Handling the Giants

By Tony Scully

 

Pies V Wedgies MCG Sat 23rd June 2012

 

At the Risk of not keeping the lid on it,this game had all the portents of being two of the three most likely combatants in October.

 

That having been said my pre-game thoughts went to:

 

1/ Will our backline be able to stop their Maurauding Giants, the Big Q Big Darling (alias Baldrick?),Big Nats and Big Cox? Especially considering half of the aforementioned backline are returning from injury

 

2/Can Steelo and Beamer keep up their sparkling performances of the last 4 weeks against a similarly elite mid-section in Priddis,Kerr and Shuey

 

3 How will Jolls take on the experienced Cox and the spring of NicNat virtually solo?

 

4/Can the much maligned Wellers (unfairly in my mind) put together a more consistent involvement. His courage surely can’t be in question. His cameos are almost always at critical times,often in a contested marking situation (which he generally  wins) and his gut-running is excellent.

 

5/ Can Dawes find some confidence?

 

6/Can Harry get his MoJo back?

 

7/What effect will the Bye/ Port Douglas camp have?

 

8/Could this be another  MCG draw between these two clubs?

 

To The Game:

 

Q1 NicNat looking very dangerous. Backline getting plenty of work repelling attacks. Pies break the lines giving Dawes an opportunity after a really good contested chest mark. Kick looks good but misses just to the left. A surprise advantage call by the Maggot leaves everyone standing still except Beamer who duly scores from 5Om. First Major to the Pies.

 

Trav and Dawes covering a lot of ground applying good forward pressure. Fasolo scores a goal from standing shot,65m flight  straight through. Short time later Trav goals from a lucky bounce and running shot.

 

Swanny seems to be running free gathering possessions at will, Kerr doing the same but with less effect.

 

Buckley has another blooper,The Artist is already screaming for his head on a pike,however his second effort may have been missed in the shower of venom, as he caught and stopped Kerr probably saving a very embarrassing goal against.

 

Wedgies really haven’t  got into their stride yet.Spoke too soon,momentum swings. Pressure increases and Pies start blindly banging long straight into the Eagles arms, setting up overlaps and Eagles scoring thrice to keep the game alive.

 

Reid lands awkwardly in a marking contest. Appears to hyper extend a knee……..GULP. Looks like he’s ok.See-sawing battle  continues. Blair is everywhere. Coach has a long talk to Buckley at quarter time. Somewhere between receiving the ball,generally in a most impressive manner,and disposing of the ball he has a synapse lapse!

 

02

 

NicNat applies a pack smasher in the goal square,but comes off second best. Missed the next 3 minutes off the play whilst I watched to see if it meant  his departure from the game. Tragically it’s just a sore beak. WC looking very dangerous. Buckley has a third lapse.Once again I get a shower from  behind “GET HIM OFF!!!!!”

 

We are wasting chances with  a second poster. Cloke scores another running goal. Pies lead 29 to 17. Marty Clarke goes in with a knee to gift Big 0 a goal. Cloke goals again from strong one-on-one mark. Pressure is enormous, errors increasing. Nic Nat one out triple effort to create a goal for his team.Unstoppable.Hams,hams it up for a free,umpire sucked in again,Eagles score through

Darling. Eagles up by 6.

 

Daisy drops a sitter on the wing. WC get another shot through Natanui who misses. Against all the play,Swan marks,handballs 30m to Beams who kicks truly (around the corner) from SOm. WC by a pt. Shocker advantage call by maggot almost cost the Pies a goal. Lynch scores another major late in the quarter to put the Eagles in the ascendency by 7pts… Dawes misses again “S######”

 

Time for a breather

 

03

 

Pies attacking well early. Steelo’s clean hands,Daisy’s double dummy,Clokes crashing contest, Blair’s crumbing goal. All square again. Harry backs himself to break O’s tackle,Blair goal again. Swanny gathers another stat, shanks the kick,fortuitously straight into the outstretched vice-grip of Clokey (Pay him whatever  he wants for ….. Sake). As I close my eyes to avoid watching him kick from

15m on a 40 degree angle- I hear the groans and hysterical laughter  (Sell HIM for …….Sake). Good link up work ends in Cloke’s hands. 40m out impossible angle right forward pocket. I look over at Stork and say “He can’t miss this,it’s an impossible angle” . He duly slots it to raucous laughter (Double that first offer).Cloke marks again for his sth major. Pies out to 19 pt lead.

 

Inspirational work from Beamer after a hospitalpass,results in another Pies chance. Sacker misses. Cloke misses,just. Fason the end of Steelo’s good work for another goal to the tally. Pies by 27pts.

 

Eagles get two back and with a minute to go in the 3’d there’s a mad scramble in their full forward zone during which the Eagles fail to take full toll.

 

Scoreline 11-10 to 9-7 Pies Lead

 

04

 

Atmosphere is electric. Beamer errs for the first time in 4 matches with a looping handball straight to Kerr. Doesn’t damage too much . Elliot misses an easy shot. Darling goals from a brave Waters receive. Maggot misses Waters dropped ball. NicNat scores another goal. In to 3pt margin. West Coast are on the charge another major to take them into the lead by 3 pts.Pies under siege.

 

Cloke gets a chance. Needs to take his time. He doesn’t. Beams once again in the front -line gets a free for in-the back 25 metres 50 degree angle, nothing but the game and top pozzie riding on it. He threds it perfectly. Game over.

 

 

Things I took out of the game:

 

1/ Back line coped admirably with the Giants

 

2/1 hate to say it but I’m not sure our back line would have been better with Tarrant in. It seems the injury concerns were unfounded.

 

3/Beamer kept up his stellar.Form for a best on Ground performance. Steelo was a little quiet but still damaging with the ball in his hands

 

4/Natanui is an awesome athlete but still lacks for a game changing presence. Not looking forward to that day. Without standing out Jolly must have been terrific to hold both their ruckmen to tiny possession counts till the last quarter. One can’t blame him for not being able to keep them at bay to the end.

 

5/0nce again Wellers was terrific in spurts

 

6/Dawes applied good pressure early and is improving in his part time ruck role. Still can’t take an overhead mark or buy a goal

 

7/Harry was almost back to his best backing himself and breaking tackles and the lines.

 

8/ I think Port Douglas was an excellent coaching move. In fact I think it’s time I took a leaf out of

Buck’s book

 

Horsburgh as follows (not Fellowes)

3 Votes Beams – A highlight

2 Votes Swan – If he had have kicked that goal he would have taken the 3 votes

1vote Blair -Cos I reckon he was the Most Determined

 

Honorable mentions to Cloke, Jolly,Harry,Elliot(Great Marking),Williams(Cool under pressure).Daisy

(Defensive pressure never gives up)

Comments

  1. For someone with no game changing presence NN disappoints Bob by returning after a collision,wins a 1-on-1( unstoppable ! against who?),kicks great goals and gets mentioned more than any other WCE player.
    Cloke kicked a goal after pushing Mackenzie in the back,(watch and learn, Jack Darling),Will that be in the highlight reel? That was enough to win the smaller Corvids the game. Freo must regret the Eagles playing the lesser Corvidae into form

  2. haiku bob says:

    fair points greg.
    for the record, i’m not the author of this report – i merely handed it onto the almanac web master because of some technical difficulties experienced by the floret pica fraternity.
    it was written by tony ‘rub’ scully.
    and fwiw, i agree with everything he says.

  3. haiku bob says:

    by the way rub, great report!
    i was ‘offline’ for that game and you filled in the blanks beautifully.

Leave a Comment

*