AFL Round 10 – GWS v Richmond: Monaros running on one cylinder



Greater Western Sydney v Richmond

The Showground, Olympic Park

1340, 24 May 2014


I really thought we had a chance of winning this. My optimism started to deflate from the first bounce. Sixteen minutes in, Richond kicked their fourth and I knew it was gonna be a long afternoon.


The Monaros played as terrible a game as I’ve ever seen. Perky Girl wrote on FB that evening “I could have laid on the field sobbing and kicking and still would’ve managed a goal.”


That’s the worst of it. Prior to the thrashing in Perth, the Monaros were still getting some goals on the board. They may have conceded 20 to Port but still managed 15 of their own.


Not any more. No running to create targets, slow and inept ball use – I don’t see the wing-to-wing tactic catching on with Al Clarkson or Ken Hinkley. For example, Tom Scully, the Million Dollar Man, ran through the centre of the ground, got to centre half-forward. He could’ve kicked to JC, one-on-one in the goalsquare but he chipped it sideways. A few seconds later, turnover on the wing. Again.


Richmond, by contrast, went fast through the centre and every few minutes found a sure-handed forward in space, usually Jack. He won’t have many afternoons like that.


The leading goalkicker against GWS has averaged 7 in the last six losses. Is there room for some sort of Reverse Group Coleman to be awarded to the team who concedes the most goals to individuals?


Anyway, this is supposed to be a match review. I took copious notes in the first half. “4.0 to 1.3 reflects general play”, that Tigers were slick with the ball and Monaros not. At that point there was still some faint shred of hope that we’d get it together. But they had no sense of composure.


“Quick outa the pack, kick it long to Jack.” There’s a song for the cheer squad in there and they’re welcome to use it. Leigh Matthews reckoned the Monaros back six played as poorly as he’d ever seen and I’m not inclined to disagree.


A club that has picked the eyes out of the draft for three years should not be playing as terribly as this. It’s not just the kids – while Mumford was clearly lacking match fitness, Heath Shaw was just hopeless. He’s a premiership player, recruited for his nous and experience. Now he looks like one of those recruited to Brisbane in the 1980s, just happy to collect his wage and trot around to no good effect.


Compared to the Goldies, as they will be for many years to come, the Monaros lack coaching consistency, for one. McKenna was there for a year before the team played in the AFL, he’s four years in as an AFL coach and his team are coming together. Mad Sheeds had two years and for publicity and promotion he was great. The Mark Williams succession plan didn’t work cos Mark’s wife didn’t like living in Sydney they say (say what?!) so Leon Cameron got the gig. Several years an assistant at Hawthorn, decent credentials you’d think.


So why was JC wasting his time on Ty Vickery for the first 20 minutes of the match? By the time he was allowed to return to his natural home in the forward line, the game was being played almost exclusively in Richmond’s forward half of the ground. F’gawsakes, you got a young player with James Hird’s brain in Wayne Carey’s body, you don’t play him down back on the likes of Ty.


Then there was the half-time entertainment. A barely-talented singer and guitarist hollered and strummed away in an excrutiating fashion. I was told they did a Pat Benatar song but all I heard, having spent a fair chunk of halftime with a beer and a cigarette watching two kids in GWS jumpers play all over their three mates in Richmond jumpers, was an ‘orrible version of an ‘orrible Screaming Jets song – “Say you never get anywhere, they don’t care, it’s just not fair.” Say you never kick any goals, yes I care and unfairness has nothing to do with it, you’re just not working hard enough.


Walking back to my seat, a Richmond fan with a tattooed skull and neck saw me and yelled out “It’s Ozzy Osbourne! We’ve got a celebrity here!” Probably the high point of a day that I’d been looking forward to. I had, however accidentally, worn a symbolic outfit. Orange and gold ‘Golden Dragon’ T-shirt for all the ethnic restaurants in Western Sydney. Orange and grey well-scraped motorcycle jacket for all the hoons and motorsport fans. Well-worn workboots for all the blokes who do the dangerous, dirty jobs that no-one else will touch.

Earl O'Neill Monaro


Boys, you did none of them any credit and you don’t deserve this car as your monicker.


A word of explanation on ‘Monaros’. I hate the name Giants. It’s bland, derivative and meaningless. Monaro references an iconic car, a highway and a mountain range, the word said to come from the local blackfellas’ dialect for ‘breasts.’ There’s four good reasons to dub the team ‘The Monaros.’


