AFL Round 15: Cats should learn from Demons about how to sing their song

By Josh Barnstable

It’s a wonderful Sunday morning, the sun is shining, there is a slight breeze outside and I’m in a BAD mood. It’s the last day of school holidays, and I should probably count myself lucky for having an extra week off after having the flu in the last week of school last semester. I might as well make the most of my day, so I watch Game Day on Seven, then the Sunday Footy Show on Nine. After all that, I decide to read the Sunday papers. I laugh at the dismal score of 1.7 (13) that Fremantle scored against Adelaide last night. That isn’t acceptable in the AFL. I find it funny that Waaia thirds scored more than that yesterday. Haha.

It hits three o’clock, and I go into the loungeroom to watch the game. The V8 Supercars are on the telly. It’s 3.10. “Probably just running late,” I say to myself. After another 10 minutes it’s still on. I check the TV guide. “3.45!” I exclaim. Channel Seven, supposedly the “Home of AFL”, is showing this match an incredible one hour and 35 minutes after it started. I decide to watch a bit of the V8s, and then finally the game starts.

The Demons run out on the ground, full of zip after a win against West Coast. They are aiming to grab 15th spot on the ladder and banish Fremantle to last. The Power are coming off a strong 48-point win against the Brisbane Lions, and I have to say they are looking very fashionable in their all- white guernsey with a teal and black lightning bolt.

The first quarter begins and Matthew Bate goals after a couple of Power behinds. Brendon Lade marks and goals to put the Power up before Liam Jurrah excites the crowd with a mark and goal. Kane Cornes then provides the Power fans with a reason to cheer, kicking a long goal from outside 50 on the run. Jurrah proves more exciting, though, kicking two goals and his great marking ability is on full show again today. Justin Westhoff then gathers the ball deep in the Power forward line. He evades, dodges and snaps a high ball that curls through for a goal. Westhoff would have to be the shaggiest, scariest looking player in the AFL along with Max Rooke. The margin at quarter-time is a 5-point Demon lead, 4.2 to 3.3. Cam Bruce and Brock McLean have 8 disposals for Melbourne while Jacob Surjan and Dom Cassisi are on 11 possessions for Port.

The second quarter starts and goals to Brent Moloney and Lynden Dunn after a free kick and 50m penalty against Chad Cornes, the Demons lead by 17 points. Dean Brogan provides a highlight, kicking a long goal from 50m out on the run, bringing the margin back to 11 points. Russell Robertson then takes a good mark and converts from 10m out. Danyle Pearce snaps the Power’s 5th goal before Ricky Petterd goals after some great running by Jurrah. Steven Salopek splits the middle on the run to bring the margin back to 12 points before Bate snaps his 2nd. Warren Tredrea then capitalises on a terrible mistake by the umpire; David Rodan gathered the ball on the 50, ran to about 25m out, took on a Melbourne player and was tackled. The ball spilled free, though, and Tredrea pounced, snapping a goal. Surely it should have been a free kick to the Demon defender, and Melbourne went into the main break with a 12-point lead, 9.6 to 7.6.

The third quarter starts and Petterd takes a strong mark and converts the set-shot at goal. This is followed by some magic by Jurrah. After a mark on the boundary line, he runs around and snaps his 4th goal to take the margin out to 26 points. McLean then goals and the Dees are looking good, 32 points ahead. The Power get on a run, though, with K. Cornes teaming up with his brother to snap a goal, followed by goals to Lade and Rodan. A late goal to Robertson off two steps sees the Demons leading by 19 points at the last change, 13.9 to 10.8.

The final quarter gets underway and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Power are not done with. Robbie Gray marks and goals to cut the margin to 13 points before Petterd snaps through his 3rd goal. Jason Davenport then shows why he was so highly rated at Geelong, receiving a handball, dummying past an opponent and landing a goal on the run to cut the deficit back to 13 points.

