Round 9 – West Coast v Richmond: Superheroes League

 

Faster than a speeding bullet,

 

More powerful than a locomotive,

 

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,

 

Look, up in the sky!

 

It’s a bird!

 

It’s a plane!

 

It’s SuperYeoey!

 

Yes. It’s SuperYeoey, strange visitor from Brisbane who came to the Eagles with powers and abilities far beyond those of any Tiger. SuperYeoey, who can change the course of mighty games, bend Dusty with his bare hands.

 

 

After a rampaging first quarter I took fright when SuperYeoey copped some kryptonite to the knee in the second quarter. Lex Luthor got back to his frightening Brownlow form and by half time the Supervillain Tigers were back on even terms.

 

Villains are solitary beings. Evil geniuses. Jack the Joker. Riddler Rance. Captain Cotch ran around in circles like the current Captain America.

 

Superheroes work in partnerships. Superman has the cub reporter Jimmy Olsen. Yeo has Gaff working tirelessly to link and mop up. Little Jimmy Gaff even took a hanger and kicked a long goal in first term.  Superherodom is contagious.

 

Superman got together with Spiderman at half time. NicNait had been well held by Toby Nankervis in the first half, running forward at every opportunity to mark and exploit Spiderman’s limited endurance. But Spiderman Nic has his Prowler buddy Scott Lycett who does the battering ram work on the opposition ruckman.

 

Nankervis only had the phantom ruckman Shaun Grigg who Marcel Marceau’s it at most centre bounces. The Eagles duo exhausted Nankervis by the second half and  then Spiderman’s explosive speed and power came to the fore.  

 

Dusty outdustyed by the dynamic duo in the Eagles 7 goal third quarter. Caught holding the ball more times in one quarter than in a normal month. Lex Luthor looking lost and losing the plot.

 

In our back half Wolverine McGovern had his claws into everything. Barrass, Sheppard and Hurn alternating as the Night Crawlers offering defensive support and rebound.

 

Up front Robin has taken over the Batman cape with Jack Darling stepping out of the shadows to take the lead role with 15 marks and 6 goals. LeCras, Rioli and Cripps seem happy in the new Boy Wonder roles.  JK seems to have taken a back seat as the proud father-figure Alfred, but I get the feeling he still covets the cape and cowl. Batman Returns?

 

What stands out about the 2018 Eagles is how much the whole is more than the sum of the parts. There is a critical mass to our superpowers that makes it impossible for oppositions to know which head to attack. At one stage Riddler Rance ran out to attack the ball carrier and despaired at the lack of support behind as Batmen Jack and Josh raffled the mark and goal.

 

Form in footy is like capturing lightning in a bottle. Confidence, fitness and a high pressure, kicking/marking game style have my Eagles supping from an intoxicating cup. Handball schmandball – this is superhero footy.  It’s irresistible. Overpowering. Overwhelming.

 

There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

 

I keep looking for green kryptonite that could drain our superhuman powers. Dr Evil must already be plotting revenge for last weekend’s Gabba humiliation. Will the Iceman Cometh against North in Hobart’s frigid July?

 

Maybe the only green kryptonite is the MCG in September where the ghost of Luke Hodge lurks under every blade of spring grass that gave Batman and Robin conniptions in 2015.

 

As we know the only antidote is more blue (and gold) kryptonite. We’ve got plenty in reserve this time.

 

WEST COAST         6.1       7.2       14.6    20.10 (130)

RICHMOND            2.3      6.8        9.8      12.11 (83) 

 

GOALS
West Coast: 
Darling 6, Kennedy 3, LeCras 3, Cripps 2, Redden 2, Rioli, Gaff, McGovern, Yeo

Richmond: Riewoldt 5, Short 2, Caddy, Grigg, Castagna, Conca, Houli

 

BEST
West Coast:
 Darling, Yeo, Gaff, McGovern, Sheppard, Naitanui, Redden

Richmond: Riewoldt, Martin, Edwards, Caddy, Short 

Umpires: Haussen, Dalgleish, Rosebury

Batcave Attendance: 57,616

Our Votes:

(3) Batman Darling

(2) Superman Yeo

(1) Jimmy Olsen Gaff

 

Comments

  1. Superheroes are also a act of fantasy and make believe Peter.

  2. An act even. So bitter about them being top of the ladder my use of grammar as deserted me.

  3. Serious question without notice, malice or sarcasm, PB:
    “Do you notice the booing when you are at the ground? Is it as noticeable as on tv?”

