AFL Round 17: The View from Shepparton

by Peter Schumacher
What a great round this was and again what a great advertisement for the game.

How did Geelong get out of jail? Was that not one of the great comebacks? No Scarlett, no Taylor.  Hawthorn get that first goal in the last quarter, no way could Geelong fight back. But they did. Whilst a team can never get back a lost premiership that  should have been won how sweet was the revenge  for the Cats. I still think though that if they make the eight Hawthorn could be a mountain of trouble for whoever they face. Franklin and Roughead can  turn any game on its head. That’s another reason why Geelong’s comeback was so meritorious.

The Richmond win was also exciting. Jack Riewoldt is at last showing us all what he can do, how would it be if both Riewoldts were playing in the Gold Coast team in a couple of years time? After all he has been through, whether self inflicted or not, the fact that Cousins has or is running into form has to be a good news story. And I love it whenever Nahas gets his hands on the ball, you never know what’s going to happen next. On the other side of the coin it is not a good news story to see Matty Lloyd trying to struggle on when he is so clearly injured. Winderlich is a gun. Of course the really outstanding point regarding this result was that this week Richmond  were able  regain the initiative after they had been reeled in.

Sydney mathematically stayed in the race for the eight but much as I love Canberra being an ex resident myself how disappointing was the crowd. For a town that was many moons ago predominantly a ‘Rules town, the attendance was woeful. Oh I realise that two teams were playing who were way below best form and that the weather was ghastly but that’s footy in winter. This reinforces to me that Western Sydney and Canberra aren’t worth the effort. As for the Melbourne Football Team , just hope that they get some decent draft picks although as was pointed out by Gerard Whately on Jon Faine’s program today, a team has to do a lot more than just get good draft picks to succeed.

I owe an apology to Adelaide supporters for getting it so wrong regarding their immediate prospects. All I can say in a lame defence is that my memories of any Port Adelaide side were that they were ferocious particularly on those rare occasions for them when the going got tough. Of course it is over 40 years ago since I and my family left our beautiful home at Crafers and went to in the first instance live in Townsville; what a culture shock that was; denizens of that town knew nothing of Norwood, or Sturt or even Port Adelaide and worse, they didn’t care that they didn’t know.In fact they knew nothing whatever about Aussie Rules, our game, the national game! I digress, the Port Adelaide I remember would never have rolled over the way the Powerless seem to  these days. I suppose that on this occasion the relevant fact might have been was that Adelaide was simply in another class in much the same way that St Kilda was superior to them last week. They will get another huge test against the Cats this week.

Freo had a good win against the West Coast let’s hope that both teams have a much better presence next year.

Brisbane had a good win against North Melbourne but like Adelaide they will have their acid test this week. Like to see our captain get another eight. Come to think of it I seem to recall Mick Malthouse in the past railing against what he perceived to be an unfair salary cap advantage dolled out to Brisbane. at a time when the footy culture for AFL in that place wasn’t that much different to that described for Townsville.  Come on Lions, you can do it! “Yes we can”!!!

Thinking of Collingwood they looked unsettling good against Carlton. The latter, when they are having an off day, look really bad, and last Friday night was certainly one of those days. Judd being injured isn’t going to help their final’s chances.

I thought that St Kilda’s dream run would come to an end but in the final analysis the result merely reinforced the fact that they are currently the best team in the competition by daylight and that on this form no one will get near them. It would be a shame for Western Bulldogs if they slid out of the top four but they really copped some injuries as well so it is quite possible..

This week  I fervently hope that Brisbane and Adelaide get up  as such results will even the competition right up, apart from St Kilda of course. Still, as I recall, even they have scarcely if at all played at the MCG this year.

I end on a sour note unfortunately. The delayed telecast of the Essendon Richmond game did nothing to improve my temper. I just think that once again it is the big end of town treating all of the rest of us like ignorant peasants and pawns in their attempts to gain every last cent from advertising revenue at the expense of the game and this is unfortunate because the commentary team itself as usual did a great job.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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