AFL Qualifying Final – Sydney v Fremantle: Noah, The Messiah and There is only one Kepler Bradley!!

Sydney Swans versus Fremantle Dockers

2.45pm, Saturday, 6 September 2014

ANZ Stadium, Sydney


The alarm screams out at some ungodly hour to make sure I start my finals pilgrimage to Sydney on time. My “purpleseque” game day routine remains unchanged. I just hope the mechanics do a better job with the plane than they did with the Docker’s one.  Two hours stuck on the tarmac to be told the plane was “stuffed”, was not a good omen for our 2014 finals campaign.  Being sent back home to hydrate and sleep, to do it all again the next day, was not part of the travel routine schedule.  I just hope they are not too buggered.

A sensational view over the Blue Mountains escarpment was soon obliterated by a wall of grey, with touchdown met by torrential rain. I anxiously peruse the weather radar and it did not look great. The big red bits (ie bloody heavy rain), was tracking right over ANZ Stadium, so the boys will be swimming today.  This weather was only fit for Noah and his Arc!!

It was really, really wet. Thank goodness my trusty gumboots were hitching a ride up the Hume.  Four of our banner crew tragics (Di 1, Leanne, Queen Haylz and Meagan) had made the ultimate sacrifice.  These four awesome ladies packed two cars to the roof with the banner, pom pom’s, floggers, flags, banner bag, jackets, ropes and  tape (no room for personal luggage) and drove all the way from Melbourne, just so the purple army was well represented (in all their purpleness)!

It was great to tick off ANZ stadium from my AFL grounds’ bucket list. With a small break in the rain, (who would have thought we would need sunnies), the ground did not look too bad, even if it was a bit squelchy!  A footy ground, wherever you travel, is an oval with green grass and sticks down each end.  But geez, the AFL’s 1st love child had players with a combined total of 378 games at this ground.  Freo had 5!!  We will not be bullied but I start to feel a little uneasy.  We play under the anywhere, anytime mantra so should be no problem (and yes, I believe in the Easter Bunny)!!

No McPharlap, no Johno, no worries. Our backline had more holes than swiss cheese. I remained optimistic through my purple haze. Though the “Bondi Millionaire” (The Messiah – no name required) and his twin forward “Draft Cheat” Tippet were looking fearsome on paper, we still had SCOS (Silvagni), Zac “Mark of the Year” Dawson, Ibbo, Mayney and Co.  With the “Australian of the Year” starting to slow down for the Swans, we still had our “Freo Wall” bricks of Duff, Muz (Mzungu) and Spurr(iffic).  The contest would be tough but not impossible.  I’d be lying though if I was not just a little wobbly around the knees.

Finals footy steps up a notch so smashing bodies, brutal tackles and lunging smothers set the tone. Sydney was switched on early with Freo’s backline under siege.  Poor shots on goal by Sydney keeps Freo in touch.  Our first goal was kicked by Muz, however two quick replies, one from The Messiah, had us behind.  Pav’s first goal was awesome.  Good use of the body and a great mark had him running away like a teenager into an open goal.  We were three points down at quarter time.  A dodgy hammy had Malceski subbed out.   Sydney handing out the red vest early gave me some hope.

I really hate Sydney, so my stomach had the whole “butterfly enclosure” flapping inside thingy happening. I wanted to go home but at the same time scream myself stupid to keep our dream alive.  I was exhausted from waving the flogger.  Good grief, I still had three quarters to go.  SCOS was best on ground so far as The Messiah had only kicked one goal.  Take note commentators.  There are 35 other players on the ground apart from The Messiah, in case you have not read your footy record!!

There is only One Kepler Bradley! (Thanks to Seppo’s chant for some light relief).

