AFLW Round 3 – Carlton v Brisbane: The Garfunkel

The Garfunkel   

 

Carlton versus Brisbane

6.35pm, Saturday, 17 February

Ikon Park, Melbourne

Jamie Simmons

 

Break-ups are difficult. Simon & Garfunkel rarely speak, Brad and Angela’s played out in an all too public domain and rumours abound the three remaining Teletubbies can’t bear to be in the same room together (although it’s possible I may well have dreamt that last one.)

 

Somebody always manages to come away stronger, indeed, better for the experience. Newton’s Law, pertaining to equal and opposite reactions, thereby ensures that somebody must also emerge lost, destitute, in search of meaning. I am every bit the Garfunkel in this analogy in case you were wondering.

 

Tayla Harris was my favourite.  We made quite the indelible pairing. A story as old as time itself:  The superstar player and the fawning, heavily balding spectator. People have written songs about it. Not particularly good ones that are easily referenced, but I imagine there’s a couple out there nonetheless.

 

It was, for me, one of those moments where you remember where you were and what you were doing when it happens. Like mankind skipping across the moon’s surface or the first episode of Celebrity Splash. You don’t forget things like that.

 

Thumbing casually through my Facebook feed, desperate for updates on my friend’s dining preferences for the evening, I was served a jagged sabre to my heart instead. She was leaving. The Queensland born and raised superstar was heading south. A crippling numbness descended.

 

Never again could I hope to see the whirling, golden pony tail, propelling her shoulder high over the cowering masses below. At least not in Brisbane colours anyway.

 

I can’t even look at navy blue now without sobbing uncontrollably…which is problematic when Police are nearby.

 

What followed was a lingering summer of mournful reflection. One awkwardly navigated using the sadly inadequate coping mechanisms offered by test match cricket and the best cask wine money can buy.

 

As evening hugs the Melbourne skyline I see her now, walking hand in hand with her new club. She seems happy. All that is left for me now is to wish her all the best, smile respectfully and hope that Leah Kaslar launches her into the sixth row with one of her brutal, trademark bumps. It’s the mature thing for me to do.

 

Both teams have elected to start with an extra player behind the ball. If either club received the League’s much vaunted memo, they appear to have made party hats out of it.  I fear we can expect some baseline rallies.

 

Kaslar strides over to Harris. This is exciting. Kaslar is old school tough. Christmas at her place must be a sedate affair because she gives you absolutely nothing.

 

The umpire pipes his shrill anthem into the heavy twilight with an aching, early regularity. I fear my whistle happy friend from last year is back to taunt me further.  This guy hates us. When Ashmore goals deep into the second for the first of the game, I’m pretty sure I saw him try to smother it.

 

Jess Weutschner is a bona fide Sherrin Whisperer. Bending one beautifully from the pocket early in the second half she harbours a rare grasp of the ball’s mystic properties like precious few.

 

An eerie dimness descends upon Ikon Park. I can’t tell if it’s a lighting problem or whether Brisbane’s miserly back six are refusing to let any through.

 

Kaslar channels her inner barnacle, clinging grimly to Harris, who is forced to look further afield for her freedom. You sense her frustration. A short arm jab to her opponents head shortly after is confirmation. It’s likely to warrant further examination during the week.

 

The third quarter opens up slightly with the onset of fatigue. Carlton has a strategic mindset that is at once puzzling and seemingly counter-productive to me.  They cast a suffocating net of players to each and every contest possible. I have visions of them conducting their training drills inside a Suzuki Swift with the windows wound up. It’s oppressive which, for a team that boasts last year’s leading goal kicker and now the most dynamic marking forward in the game, seems entirely nonsensical to me. It stymies their creative flair and frankly, that’s good news for us.

 

Madison Gay finds herself on the end of a rare breakaway and goals. Hope is re-kindled for the Blues.

 

The understated brilliance of Emily Bates is a constant highlight for me. She exudes class. Her wiry stature is comfortably offset by lightning hands and instincts beyond her years. Perhaps one day she will receive the praise she warrants.

