NOT another thumping – quite the opposite in fact

Where do I begin? What a day, what a game. We’ve been hammered in the last month by some of the best teams in the land, chasing not only the win but the percentage needed in one of the tightest seasons in memory. Our young kids have been valiant but have run out of legs, in the second half of quarters and the second half of games.

I thought before the game that Port wouldn’t beat us by 100. They’re not as good as the other sides and they aren’t chasing the percentage the others were either. On the other hand, they had already delisted Giles, Brogan and Chadwick Cornes and sacked Mark Williams, they lost to the Gold Coast last year, Primus was already under the pump – could they afford to lose to us? I expected them to put in a really good performance to prove their own point, much like Melbourne had.

On our side we had that same Port Adelaide contingency looking for a bit of payback and we also had Sheedy’s 1,000 game milestone. Leaving home to catch the train we wondered how the boys would come out of the horror month – better for the experience or absolutely stuffed. I would have been happy with a 40-50 point loss.

Again, the weather could not be faulted. Sun shining, 21 degrees and a light breeze with only a hint of chill.

This week we decided to forgo our assigned seats in the Martin & Angus stand and go and sit in the Members Reserve area of the Suttor stand, just to see what it was like from the other side of the ground. Had a mate with us as well – a died in the wool Penny Panther member (who still has allegiances to the Swans, but I’m working on that).

I thought the pre-match was done really well. There was only one banner and only one man broke through it, flanked on either side by an honour guard of Giants players, Port players and a contingent wearing the number 10 of Richmond and a group wearing Bombers jumpers. Neither side hear their song before the game, it was all about Sheeds and his remarkable record. “That’s what the AFL does so much better than League.” my mate remarked.

Then the game started, and as has been the case even in our thumpings, we got out of the blocks well. Tommy Bugg, who usually plays down back, slotted the first one through, was felled in the push and shove that inevitably follows these early goals, and so goaled again from the ensuing free.

Patton, Smith and Green all missed what were very gettable goals, could that come back to bite us? before Devon Smith kicked another and Cameron followed it up with a point. At the 15 minute mark we were 22 to nothing.

Now the 15 minute mark is important. Someone did a calculation on last week’s game. in the first 15 minutes of each quarter the score against Collingwood was 10:8 to 6:6. After the 15 minute mark the score was 16:8 to 1:6 – 104 to 12 in the back half of each quarter.

But as I said, Port is not Collingwood and my wife commented that they were playing like we have been recently. They just weren’t getting it forward. We kicked another 2:1 to their 1:2 (with their 1 coming after the siren) to make it a 5:4 to 1:2 quarter time score. Happy with that – could even have been better.

Adam Treloar, last week’s rising star nomination, kicked a beauty from about 48 at the 17 second mark of the second and Taylor Adams followed it up a minute and half later with another. We’re on fire. When Jonathan Patton joined the party my five year old started getting cocky “We’re winning, we’re gonna win it, we’re gonna win it.”

I tried to be the voice of reason, Port will come back, they can’t be this bad for the whole game, our side is very young and will get tired, there’s a long way to go.

And come back they did, kicking 3 goals to nothing after that 15 minute mark. At half time the scoreline read 8:6 to 4:5. My mate took a photo of the scoreboard and posted it on facebook.

The third quarter started like the others had, from right in front of us big Joffa Giles, who was having a blinder against the club he couldn’t get a game for, slotted one from near the boundary inside a minute.

Then we started to slip into some old bad habits, overusing the footy, missing targets and coughing up turnovers. You could see us running out of legs. Port closed the gap. Here comes the fade out, we all thought, Port will over run us from here, but we’ve done OK this week, certainly no embarrassment. But crucially, like us in the first, they couldn’t convert all their chances and missed some easy shots. A late goal to Jezza Cameron put us 12 points up at three quarter time and still hopeful.

How would we run out the last quarter? Well as the history books will show, we ran out the last quarter pretty well. Early goals to the Chad and Cameron gave us a buffer. Another to Devon Smith, (if he doesn’t get this week’s rising star nomination call a stewards inquiry) and you could see the belief set in. You could see them pick up the run and out in the second and third effort.

