AFL Round 22: Dees see out legends with plucky performance

Walking into the MCG is harder than normal today, knowing that a few club champions’ careers are at an end. I sit in my usual reserved seat, with the usual 50-year old man sitting in front of me, who I notice isn’t wearing a hat for the first home game this year.

The Dees begin proceedings like they aren’t a side who have been struggling for three seasons. I have seen this a few times in the last few weeks. Miller kicks the opening goal. Jurrah gets the ball inside 50. Without hesitating for a split second, he kicks the ball over his head. Surely not, surely not. It’s a goal. Jurrrahhh! The crowd roar and the Dees are looking good.

Dempster replies with a goal out of the centre, and a sort of heavenly St Kilda cheer arises from the city end stands. Jurrah takes a mark that only he could take, but he doesn’t score from 40. He then hits the post but Sylvia, who is playing the quarter of his life, drills one through. Gilbert replies for the Saints and Jurrah slams through his second. The quarter time siren sounds. Melbourne leads 4.2 26 to 2.2 14. Sylvia has 12 touches, Morton 11. For the Saints it’s Gram leading with nine. At the break, Tom Scully murmurs surround me in the crowd.

The second quarter starts and the Dees continue to try and get the ball to Robbo in the forward line. He looks slightly out of touch. Moloney kicks a goal from the boundary line and the Saints look slow, vulnerable and no one is playing well. On the top of that Riewoldt is being very well held by Frawley. Dal Santo kicks a goal for St.Kilda, before Jamar kicks one for the Dees. Jamar, the key forward in the making.

Stephen “Boooo” Milne kicks a goal and Robbo dribbles through a … behind from the goal square. If the rest of the second quarter was a TV show, it would be called Riewoldt Unleashed, as I witness the blond Saint kick three in a row. The Saints lead by a kick at the half, 6.5 41 to 7.5 47. Dal Santo has a huge 23 touches for St.Kilda (16 in the second quarter) and Morton with 22 for the Dees. I am always excited by big possession games. Who isn’t?

The third quarter begins and Riewoldt Unleashed continues as I make my way back to my seat from the toilet. But it was more like St Kilda Unleashed as the quarter goes on. Koschitzke and Riewoldt keep marking, but not necessarily kicking straight, which keeps Melbourne in it. Robbo hits the post from the boundary line before Jurrah kicks a lazy couple in a row for another four-goal performance. Milne plays on from a mark and us Melbourne supporters let him know about it.  At three quarter time, Melbourne are still in it. 8.6 54 to 10.10 70. Morton leads easily for the Dees, with 26 and Dal Santo and Hayes have 29 and 25 possessions each respectively.  Melbourne won’t win.

The last quarter starts and Montagna kicks a goal, followed by Robbo running into an open goal. I stand up and give him what he deserves. Red-and-blue air is filled inside the MCG. Riewoldt kicks a fifth from the boundary. Spencer marks outside 50 hand passes over to Wheatley who bangs one through from 60. Half the Dees’ players hug him, Jurrah rushes over first. Whelan needs a goal as well. He has only had four handballs so far. The Dees tire in the last few minutes as St Kilda bang through the goals. Milne, Riewoldt, Koschitzke, McQualter and Schneider all kick one each. The siren sounds and emotion floods the ground. St.Kilda ends up winning 10.7 67 to 17.12 114, but that isn’t the point. The Dees put on a brave performance up until the last few minutes. Morton ends up with 36 touches while Dal Santo has 39 and Hayes 37.

Despite a St Kilda victory, it’s like a Melbourne win after the game. Robbo, Wheatley and Whelan do a lap of the ground, and the Melbourne theme song blares through the speakers. Robbo gets a fair few scarves around his neck; Whelan gets a couple and Wheatley one. A guard of honour is formed as the three stars of the oldest club in the game get lifted off. I should’ve run down to the bottom level.

I leave the ground with a smile on my face. On my way to Richmond station I see a couple of Melbourne supporters from school. There isn’t much to be sad about, 2010 is already in my sights. And the top two draft picks help the cause. Well, that’s the season.

Well done Paul Wheatley, Matthew Whelan and Russell Robertson. You’re all bloody legends.

Melbourne  4.2  6.5  8.6  10.7 (67)
St.Kilda  2.2  7.5  10.10  17.12 (114)

Melbourne: Jurrah 4, Jamar, Wheatley, Robertson, Moloney, Sylvia, Miller.
St Kilda: Riewoldt 6, Milne 2, Koschitzke 2, McQualter, Schneider, Dal Santo, Gram, Montagna, Dempster, Gilbert.

