View From Shepparton: Lions’ comeback tops off an engrossing round

Hate to be a St Kilda barracker when the siren sounds at the end of the Grand Final against Brisbane and Nick lines up for goal 45 metres out, having just taken a pack screamer. Actually as a keen sportsman, sorry, person, I would get no joy either way if this scenario eventuated. I guess that if he slotted it I would hardly begrudge him kicking a captain’s goal and his subsequent joy and elation. And if it were against Brisbane it would more than make up for the way he was bullied off the field all of those years ago in one of Brisbane’s less glorious moments.

Having frequently described Port as “the Powerless” and generally hopeless, I was wondering where that left us at the end of the first quarter. It was a nightmare avalanche of goals as the Powerful went from strength to strength and our backmen  were looking like mere spectators. Actually by the time they had scored nine I was sort of hoping that Port could make the whole thing look tidy by getting the tenth whilst they were at it. As a mad keen Lions supporter the whole thing had become that surreal, indeed so much so that I was saying to my wife, “Forget the result, just look at the way these blokes are playing and enjoy”.

And yet we came back. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as it unfolded. I panic as much about Brown’s kicking as others would re-Riewoldt and yet he (Brown) slotted a couple of absolute rippers, particularly the one from the right forward flank.  I hurt with Merrett as he struggled to stay in the game. Have to be completely soulless not to feel sorry for Mark Williams as well. What a challenge it must be: a team who at once were so sublime and hopeless. I must say that I thought, too, that a couple of really important umpiring decisions went against Port. All the same, to give a team a 47-point start and then win by 15 is pretty impressive. Rischitelli, you ripper. And what about Rich’s 70-metre goal! Sydney will be another massive test, in particular now that we are without Merrett and now Bradshaw as well, just when he really starting to look good again.

St Kilda just lost; better to go off the boil now rather than when it really counts. North Melbourne, particularly Petrie, showed all of the old Shinboners spirit particularly after they had lost the lead which they had held all of the game only to regain it. I thought once they had been headed that North Melbourne would lose for sure.

Collingwood made me reach for my worry beads, or at least they would have had I had any. They made Sydney look pretty ordinary. This Jack Anthony can certainly play; he is one player who definitely can kick straight on most occasions. The Magpies (and as an ex-Croweater I hate that term being applied to Collingwood; it should belong to Port Adelaide) are really getting it together at the right time. As we are seeing, though, form is so fickle that it is difficult to be confident about any given scenario.

Essendon couldn’t play away, so what else is new? Everyone once again is teased by Freo but when will the teasing stop and the game-by-game consistency start?

Adelaide looked pretty good against West Coast. Actually I hope that Adelaide doesn’t get a home final given their home record. Just don’t want them playing against us any time soon that’s all. Otherwise they can beat any team they like, particularly Collingwood, as Mick has in the past made less than complimentary comments re-Neil Craig’s coaching style.

Geelong lost again but at least they put up a decent fight in the second half. Actually a St Kilda-Bulldogs grand final could be interesting.

Hawthorn won easily against Richmond. Franklin should not have been suspended for that bump in my view, it was in the play and is part of our game. Would not have liked to have been on the receiving end, though.

Carlton have come back with a vengeance, the game against Adelaide this week will be a real test for both teams.

My pick for this year’s premiers? Have to say that not withstanding my earlier day-dreaming, still Collingwood. Can’t see any one getting near them, and yet look what happened to the Cats last year.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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