inspires.  We shut down their attack after that brief run and were out of danger with fifteen minutes to go.  Bolton laid a super tackle and sealed the deal.  Unfortunately Goodes had disappeared down the race absolutely gutted.  I usually take an evil pleasure seeing Eddie’s disappointment when The Enemy lose but this time I came away with nothing but respect for his post match gestures and words.

There’s no denying the racial incident took the shine off this great win but from a pure football perspective hopefully it’s fired up the Swans for a brilliant game next week against the Bombers.

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. Do teams get up solely for Collingwood? Did they get up for Goodes in Indigenous Round? Was this the start of greater things for the Swans in 2013 or will we look back in six weeks and see this as an aberration?

  2. Tasman Hughes says:

    I respected Eddie too, until he said what he said on radio.

    Great article, and I think in regards to Goodes, it was for the right reasons.

    I’m glad that the match showed that racism hasn’t died. It’s disappointing that is still exists, but I’m glad that everyone is now aware of it.

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