Yeah, Port kicked a couple of goals to close the gap a bit, but the flow of the game was with us. An eye on the clock, trying to calculate how long was left, how many goals they’d need. The clock rapidly swinging in our favour. We are going to win this.

The crowd found its voice and if 6,800 sound that loud, what will a packed stadium sound like?

When Scully found Jezza (how can he not win the Rising Star) all alone in the 50 and he casually ambled into an open goal the crowd started to really go nuts. By the time Will Hoskin-Elliott kicked the sealer we were in party mode and Matty Primus was in the rooms.

As the team song we never heard says “It’s history here in the making”.

Kick to Kick was accompanied by a rock band at the scoreboard end, there was cake if you wanted to line up for it and autographs from the players – winning on a Milestone like Sheedy’s 1000th has its advantages.

What a great day. You gotta love this game. You gotta love this team. And as another song says “future’s so bright – I gotta wear shades.”

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....

Comments

  1. pamela sherpa says:

    It was a great win Steve . The planets aligned for Sheeds on Saturday. Ironic that the demise of Primus came against his old teamates and coach . Footy can be cruel sometimes.

    Can the Giants go back to back and win the rematch against the Suns?

  2. Richard Naco says:

    They’re very much a chance at Wally World, and the Dee-plorables are not beyond reach at Manuka either the week after that.

    While it’s gratifying for their faithful that the Giants got a tick in the W column, the fantastic work of their coaching staff will bear the real rewards in a few years down the track.

  3. Call off the Stewards – Devon Smith’s 21 disposals, 8 marks, 6 tackles and 2 goals 2 was rewarded with this week’s Rising Star nomination, taking the team total to seven for the year.

  4. Like watching the Giants. You certainly get a bit of value from time to time. Must be exciting for their fans.

    But with all due respect Steve, If you had draft picks from 1 to 100 last year then you would expect to get a few RSN’s over the journey.

  5. I agree that all our high draft picks have helped in the rising star stakes, but of the 7, only 3 were drafted last year – Greene, Cognilio and now Smith. The other four played in the NEAFL and an extra year under Sheeds has certainly payed dividends.

  6. Wayne Ball says:

    I’m the mate referred to in the story. I’ve been watching the Swans since the early 80’s, and despite having never lived to the east of Blacktown, I won’t be jumping ship.

    My number one passion is and always will be the Penrith Panthers in the NRL, but I am not so narrow minded as to not be able to appreciated the skill sets of the other codes. I also passionately support the NSW Waratahs and will be supporting the Wanderers in the A-League. I tried to support Sydney FC, but when I started to refer to them as Sydney FU, the Wanderers are a long overdue addition to my sporting passion.

    Did I enjoy my day at the footy? Absolutely. I have seen the AFL mark many milestones. Plugger’s thousandth goal and then breaking the record, Paul Kelly’s retirement, unfurling the Premiership Flag. But the manner with which Sheedy was honoured on Saturday was top shelf, not even an ESPN documentary could have added any more style to the occassion.

    The talent of the young list of the Giants is plain for all to see. At the moment a group of 19 year old boys are losing those crucial one on one contests against a direct opponent who has 5 more years of hard gym work and training on them – so I’m not upset with any of their results so far this year. If they can keep this list together by 2016, then the Giants will be the dominant team north of the Murray.

    Best moment of the game for me was the comment from one of the Giant’s family members sitting near us in the middle of the 2nd Quarter; “This is a percentage booster game for us.” Pure gold.

    But then there were a decent amount of Port fans at the stadium too. I felt sorry for them – not because they support Port, rather the realisation that they still lived in Adelaide.

    After the siren it was time to go out and play kick to kick with Steve’s 5 year old son. It was crowded out there, with at least a thousand kids, mums and dads soaking up a winning atmosphere as the sun set and the floodlights of the 8 towers illuminating the night.

    Then a short walk to the train station, home within half an hour and dinner waiting in the slow cooker. Thanks to Steve, Kath and Liam for a very enjoyable day I won’t forget for quite some time.

    Wayne Ball

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