 

Nat Exon shows enough poise on the end of another piercing run to clear desperate hands on the goal line, effectively killing the contest. She has relished the opportunity to stretch her legs against familiar faces tonight, working nearly as hard as I would imagine her shampoo and conditioner have to. It’s a cracking bouffant and should be celebrated. There is a noble cause behind it but in the interim she wouldn’t look altogether out of place playing bass guitar for Pseudo Echo. If the Paddle Pop Lion is ever looking for a stunt double, Nat Exon should expect a call very soon.

 

Sophie Conway has been the story of the night. She’s raw. Sometimes her hockey pedigree means the odd confusion but each week there’s a flash of brilliance. Her lightning gather and banana goal in the shadows of full time offer fans a tantalising glimpse into the future.

 

Loynes and Jess Hosking work hardest for the Blues but receive little support.

 

Another win deep in AFL heartland will only serve to confuse many of the Melbourne based media. They’ve espoused a Carlton/Melbourne grand final since pre-season…as was largely the case last year if memory serves.

 

Woosha, Sophie, Batesy, Sabrina or maybe “Xena” Kaslar. Potential new favourites are lining up before me. There is simply no time to further ponder the departure of Tay…no…or was it Tahlia? Either way, there is much to consider over a refreshing glass of Coolabah. I’m kidding of course. I never use a glass.

 

 

Carlton   0.0   0.2    1.3    2.6 (18)

Brisbane  0.1   1.2   3.2   6.4 (40)

 

Goals:

Carlton – Gay, Vescio 1

Brisbane –  Conway 2 Ashmore, Wuetschner, Gibson, Exon 1

 

Best:

Carlton – Loynes, J.Hosking, Moody, Harrington

Brisbane –  Bates, Lutkins, Exon, Conway, Kaslar, Anderson

 

Umpires: Rowe, Dore, McGinness                                                                                   Crowd: 6,200

Our Votes: Bates (B) 3, Lutkins, (B) 2, Exon (B) 1

 

Jamie Simmons was a contributor to our book about the inaugural AFLW season. Read more about The Women’s Footy Almanac 2017 HERE.

About Jamie Simmons

Born in Melbourne, a third generation Fitzroy supporter, in 1972 before emigrating to Tasmania during The Great Broccoli Famine of 86. Leaving my island lodgings, largely at the request of locals, to settle once more on the mainland in 1997. These days living out a peaceful existance on the outskirts of Brisbane, where I spend most of my time serving as a fashion warning to others.

Comments

  1. Extremely enjoyable write-up this, Jamie.

    “I can’t tell if it’s a lighting problem or whether Brisbane’s miserly back six are refusing to let any through.” Brilliant!

  2. Yvette Wroby says:

    Great report as usual Jamie. This bit had me cackling:

    “Nat Exon shows enough poise on the end of another piercing run to clear desperate hands on the goal line, effectively killing the contest. She has relished the opportunity to stretch her legs against familiar faces tonight, working nearly as hard as I would imagine her shampoo and conditioner have to. It’s a cracking bouffant and should be celebrated. There is a noble cause behind it but in the interim she wouldn’t look altogether out of place playing bass guitar for Pseudo Echo. If the Paddle Pop Lion is ever looking for a stunt double, Nat Exon should expect a call very soon.”

    A mixture of footy and fashion. You do us proud.

  3. John Butler says:

    Superb Jamie.

    And yes, Tayla’s indiscretion did get looked at.

    Nat Exon had become a favourite of mine last season, so at least take that consolation. That, and the win.

    Cheers

  4. Cracking wit, irony and just a little dab of pathos. I loved the Suzuki Swift line, and the Christmas “gives you nothing” line; and the ………
    I think you and Tahlia(?) have got a Josh Ritter thing going:
    “I hope you’ve got a lover now, hope you’ve got somebody who
    Can give you what you need like I couldn’t seem to do.
    But if you’re sad and you are lonesome and you’ve got nobody true,
    I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make me happy too.”
    (Great song – I love songs with miserable lyrics and a bouncy melody. Cue The Smiths.)

  5. mickey randall says:

    Pseudo Echo and a Suzuki Swift? Brilliant, but I’m now hiding behind the couch.

    Great fun as always Jamie. Thanks.

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