AFL Round 16 – West Coast v Fremantle: How the other half live

It had been a big week for yours truly. NAIDOC was on so there were several flag raising’s, morning tea’s and public lectures to attend.  On Thursday morning I was invited to Horizon Power’s NAIDOC talk – the great Syd Jackson was in town to talk about his life, his football and the significance of NAIDOC. He is looking fit Syd. He puts it down to his addiction to golf. At noon I was booked to do a Q and A at the Dockers interviewing the great Stephen Michael with all the players and staff.  Stephen Michael was fantastic. A bush raconteur who tells it how he sees it telling the players he thinks they train too much, get paid too much and he thought Ross Lyon was ‘smaller’ in real life than on TV. When Michael talks, people listen.

I arrived at the game due to an invitation from my friend Clive who owns a Fremantle institution (Mercers Cycles). We were there with his 18 year old twins Sara and Andries. Sally, Clive’s missus, was at a Tai Chi convention as she is a Grand Wizard in its ancient arts.  Initially I was not going to go. But I have never been to a West Coast home derby and I was curious to get a sense of the enemy’s rituals and language. I peered over to my regular seats knowing that some chardonnay sucking freak was rubbing their ass cheeks all over MY and the purple pilot light of hope’s sacred pews.

Aussie the wedge tail eagle flew over the crowd. It was pretty cool I have to say. The public liability must be huge, lucky SGIO are a major sponsor. Karl Langdon was the MC. Langdon had picked the Coasters because he felt that McPharlin’s out would be just too much for Freo to cover. Yeah right! Still this is the bloke who when it was pointed out to him that Naitanui was not Indigenous he responded “yeah but he is Indigenous from somewhere”. Go Karl!

As one would expect it was a full house as Natanui and Clancee Pearce shook hands for Multicultural Round.   The pre-game Syrian drummers had got my feet and hands moving mysteriously. Pearce pointed to the city end and Pav, Ballers and the crew walked easily down to where we sat behind the goals. There was a threat of rain and a strange cross wind.

The siren sounds. Natanui beats Sandilands in the ruck easily. But a free to Barlow sees him deliver to Pavlich. Pavlich centres it to Tendai. Muzungu kicks true and the first wave of electricity ripples through the crowd. Darling then scores a lovely running goal. The electricity goes to another level. Very quickly the game takes on a finals mode. It is furious and tough football. McKenzie is on Pav, Dawson on Kennedy and at this stage the Dockers have a better system and are cooler in the clinches. It does not reflect on the scoreboard though as at the break: West Coast  2.3,  Freo 4.2.

By the opening siren of the second it is a matter of when, not if, the lights will be turned on. The clouds are dark but not really rain bearing. The intensity has risen making for some splendid, willing football. The highlight is Sandilands versus Cox and Clarke versus Natanui. The Eagles forwards are working hard and presenting well. Darling is exceptional. But the highlight for me is yesterday’s hero Silvagni. He is channeling Josh Gibson with every effort. He destroys the ball spearing it into the crowd he takes good solid marks – “I want to play” it screams to Lyon. Pav is getting a lot of physio and Cripps and Carter for the West Coasters are very good.  While not a shoot out in the classic sense goals are being scored regularly. The highlight is Schofield’s running goal from deep in the pocket. One gets a sense that if the Eagles can get a few more anything can happen. At half time Freo are down by a point.

The start of the third leaves off from the second.  I’m loving this! Embley is playing his best for some time. Darling is on fire. One senses that Freo have just a bit more steel and chutzpah. This is evidenced by Barlow, Mayne, Mundy, Fyfe  and Crowley who are working like bastards. It is epitomized by Hills classy goal as he wrong foots Priddis and takes off like an emu. The stakes are high as Embley snipes Clancee Pearce. Pearce is eventually subbed off for Sutcliffe. Then Pav collects Brown around the head, both inexplicable actions from senior players who should know better – both will get weeks.

In the last quarter I put down the notebook as I am like Aerosmith and I don’t want to miss a thing! I turn to Clive, he is smiling.  The kids are happy too but with Sara qualifying things, ‘We need more percentage, we need more goals, we need top four’.  I nod in agreeance. Ah the impatience of youth! The last quarter the Dockers work for their opportunities and the outs for West Coast take their toll. Rosco Glendinning hands Barlow his lucky charm. As the Eagles hobble off the Purple army sing “Nah nah nah nah Nah na nah nah hey hey hey good bye”. I’m not a Bananarama fan so I don’t join in.


