Round 20 – St Kilda v Western Bulldogs: It’s a long season when you suck

 

 

Etihad Stadium

Saturday 4th August 2018

 

My sister Denise joined Uncle Bob, Aunty Betty, cousin Gary and me at the footy on Saturday night. She’s a Western Bulldogs supporter and if she’d reminded me earlier of this (“Every time I come and sit with you, we [Dogs] win”) she wouldn’t have been my footy guest, this night or ever again.

 

It’s Saturday night, we’d all come out for a game of footy that we thought may have been more even, (and in our dreams we might win) and we even had a terrific first quarter as Saints supporters.

 

Seb Ross, Jack Newnes, Jack Lonie and Tim Membrey all goaled in a first quarter that saw the Doggies only kick five behinds. For that minor moment in time, for that 25 minutes, we thought we were watching something very special. We thought we were in this game. We thought anything was possible.

 

The second quarter is when the ‘sucking’ became the thing.  Even though Ross scored the first, the Western Bulldogs pulled their finger out and dragged the game back. Fergus Greene put the Doggies on the board before Lonie got his second. Then they ran away. Lin Jong. Jack Macrae. Josh Schache. Seb Ross got his 3rd before Lachie Hunter and Tory Dickson made it a Doggie 6 goal quarter.

 

I went to the loo at half time. A Saints fan says to me, “How do we go from being reasonable in the first quarter to being hopeless in the second quarter?” I had no answer. The Saints had no answer.

 

And then it was all Doggies. Dickson, Patrick Lipinski, Marcus Bontempelli who lit up the stadium, Mitch Wallis, Bontempelli, Schache, Bontempelli and you guessed it, the Bont again. Hayden Crozier kicked a goal just to take the attention away from the Bont. That score line and Saints resistance made the toilet conversation even more depressing.

 

Josh Battle had left the ground after first quarter, and Tom Hickey was injured and playing in the forward line. What was the excuse for the rest of our players?  They looked completely flat and were outplayed in every aspect of the game. And the Saints fans suffered through all of this, deflated, defeated and depressed.

 

And we had discovered in the first quarter, that there was not one radio station calling this game.  By ¾ time, I knew why.  The Saints spirit had abandoned this game as much as the media had. The upside of the media blackout was that there was no outside analysis of how bad we were.

 

There were 20,748 people at this match.  Uncle Bob and Aunty Betty left just after the start of the fourth quarter. Even though Jack Billings finally goaled, and Jack Newnes followed, Josh Schache got his third for the night and the Dogs finished the game 35 points ahead.

 

Denise was happy. I felt drained. Gary and I trudged back to Southern Cross for the nightmare that is Metro trains post Saints games. On platform 13, we’d have to wait 30 minutes for a train, so we headed back to Platform 12 to try and catch a different train to Caulfield only to find we missed the one we needed and got a Sandringham train to Flinders Street, changing platforms yet again, to, you guessed it, eventually catch the Platform 13 train we could have caught at Southern Cross.  What was even funnier (not really laughing) is that Bob and Betty, having left so much earlier, were stuck at Flinders too, and got the train back with us.

 

As I stood in the wind at the Sharks Division 2 then 1 games on Sunday, I saw what terrible conditions local players have to put up with, watched footy organising legend Ann Rulton have a pole hit her head as the tent over the make-shift kiosk flew away, and I did the toilet paper run to the local Woolies to do my bit for women’s footy. Both divisions were beaten badly by the Eastern Devils.

 

My only consolation was that the Southern Saints had a massive win against the Western Bulldogs in the VFLW on Sunday and I got to catch up with footy stalwarts Leesa Catto and Lou Wotton (lifetime player for Eastern Devils VWFL and played 3 games for AFLW Collingwood) while blowing in the wind. Standing next to footballers and legends in the women’s VFL was the highlight for the weekend, even if I felt like a princess in the wind and a very small person to boot.

 

For the Sharks it was R U OK round.

 

And to the Saints, I say, R U OK guys as the end of the season can’t come quickly enough for most Saints fans.

 

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About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. Hi Yvette,

    It was a heart breaking game and reflected on how our performances suck. I would feel hurt if I were at the game.

    The Metro train issues seemed to happen because the home team didn’t go marching in. Do you know what happened with train lines towards Footscray?

    Maybe should I train with our boys and practise basic skills to improve better?

    Thanks

    Yoshi

  2. G’day Yvette.

    It has turned out as a long season for your team. Coming into the year I felt you were contenders for the 8 , I certainly rated St Kilda than Melbourne. Why ?

    As an outsider I didn’t consider the loss of Reiwoldt, Montagna would impact on your progress. I felt both were past their best, there were another players peaking to give the leadership for the club to be finalists. Billings, Bruce, Gresham, Membrey, Ross & Steele , gave the club a strong nuclei to appear in September. Wasn’t I wrong.

    Watching your match against Essendon, last night, the turn overs, spilt marks, the elementary mistakes were glaring. I watched it with the better half who has decided to barrack for St Kilda since we want to the match in Wellington on Anzac Day 2015. She’s unsure if she’s picked the correct team.

    Any how hope youse do better in 2019. There should, hopefully, be only one way from here: up.

    Glen!

  3. Yvette Wroby says:

    Hi Yoshi,
    at least we are all in this together, the only up from this season. Surely, with games into the young men, and our more mature players coming back from injury next year, and with possibly a few good trades, we can be better.

    Glen! What can I see to your beloved. It’s been a tough few years. And what we keep producing is nowhere near what I think we are capable of. I need a holiday. Look out for my next post!

  4. Hi Yvette
    Your sentiments reminded me of myself, way back in the dreary South days when each week we were left “deflated, defeated and depressed”. As we know, though, nothing stays the same.

    And I can assure you that the train fiasco from Southern Cross isn’t just after St Kilda games. I’ve been to Etihad about five times this year, and every single time the Sandringham train on platform 13 sees thousands of people lining up for sometimes 40 minutes before a train arrives. Two weeks ago I was told I’d have to change at Flinders St as the train wasn’t going all the way. When I told him that they always go right through on footy days, he swore this one wouldn’t. Guess what: he had no idea what he was talking about, and we didn’t have to change. It’s beyond belief that they don’t organise trains every 5 or 10 minutes following the end of a match. I presume people have complained to the authorities, but doesn’t seem to have made any difference.

    Take care
    Jan

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