Round 3 – West Coast v Geelong: Fifteen minutes of agony and nowhere to hide

West Coast v Geelong Apr 8, 2018, 4:40pm Optus Oval (the other one, over there)

 

It’s been a hot week. I lay awake late last night fitfully tossing in my bed. It could have been the heat or it could have been that, though I knew the result, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch that last fifteen minutes. When I shut down the laptop at 1.00am, Geelong was still ahead ten minutes into the last quarter having remembered that good kicking IS good football, and Tommy flying high and actually bringing down a few led to what the commentators were hailing a ‘miracle’ comeback from 32 points down at half-time.

 

The glory quarter, what was hailed last year by pundits as our best quarter, was all that we had left in the tank.

 

The first half was a mess, a proper shambles that took me back, almost reflexively to the 1994 Grand Final against West Coast. I was then fourteen, sitting high up in the stands at what was to be my first losing Grand Final experience. (It was also my first Grand Final experience, my parents had judiciously left me at home for the ’89 spectacle).

 

Back in ‘94 from almost the beginning but right through until that same point, deep in the last quarter, I wanted to leave, I wanted it to be over. Dad said, “No. Geelong supporters don’t leave early. We’re not Collingwood,” he sagely advised me.

 

After struggling through the replays of the first half last night I remembered all that is great and not so great about Geelong. When they’re on, they’re exciting to watch. Ratugolea was exciting to see charging up for marks, all lanky arms and legs akimbo, and Scott Selwood was excellent in giving it to his old side. But when it looks like a dog’s breakfast that even the SELDANGERBLETT (or the ‘Golden Triangle’) cannot resurrect, things are bad. Being two goals down after the first quarter that stretched to five goals by half-time, it was more than just the scoreboard that was cause for anxiety. Playing over there, at the fancy new stadium that will not be named, is a fearsome endeavour even for a team not already suffering with injuries to Duncan, Taylor and Henderson. When Guthrie does his ankle in gruesome fashion in the second quarter and Nakia Cockatoo does his PCL in the third, things weren’t going to go well after the returned disciple (son of god) tweaked a hammie deep in the fourth and hobbled to join his new/old mates on the bench.

 

West Coast looked dangerous the whole day, though the frothing crowd did get pretty quiet during that third term. They looked quick and tight, and showed what they could do even without bushranger Kennedy. Though I knew the result, I guess if I’m not squirming in my seat in the stands, I can afford to skip the bits I don’t want to watch. After going to both Round 1 and Round 2 this year, I can afford to skip over the last fifteen minutes where I can only assume that ‘leaping’ Liam Ryan did some more quick manoeuvring, and that LeCras took a few more solid grabs. I turned my back on the Cats in the true spirit of a real Pies supporter, I closed down the laptop and went to sleep. In my mind we were still winning.

 

Comments

  1. Rick Roberts says:

    Hey SweetGeee,
    I’m a WCE supporter and I switched off for the same reasons. Go figure.
    Rick R

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