Freo hits the lead early in the 2nd quarter.  A courageous Mayney mark and some more Pav magic have the purple army fired up.  Ibbo manages four goal saving marks but somehow the Swans still look dangerous.   Taberner has some nervous moments and my head drops.  It was too much for Ross the Boss.  He will need a new phone for the second half and where the heck was Ballas?  Sandi’s ruck work is sublime but not to Freo’s advantage.  I hate to admit the stoppage and clearance work from the Red and White is starting to show.  We were lucky to be only five points behind at half time.  Pav (the Legend) three goals, The Messiah one goal.  How sweet is our Pav!!

There is only One Kepler Bradley!

The third quarter starts with slick handballs, fumbles a plenty and relentless tackles.  A bloody free kick in Sydney’s forward line has McGlynn kick a major against the run of play and the Swans hold firm.  Muz breaks free to kick a reply so our lungs burst belting out the Freo chant.  I have no idea whether I will survive?  Freo’s Pearce is sick and glum, so adorns the red vest. Crozier runs on with fresh legs.  However Parker, Jack, McVeigh, Jetta, Hannebury, Cunningham and Co stretch Swans lead at three quarter time to 22 points.  Did I mention The Messiah only has one goal to date?

There is only one Kepler Bradley!

Freo needs a huge final quarter and with less than a minute played, Cam (Sutcliffe) kicks a team goal. Pav’s fourth is an amazing cross the body kick from the 9th row back and we are on the march and delirious.  Only ten points behind.  I feel sick.  Unfortunately The Messiah sends through a quick response and the commentators are orgasmic.  A Swan’s goal is disallowed thanks to a review but my worst nightmare starts to unfold.  SCOS has a cat nap and The Messiah, from only the boundary line, sails through another.  Words now fail me but not the commentators!!  Oh please, calm down, his you-know-what still stinks like ours!! Need I mention C.O.L.A!!!!!  Don’t get me started. Have I mentioned how I really hate the Swans and that Pav has kicked four goals – still one more than The Messiah and yes I am a bitter and twisted old woman who will always live life through the colour purple!!

Catch up footy does not cut it. Ballas soldiers on with a rearranged face and our midfield amigos Barra(Mundy), Fyfe and Barlow, are spent and so is our goal kicking, Set-shot misses by Sandi and Duff make it impossible to replicate last year’s stunning result. Begrudgingly, I know it is over, I know it is done by 24 points.  Bugger, I had high hopes and Ross must be thinking “what does he have to do to win a premiership”?  We pack up with heavy hearts and start the long journey home.  There is still life in the season for the Dockers and for this bitter and twisted old woman, in all her purpleness.  I will be keeping the dream alive until next week and the week after and the week after that……..



SYDNEY SWANS   3.4   5.8   9.10  13.15   (93)

FREMANTLE          3.1   5.3    6.6   10.9     (69)



Sydney Swans: McGlynn, Franklin 3, Hannebery, Tippett, Jack, Parker, Jetta, Goodes, Pyke

Fremantle: Pavlich 4, Mzungu 2, Fyfe, Walters, Mundy, Sutcliffe



Sydney Swans: McGlynn, McVeigh, Hannebery, Parker, Jetta, Kennedy

Fremantle: Pavlich, Barlow, Fyfe, Mzungu, Neale, Sandilands, Silvagni



Sydney Swans: Malceski (hamstring)

Fremantle: Nil



Sydney Swans: Craig Bird replaced Nick Malceski at quarter-time

Fremantle: Hayden Crozier replaced Danyle Pearce in the third quarter


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Rosebury, Schmitt, Meredith


Official crowd: 35,998 at ANZ Stadium


My Votes

McVeigh (3)

Jetta (2)

Pavlich (1)




  1. Thanks Di (2 I presume?), an epic struggle with the odds against your boys and they battled valiantly. Good luckk this weekend.
    I had to chuckle at Noah’s Arc – sounds like an underwater 50 metre line!

  2. David Zampatti says

    You never realise how similar the printed “m” is to “rn” until you read about four awesome ladies packing their pom poms for the trip to Sydney.

    So thanks Di. That’s all I got out of last week’s game.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Love your passion , Di Good luck tonight

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