AFL Round 18 – Sydney vs Richmond : Yellow and hack

Thirty-five minutes is more than enough to allow for travelling time between my home and the SCG but not for the glacial pace of the queue at the ticket collection window.  The walk from the Moore Park gates to the bar at the Paddington end, where I met up with some poor deluded mates in yellow and black, allows brief glimpses of the field but none of the scoreboard.

I emerged into the late afternoon sun to discover that those Tigers were up 3 goals to Sydney’s 1.  As it happened, I’d already missed Richmond’s purple patch.  Jesse White kicked a couple, Nick Smith came down from the back pocket to slot one.

Things stagnated for awhile.  The Swans had three kicks at goal for a total of one point and at the first break scores were deadlocked.

Big Kurt kicked one for Sydney, then Reece for Richmond and both teams knuckled down to scrapping around the ground.  I was surrounded by RFC fans, standing above the cheersquad, enjoying the repartee.

It was a stodgy second term.  Sydney were better in general play but not on the scoreboard.  About 25 minutes in Heath Grundy took a terrific mark on the last line, that was the highlight of the quarter.

At halftime, my deluded friend in yellow and black informed me, in all seriousness, that if Richmond were within two and a half goals at three-quarter time, they would win.

Big Kurt marked within 30 seconds of the third term, and missed.  I was then told “Richmond are stupid.”  By this time Sydney had kicked at least four shots at goal out on the full, so it was by no means certain which team was the more stupid.

A good 15-20 minutes of field time after the last one, Sydney kicked a goal!  Then the much maligned Jack Riewoldt kicked one (he is, I am assured, incapable of second efforts) and the Tigers seemed to spark up a bit.  Jack kicked another and there’s only ten points in it.

Mike Pyke marks in front and I get a chance to chant “Mike Pyke, he’s our man, if he can’t kick it no-one can” to befuddled looks from the Tiger Army.  Fortunately, he kicks the goal.  It is evidently Houli’s fault.

Soon, Sydney make a quick break from centre half-back, the ball heads wingwards by hand and foot and leg and Sydney’s elder Jack kicks a long one.

“Shocking amateur defence” is the verdict from the immediate branch of the Tiger Army.

Another goal to Sydney, this one causing the umpire to draw a rectangle with his hands, tho it was obvious from my excellent vantage point that it had cleared the line before being touched.

Back down the other end and “He (Jack) is second to the ball all the time!”  Then followed the moment which clearly demonstrated the difference between a True Contender and those that would like to be.  The ball was loose in Richmond’s goalsquare but, not for the first time, there were three red and white jumpers around it, a few quick handballs in a tight knot, then suddenly sweeping downfield and Jude Bolton kicked over toward the goalsquare where Jesse took a strong mark and kicked true.

The Swans know where each other is and, more importantly, where they will be.  That goal was their system in action.  If Richmond have a system, it isn’t a steady one.  They were outclassed, the Swans straightened up and in 15 minutes put the game beyond doubt.

That was pretty much it.  The Tigers were stunningly inept in the last term.  I’m told that they’re “a joke of a team!”, that “Martin’s the only one with testicles” and I may yet get a song out of “Good on ya Jack, you overrated hack!”

I’ve offered the deluded Tiger $200 or ten hours of history lessons to his kids if Richmond win a flag by 2023.  His kids will likely get the history lessons anyway, they shouldn’t have to go through life wearing yellow and black every weekend and suffer an education system that ignores the importance of cement to modern life as well.


SYDNEY                    5.3    8.7   13.10    16.14 (110)

RICHMOND              5.3    6.4    8.7         9.9 (63)



Sydney: White 4, Tippett 3, Mitchell 2, K. Jack 2, Lamb, B. Jack, Pyke, Smith, Bolton

Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Martin 2, Conca, Jackson, Vickery, White



Sydney: O’Keefe, Jack, Mitchell, White, Bird, Tippett, McVeigh

Richmond: Martin, Riewoldt, Cotchin, Grigg, Jackson



O’Keefe 3, K Jack 2, Martin 1



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.


  1. Richard Naco says

    I was at the game as well, parked beside the Swannies’ cheer squad while wearing my Geelong gear by family and our pair of 13yo Japanese exchange students. The latter are now absolute footy fans!

    I had a very funny encounter at half time with the Swans’ mascot, our comical game of “my team’s better than your’s” mime charades ending when I pointed out the three recent premiership pennants sewn onto my top’s left sleeve.

    The game itself lived up to my hopes and expectations of what 4th v 6th should be like, the sunset which framed the contest through the second quarter was absolutely magical, and Toru and Masato got to kick a couple of goals each in the post game kick to kick (which was probably why they were chattering excitedly about “footy” for the next four hours straight).

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Richard, great comment. You’ve got football in four sentences.

  3. Ron James says

    The comments about the Japanese students “getting” footy was a repeat of an experience I had with a rabid league supporter who was dragged kicking and screaming to the SCG to see (co-incidentally) a Swans v Tigers game many years ago.
    It was a good game but apart from that it was the atmosphere and the crowd involvement that led him to say as we were leaving the ground that, “this was the best day at the footy I have ever had”.He meant it and then spent the next two days reliving his day out.
    The main comment made,many times, was “that was nothing like what we see on TV”.
    It’s not the same,if you are not at the game

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