  4. Dave Brown says:

    Took no pleasure whatsoever in this result…

  5. Peter_B says:

    DG – There, there. You’ll have the World Cup for consolation and distraction soon enough. Gazza looks an ideal Super Rules recruit.
    Smokie – I did notice the booing (of Riewoldt I think). Several times later in the match. I can remember thinking “why the hell are you booing him?” He was their best player and I really like his attitude in general. There were a couple of physical clashes but nothing untoward. Jack lets the crowd and his team mates know when he kicks a goal. Whether that was taken as arrogance I dunno. Just being positive and defiant I thought. Just dumb, dumb, dumb by whatever West Coast fans were doing it. There is certainly a lot of justified “us v them” “eastern staters” resentment in WA. Unfair tax sharing; privileged treatment of Clarko’s and Eddie’s boys versus Nic Nait etc. But why target Riewoldt for booing made no sense to me then or now.
    DB – You’re welcome. I figured if I don’t exercise a little triumphalism at 8-1; the magic can just as easily evaporate with a few injuries etc. I thought the result was a realistic representation of Richmond who are good but not champions. The weakness in their talls and mid range players got exploited by the Eagles. But Sydney and Adelaide can be just as competitive with a full side. Collingwood lack talls. I like it that we are winning with a more traditional tall marking and kicking side. Everyone has been copying the one ruckman/chaos ball to the forwards style of the last 2 premiers and it is good to see a side take another approach. Great to watch (not just as an Eagles fan). I have no idea where our kicking skills have come from. A year ago I would have said that we were one of the worst disposal efficiency teams. Just seems to be confidence and maturity in a team jelling together. Critical mass is so important which is why your Crows are a big chance if you can get everyone on the park. In the Tiger euphoria we seem to have forgotten how good you were for 24 games last year.
    Thanks all.

  6. Talking of booing: who could ever forget West Coast’s supporters in their treatment of Adam Goodes in that fateful year! Enough said.

    Enjoy the ride, Peter.

  7. Peter_B says:

    Jan – I agree with you thoroughly about the disgraceful booing of Adam Goodes in Perth and elsewhere. Mob rule at its worst. I can remember no-one was booing Goodes around us as I was ready to pick a fight in his defence, but there was certainly plenty of it.
    Only serious (not panto) booing I have joined in was Jobe Watson at the time of the Essendon drugs scandal. I now realise he was an honest victim, but I still reckon Hird and Thompson are looking to shift blame for their own negligence in letting the wolf unsupervised into their henhouse.
    Still the statute of limitations has long since expired on revenge, and each is/has suffered his own special purgatory as a consequence. Time to move on. We all have feet of clay.

  8. Stainless says:

    Can’t argue with the superheroes analogy, PB. It certainly was an awesome display and a pretty compelling illustration of the old truism about good big men beating good little men. And in the midst of the frankly ridiculous angst about the state of the game, a timely reminder that quick direct ball movement into open forward lines can still unpick the best defensive strategies.

    Look forward to a repeat encounter later in the year. I’ve pencilled in September 29. Hope the venue is to your liking!

  9. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Captain Darling (Has played more like the character from Blackadder for a while), PB. If he can last the distance with this form and Nic Nat stay healthy, it’s there for the taking. Very impressive performance by WCE.

  10. There is something delightful about a side where every player is playing better than last year.
    Jetta, Sheed, Redden, ,LeCras and Cole are dependable,accurate by foot,unpanicking in close and Duggan,who is he practicing his hip and shoulder technique on? Hawks will be a stern test,but NN and Lycett will wear McEvoy down to shavings

  11. Early in the week I was quite looking forward to watching this top of the table clash, PB only to discover that us FTA types in Adelaide were instead to be treated to the high stakes psychodrama of the Hawks and the Lions, starring L.Hodge. As such we opted for a late lunch at the Henley pub with the medium rare fillet and pepper sauce a treat. We then took the dogs and the boys (who require equal amounts of food and exercise) to the park.

    Well done to your Eagles, who are, er, flying high.

  12. Rulebook says:

    Well played,PB very entertaining ( will always think,Goodes bought a lot of the booing upon himself )

  13. John Butler says:

    It only takes a couple of months and eight straight wins for you to change your tune. :)

    Do you really trust Darling’s transformation from most frustrating to most likely? Leopards, spots, etc….

    Do you think the new stadium has played a part?

    Yours truly, Inconspicuous of Carlton.

  14. Peter_B says:

    JB – I reckon Gregor hit on it. Other than Kennedy and Jetta every Eagle is in career best form. Only injuries have been short term or to fringe players. Creates a rising tide of confidence and belief in the game plan. Precious but fragile. Ride it for all you’re worth.
    I reckon Darling’s improvement is pretty permanent. His work rate off the ball has improved enormously and I reckon that has been a key. Using his tank more. Hard hands in the marking contest seem to have softened with time and confidence.
    Reminds me of the need to give big blokes time to grow into themselves. Just because they look strong doesn’t mean they are mature or coordinated. Darling is only 25. I can remember when the Eagles re-signed NicNait a few years ago for $800k I thought he was a marketing attraction. Now he is the best tackling, pressure, hand balling midfielder in the AFL. Wiser heads than me could obviously see the growth potential with time.
    One thing that no-one is talking about is the coaching influence of Sam Mitchell. Our improvement by foot this year is staggering. Jack Redden looks Sam-lite with his positioning and fast hands, despite modest leg speed. Coincidence? Next AFL Super Coach in a few years, and all credit to Adam Simpson for getting in early to surround himself with the best. As Colin Hayes always said “the future belongs to those who plan for it”.
    Looks like that nugget you found at Carlton the other week was fools gold. Keep digging. Its there somewhere. You use to be able to see team’s developing. Now they just jell like the Tigers last year and the Eagles this year. Or not.
    Cheers and enjoy the Ballarat winter. Would buying a plane ticket to Melbourne in late September now be jonahing the boys?

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Go on, rename it DC Dome just to stick it up the AFL.

  16. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    PB do not underestimate Nathan Van Berlo influence v v footy smart

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