WEST COAST EAGLES V FREMANTLE DOCKERS
Subiaco Oval,Sunday 27 May 2012,2.40pmWST
First Half Match Report
“Beware the Rosserwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Bally bird, and shun
The frumious Sandersnatch!”
Woosha took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought –
So rested he by the halftum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Rosserwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!”
Half Time Score : WCE 2.8 (20) FD 3.2 (20)
“One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And, has thou slain the Rosserwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boys!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy Dockers
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the Eagogoves,
And the mome Eags outgrabe.”
Full Time Score : WCE 11.18 (84) FD 5.6 (36)
(Apologies to Lewis Carroll)
The first half was tight and tough in close. Ross Lyon certainly knows how to put men around the ball and behind the play (Match Plan A). Both sides tackled hard.
Ross Lyon teams line up with an Extremely Full Back, a Very Far Back, several Half Very Far Backs, lots of crumbers for them, and a Possibly Almost Half Forward for ‘in case we get lucky.’ I love how Saints fans and players rejoice at the demise of Rossball, and the return of football to their team.
The footy geniuses in the Freo “brains trust” sacked Mark Harvey, to bring in Lyon as a ‘finishing school’ coach to prepare the team for finals. The theory was that there was only a couple of seasons left in ageing stars like Pavlich, Sandilands and McPharlin. Time to strike while the ‘premiership window’ was open.
Ouch! Mind your fingers as it slams shut. Never has the term ‘finishing school’ been more apposite. The Dockers are finished for the season. Ross’ obsessions have coached the flair, spirit and creativity out of them. In the second half they were a rabble. There is no Plan B in the Rosserwocky’s coaching manual.
A few statistics. In the third quarter the Eagles had 21-3 Inside 50’s (64 to 30 for the game). The Eagles trailed by 8 points midway through the second quarter. In the next 60 minutes of Rossball to the mid point of the last quarter, the Eagles had 19 scoring shots (9 goals 10 behinds) to one point by the Dockers. We let them have a couple of junk time goals, to reduce the number of jumpers off the Fremantle bridge this week.
On a brilliant, windless 24° autumn day the Dockers kicked their all time lowest score at Subiaco Oval. Their previous worst was 6 goals 8 behinds (oh, how they dream of those carefree, reckless days).
For the Eagles, Darren Glass was brilliant in the first half and clearly BOG to that point. He spent most of the second half squinting into the sun at the far end of the ground and improving his tan.
In the second half he was surpassed by the tireless running of Matt Rosa (career high 43 disposals), Andrew Gaff (29) and Chris Masten (25). Josh Hill was lively and creative up forward all day with 3 goals 4 behinds. Natanui took 2 speccies and combined with a tireless Cox to outmuscle Sandilands. The other Docker talls – Clarke, Griffin and Dawson– failed to turn up.
Ballantyne is a poor man’s Milne. He lacks the tank and muscle to be a midfielder. Played forward he would sneak 2 or 3 goals a game, but Lyon doesn’t believe in forwards. Ross has the Sam Allardyce coaching manual down pat. Put everyone back, and hoof it forward occasionally in the hope that someone runs onto it for a goal. Gets you a lot of scoreless draws. It got West Ham back into the Premier League this season, why shouldn’t it work for Freo???
Next 4 weeks the Eagles have Lions, Blues (home), Magpies, Suns. That should make us 11-2 with even luck. Dockers have Crows (they will be on the rebound – the Dockers only have dead cat bounce left in them); Tigers (flag faves next week), Bombers (flag faves last week), Magpies (flag faves this week). That should make them 5-8.
Time gentlemen please.
Freo have the ALP dilemma. Sack the boss and die of embarrassment. Keep the boss and die of shame. Oh frabjous day!
Eagles – Rosa, Gaff, Masten, Glass, Priddis, Waters, Cox, Lynch, Hurn (all except Kerr and Adam Selwood played well)
Dockers – Michael Johnson was a lone hand, Pavlich and Barlow in the first half, Crowley deserves credit for frustrating Kerr out of the game. Daylight and rabble after that.