AFL Round 19 – Review: The View from Shepparton

The Minister of Home Affairs and I watched enthralled as the Showdown unfolded. This has to be one of the greatest matches in South Australian and indeed AFL history. It wasn’t perfect in execution that’s for sure in that turnovers cost both teams dearly at various times, but particularly Adelaide in that second quarter. For sheer passion and excitement though I reckon that it was as good as it gets. Chad Wingard, Hartlett, this bloke Crouch, and Grigg for the Crows, had never heard of either of  them. I felt desperately sorry for the Adelaide, what an off break from Monfries, never seen anything like it. Yet the play that lead to that showed in microscopic detail the inability of Adelaide players to make correct decisions at critical times. Johnston, another player of whom I had never heard had kicked four out of four. Having “got” himself alone in that frantic last quarter, instead of attempting to get a fifth he kicked it indiscriminately into the general direction of the left pocket, straight passed a Crows player who had also managed to position himself alone. In the resultant rush the ball was forced out of bounds and then the Port through Ebert and Cornes got the ball to Monfries and the rest is history.  If I were to do a highlights tape for next year’s AFL advertising campaign I would just show the last two minutes of this game. I have looked and relooked at it three times and it just makes my hair stand on end to see the excitement, brilliance and tension. Seeing that Port are now the flag bearers for South Australian football this year, I hope that they can cut down on their turnovers and show the Victorian crowds how good  they really are now.


Having written the above just loved the Geelong North Melbourne clash. It is fantastic when both sides play attacking footy, I guess that it would be no surprise that the Cats and the Roos have a similar game style and boy is it exciting to watch. Boomer Harvey was fantastic the way he broke away from the centre bounce on at least one occasion but for me, Motlop was the “Best On Ground”. North are still the best team out of the eight but now they won’t be able to strut their stuff in September.


As always happens there are winners and losers. At last the Sprawlers got up but they made Melbourne feel sick in doing so. Myself, I felt “at last”, when the final siren went. Augurs really well for 2014 for the Giants (hate that American type name). As for Melbourne, well look at what Ken Hinkley has done for Port Adelaide.


Richmond have really arrived, they were too fast, too committed and just too good for the Hawks in another result which would have given joy to the average observer, they are another team which is starting to really find form at the right time of the year. Trent Cotchin played yet another fine Captain’s game. I reckon that Hawthorn are definitely vulnerable to teams which move the ball around in a hurry.


The West Coast Gold Coast game was good as well, though the Weagles aren’t the team that they were last year it shows have much the Gold Coast have come along this year when they were able to play so well on the Eagles home turf. Dean Cox seems to be ageless.


I have to admit that I lost a lot of interest in the Brisbane game when I became aware that Saad was playing for the Saints. I was rapt of course that the Lions got up and indeed got up convincingly and in so doing reminded me of my melancholic thinking when I realised that they were going to fall short of making the eight this year.


I should be glad that Freo did Carlton but not when players like Ballantyne are seen to be heroes notwithstanding their relentlessly unsporting approach to the game. Perhaps I should go back to Sunday School teaching!


I’m glad that Collingwood gave Essendon a football lesson, perhaps the latter’s past, although no one seems to know yet how bad or not so bad it was, has caught up with them. Many are now talking up the Pies, as for me I remain in  a state of suspended if not horrified suspended belief as to where they are going.


The Western Bulldogs looked very good at times against Sydney but for them to have won it would have been a huge upset.


Highs: The Showdown, James Magnusson. Michael Clarke


Lows: Brumbies being rolled, Melbourne, DRS.

About Peter Schumacher

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

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