AFL Round 16 – GWS Giants v Sydney: Come the Revolution

Revolutions are inspired by dreamers, but need hard, experienced heads to succeed.

Last weekend the Giants put four quarters together for the first time this year.  During the week our Captains were speculating that we could beat Sydney.  I didn’t read past the headlines, so I’m assuming that the phrase “one day” and not “Sunday” was used.

The Giants are very much at the dreamers stage.

On Bastille Day the dreamers went to the home of the reigning Premiers.  No one (except perhaps a Victorian who believes that Sydney’s success is built on COLA) would accuse the Swans of being a stale ancien regime who tells peasants to eat cake when there is no bread.  Sure, I didn’t see the promotional machine in overdrive that accompanied the Battle of the Bridge, but the Swans don’t need to promote their home game as much.  It was not an occasion for storming.

The first quarter however, came as a surprise.  Sometimes the chaos of a people’s revolution succeeds.  It might not last, but for one brief moment there is glory and hope.   A barricade around the Giants’ goals withstood a pepper of attacks – only yielding behinds to the Swans until an errant kick-in from Hampton led to Tippett’s goal, with five minutes left on the clock.

About the same time Scully was subbed off after a hard knock to the head.

And at that moment the faintest of faint hopes that the Giants had of winning was over.

A few late goals to the Swans, a 17 point lead at quarter-time.   The break just stalled the deluge that everyone expected would come.  A battery of kicks inside 50.  Targets were hit.  Mike Pyke marks and goals.  And again.

A brief passage highlighted with Cameron’s tackle and then goal.  He’s good this kid.  Real good.   Darley kicked his first goal for the year. But 17 grew and didn’t stop growing.  It swelled to 45 at the main break.

With only a few exceptions in the second half, the Swans didn’t so much set up camp in their forward 50, they built a fortified town.  Their generals – McVeigh, O’Keefe, Malceski – kept clean and efficient supply lines to the Tippetts, the Birds, the Whites.  Mumford and Pyke running the centre after each of the many, many goals.  The pressure on the visitors reaped rewards – fumbles, errant kicks, turnover – goal.  Turnover, point.  Turnover…. fans sigh and look forward to maybe the week after next.  82 the margin at three quarter time.

Luckily I wasn’t watching the game live.  I had previously committed to a fundraising trivia lunch.  My worries were remembering the names of the Von Trapp kiddies; knowing that at least that Kurt wasn’t causing me grief.  Guessing the level of amplification of the typical fourth quarter fade due to the early loss of Scully was not nearly as important.  The ban on smart phones definitely saved me a fine from the (trivia) Match Review Panel so I didn’t have to watch as the Swans piled on the points.

And the Swans were relentless.  An efficient machine putting the tiring Giants away.  They made it look simple – picking out the man on his own.   Handballing to the man running through.  Plucking the ball out of the air.  Not flash, just deadly. So typically Swans.  Results matter.  Skills matter.  Getting the job done matters.  It was a clinic on how to play football effectively.  Only their accuracy at goal let them down.  It was a rout and it could have been much much worse.

But we had Cameron.  And we had Lachie Whitfield who also has footy smarts beyond his years.  I’m going to enjoy watching that combination for the next few years.

And we have dreams.  Nightmares at the moment, looking at that performance.  But still we have dreams.

One day we’ll win the Battle of the Bridge.  Or the Sydney Derby.  Or whatever marketing name they give for the day we play for the White Ribbon Cup and the Brett Kirk medal.

Come the revolution, when the tickets for this game will be the best entertainment in town.

Come the revolution when Cossack polka is the big big sound drowning out the thunder from the sky.

Come the revolution, when the boys are men, and Lachie Whitfield runs the midfield and makes sure that Cameron and Patton have plenty of ball.  The dreamers are still dreaming, but they are older, wiser and harder.

Come the revolution, we’ll beat the Swans.

One day.

Sydney 3.8 10.10 15.19 24.27 171

White (3), Tippett (3), Pyke (3), Mitchell (3), McGlynn (2), Bird (2), Kennedy (2), Rampe, Bolton, Malceski, Parker, Mumford, O’Keefe

GWS  1.3 3.7 3.9 5.12 42

Cameron (3), Darley, Smith

Umpires N Fila, D Margetts, Foot

Crowd  21,757 at SCG

Best  Malceski, McVeigh, Hannebury, Mitchell, Tippett (Sydney); Cameron, Whitfield (GWS)

Malarkey Medal  Malceski (3), McVeigh (2), Hannebury (1)

About Kath Presdee

Just a suburban girl, just a suburban girl. Lawyer by day, wife and Mum by night. I experience the agony and the ecstasy of sport, having followed Cronulla all my life, the Brumbies all their life and as a foundation member of the Giants.


  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    Tough day for the Giants Kath , but like you I’m in it for the long haul. I enjoy watching their progress. Essentially they have good skills. It was glorious sitting in the mid winter sunshine at the SCG. I hadn’t been to a footy game there before. I enjoyed watching Tippett too and observing the vibe of the Sydney crowd.

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