AFL Round 10 – Sydney v Essendon: Sydney strong, Goodes good.

I’ve been distressed this week with the totally outrageous comments made about Adam Goodes.  This fantastic person on and off the paddock should not have to put up with racist outbursts, yet I heard it said he should “toughen up”.  Toughen up!   Over two hundred years and counting, of dispossession of land, language and culture and some say “toughen up”.

Back in the late forties and early fifties the Dons had one of the first indigenous footballers playing for them,  his name was Norm McDonald. Norm was an absolute champion and was always among the best players every week,  but I can remember my  family being disgusted at opposing  supporters abusing Norm because of the colour of his skin. As a very young Don, I  learned an important life lesson from Mum and Dad.

And tonight the Essendon take on Sydney. Apparently it’s wet and cold in Tinsel City but I didn’t get to hear about it until at least half way through the first quarter, as the ABC in their infinite wisdom, were still wrapping up the Adelaide Fremantle game. Eventually they crossed to Sydney and the Dons are down by a couple of goals .  The Swans look to be adapting to the conditions a lot better than Essendon. They are tougher in the packs and ex Don Richards and his team mates are shutting down the Essendon forward line. The rain is still bucketing down and the Dons are doing it tough, when the siren sounds the Swans are twelve points up and looking formidable.

The second quarter starts, can the Dons get back in the game?  Sydney continue with “hard at it” footy, Essendon give it their best, total commitment from both sides.  Crameri gets one for the Dons and Winderlich kicks a long bomb that skids through the big sticks,  but Sydney add goals through Jack and Goodes and first gamer Mitchell kicks one off the ground to extend the lead to three goals at half time.

Gumbleton damages an ankle early in the third quarter and is replaced by first gamer Will Hams. Just how many injuries can this poor bloke cop?  A few minutes later Courtney Dempsey one of our best, was stretchered off after a courageous marking attempt and the Dons are down to twenty fit men. Paddy Ryder was battling that “man mountain’ Mumford, who is definitely on top and providing plenty of opportunities for his team mates.  Adam Goodes is dominating around the ground. Things aren’t looking too flash for the Dons. The quarter goes on and on and somehow Essendon get two very very late goals, one to Hibbert from about sixty metres out and one to Goddard, but as the siren splutters at  the forty minute mark the Dons are still nineteen points down.


Last quarter, the rain continues and it’s even cold by Sydney standards. Essendon  are down to nineteen fit men and Sydney are  full of running. The Dons make a few positional changes, Jake Carlisle has been moved forward and scores a big one. Stanton battles on against overwhelming odds and gets one to Goddard for his second goal.  Essendon have not chucked in the towel, they continue to throw themselves into the contest.  Leroy Jetta comes back on for the Dons, so we actually have twenty fit men and gets the ball moving for Essendon.  Can this be a truly gallant , courageous comeback?  The question is quickly resolved.   Sydney’s  Jetta shows his class with a great goal. Adam Goodes goals again and Canadian Pyke gets another, and then just to twist the knife a bit deeper Malceski  kicks truly.

The winning margin was forty four points, not in my opinion a true reflection of the game or how it was played by both sides.  I reckon twenty four points would have been fairer.  Sydney deserved their win , they were stronger all over the field and adapted to the weather conditions better.  A gusty effort by the Dons.  A special very honourable mention to Adam Goodes.

Final Scores. Sydney        17. 13  115

Essendon    10. 11  71


Goals             Sydney           Goodes 4  Malceski 2 Everitt, McGlynn, Bird, Kennedy, Jack, Jetta, Parker, Pyke, O’Keefe, Mumford, Mitchell.

Essendon      Goddard 2  Carlisle 2 Crameri 2 Melksham, Winderlich, Hibberd, Bellchambers.

Best                Sydney          Malceski, Goodes, Kennedy, Jack, Mumford, McVeigh, Richards

Essendon      Carlisle, Watson, Heppell, Zaharakis, Ryder, Stanton, Hibbert.

Votes            Goodes 3 (Sydney) Hibberd 2 (Essendon)  Mumford 1 (Sydney)

Crowd          29,792  at Sydney Cricket Ground.


  1. Tasman Hughes says

    Like you Rod, I hate it when people say things like “toughen up” to people who have been racially abused.

    Someone in Hobart was saying that Adam Goodes obviously hasn’t heard that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

    That sort of attitude is really disappointing.

    I couldn’t see the game, but your review describes it really well.
    This is a very good review.

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