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Round 13 – Sydney v West Coast: If anyone can beat them, we can!

 

Not sure when, if ever, the Swans have won a game when not kicking a solitary goal in two quarters of footy. This is what happened in the first and last 30 minutes of this game. All it needed was five goals in both middle quarters to do the trick.

With another coldish night in Sydney, following plenty of sunshine and temperatures of 20 degrees these past few days, the anticipation for this match has been growing steadily. Not just by Swans fans, but the footy world as well. Our games against West Coast, especially since the 2005-2006 premiership years, hold deeply-passionate memories. And this year, with both teams right up there with the best, this passion seems even more significant tonight.

My memories of West Coast, apart from those consecutive premierships, lie with their fans: their fans at their home ground in Perth, back in 2015. And the memories haven’t faded. I have never been so horrified and disgusted by a group of people and their outrageous treatment of one man. The behaviour that night, in Round 17 on Sunday July 26th, when their 40,000 strong crowd relentlessly booed Adam Goodes every single time he approached the ball, will never be erased from my memory – or those of Bloods’ supporters. To say nothing of what memories Adam still holds! Those West Coast people were despicable that afternoon in their vitriolic, racist hatred of an Indigenous man, and their behaviour was a blight on society. So, any victory against this mob is one to be treasured.

As the Eagles run through their banner: Swans are just so regal, they are no match for the Eagles, I’m afraid my instant reaction is “Up yours, Eagles fans!” Not very polite of me, I know, but, who cares?

The first quarter certainly sets the trend for the match. It’s pressure-packed from end to end, and it doesn’t let up. Their Kennedy manages the only goal for the quarter, despite their many inside 50 entries, and but for our defence – which was outstanding yet again – the scoreline could well have been very different.

The play is a little freer in the second term, and with five straight goals to their 1.4 the Swans fans are now cheering. The young boys are playing well, especially Ollie, Ronks and Aliir, and goals to Paps (2), Ronks, Harry and Joey, gives us a slim 14 point lead at half time.

Not long into the third term Buddy gets our first score – a thumping kick from five metres out, straight into the post! This wasn’t to be his night, in terms of goals, but his mere presence gets the opposition panicking, and the extra man in defence – required to quell his influence – can only be beneficial to his team mates. Our first goal for the term is from that impish looking Ronks. I like him, a lot. He so wants that ball! Running and bouncing from the 50 metre line choosing not to pass onto the beckoning unopposed Buddy but to back his own confidence and ability, he slams it through the big sticks. Buddy congratulates him. We all do. Then, a searing pass from Joey to Kizza 45 metres out, registers another one, our sixth consecutive goal. A farcical three out of bounds on the full results in Buddy’s first goal for the game, and the biggest lead of the night, 31 points. Two goals to them in almost as many minutes leaves a sour taste, but Will and Buddy add a further two to our score, before Yeo reduces our lead with a pretty incredible 50 metre goal on the siren. A 5.3 to 3.3 quarter in a close and still fiercely fought game.

With a 26 point lead, my jangling nerves take a big hit when they kick a goal in the first 20 seconds of the final term. The sigh around the ground is audible, and we’re all feeling the pressure. This quarter pulsates throughout. Goals are missed, the defences are working overtime, and when Lycett kicks another for them, reducing our lead to under three goals, and then their Kennedy marks and misses from 20 metres in front, with the clock showing 27 minutes, it all becomes a bit too much for this Swans fan. She gets on the phone to family in Melbourne and doesn’t even need to speak as “One minute 40” greets her.

We hold on, and we’ve won! We’ve beaten them again! No one else has beaten them this year! I am one happy camper as I jump from my seat, singing the song but in the back of my mind also thinking, “Up yours, West Coast fans!”

This was a really gutsy effort from our boys. Our defence was excellent throughout, including the 250-game man Reg, showing us all just what a rookie-listed play can achieve, and the young ones, as they have shown all year, really stood up when required. Ollie’s game was excellent, Ronks showed his class, Tom McCartin played his best game so far, Aliir was superb in his comeback game, Georgie continued his wonderful tagging role – restricting their stars and their influence – Heens was great, and Joey, as always, was instrumental.

Overall, although not pretty, this was a wonderful win. A consistent four quarters from a consistently good and always improving team.

And, sorry, but I need to say it just one more time, “Up yours, West Coast fans!” (with a special apology to the Almanac Eagles crew).

Go Bloods!

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. It was I who delivered to the desperate caller there was 1 minute 40 seconds to go before the siren. It was not though only those at the SCG who suffered anxiety at the closing minutes of the game. A third sibling was pacing the lounge room mouthing bad words and looking away when the Eagles missed easy shots!
    Yes, a tense game for sure. But, as always, worth it!
    Go swannies!
    Jude

  2. Peter_B says:

    Ugly, scrappy pressure game. Not sure any neutrals would have enjoyed watching it. Both teams will be there at least into the second week in September.
    I would fancy us on a bigger ground than the SCG phonebook, and in the dry with Darling and Barrass playing (but I would say that wouldn’t I). Our talls versus your mids. Be interesting to see what the best Eagles forward mix is. Rioli, Cripps and LeCras all had shockers. Ryan got it but squandered it. Waterman is a handy third tall who will develop, but not sure he gets a game when Darling comes back.
    Allir was outstanding for the Bloods and is a beautiful footballer to watch.
    Jan – the Eagles mob were ugly that night in pillorying Goodes, but I know from being there it was a noisy minority. Idiots – who would boo Santa Claus – joined in. Enough with the racist tag. There are clowns in every circus. Including yours. I enjoyed your match report bar that sweeping generalised slur.

  3. Keiran Croker says:

    Great win for our boys Jan. I think we were in control from 2nd quarter onwards … we had about 80 more possessions overall. Great to see Aliir back and playing so well. I hope they stick with him. Very excited to see the continued development of Ollie, Ronks and young McCartin.

    Pete, I’m biased, however I thought it was actually a good game, despite some skill errors it was high pressure and intensity from both teams throughout. I agree that with Darling and Barass back the Eagles will be better and difficult to beat. Though hopefully we can get Reid and Melican back as well.

  4. Thanks one and all. Interesting that you mentioned you’d fancy your boys on a bigger ground than the SCG phonebook, Peter, which reminded me of the first round this year!

    I also thought it was a good game inasmuch as the intensity and pressure throughout. That pressure is often what causes the skill errors.

    Will be interesting to see how it all pans out in September!

    Cheer cheer

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