AFL Round 13 – Port Adelaide v Sydney: Natural order restored

The Swans are premiership favourites in the eyes of many.

In our last game we gave the Crows an absolute thumping over in Adelaide, even with six players from last year’s premiership side out of our team.  It is perhaps the most awesome performance I have ever seen us deliver. Even fringe players like Everitt and White are finally delivering. And Rampe and young Mitchell look they have been playing for years, not just a few games. We are hunting the ball and the opposition, controlling games, dominant! It’s all looking good.

With the prospect of some key players returning over the second half of the year, it’s almost an embarrassment of riches.  On top of that young speedster Gary Rohan is nearly ready to resume playing after badly breaking his leg early last year.   His speed and brilliance may be a wild card late in the year if he can come up.

And the big story today is about boom recruit Kurt Tippett joining the side. The man mountain from the Crows has completed his suspension for salary cap breaches and has been rushed straight in to replace injured ruckman Mumford.  He can only make the team stronger by adding another target up forward.  Surely today we will smash middle ranked Port Power back over at AAMI Stadium.

I’m worried though.  This is not the natural order of things. Swans supporters are generally humble and have an appreciation of where we have come from.  As a long time Swans supporter I can recall the old days of poor administration, bad recruiting and under resourcing that saw us in the wilderness for decades, more likely to be wooden spoon favourites.

I am more use to us being the underdog, under rated.  So it’s disconcerting that all the serious commentators are saying that the Swans are the team to beat.

I miss seeing most of the first half of today’s game due to some other commitments. When I get to a TV I find we are 9 points up in a low scoring encounter. The ground is water logged from days of rain and a strong wind is favouring the right of screen.  Tippett has 2 goals, the first scored within the first minute of the game.

Apparently the Power has been very competitive, with Kane Cornes limiting the influence of Hannebury, who had 42 touches last time he was here.  Kennedy, McVeigh, O’Keeffe and Malceski as usual have had plenty of the ball. I’m expecting the might of my Swans to take control in the second half.

We have the wind in the third stanza.  It’s a slog and time seems to ebb away, until mid quarter when Adam Goodes displays some of his genius roving the pack for a smart goal to put us 15 points up.  Port is persistent though and seems to be gaining control, getting numbers around the ball.  We are getting ahead of the play and butcher a number of chances through the middle.  A bad turnover leads to a Port goal, then another. At the last change Port is within 3 points, they have the wind in the last quarter and Goodes has been subbed off after jarring his knee.  Perhaps our team, like it’s supporters is already taking the commentary too seriously.

Port goal within the first minute to grab the lead, then Kieren Jack gets a clever goal to get it back.  The game it hard fought with goals traded and we are still up with 10 minutes to play. However Port is all over us tackling hard and running, everything I usually expect of the Swans, and we have no answer.  Port scores the last three goals for an impressive and well deserved 18 point win.

Tippet has only had one touch in the second half.  Conditions were atrocious for big men though. However questions remain.  Will he fit in? Will he conform to our famed culture? Will Goodesy miss any games?  When will we get some of our senior players back? Who will miss out in our best 22 when all are available?

A week is a long time in footy. We have slipped out of the top 4 and lost touch with the top two teams.  We have been swiftly brought back to earth.  The order of things has been restored. Let’s see how we respond.


PORT ADELAIDE 1.2 3.5 5.6 10.12 (72)

SYDNEY SWANS 4.1 5.2 6.4 8.6 (54)



Port Adelaide: Wingard 3, Monfries 2, Broadbent, Neade, Schulz, Westhoff, Gray

Sydney Swans: Goodes, Jack, Tippett 2, Mitchell, Morton



Port Adelaide: Ebert, Gray, Broadbent, Wingard, Westhoff, Lobbe

Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Jack, O’Keefe, McVeigh, Pyke, Malceski



Port Adelaide: Stewart (back) replaced in selected side by Campbell Heath

Sydney Swans: Adam Goodes (knee)



Port Adelaide: Jasper Pittard replaced Matt Thomas at three-quarter time.

Sydney Swans: Jed Lamb replaced Adam Goodes at three-quarter time.


Reports: Nil

Umpires: McBurney, Farmer, Pannell

Official crowd: 16,096 at AAMI Stadium


About Keiran Croker

Keiran is a lifelong Swans supporter, despite a brief dalliance with the Cats and Tigers in primary school years. Family connections to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne demanded loyalty to the Swans. The long wait for success was worth it.

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