Westhoff then goals from just inside 50, and it’s 7 points. I worry for Melbourne. I enjoy watching them win. I get a real buzz out of it, as do the fans and players. Thankfully, Petterd stands tall and takes a strong mark, kicking a goal that gives Melbourne some breathing space. This space proves to be too large for Port Adelaide, with errors and poor precision seeing them waste chances to get back in the game. The Demons win their 2nd game in a row, by 11 points, 15.11 (101) to 13.12 (90). Bruce finishes on 37 possessions for the Demons while captain Cassisi ends up on 36 for the Power.

After the game, I watch Melbourne sing their version of “It’s a Grand Old Flag” in the changerooms. I cannot help but clap and sing along with it, as they belt it out like they’ve just won the premiership. That’s what Geelong need, they need to enjoy winning, enjoy the pride that comes with singing the team song, instead of just mumbling it. Maybe they’ve taken a couple of weeks off so they can be excited about a win again.

Speaking of Geelong, they play Melbourne next week at Kardinia Park. That will be a test for the Cats. If they’re good, they’ll beat them by 100+, if their playing at half-rate like against the Saints, they’ll win by about 5 goals and may actually be a chance of losing. If Melbourne wins, wow, just imagine after the game in the rooms.

As I type this, I contemplate what school will be like tomorrow. I check my timetable. Double Science followed by Double Maths. I start coughing and acting sick.

“What’s wrong with you?” Mum says.

I check my last two periods. English and PE.

“Oh, nothing.”

Maybe it won’t be so bad after all.

Melbourne 4.2—9.6—13.9—15.11 (101)
Port Adelaide 3.3—7.6—10.8—13.12 (90)


Melbourne-Jurrah 4, Petterd 4, Robertson 2, Bate 2, McLean, Moloney, Dunn

Port Adelaide-Westhoff 2, Lade 2, K. Cornes 2, Tredrea, Salopek, Rodan, Gray, Davenport, Brogan, Pearce


Melbourne-Jurrah, Petterd, Bruce, Moloney, McLean

Port Adelaide-Cassisi, K. Cornes, Lade, Surjan


15, 888 at the MCG (c’mon Melbourne fans!)


3: Liam Jurrah (M)
2: Domenic Cassisi (P)
1: Ricky Petterd (M)


  1. Steve Healy says

    Great writing Josh,

    It’s good that you’ve written about the Dees two weeks in a row.

    For Geelong singing their song is a chore- for Melbourne it’s pride. Every game they win they belt it out so passionatly.

    Liam Jurrah, rising star this week.

    Go Dees!

  2. Damian Watson says

    Great Writing Josh,
    Liam Jurrah’s performance on Sunday shows why Melbourne shouldn’t tank at all for the rest of the season as they have a good crop of young improving players already.
    I had to go back to school today so I know how you feel.

    I have a good back up plan for AFL coverage
    The website provides all 8 games live for free every week.

  3. Danielle says

    cliff jumping anyone?? LOL

  4. Josh Barnstable says


    I’ll be writing about the Dees next week in there match against Geelong, that is if i’m back from the footy, or if i feel like writing a report. I can’t believe Jurrah won the Rising Star nomination this week. I thought for sure Liam Anthony would win it. But Jurrah does deserve it. Anthony’s week will come soon.

    Damian, thanks for the website. I’ll give it a look, but i only have dial-up internet so it might take a while to load the matches. I think Melbourne should not win any more games, just for this year, and secure Tom Scully, then fire next year and not tank at all.

  5. Josh Barnstable says

    At least P.E was good. Dodgeball is so fun!

  6. Steve Healy says

    Josh, I thought Liam Anthony would get one too initially but I found out he’s too old- he’s ineligible because he’s already 21- turning 22 in September. Same goes for Greg Broughton, who’s 22

  7. Josh Barnstable says

    Oh is that right? Thanks for telling me, or I would have abused whoever picks those nominations by the end of the year. Haha. I actually thought Jurrah was a mature-age recruit. Thought he was about 23-25 years old.

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