Grand Final – Richmond v GWS: Talkin’ takin’ sides


Go Giants. For so many reasons. Here’s 4.


  1. To piss off AFL loyalists masquerading as rationalists. The ones that trot out the tired old workhorse of an argument that the Giants are a fabricated club. Ipso facto they should be shunned, dismissed, and they certainly should not be loved or championed. If share house tenants regurgitated their guts the amount of times this argument has seen light, the property would be condemned. And what do these same rationalists say of West Coast Eagles, Brisbane Bears, Adelaide Crows and so on? Were they not built from nothing? Contrived? As if the AFL itself wasn’t manufactured from a deteriorating and cash-strapped VFL, wrapped in silver foil (maybe tinfoil) to attract gold-diggers on the hustle for some easy money. Let it go, guys, and enjoy a team building. Until Victorians stop using the expression “non-Victorian”, the biggest contrivance the AFL has to deal with is that its competition is truly national.


  1. Callan. The name’s etymology is battle and rock. Two phrases that would come quickly to mind when describing one of footy’s best players. Along with Phil Davis, he is the Giant’s captain and, along with an impressive list of about 12 other players, the longest serving. To put that in perspective, the Gold Coast Suns have 6 players who have stayed that long. Collingwood have 5 players who have been at the club since 2012 or longer. Five! Callan is bunged up with injury and won’t be on the ground on Saturday,(nor will Coniglio, another class of 2012), but they will be there in spirit. Something rarely acknowledged about this fledgling club is its spirit. You can almost touch that spirit in the way Callan Ward and Phil Davis and their fellow foundation team-mates play the game. It’s as if they understand deep down to their marrow they are custodians of a game handed down through the centuries. That spirit is in their leadership. With every step that they take. Through osmosis it becomes their team-mates’ and this quaint little frontier odd-bod of a club. To slight the Giants as if they are a bunch of throwaways is just simplistic toss and an injustice to what has been built out in Blacktown. Callan Ward and Phil Davis, Leon Cameron and the whole damn enterprise play with that Marngrook spirit. It is what Wills understood in the game that so entranced him and that he made something more. Australian Rules footy has produced countless highlights and heroes, like Ern Henfry and ten thousand others and it has produced Callan Ward.


  1. Toby for PM or at least the Norm Smith. The imbalance of reporting on footy near does my head in. While Toby Greene was being vilified as evil incarnate through every media outlet out there, another player with a comparable bad track record, one Tom Hawkins, was being treated lightly. This was Hawkins’ third tribunal hearing this year for striking a player behind the play. Earlier this year he took out Sicily from behind while the ball was 100m up the ground. I have not come to make less of Greene’s actions, they speak for themselves. I do wonder why one player can be branded a villain and another with a questionable track record gets treated with mate’s gloves. Besides Toby Greene’s habit for misadventure, he is an out and out star. The type of player who will win the GF for the Giants. He is at $11 for the Norm Smith and it’s worth the punt. The odds have four Tigers players listed ahead of Toby. The betting market is already calling it for the Tiges. But if Greene plays out of his skin, you know, like he has something to play for (did I mention that he is one of the Giants foundation class of 2012), then the GF is going to get real interesting real fast. When interviewed Toby said, “I probably won’t be going near anyone’s face but I’ll be playing how I usually play.” If he does just that, game on.


  1. A soft spot for Western Sydney. I spent a fair bit of time criss-crossing the Western suburbs of Sydney back in the mid-2000s. Work. To say they sprawl is an understatement. A bedraggled set of satellite towns joined together by decaying highways and by-ways, with motorways zigzagging hither and yon. I’ve been stuck in traffic jams on the M4, missed turnoffs on the M7 and treated the M5 like a speedway racing to catch the last plane out of Sydney. Oh yeah, when you talk of Western Sydney you talk of roads and traffic. The word great doesn’t come up that much. Unless you spend time out there. If you work and live and love and play out there, you will fall hard for the place, the places. Parramatta is a favourite destination. You’ll hear tell that Sydney is two cities. The white-bread one that has the harbour and postcard views, and Western Sydney which has the larger population. And the more diverse population. If you want to understand what the future of Australia looks like, then go visit Parramatta or Penrith or the many towns in between. It feels good, vibrant and exciting, pulsating and not a little challenging and confronting. That is where GWS has taken root. And I wish them all the best.


As a Hawker do I really care who wins? For the sake of takin’ a side ,I guess I do and so I stand with the Giants. Every joke told, whether it be about their club song or their small fan base or whatever other soft bigoted reflection is cast misses far more interesting observations and stories that might be shared. Start at the Auburn Giants ( That GWS have made it to the big stage on the most important day in the AFL calendar hopefully means the media will go beyond the obvious to tell their stories. And if they win the premiership? Then the A in AFL becomes a little truer and the long journey of footy begun with the possum skin kicked around by Aboriginal kids playing Marngrook takes a much needed great leap forwards.



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About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day


  1. Don’t hold back, Trucker! Can’t say that I agree with all you have to say but love the rev-up. It’ll be interesting to see how Toby Greene goes – how he plays, how the Tigers counter him, how the crowd responds to him, etc. All part of the theatre.

  2. Another interesting point I reckon worth mentioning re the maturing and success of the club could be the enormous influence of 3 ex Tigers – Sheedy, Campbell and Cameron. Should be a fantastic game.
    Go TOIGES!

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Onya Rick! This should be on the GWS website.
    I particularly like #4. Say ‘Sydney’ and most will imagine the Bridge and Opera House and no thought given to the vast sprawl of houses and factories and flats and roads clogged with trucks spewing diesel fumes. I had a stint as a train guard and even after living here all my life was taken aback by the numbers of people from all over the world living in the distant suburbs. Skips are a minority. Make a dent in that and GWS could become the most significant club in the League.
    One example – Sudanese look built for Aussie Rules, cf Daw, Aliir, Chol, like islanders are built for Rugby League. The biggest Sudanese population in Australia is in Blacktown.

  4. george smith says

    About your mate Toby:
    As every Queensland copper knows, it’s easy to be a tough guy if you know city hall has your back…

  5. Loved this Trucker. Great, great read. Don’t know about the Giants claim that they have 30,000 members, but read somewhere that AFL participation in NSW has doubled since their establishment. That’s a stunning level of proselytization and totally vindicates the rationale to create a club in the region

    Goin for the Tiges, cos’ they’re my childhood sweetheart, but hoping the GWS do the code proud today.

  6. Thank goodness the footy season is almost over (except for the draft kerfuffle)and the cricket season is just beginning. Now, instead of being disappointed with the Crows’ feeble efforts I can look forward to numerous disappointments following the SA Redbacks etc.

    Hopefully the pre match entertainment for today will do the GF justice – one can but hope.

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