Family spills the beans

It’s not often that the Swans play in Melbourne. And I always try to make an effort to see my boys live every possible time when they are in Melbourne. But sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. Sometimes I have footy to play. Other times I have work. And sometimes it happens to be your grandfather’s 73rd birthday. That’s right. I was shattered I couldn’t go to the MCG on Sunday afternoon. I was so desperate to watch them play after 6 long months of pre-season.
When I first heard the devastating news that I couldn’t go, I thought I might be able to get out of it because all of my dad’s side of the family were Sydney supporters – Grandad included. But it wasn’t the case and so it happened I ended up watching channel 7’s delayed telecast home alone on the couch.
A fair bit of change had occurred to the Swan’s side since August of last year. Sydney had farewelled a champion coach in Roos. And the courageous captain Kirk had also departed. In place of Roos would be the former assistant coach, John ‘Horse’ Longmire. Longmire had played 200 games with North Melbourne from 1988 to 1999. He had been part of the swans coaching panel since 2002. This year Jarred McVeigh was to share captaincy with Goodes this year. The Swan’s backline was somewhat empty due to the injuries of Nick Malceski and Tadgh Kennelly, whilst Craig Bolton had since announced his retirement from the game following ongoing Achilles problems. Daniel Bradshaw and Jarred Moore were also missing due to injury.
Last time these teams met it was round 17, 2010. The Demons won the contest by a whopping 73 points at the MCG. Since then Sydney had been anticipating this match-up to seek revenge. In the last 11 games the Swans had played at the MCG 10 of those games had ended in defeat. So, understandably the demons started as favourites.

In the first quarter, Sydney started stronger. Benny McGlynn looked at home, kicking 2 goals within the first 25 minutes. The swans had a strong rebounding defence headed by an eager Heath Grundy. And the new recruit Andrejs Everitt started his Swans career by kicking a goal. However the Melbourne forwards were also using good offensive pressure to kick a few early.  Colin Sylvia particularly looked dangerous on occasion and kicked an impressive running goal from about 60 metres out.
The Swans were very efficient with their forward 50 entries. Young Sam Reid, looked promising as well. He took a few strong marks and looked quite composed on the field. The new boy for the demons, Luke Tapscott, from North Adelaide was also quickly racking up some possessions. But by quarter time, the Swans were leading 5 goals to 3.
I took this break in play to quickly run to the shops, as I was craving a chocolate muffin. Thankfully there was one left in the bakery, and I quickly snapped it up. By the time I arrived home, the second quarter was about to begin.
Before I had time to settle down, I had already realised something: Liam Jurrah was a freak. I couldn’t believe how flexible and skilful he was on the ground. I had seen his highlights package before, but I was still amazed at his ability. He looked like a true natural and was born to play footy. He seemed to have the ball on a string, as he marked high and kicked skilfully. Melbourne may have had Jurrah, but Sydney had another indigenous star in Goodes. Goodes seemed unstoppable. He broke through packs and became a danger that could not be tagged. By half time he had already kicked two impressive goals.
Aaron Davey seemed to be doing a good job to shake a determined Rhyce Shaw.
And a good battle was emerging in the ruck. Shane Mumford the ‘sausage boy’ was finding it tough against one of the best ruckmen in the competition, Jamar. Jamar seemed to be winning most of the tap-outs but Sydney was better overall at the clearances at those stoppages.

After the main break the swans continued to display their dominance early on. Ryan O’Keefe had become influential on the game, kicking and marking efficiently. Jude Bolton was another veteran that was playing well. Horse, for some reason, had decided to send Jude to the forward line. This decision had paid off big time, as Jude ended up kicking a career-high three goals. Moloney and Trengove were playing well in the midfield as was Grimes who was kicking well. However both teams were inaccurate when it came to the scoreboard. This had proved very costly by the end of the match. Jack and McVeigh were also playing their typical in-and-under contested footy game. It was a joy to watch.
At this point of time we had leave to go to my uncle’s house to meet and celebrate granddad’s birthday. This was made even more difficult in the fact that the delayed TV coverage meant that everyone else there knew the result of the game. I begged everyone to not mention it until I could arrive home and finish off watching the game. So far I had successfully dodged dad’s loud radio downstairs, but was unfortunately aware that it finished as a close game, due to the sound of the muffled radio callers voice.
Unfortunate to say, the promise was broken after only 5 minutes until my cousin had to get something from the top ‘draw’. She told me that my sister was artistic and could ‘draw’ quite well. And that my grandad had unfortunately left his favourite ‘tie’ at home. And this niggling suspicion was further cemented in my mind when my uncle mentioned that the result was good for everyone in terms of footy tips. And that could only mean one thing. The game had ended in a ‘Draw’. I hate my family.

Once I had unknowingly uncovered the devastating truth, I had no reason not to watch the game at my uncle’s house. Thanks to Foxtel IQ, I didn’t miss one minute of the action, and continued to watch where I had left off.
It was the start of the fourth quarter and the game had a certain emptiness to it. Knowing the game had ended in a tie, it took away all the suspense and mystery in the game. I couldn’t help myself to realize all the opportunities that the swans had missed. As my uncle said “In close games, every little thing matters.” and it was true. An extra kick here and a little step there could have changed the result of the game.
But it didn’t matter anymore.

The match-up between Garland and Goodes became very interesting. It was fair to say that Goodes had the better play in the first half, but Garland outplayed the dual-Brownlow medallist in the second half.
The Demons were on the attack. Dunn and Jurrah had kicked some early goals. Then an amazing fluke soccer goal by Brad green had put the Dees in front. However Sydney refused to die. Stoppage after stoppage caused Goodes to find some of the ball and kick a goal. Continual pressure eventually forced Ryan O’Keefe to kick an important snap behind to level the scores with just 50 seconds to play. It seemed like the ball was in the Swans forward fifty for an eternity. But time had gotten the better of both teams.
The siren had rang but to my disappointment I had already known the result. ‘Draw’.

Cobba

About Jake "Cobba" Stevens

Jake “Cobba” Stevens is currently studying Sports Journalism at La Trobe Uni. One of the youngest ‘old bloods’ supporters in Melbourne, he can’t decide if the crowd was louder at the 2005 or 2012 Grand Final.

Comments

  1. Steve Healy says:

    Well done Cobba, nice report, I’ve been there before in that situation of “not wanting to find the score” but it has just been slipped out to my angst.

    I was at the MCG, however, fantastic game, it was a draw where I think both teams were equally deserved of it, because both of our sides really missed heaps of chances. Well, 2 points will have to do for Round 1, as sad as that might be.

    Steve

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