It aint just that the team is clueless and directionless, the whole club is. Make Sheeds President or at least Director Of Marketing. Get some locals involved. In John Kennedy’s words “Do SOMETHING!”


RICHMOND                                 8.0     14.2    21.4    24.10 (154)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY         1.5     1.6     3.9     5.11 (41)



Richmond: J Riewoldt 11, Ellis 2, Griffiths 2, Houli 2, Vickery 2, McDonough, Foley, Edwards, Grigg, Cotchin.

GWS: Cameron, Palmer, Coniglio, Scully, Hoskin-Elliott.


Richmond: Riewoldt, Martin, Rance, Cotchin, Deledio, Hampson

GWS: Shiel, Treloar, Coniglio.



3 – J Riewoldt; 2 – Martin; 1 – Treloar

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Hard to work out how or why the Giants have suddenly gone so horribly bad. As you say they suffer from comparison with the development of their one year older brother on the Gold Coast.
    Against my Eagles the Giants looked to have no on-field leadership. They initially had the old blokes like Brogan, Cornes and Power – but once they left there was no there there. Heath Shaw is collecting his super. At least Josh Hunt put in.
    Kids need an on-field leader to follow. Standards to aspire to.
    Earl – are you like those justifiably outraged Bombers who jumped ship to the Bulldogs? Virtuous but gutted.
    Suggest you call them the Geminis or the Camiras until they can live up to mighty Monaro label.

  2. kath presdee says

    Peter_B you’ve kind of hit the nail on the head. The Giants have a brittle defence – it is a problem that they have had since inception and one that requires all the Footy Gods’ support to actually overcome at various times. Leadership and experience have been the difficulties in that area and while one is supposedly improving, the other (and more important) is not.

    Cornes and Power ran the back half in their first season. Cornes was supposed to do so last season with Davis and Gilham stepping up. Cornes was injured and didn’t play all season, Davis missed about six weeks with a broken back and Gilham… he spent more time in the NEAFL. Leadership this season was supposed to come from P Davis, H Shaw and J Hunt. Davis has been out since Rd 1. Our 1st choice full back hasn’t played a game this season (Mohr, should be back for Hawthorn) and Shaw, well….

    There was no going back to help out. Corr is a second year player and was out of his depth. Shaw doesn’t have that excuse. Maybe because it happened down my end of the ground but it was only when Hampton went on Riewoldt did it get a little bit harder for him. Maybe a few contested marks by then – way too little, way too late.

    Our poor defence doesn’t explain the brain explosions that were occurring in the midfield though. Leads were ignored in favour of kicking wing to wing and allowing Richmond to set themselves up nicely. When pressure was applied and the ball turned over, they handed it back. Mummy should do better when match fit (which he wasn’t and it showed) and Ward was his usual self. Shiel, Treloar, Coniglio and Tomlinson presented. The rest – Palmer and Scully in particular – we pay them to actually dispose with their feet with reasonable efficiency…

    We weren’t expecting much from the Perth game and they delivered.

    We were expecting more from the Richmond game and they went to water. Maybe the Toby Greene incident is taking more of a toll on the players than expected. Who knows.

  3. Their travel has been horrendous, they haven’t been able to train and play on the same ground with any consistency and their best players are mostly smalls.Hang in there and as a Coniglio fan, I hope you do better soon.

  4. Earl O'Neill says

    Peter – I didn’t jump ship over the Neville Franklin trade, I wanted to watch a young, developing team and following the Swans was getting a bit dull, them winning all the time. Tho born in Darlinghurst, I grew up in the suburbs. Admittedly, I was back into the inner-city almost as soon as I finished school, but I work in the suburbs and feel like I could do a lot better at marketing the club. The Monaros really miss Sheeds’ work in that capacity.
    Kath – agreed. After last season I said they needed a key backman, a ruckman and a big inside midfielder. They got the ruckman and Shaw and Hunt seemed decent recruits. For a few weeks anyway.
    Now we hear that Quinn’s illness has left them behind the 8-ball fitness-wise. Why wasn’t this addressed months ago? Silvagni’s input into the backline oughta help, Lewis Roberts-Thomson had a stellar season in ’05 when SOS was flying up every week to coach him. It’s a very raw coaching group out at Olympic Park.

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