AFL Round 17 – GWS Giants v Essendon: Four Quarter footy

Manchester United. One of the biggest and most storied football clubs in the world are in town to play all the stars (minus most of the actual stars) of the national competition – and I don’t care. I’m going next door earlier in the day. The game against Essendon was supposed to be a night game, but that would have made it an unimaginably stupid and unnecessary clash so the AFL changed it.

It’s the fourth and last time that the great man will coach against his former side (3rd for points) and we’ve run them reasonably close each time. Lately, we’ve been really good and really quite abysmal. I’m looking for more of the former.

It was sunny when we left home, rained while we were changing trains at Lidcombe and was a bright mild midwinter’s afternoon for the game itself. We settle in early and watch a parade of local juniors from the Blue Mountains Kangaroos to the Wollondilly Redbacks. Junior footy is growing in Western Sydney.

I tally it up to eight Giants who weren’t born when Dustin Fletcher debuted for the Bombers. Jeremy Cameron was two days old. Shiel and Treloar less than a month.

Some commentators are saying that the Essendon midfield are missing players, setting the excuse up early, conveniently forgetting that Palmer, Coniglio and Scully are missing for us.

Greene is back, though, with a new haircut and a better game: 28 disposals: 4 tackles. I like the tackles stat, shows you’re putting in. Mark Whiley lays 12.

Whateley, on 360, has leveled his “most at stake” at us and I think we answer him.

We win the first playing hard contested footy, with some nice free flowing phases thrown in for good measure. Jeremy Cameron will put bums on seats alone, playing like he does. He kicked 4:5 and was absolutely ripped off one from the goal square early in the third. The umpires acted for most of the day like they were auditioning for the third test at Old Trafford.

Essendon came good in the second, as you’d expect but the floodgates never really open; a 12 point gap at the long break is about right. Really pleased with the effort of the boys in that half. Our defence looks much better with Phil Davis in it. Now over his broken back, directing traffic down back, making us better in the process. Still missing The Chad badly though.

I spent the break chatting to a pommie expat in a Man U shirt who was enjoying himself immensely.

The third quarter is up and down for both teams with the Bombers being up for slightly longer than us, but we had our moments with 3 in four minutes. Still the floodgates did not open.

The fourth has been our Achilles heel.

Today, though, in front of the second largest AFL crowd at Skoda, we fight on and even have our chances. 2:7 to 4:2 shows the effort, if not the reward; footy is like that sometimes. But it gives us lot to go on with.

Big Joffa Giles kicked both in the last, giving him 4 for the day. Having Brogan as a proper back-up is so much better than the part timers we’ve had to struggle with for a lot of games this year.

I have to eat my words on Adam Tomlinson. I must admit, I couldn’t see the point last year. This year I can, and today he continues to play really well; looks to be developing a Riewoldt-esque (Nick) tank and has the size to match.

Hampton was his usual heart-in-mouth scary self, but managed to do more right than wrong.

Essendon were workmanlike. They did what they needed to do to win, but I wouldn’t be banking my finals future on their performance today.

We played well for four quarters. That usually doesn’t happen, although this is the second time in three weeks it has. We’ll get there and performances like today will help lock in the fans and bring more back.

We go home, through the throng of Man U supporters, proud of the boy’s efforts today.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 5.3 6.3 9.4 11.11 (77)
ESSENDON 5.0 8.3 14.6 18.8 (116)

Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Giles 4, Whitfield, Tomlinson, Treloar

Essendon: Colyer 4, Stanton, Hurley, Melksham 2, Hooker, Myers, Dell’Olio, Kommer, Jetta, O’Brien, Bellchambers, Goddard

Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Tomlinson, Haynes, Giles, Whiley, Shiel

Essendon: Melksham, Stanton, Myers, Colyer, Dell’Olio, Hooker

Umpires: Burgess, McInerney, Mitchell

Official crowd: 10,783 at Skoda Stadium

Our votes: 3: Stanton (Ess) :2: Cameron (GWS) :1: Giles (GWS)

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....


  1. Kath Presdee says

    You would be pleased to see that Tomlinson got the Rising Star nomination based on his performance on Saturday. He and Cameron played well together. Add Patton to the mix… do we really need Buddy except for backsides on seats?

Leave a Comment