AFL Round 22 – Review: The View from Shepparton

As I commence this on the Tuesday following the completion of Round 22 other things occupy my thoughts and concerns. I appreciate by the way that this is essentially a sports writing site and that as such some of the following is by definition “off message”, but so be it. These are:

  • To paraphrase Jon Faine in the sports segment of his morning program on Melbourne ABC, how many Syrians would be caring at the moment as to what happens to James Hird? Come to think of it how many asylum seekers?
  • Here at Shepparton about a kilometre from where I am putting down these thoughts, fruit trees are being ripped out from what is supposed to be the food bowl of Australia. To see this happening makes me sick to the stomach. How is it that the two main supermarket chains (amongst others I imagine)  are getting away with importing from overseas with slack regulations meaning that on their packaging the point of origin though identified if the purchaser cares to look hard enough is shall we say, hardly highlighted. And how are the food safety regulations in foreign climes to be compared with what is expected of Australian producers?
  • The Minister of Home Affairs and I the other day made a decision to purchase the top model Holden Cruze. It has received really good reviews and the plus is, IT’S AUSTRALIAN MADE. Holden sacked hundreds of workers recently but I was advised just yesterday that because of demand the delivery date has been stretched from 6 to 8 weeks. As is said in the classics, “Go figure”! Incidentally it is replacing an eight year old 380 which had only one really bad hiccup; it died in peak hour traffic in Melbourne because a (the)  fuel pump messed up, or so I was told. I  must confess that I did not extract the said fuel pump to confirm the veracity or otherwise of this diagnosis. Anyway apart from that it has provided fantastic trouble free motoring to the extent that one granddaughter asked more or less rhetorically, “what’s wrong with this one?” Good question. The 380 was of course also Australian made.
  • Getting back on message, when are those responsible at Essendon for the mess that the club is currently in going to accept the punishment and admonition thought necessary by those in a position to make judgement on these things? Sitting here at Shepparton it is impossible to make sense of the rights and wrongs of the current situation. On the one hand there appears to be ample evidence of shortcomings in respect of supplements injected into players but is the AFL conflicted in being the adjudicator on the issues involved? At all events everyone must surely by now be sick of the whole saga but meanwhile nothing has been resolved.


To the weekend footy:

Geelong thrashed Sydney but really they are at least a five goal better side at home. This gets to another point oft discussed. Why shouldn’t Geelong get a home final, they have earned it after all. Not enough bums on seats that’s why not. The almighty dollar and greed rules again at the cost of the integrity of the competition.

Collingwood looked really good against the West Coast, the latter is  shadow of the team that it was last year. Collingwood are such an enigma to me, at their best it would appear that they could win the lot but I guess that they were playing what now is really a weak team. Dane Swan is such a great player, could do without the tatts though. And these players with dopey stupid hair styles, how about trying to look like professional sportsmen instead of professional freaks.

Freo thrashed Port, this too was expected over there, even so Port will go out in the first round particularly as they are not playing in Adelaide.

I was actually really happy that Essendon overtook Carlton because to me the players probably have nothing to play for now this year except pride, but of course everyone knows what a motivator that can be. Carlton are basically back at square one although they might fall into the finals.

If I were a Roos supporter I would be crying, they should be in the eight, possibly the top four. They pushed Hawthorn really hard, but of course all of those narrow losses fixed them.

Adelaide at home against Melbourne. Yep! To be fair they too have been on the wrong side of a few narrow results.

I was genuinely excited by Brisbane’s first half against the Dogs, it really was like the Brisbane of old, I was quite amazed at how the game turned around in the second half. Full credit to the Dogs particularly when they were playing at the Gabbatoir.

The Sprawlers were frankly depressing, sometimes it appears that they have gone nowhere in two seasons. Good percentage booster for Richmond, put them ahead of the Pies which I suppose is always a good thing. I reckon that the Tiges are my default team for the finals.

St Kilda had a nice win over the Suns in a match which to the outside observer had little hanging on the result.

Week’s Highlight: Clarke’s declaration thus changing  a dead set bore of a finish one that could have been an afternoon long remembered, particularly by the English team unfortunately.

Week’s Lo light: Umpires calling time instead of using commonsense, the crowd booing Clarke after he had had the guts to allow a result to occur and the Australian attack for allowing the batsmen to get away to what probably should have been an English win.

About Peter Schumacher

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


  1. daniel flesch says

    “Geelong … really they are at least a five goal better side at home. This gets to another point oft discussed. Why shouldn’t Geelong get a home final?”
    Why not ? For the very reason they have a 5 goal advantage at home., an unfair advantage. It has to be if they can’t be beaten at Kardinia Park .but can be beaten (albeit rarely) elswhere. The Cats are lucky to get a few games and guaranteed wins at home . Geelong is the only club that gets to play at a real home ground rather than the other generic grounds. Privilege enough .

  2. Basso Divor says

    Daniel, I fear you may have prodded the hornet’s nest …. just to name a few – Don’t Adelaide and Port Power share a real home ground? West Coast and Fremantle are co-tenants of the “House of Pain”, Brisbane has it’s own “Gabbatoir” and more recently the Gold Coast Suns have started to establish their own hard-to-beat-at-home status. One can presume you’re talking about the Melbourne based ex VFL teams which chose to relinquish their own traditional digs in favour of moving to bigger facilities to put more bums on seats? Geelong chose to invest in and control their own future by improving their stadium and facilities. “Privilege enough”? It’s called having a home ground advantage for a very good reason. I say they should be applauded and find it appropriate they are rewarded for having the courage and conviction to shape their own destiny!

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great Article Peter and correct in every way from food imports to The Essendon debacle to and yes of course Geelong should be playing at home it is meant to be a Home Final for finishing higher and you can bet Collingwood and Richmond are desperate to play at the G not at Etihad

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