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Round 7 – Sydney v Brisbane: A sight for sore eyes


Time, it seems, has caught up with me. Years of peering at computer screens has finally stuffed my vision. After getting my eyes checked I spend most of Saturday morning trying on frames. It’s somewhat depressing this getting old thing.


But not as depressing as getting beaten by Carlton. And nowhere near as demoralising as sitting bottom of the ladder on 0 and 6. While I deliberate over the Jeff Banks and Converse frames I spare a thought for the Swans. What do they need to do to arrest this downhill slide? Can an untested McVeigh and a returning Allir steady our backline to release players who just might move the ball upfield? Have the boys finally hit rock bottom that all this talk of ‘getting back to basics’ and ‘being harder at it’ will finally translate into action? The frame choices stack up. Enough pondering just make the decision and live with it. I make my choices and leave the store, hoping that Horse and the team have made the right choice too.


Sunday at the SCG. Glorious conditions, bright sunshine and a light breeze. I’m feeling strangely confident. Even the news that Allir has been dropped for not attending training doesn’t faze me. Not that much anyway.


The Enemy win the toss and I’m wondering if we’ve even managed to win that this season? There’s niggle going on from the forward fifty to the backline. It’s a sad element that has crept into our matches over the years; Enemy teams trying to get into the boys’ heads and under their skin with playground rubbish.


The ball is bounced, Kennedy wins a free, kicks to McVeigh who sends a spearing pass to Buddy running hard on the lead. From fifty out he slots the goal. It’s an encouraging sign. The Enemy make a run at goal but it’s not long until we have the ball back and Towers gets himself on the scoreboard. Jones leaves defenders in his wake to get the ball to Buddy who rushes his kick instead of steadying. Nevertheless, the team looks more coherent, finding space and hitting targets. Hayward curls one in from around his body. The Enemy get a goal but they’ve had to work hard for it. Kennedy ghosts in from nowhere to mark and goal. More Jones magic and Heeney boots one from point blank range. Sinclair goals courtesy of a nice kick from Buddy. The Enemy are gifted a goal as a result of an idiotic handball in defence. We look to be slowing slightly. But then Buddy just does his thing, getting on his bike to bang in a monster bomb from about eighty metres out. It’s a massive start but there’s still an undercurrent of nerviness in the stands.


The opening minutes of the second quarter are played on our terms with Cunningham adding two goals to his tally. Jones is having some sort of game, whirling around would be tacklers. We retreat into our shells for a while and the skill levels drop. The Enemy push into our defence, easily reading the hasty kicks out and rebounding to get a couple of goals. Mills makes a late spoil sparking an all-in brawl. The Enemy are looking to work their way back into the game. But they don’t have Buddy and he’s pouncing on any chance he gets. He scores another three goals during the quarter and the lead is pushed out to a comfortable forty-four points. I’m hoping for a ten-goal haul from him.


He adds two to his tally in the third quarter. One’s the result of more jumper punching niggle behind play, the other is just a classic use of strength to dump his defender. However, despite the lead being extended, it’s not a great quarter. The decision-making has gone haywire. Beautiful passages of play leading to forward entry cock-ups. Twice Cunningham has clear shots on goal only to either go too quickly or look for Buddy. We get pushed back into that panicked defensive mode and thankfully the siren rescues us.


It’s more of the same in the fourth. There’s less run. The Enemy are determined to keep the trouble going, this time starting on Hayward. They bang in a long bomb of their own. From our view point the umpires seem determined to keep them in the game. We can’t squander this sort of lead can we? Buddy’s offline on his eighth attempt. Sinclair blots his copy book a couple of times. I keep thinking we should’ve put this one beyond doubt well before now.


Sinclair makes amends and then Buddy lets fly with a monster shot. The siren goes, the ball goes through and we’ve got our first win.


Thankfully there’s nothing wrong with Buddy’s vision.


  1. Keiran Croker says

    Good read Tom. I’m hoping our boys have their sights set for a good win over North this week. I’ll be heading along. Have only managed to get to the Dogs game and the one in the west. So hopefully my presence will inspire a great performance. Good to see Tippo and Gazza returning in the Twos to find some form and get match practice.

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