AFL Round 11 – GWS Giants v Geelong: A Servant of Two Masters

Score a footy and Cats gear

Score a footy and Cats gear


GWS versus Geelong
1:40pm, Saturday 8 June
SKODA Stadium

Steve Duffy


I grew up in a rugby league household in rugby league heartland. There was no VFL coverage on either channel or in the newspapers. It was all just aerial ping pong anyway, but if asked, Geelong was my team because they were dad’s (he’d picked them up while posted to Point Cook in the 50’s).

When I went to Uni I fell in with a group of friends who followed the Mexican game. “Who do you follow?” “Geelong” I said confidently (not knowing the name of a single player). I faked it for a while, but had to learn or look like an idiot.

Eventually I converted to the game. TV coverage was improving (we’d get the Friday night game at 1:30am). Besides, I could learn about my team on this new thing called the internet. Converts are always the most fanatical. I took on the baggage of grand final losses, of all the history of my club. I even became a member when they were almost out the back door financially. I’ve been a member ever since.

Then the last five years happened. Oh my Cats. I love you for everything.

Then along came the Giants. A team in my own back yard. I could go to a game more than once every year or so. Games I could get to. The Giants will be my second team. We took out a family foundation membership the day after they went on sale.

I watched an incredibly young team grow throughout the 2011 NEAFL season. Club nights where the players and staff were so open and accessible. And bedecked in bright orange, I was there to see us break the banner in round 1 last year. Our first.

The Giants will be my second team. That was the theory. Theories don’t always work in reality, just ask an economist. You don’t get much more on board than me. I’m a fan, and a member, and proud to be both. I can see where we’re going and am genuinely eager to go along for the ride.

I’ve now been to more live games dressed in orange and charcoal than I have in blue and white. The tyranny of distance.

I’m never giving up the Cats. There’s too much history there. But the Giants are my team too. I am a servant of two masters.

And now they meet.

What am I going to wear? It’s a surprisingly serious question. What combination will best honour the two teams I follow?

I settle for a Giants shirt, Geelong guernsey, Giant’s jacket; a Geelong scarf (2009 membership – premiership year) will keep me warm. For headwear I decide on 2013 membership caps starting each quarter on the home team and then alternating to indicate most recent goal kicker.

I tell myself I can’t lose.

Of course, in the ying yang balances of worlds, it also means I can’t win. I also know what the result is going to be, I’m at least realistic about that. I’m here to enjoy.

And enjoy I did. What a game. It certainly exceeded expectations. What a start! We were up by 5 goals in the blink of an eye. We fought back and led at half time. If it wasn’t for a goal after the three quarter time siren we would have won the third term, it was that close. Then we kicked away in the last as we ran out of legs as usual.

Each time the floodgates threatened to open, we fought back, showed some real composure. I was swapping hats on a surprisingly regular basis, at least until the floodgates did actually open. But it took a lot longer than usual. I don’t think that we were playing poorly to let us get that close, it’s just I think we were playing better than anyone was expecting. I’m more than happy with what the Giants give me today.

Jeremy Cameron, what a freak. Kicked four, could have been more. The goal he kicked in the second quarter is the sort that gets spliced into highlights reels, opening credits packages and advertising.

Chris Scott went off at quarter time and the boys responded. The old heads Mackie, Boris, Bartel and Selwood. I liked the run of young Murdoch. The J-Pod kicked five with four in the third quarter alone.

We all held our breath in the last, when Stevie J knocked himself out on Allen Christensen’s noggin. Bundy wasn’t looking too healthy either and neither came back on. We were down to one on the bench, but luckily it came at a time when we had begun to fade out of contention so it was ok.

In the end, the result was as expected, my Cats win comfortably, and I am pleased. But my Giants have given me a glimpse into a magnificent future and that pleases me too.

I had a good day.

What a game.



GEELONG 2.3 10.7 16.8 24.13 (157)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 5.3 9.5 14.8 15.8. (98)

Geelong: Podsiadly 5, Murdoch 3, Hawkins 2, Hunt 2, Selwood 2, Johnson, Mackie, Bartel, Stokes, Christensen, Corey, West, Duncan, Stringer, Kelly
GWS: Cameron 4, Palmer 3, Scully 2, Ward, Reid, Plowman, Treloar, Shiel, Tomlinson

Geelong: Selwood, Johnson, Christensen, Enright, Hunt, Podsiadly
GWS: Cameron, Giles, Ward, Treloar, Palmer, Hampton

Umpires: Schmitt, Pannell, Mitchell

Official crowd: 7809

Malarkey Medal: 3: Selwood (Geel) 2: Cameron (GWS) 1: Enright (Geel)

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....


  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    Lucky you Steve, being able to wear blue and orange at the same time . I have the problem of trying to match orange with red! It doesn’t match so I opt for changing at half time. I completely understand your passion for the Giants. I feel the same. Love following them as they are a great group of people and it’s exciting to have been with them from the beginning . The easiest way of explaining how I barrack for 2 teams is to use the analogy of having children -you don’t have to love one more than the other. Just share the love around.

  2. Peter Fuller says

    I love this tale, Steve, which to my eyes is the first comprehensive account of your Aussie Rules development. I think it’s admirable that people not born to it come to the game, and the greatest game is the richer for the converts, as we Almanac folk are for this witty match summary.
    It does seem that you have something to look forward to, as well as your current and recent past success.

  3. Kath Presdee says

    This was the best I had seen the Giants play; and for once I thought we were actually still in it after three-quarter time. Not long after three quarter-time, but the hope against hope against a top 4 side was there for about five minutes.

    Josh Bruce looked as though he’d finally clicked with how to defend in the AFL as opposed to the NEAFL, which assisted in the back tremendously. Having Curtly Hampton focus for more than just five minutes over the four quarters also helped.

    The final thing I’ll say is, when the supporters of both sides were roaring (and roar they did) in a stadium that was 1/3rd full, I can’t wait to hear a full stadium go off. It will shake the precinct. The AFL needs to schedule a Swans game at Skoda sooner rather than later.

  4. Mark Doyle says

    A good competitive performance by the Giants for three quarters. They will be a very good team in a few years. Steve Duffy, the Giants can take heart from the Geelong experience under the coaching of Mark Thompson, who brought forward the retirements of five senior players in 2001 and devoloped a young team whose core were eight draftees from the 1999 and 2001 drafts; this team played in a preliminary final in 2004, which was Thompson’s fifth year, and they won a premiership three years later in 2007.
    As a Canberra boy, I am wondering if you are related to Roger Duffy, who played with Eastlake in th 1960’s and I think also coached Eastlake. He also hosted the Canberra channel 7 live telecast of the VFL game of the day in the late ’60’s.

  5. Richard Naco says

    Great yarn, Steve, and I think that in the final wash up it will go down as a win for you.

    My own battle was one of heart vs head, and by the start of this season my orange gear was well & truly packed away (anyone wanting a bunch of XXL & XXXL stuff can give me a hoy), and I wore the blessed hoops on the day. Heart won out.

    It’s interesting that of all the coaches, Chris Scott pays the most public respect to both the Giants and the Suns. In his post game presser, he acknowledged that in a couple of years’ time, nobody will be pegging back the Giants should they lay on another awesome opening blitz of 5 goals in 10 minutes as they did on Saturday.

    My heart & my head both went away from Skoda quite satisfied on Saturday evening.

  6. Mark, sadly no. No relation to Roger Duffy.

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