AFL Round 15 – Sydney v Greater Western Sydney: ruthless efficiency and daft officiousness

Sydney vs Greater Western Sydney

19.40, Saturday, 28 June, 2014

Sydney Cricket Ground

We’d planned a road trip this weekend. On the mighty Triumph Sprint and out to Coolah. Until Frinite, when we realised that we couldn’t leave our boys to face the Swans without us.

I got a txt msg from Kevin, a mate I haven’t seen for five years who lives up north, he was gonna be there. We met outside before the match for a good chat and a few laughs. Kev’s a puter guy, he does to software what I do to gardens – fix ‘em. It was great to catch up.

Our tix had us high in the O’Reilly Stand for three or four minutes. It was cold and windy and I don’t like viewing the game from up on high. Heath’s decsion to ram his face into Kurt’s knee gave us time to get down to the back row of the Trumper concourse, handy for beer and meat pies.

Jonathan Brown’s retirement has brought all this ‘suicidal courage’ thing into focus. Heath was never going to stop Kurt marking. Okay, he may have been so focussed that he didn’t have a chance to veer. But the ball was safely in Kurt’s arms before Heath attacked his knee with his nose and the Monaros were lacking a skilled and experienced player for most of the match.

The Swans’ machine clicked into gear after a slow start, and, man, that was all she wrote. Eight goals to one first half. The kids were tossed around like dolls. There was a lot going on. Like the HotWheels liftout in the Record – that’s the best idea they’ve had since publishing players’ numbers!

Quarter time and out near the gates for a cigarette, a dozen or so and none of the camaraderie I remember from the ‘Smokers’ Lounge’ in the same area a few years ago. But, there we were, swapping lights, having a cig and a beer and this officious little shithead comes marching out in his little suit and neatly trimmed white moustache and starts barking “You can’t smoke here! Go outside!”

I’d had enough of a nicotine hit, I took a deep last drag and heard “You can’t take your beer outside!!”

I should’ve told the little prick to shut up, we’re just haivng a cigarette behind the dunnies, so to speak. But I’m spoiled, the Showground has a Smokers’ Lounge with a bar and lawn.

Out on the park, Lance went on his merry way. Deft tap, flick a loose ball off the side of the boot, he reminds me of Michael O’Loughlin a bit and that $10 mill is looking like a good investemnt..

Back in the seat for the third, and a pair of cops decided to patrol the aisle. The boy cop was lean of jaw and sharp of eye and he swept that eagle-sharp eye across every seat. The girl cop sauntered casually. They reached the fence, turned and walked back up the aisle. Robocop eyes swept hard at the SCG on Satnite, that hotbed of anarchy just ripe for trouble.

Goldunit, I’m glad they were there! Because the game wasn’t all that riveting. Swans do Swans thing. Monaros get outplayed. But they fought their way back in the third and I was able to inform Perky Girl at the ninth minute “We’ve outscored the Swans this term!”

The Monaros didn’t play too bad after halftime, but the Swans didn’t try too hard. They were a bit too smart for their own good sometimes. Eight minutes into the fourth and three guys could’ve kicked the goal kept handpassing until one ran out of space.

Maybe that’s the natural arrogance of a champion team. Lethal’s Lions were like that. I was displeased with the result and even more so with the Monaros’ clueless first half – less so with doughty second half. But I couldn’t help but admire the drilled efficiency of the Swans, the way they know where to run when they win the ball, their ferocity at the contest, their nerve under pressure.

See, you 186 Monaros, you’ve got a way to go before you’re GTS350 Monaros.


SYDNEY                                                                     4.4     8.9     12.11 15.16 (106)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY                              1.4     1.7     4.10    8.12  (60)



Sydney – machine-like efficiency, sparkling brilliance
GWS – stick-to-itness

Sydney – win next three flags
GWS – win the three after that

3 – Me; 2 – Perky Girl; 1 – Officous little shit

CROWD – about two hundred less than I’d guessed at quarter time

UMPIRES – should wear black

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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