Melbourne: Jurrah, Morton, Sylvia, Moloney, Dunn, McDonald, Wheatley.
St Kilda: Riewoldt, Dal Santo, Hayes, Gram, Goddard, Montagna, Fisher, Milne.

My Votes: 3. Nick Riewoldt (StK), 2. Nick Dal Santo (StK), 1. Liam Jurrah (Melb).

Umpires: Donlon, Kamolins, Mollison.                      Crowd: 36,748 at the MCG.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. Damian Watson says

    Great report Steve,
    It was funny when Paul Wheatley was kicking the ball back into play in the final term, I think he booted about four torpedos in a row!

    What is your favourite Robbo moment?
    I think his best game was back in 2001 at the MCG when he tore the Swans apart.


  2. Josh Barnstable says

    My best memory of Robbo was the goal he kicked over his head against Fremantle in 2001 i think it was. And also the goal off his back against St Kilda in 2007. AND the mark against West Coast in the Pre-Season a few years back

  3. Steve Healy says

    Mine was the goal over his head, his mark against Freo at the Dome many years ago. His mark against Carlton last year. And his 7-goal performance on the Queen’s birthday two years ago, including one from the boundary line on the siren. Also his other 7 goal performance in 2005 at Skilled Stadium. And Matthew Egan’s kick missed after the siren and the Dees won.

    Wheatley’s kicks were long, but none of them seemed to come that well off the boot. It was funny, and they still went about 65-70m. I think he should go down the path of Darren Bennett and become a punter in the NFL.

  4. Damian Watson says

    Wheatley can certainly make a fist of it, I remember when he kicked the first 9 pointer in the Wizard Cup back in 2003.

    Does anyone know what occured with Nick Davis? He expressed intrest in becoming a punter but I haven’t heard anything reported yet.

  5. Michael Allan says

    I remember that goal too, it was against Richmond. The Dees beat us and 2009 was the first year we’d made it to the second round since 2002.

    I havwen’t heard anything about Nick, I heard scouts were interested but I guess if nothings been reported since then so I guess he musn’t have got far.

  6. Believe it or not…
    Nick Davis was my FIRST EVER FOOTY CRUSH!(After him came Cameron Cloke)
    Now that i think of it..i dont know what the hell i was thinking!! LOL

  7. Josh Barnstable says

    We all seem to be forgetting about Matty Whelan. I remember him taking out James Hird in the finals series, can’t remember which year it was. And also he was the one that tried smothering Nathan Brown’s ball, resulting in Brown’s badly broken leg. Steve, in your report you say the Melbourne theme song played. What’s with this? They lost.

  8. Steve Healy says

    Yeah, Wheels was one of the most courageous players to ever play the game. His commitment to the contest was outstanding and he has delivered and copped some big hits. Even this year, when he smashed underneath Franklin, who went flying on to the ground.

    It was very strange Josh. The St.Kilda theme song played once, and about 5 minutes later the Melbourne song started playing as the three legends gave the crowd hi-fives.The Dees’ players gave footys to the crowd After about 10 minutes, they finally came off the ground and St.Kilda also quickly gave the footys to the crowd and ran off.

  9. Josh Barnstable says

    At least our game still has a bit of sympathy and compassion left in it

  10. Yes. I didn’t see one Melbourne supporter leave until the Dees came off the ground.

  11. awww thats so nice!
    My dad is always one who wants to beat traffic and leave before the siren when we are losing. i personally think that if the Titanic is going down then im going down with it!

  12. Yeah, I’m the same Danni. I’ve never left a game before the siren has sounded.

  13. Michael Allan says

    Mum and I never leave the game before the siren goes. Our excveption was the humiliating thrashing by Geelong last year.

    For Bowden’s last game after collingwood’s theme song they played Richmond’s and the magpie fans near us were annoyed. Must be a new thing they do for retireing players. I don’t like it(unless they’re leends like Hird and Sheedy’s farewell).

    Today Andrew Collins’ jumper was sent to me today. It barely fitted me. And Dani my sister said it smelt like grass.

  14. Michael Allan says

    Sorry, the thrashing in 07, the game that started Geelong’s bluissful season.

  15. Steve Healy says

    I would have loved to have been at that game, Michael. To witness a huge score being kicked, even if my team was on the end of the thumping.

    I’m seeing the teams being released for week 1 of the finals.

  16. Josh Barnstable says

    Still no Anthony Rocca

  17. Steve Healy says

    Hudghton and Ball named in the squad for St.Kila, it will be interesting to see if they play or not. I think Rocca might only come in if there’s an injury in the Collingwood side.