WEST COAST       2.3    6.5    11.8    14.9  (93)                  

FREMANTLE        4.2    6.4    11.6    19.7 (121)          



West Coast: Darling 5, LeCras 2, Schofield 2, Kennedy 2, Cripps 2, Embley

Fremantle: Walters 3, Mayne 3, Pavlich 3, Barlow 2, Hill 2, Mzungu, Crowley, D Pearce, Fyfe, Sutcliffe, Sheridan



West Coast: Darling, Glass, Embley, Mackenzie, Priddis, Hutchings

Fremantle: Mayne, Fyfe, Barlow, Hill, Mundy, Walters, Spurr


Our Best: Fyfe, Darling, Silvagni (I don’t give a shit what people think he was good).


  1. Sean – this is like one of those Looney Tunes cartoon truces, where the action stops while the characters pull out their lunch boxes.
    I agree with you that Silvagni was good. He is a useful pinch hitter across the backline. Zac Dawson is like Robocop but has a certain effectiveness. Zac Clarke’s athleticism and strength surprised me. He is good now and will be a star. Having Sandilands do the bullocking lets Clarke run and create. Johnson is a revelation under Lyonovich. Cool under pressure and terrific run and disposal.
    I think the Vics are underestimating Freo because of the poor showing at KP without Barlow and Mundy. Everyone is talking Cats V Hawks GF, but I reckon the Dockers will take out at least one of them with Lyonovich’s disciplined game plan.
    It is classic Ali “Rope a Dope” stuff. Exhaust your opponent inside for 3 quarters and then switch to run in the last. The change in set up was quite obvious, and made sense of your game plan.
    It made me a believer in your chances, mostly because the players follow his instructions with frantic zealotry. And he knows how to win big games with good (not brilliant) sides.
    PS – That’s enough of this. Look out for the Acme anvil above you!!

  2. Sean Gorman says

    So are you saying FFC are not brilliant? Or are you saying Lyon knows how to win with good sides and so with FFC he should have a yibbeder yibbeder better chance of winning the suffering suketash GF? Yabba Dabba Doooo

  3. “Pay attention when I’m talking to ya, boy!
    Boy’s like a tattoo. Gets right under your skin.
    Okay, I’ll shut up. Some fellas have to keep their tongues flappin’ but not me. I was brought up right. My pa used to tell me to shut up and I’d shut up. I wouldn’t say nothin’. One time darn near starved to death. WOULDN’T TELL HIM I WAS HUNGRY!!
    Boy’s as sharp as a bowling ball.
    We have been flim-flammed.
    Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency.
    That boy’s as strong as an ox, and just about as smart.
    This is gonna cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show!”
    Copyright – F Leghorn Esq

  4. Neil Belford says

    As predicted, weeks were got.

    With the amount of work going into Pav’s thighs by the trainers that might be a good thing. We might have stitched up top four with him, but we wont win the flag without him. Mind you Cookie has decreed that Freo cant do it.

  5. David Zampatti says

    I’m pretty sure Pav was going to have the next few weeks off anyway. Complete rehab, test the Achilles under match conditions to make sure all’s well and then a quick pre-season before the run home.

    He only played in the derby to practice holding up a trophy.

  6. Sean Gorman says

    Sorry PB – I will hand my PhD in asap – ps I think the Eages are in for a bit more pain as I don’t see nufin in the way of replacements for Embers, Kerr’s cur, Coxalot, Glass mandible,or Selout (the old one). I stand to be corrected.

  7. Peter the Mudie says

    Hahaha – great game, fooled around for 3 quarters then put the pedal down. I was down at the other end, amongst the Maali Colts mob (great bunch, whupped the multicultural team in the curtain raiser). Like you Gormy, this was my first away Derby since the Carr Brother Demolition Jobby, a packed house booing everything that moved in a Freo jumper (but thankfully kept their burgers/pies in their hands instead of hucking them at Josh like the last time). Johnno was brilliant, so was Mayne, but it was really difficult picking a BOG out of that team – Micky always gets the nod when it can’t be worked out. I also reckon that wedgetail scoffed our pigeon sometime last year – turned him into a splodger that probably had an entire row laying the dry cleaning bill on SGIO.

  8. Sean Gorman says

    Pete we got to the game at 1;10 and the Maali boys were not playing? What time did they start? Dawn? I did see a pigeon down our end pecking nervously at the drop twisties from Basil Zemplis .

  9. Peter the Mudie says

    Long story, but Paul Mugambwa (who had the entry passes) slept in and was late getting there (Souths had a game up in Whoopalup on Saturday) – so the Maali and Multicultural mobs started late, played 2 x 25 minute halves. The Nyoongar mob whacked in 8 goals, Peter Farmer’s boy went down with an achilles (I think) and could’ve used TL in the centre square.

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