AFL Round 12 – GWS v Essendon: Sluggish

There’s something about multiple days on the beach that make you feel sluggish. Whether it’s the sun slowly baking you, the rhythmic rush-crash-and- retreat of small waves, or the chill-out tunes pumping from a portable speaker, you feel as if anything more strenuous than a gentle paddle is far, far too much. And as far as places to laze go, Croatia’s beaches are up there. I was in Split for a holiday-within-a-holiday, a four day break from the hustle and bustle of Europe’s main cities. Historical facts and walking tours? Pass. Prague and Budapest had taken their toll. Only walking I was doing was to the shoreline.

The small coastal city is beautiful – at least in ‘Old Town’ where my hostel was situated. Like stepping back in time, you are surrounded by ancient castle walls, cobbled marble walkways, a towering cathedral, and tiny, narrow alleys. These days such walkways house dirt cheap beer bars and an insane amount of pizza slice vendors, but it’s not hard to envisage the merchants and traders of old who once resided the streets.

According to the locals it still wasn’t hot enough for the beach – “The water is still too cold”. I begged to differ.  Twenty-nine degrees, bright sunshine, nary a breath of wind, and clear, cool water? When it’s enough to convince you of the value of pebble beaches you are onto a winner. Which is what Essendon were. Just. I feel as though many of my European experiences are being reflected in the Bombers’ performances. Lying on the Adriatic shores, it was a struggle to change out of first gear, especially considering the icy Karlavacko available from any number of beachside bars. So too it was that Essendon snuck across the line against the gallant Giants.

Joe Daniher showed what he could be capable of – although his kicking for goal remains iffy. But apart from that, it appears the Bombers were largely flat. Perhaps too much time at the beach during recovery made them just a tad lazy?

I was consigned to blow-by-blow updates once again from via the AFL App – the only ‘football’ game worthy of being shown on TV was of course the Croatia v. Australia World Cup warm-up (which the Aussies duly lost. much to the joy of the locals), and even the writen commentator sounded frustrated with the quality of the game.

GWS were led by recruits Mumford & Shaw, but were countered by the opposing firm of Zaharakis & Heppell. For their respective sides, Treloar & Daniher were dangerous inside 50. Essendon would kick clear only for the Giants to once again push. In the end I can only assume that the more experienced heads in the Bombers line-up ushered us over the line.

I can’t complain though. Now sitting at 6-5 and on the verge of the Top 8, Essendon are hanging in there. Not convincingly, but everyone knows that the flag isn’t won in June. Besides, I had a tan, and a bunch of new Canadian and Swedish friends to relax with. No point getting too fired up…

Essendon: 3.3, 5.8, 8.11, 11.15.81
GWS: 2.1, 4.4, 5.9, 9.12.66


Essendon: Daniher 3, Dell’Olio, Zaharakis 2, Howlett, Ryder, Stanton, Hocking
GWS: Treloar 3, Palmer 2, Lobb, Lamb, Smith, Tomlinson


Essendon: Zaharakis, Heppell, Daniher, Watson
GWS: Shaw, Mumford, Treloar


Zaharakis (3), Shaw (2), Daniher (1)

About Sam Laffy

Thirty-something year-old Essendon supporter. Winning the flag in 2000 when I was 12 was supposed to kick off a dynasty I could boast about for years. Still waiting for that 17th flag.....


  1. Rod Oaten says

    Bloody hell Sam, it must be tough over there.

  2. Samuel Laffy says

    Rod, you have no idea. Deciding which beach to go to, or which Swedish girl you should chat up – its enough to drive anyone crazy!

  3. E.regnans says

    Play on, Sam. Play on.

  4. Samuel Laffy says

    My next stop is Berlin – who knows what adventures I’ll be able to refer to from that city!

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