AFL Round 21 – Sydney v St.Kilda: Are we there yet?

It’s taken me a while to work out what I could really draw out of Sunday’s game. Last week’s horrendous loss to The Pies and the ensuing semi-depression and loathing led to a burst of creativity yet the much needed follow up victory yesterday had a touch of the forgettable to it. We were tipped to win, needed to win, played like we meant to for a quarter and a bit and somehow still romped home by fifty nine points. To be honest the game served as an excellent aperitif to an even more delicious rib-eye steak dinner at ‘Bills’ restaurant on Crown Street that night.

Still there are some points that stood out on that hot Sunday afternoon that on reflection are worth a mention now that the pressure cooker of September finals draws closer. The main one being my sunglasses made it impossible to see anything.

Disposal to players who wear the same colour guernsey’s. Even back in the old VFL black and white ‘put some more coal in the back’ TV days you could tell who was who and this fact remains so to this day. During the first half and last quarter I wasn’t sure if the players remembered we wear red and white. We all sing it loud enough every week so hopefully it’s sunk in by now. I lost count of the times we had great runs out of half back only to cough it up by handballing or stab kicking it straight to The Enemy because of sudden colour blindness.

Contest the ball not kick and hope. The wild gesticulations from the ever present vocal supporter two rows down said it all. I’m thinking of filming him for my Almanac articles next year. A picture is worth a thousand words so a thirty second blast of his outbursts should cover me each week. I can only hope he’s providing the same entertainment value to the ANZ Stadium crowd.

Cut the tags off. Jack popped up out the back to run in a trademark goal but both he and Hannebury were strangely subdued on Sunday. They’re clearly no longer flying under the radar and are being deliberately targeted and need to become the hunter not hunted. Thank God for Kennedy who bullocked and bucked his way up and down the SCG for a season best thirty eight disposals.

Rule 15.4.5 subsection c.  If you want your team colours modelled on a rampaging six foot seven forward get one of your own and stop using ours as a clothes horse. As it was he kicked five and then White took care of the rest. Hope his hammy is fine as he was subbed off for…..

Rohan. The sight of every Swans fan’s favourite red head back on the paddock after his long absence was a morale booster at the right time of the season. Showed a touch of that blood quickening pace down the Brewongle wing but unfortunately couldn’t finish it off. Still between that and the sight of Goodes, Reid and LRT in the stands I’m getting quite upbeat about the shape of the squad. It’s a selectors nightmare if all three plus Jetta are ready to go but the worry is who do you cut to make room?

So two and a half hours later that was it. A fairly ordinary first half, a commanding third and a foot off the pedal forth secured the boys a top four place; third in fact for now despite the Dockers belting the living daylights out of this season’s whipping boys the Demons. An honourable mention must go to The Enemy captain being awarded ‘softest 50m penalty’ of the year. The ruling was a shove after the mark but are we one hundred percent sure the breeze from the half built stadium didn’t blow him over?

Shambling along the service tunnel under the Victor Trumper Stand to the outside it suddenly occurred to me that this was our final visit to the SCG. I hadn’t truly contemplated that the home and away season is drawing quickly to a close for another year. But I’m very happy that more football awaits us Swans fans in September.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

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