  18. hmmm i wonder if Heath Shaw’s blog entry for today is up..i shall have a look :)

    Happy dance time!

    p.s his jumper smelt like GRASS? out of all things! you would think he’e spray it with cologne!

  20. Steve Healy says

    Hmmm, I don’t know if Brown will play. Cos the Pies have already got Presti/Maxwell/L.Brown or even Harry O’Brien to play on Riewoldt and Koschitzke.

  21. Josh Barnstable says

    This is how i think the Backline for the Pies will line up on Sunday:

    Riewoldt v Prestigiacomo
    Koschitzke v N. Brown
    Schneider v Maxwell
    Milne v O’Brien

    I don’t think the other two forwards matter.

  22. Dudes!
    Nathan doesnt need to play he can just stand there and look PRETTY!!!!! :)

  23. Michael Allan says

    Sorry Danni, Nathan wont be playing. Leigh is in the starting line up while Nathan is 5th interchange. I’d go for Leigh anyway.

    Steve I couldn’t watch how good Geelong were, I was busy noting how pathetic Richmond was. Sorry but I can’t understand how you’d like to watch it.

    I hope Ball and Hudgton play, they both deserve to be in the team.

  24. How can you say that! It’s so mean; you know how long I’ve been waiting for him to come back into the side.
    O Nathan, Nathan, wherefore art thou Nathan? Art thou in the backline or on the bench? Either way thou prettiness fills me with love!
    LOL my twist on Shakespeare!

  25. Steve Healy says

    Hey Danielle,

    It’s funny that you mention Romeo and Juliet. We’ve been studying Romeo and Juliet in class and I had to write up a speech, and I chose to do it on what Romeo and Juliet would be like if it was a comedy.

  26. Josh Barnstable says

    Breaking news: Nathan Brown out, Anthony Rocca in

    im not one one for swearing but when i saw that, well… the words came out like fireworks on new year.
    ‘SOB’ :(

  28. Steve Healy says

    Cameron Wood and Brad Dick got dropped? That’s a little harsh. I guess the Pies just need Fraser and Leigh Brown as the back up ruckman. Can’t wait to see Rocca play, he’s a great player to watch.

  29. Im so over it! Rocca is too slow!
    we need speed not another forward!
    our forward line is full enough!

    does anyone want to lend a shoulder for me to cry on?? :(

    “i miss my Nathan!” :( :(

  30. Josh Barnstable says

    Hey Danni, what’s that website again for the live chat of the game that you have been talking about?

  31. Its:

    its the Best site EVER!
    i feel so depressed and ive got a headache from going through all my magazines to find the right fringe! cos i have to get my hair coloured and stuff for my cousins christening!

  32. Josh Barnstable says

    Thanks. Im friends with a girl who has black hair with a huge bright pink fringe haha you should go for that

  33. Do you have to or do you want to Danni hahaha. How good are Adelaide playing?

  34. Josh Barnstable says

    Aren’t you watching it Steve? They are playing like a premiership side Steve. Tippett has 4, Knights has been his usual self and kicked a ripper from outside 50 on the boundary, Burton is marking everything and Vince has been good. Essendon trying but just can’t stay in touch. 101-49 with Thompson having a shot at goal

  35. Lol i have to and i want to.
    i like change, i dont like looking the same all time time and i used my hair to experiement with.

    UMM..i dont think the pink fringe would go down well with the parents! LOL
    im thinking of going blue-black. its black with a tinge of blue. ive done it before so i know what im getting.

  36. Josh Barnstable says

    Good win to the Crows. 26.10.166 to 10.10.70.

    I wanna get Black and Red tips in my hair, dunno if i’ll be allowed though and dunno if i’ll ever have the confidence to do that. Anyway, more footy and less hair talk! lol

    lol sorry bomber fans but…SUCK ON THAT LLOYD!! HA! :)

  38. Nah Josh, of course I was watching the game. I posted that comment at half time. What a win from the Crows. Their forward line is amazing. And I wanna keep my hair as its normal colour.

  39. Josh Barnstable says

    Essendon didn’t deserve a place in the top 8 with a performance like that

  40. Yeah, but tonight proved how much the Bombers need Lloyd and Ryder, just for some structure. The Bombers were nothing short of murdered in the ruck and they lacked that target up forward all game. Giving young Cale Hooker the role as the lone ruckman for most of the game is unfair for a player who wants to develop in a key position. I think there was too much burden for Hurley in this game, so many people are expecting so much from a first year player.

  41. Lol i know one teacher whos not going to be happy jan! :)
    maybe i cna convince him to go for coll.. nope thats NEVER going to happen!

