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Round 13 – Richmond v Sydney: After 30 minutes – Why do we bother? After 120 minutes: That’s why!

Since 2012, in six appearances, they’ve beaten us three times, two consecutively in 2015 and 2016. It’s not that lopsided, but for some reason, Richmond has recently been known as the Swans bogey team.

There was indeed much “bogeyness” happening for the first 30 minutes of Saturday’s game at the G, with the home team completely dominating. This domination continued well into the second quarter before the Swans awoke from their slumber. Presumably they’d been basking in the glory of their previous week’s win against the Dogs. Some slumber!

Our first quarter was abominable: a goal that wasn’t and a couple of lousy behinds being all we could muster. No one did anything, and we let the opposition do as they liked. Richmond looked good: they were fast, determined, accurate and far superior in every position. With not even a solitary goal to cheer about, the red and white crowd was very quiet.

Why do we bother? I muttered under my breath. We travel up and down from Sydney for all our interstate games, and have to sit through this rubbish. I don’t think I’ll bother in a fortnight’s time against Melbourne. A waste of time.

I did a lot of muttering at quarter time.

Deep down there amongst my mutterings, however, my disappointed bones told me that something else was also happening. Before the game I had a very real gut feeling that we would win this one against our so-called bogey team. It was nothing more than a gut feeling.

So, I just kept telling myself that all I had to do was believe; believe that for the next 90 minutes or so, my team would turn it around and perform. And I reminded myself that those gut feelings I get from time to time are usually spot on.

With Richmond’s lead extending in the early part of the second quarter to 36 points, my resolve was being tested. The players’ resolve had surely reached breaking point at this stage. Then, half way through the quarter, the Swans started playing. And, when Sammy Reid slotted a goal just on half time, and our deficit was cut to 25 points, there was hope. Four goals behind was still pretty ugly on the scoreboard, but the Swans had at last lifted. They were finally giving their supporters something to look forward to. Perhaps?

There wasn’t much muttering at half time.

Buddy’s report had us all wondering about his future – our future – but even from my view up in the gods on Level 4, it didn’t look that bad. The replay on the screen certainly didn’t show any head being hit, so let’s just hope he’ll be fine.

We continued to improve after the main break and with a four goal to two third term, and with Rance and Buddy giving the crowd plenty to cheer or jeer about (mostly jeers towards our man), there was even more hope going into the final 30 minutes. Just 13 points the difference.

No mutterings at all at three quarter time.

Just very silent nerves, causing my bones to shake a little under my nice warm Swans jacket. I really couldn’t stop shaking inside.

Hanners, Parks and Joey were now coming into the game and doing as they do best; the young cygnets Millsy, Heenes, Jonesy and Nic (maybe he’s Newy?) were continuing to have an influence; and with Lloydy carrying his wonderful 2017 form into this game, the Bloods were fighting back – in the vein of the Bloods of old: those of the Stewie Maxfield and Brett Kirk era, when they just refused – simply refused – to lose a close one.

How long is it since we won a close one?

That last quarter was all a bit too much; nerve-wracking stuff for the 58 odd thousand supporters at the game. All I could do was just sit still, try and calm myself by repeating over and over in my head it’s just a game of football, and believe in my gut feeling.

It’s all a bit of a blur now and as I won’t be able to watch the replay until we fly home to Sydney on Monday, I’ll have to hazard a guess as to my remembrances of those final 30 minutes. They involve Sammy getting our first goal; Riewold kicking one for them from the boundary line; Joey slotting a ripper for us; Kizza putting us in front for the first time with an accurate snap, with little time left on the clock; the ball being in Richmond’s forward line for what seemed like an eternity; tackling, tackling, tackling; Nic Newman – having the game of his short career – out-playing his opponent and clearing the ball back into our forward line; and then Joey kicking it forward and Gazza picking it up and goaling.

I jumped from my seat. Whatever I was holding went flying into the Richmond supporters’ laps in the row behind. I was no longer still and I was definitely no longer silent.

I just knew it! I just bloody knew it! We’ve won. WE’VE WON

How could I have doubted those beautiful young men in red and white?

I felt like crying. I didn’t.

I just jumped up and down waving my flag, and along with the thousands of delirious other Swannies at the game, I sang the song, over and over, still fighting back those tension tears.

And that is why we bother. Because, when your team fights to the death and wins like that – then it’s all worth it!

About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com

Comments

  1. Keiran Croker says:

    Newy was fantastic. Along with his classy kicking his tackling is impressive. All the cygnets lifted to support the older boys. A great win .. with some great memories to hold Jan.

  2. jan courtin says:

    Thanks Keiran

    I remember all of last year when I got to see the Reserves playing at the SCG, Nic Newman stood out. I’d say to Marshall “that number 28 will be a beauty”. Sure enough he is indeed just that!

    With Ollie Florent, Aliir Aliir, Jordan Foote, Jordan Dawson and Lewis Melican all doing well in the ressies over the weekend, and with Shuan Edwards being promoted, our clutch of cygnets currently in and out of the team auger well for our future!

    Cheer cheer

  3. Julie Cattlin says:

    Well Jan dear, I’m glad it’s worth it for you!! And you didn’t cry with joy and delight! As we discussed on Monday night, we all cry over different things – winning a football game, watching a movie, listening to Bach, listening to Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. And they’re the ‘happy’ emotional ones. And then we have the really sad ones after a traumatic event in our lives. What would we do without this salty water gushing out!
    Congratulations on the win.
    Love Julie xxxx

  4. Yes, what would we do without the salty water gushing out?

    Many thanks

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