  42. Danielle, you better hope Collingwood beat St.Kilda cos if they don’t they are in serious trouble against Adelaide in the Semi’s.

  43. Steve..PURLEZE!
    Adelaide is our home away from home. if anything my boys LOVE to Travel and their favourite place is Adelaide. Even if the game is here it means HOME ADVANTAGE which cant harm our chances!

  44. Well, 1. The game will be at the MCG.
    2. Adelaide beat the Pies in Round 1 this year.

  45. 3. they have ugly jerseys :)

  46. Ah well you’ve got me there, I can’t top that.

    I like Adelaide’s jumper. Home and away.

  47. i was at the game around World Youth Day and i was infatuated by all the French boys with their French flags buying Collingwood merchandise. i then saw a couple of cute German boys buying Adelaide jerseys. i was like. “Omg what are they buying that UGLY thing for?”
    its the same colour as the German FLAG!

  48. Josh Barnstable says

    Get to bed kiddies. Adelaide really played like premiership contenders tonight. I made a bold tip on the radio for them to play St Kilda in the Grand Final this year

  49. Hahaha. I remember being surrounded by German people on the train on my way to the footy last year during World Youth Day.

  50. yeah..i love accents!! so CUTE!
    josh! you should know by now. i dont sleep till late, imma party girl! :)

  51. Josh Barnstable says

    I think the best accent is an Irish accent or Pommy accent

  52. Steve Healy says

    I’m still up so I may as well say something.
    Yeah, irish accent, go Jimmy Stynes!

    Josh, speaking of Irish, how bad was Quinn’s fumble?

  53. Josh Barnstable says

    Haha yeah couldn’t stop laughing! At least he found the funny side of it too though. He was good, could have kicked 3 goals.

  54. the American accent is HAWT!
    I also like the Swis or Swedish.
    YES English accents are nice to.
    Irish accents are cute aslong as they are not heavy and i can undestand them.
    dont kill me but i didnt watch the footy tonight. i just kicked bakc with some mags and cleaned my room cos mum’s nagging was getting annoying.

  55. Josh Barnstable says

    You didn’t miss much Danni.

    American accent? It’s TERRIBLE!!

  56. Steve Healy says

    Yeah, he should have. I immediately thought of Jim Stynes’ mistake in 1987 when I saw that. And also Ben McKinley’s fumble against Collingwood last year (Although Quinn’s was worse).

  57. Josh Barnstable says

    Well that’s just the luck of the irish!

  58. Steve Healy says

    Hmmm, not watching the footy! You’ll learn from your mistakes. (only joking) You missed a dominant team performance (one of the best i’ve seen).

  59. Josh Barnstable says

    Adelaide definately has the best forward line in the competition. Each player has their unique ability. Tippett (marking), Burton (marking and agility), Hentschel (skill), Porplyia (everything) and Knights (midfield ability). Better than Geelong’s forward line of 2007

  60. HMM..u so cant say that!
    American accents are to die for!
    you obviously havent heard the Jonas Brothers sing or talk.
    id stay away from Taylor Swift, shes a real piece of work! ARGGH CANT STAND HER!!

  61. Josh Barnstable says

    I’ve never actually heard of a Jonas Brothers song. Only first heard of them last month. I heard that Paranoid song but its pretty annoying. Taylor Swift sounds like a real bogan.

  62. Steve Healy says

    Don’t forget Knights’ long kicking as well. Aside from those 5 you mention, though, they have so many other goal kicking options. Like Douglas, Maric and all their midfielders, which are what you call “Goal kicking midfielders”

  63. Steve Healy says

    I haven’t heard of the Jonas Brothers either. I hate american accents as well! Horrible! I’m always reminded of Tom Swift when someone mentions Taylor Swift. I hate all these American singers and bands. THEY’RE ALL THE SAME!

  64. Josh Barnstable says

    Yeah Simon Goodwin kicked 7 goals against the Eagles last year, Douglas is handy while Vince and Mackay can kick a few as well.

  65. Josh you did not just call the love of my life, the reason of my existance, annoying!
    Joe Jonas is the best thing that ever happend to me 3 years ago!
    i got their albums sent to me by boat from USA and i almost got kicked out of the cinema during thier 3d concert movie.
    i even bought a shirt with Joe on it eventhough its too small for me!
    Im a die hard fan!
    if you didnt like paranoid then have a listen to World War 3.
    i personally perfer the second album to any of them.
    But dont knock it till you try it :)

  66. Josh Barnstable says

    Hmmm i just think Jonas Brothers is another band that any girl would go wild about. I prefer bands that are actually bands, you know? lol anyway im headin to bed before i saw something TOO offensive to you, lol night people

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