AFL Round 3 – GWS v Melbourne: I’ll Take Ugly

GWS v Melbourne

Spotless Stadium
1:10pm Sunday 7th April 2014
Crowd: 7016

Being a half time Auskick goal umpire is a pretty big sacrifice. You have to start getting the kids ready around the 15 minute mark of the first quarter, making sure they are all present and accounted for. By the 20 minute mark you need to be out the back behind the grandstand and ready to go down to the change rooms. The second quarter is spent in the change rooms getting the kids into their Auskick outfits. Helping with the oversized socks, doing up laces and trying to stop the kids bouncing off the walls with the excitement of what they are about to do.

Once you’ve dressed in the lab coats (they should bring back the lab coats for AFL goal umpires, lab coats on goal umpires are cool) got your flags and your goal posts you head out to the race to be ready. As soon as the siren goes, you’re off and running. Got to get to your ‘field’, line up your markers, pace out your steps and have the goals in place – oh, and also dodge the boys as they head to the change rooms themselves – and some of those boys up close are big big units.

After the Auskick game you race to pack up your goals, herd the kids over to form a guard for the returning players and then head into the change rooms to reverse the process. Out of their Auskick uniforms, back into their regular supporters merchandise, doing up shoelaces and trying to stop them bouncing off the walls with the excitement of what they have just done.

Then it’s back up stairs, making sure they are all accounted for and not wandering off to get a better view of the game before they get back to their seats. Then finally when that’s all done you can finally sit down and try to figure out what went on while you weren’t watching the game. It’s not until roughly the 15 minute mark of the third quarter you really get to take a breath.

So while it really is quite fun for the 11 minutes or so of the actual Auskick game you miss out on watching almost half the main game.

Of course at Spotless Stadium on Sunday, missing the second half of the first quarter, all of the second quarter and the start of the third quarter meant that I didn’t actually miss all that much.

It was raining. There was trackwork on the Western Line. They were setting up for the Easter Show. Which all made getting to the ground in the first place a pain in the you-know-where. Easy to see why the crowd numbers were down. At least Sydney brought some of their own supporters, there weren’t too many D’s fans at the game.

Leaving at the 15 minute mark meant that we saw all there was to see of scoring in the first quarter. A couple of behinds and a really nice snap from Jezza. The next goal came didn’t come until the 14 minute mark of the second quarter. Jezza’s partner in crime, the General slotted one through. A few minutes later Melbourne got on the board through Linden Dunn.

That was it. In shocking conditions (but at least no lightning) there were three goals kicked in the first half.

Coming back from the change rooms we cut through the front of the grand stand, not behind it like we’d been directed, so I managed to glimpse the General snag his second of the day. Didn’t see the lead up, but his set shot was on the money. Looking for a wayward stray meant missing Jack Watts reply. Stray found we get to sit and watch the rest of the game.

We are greeted back to our seats with an excellent passage of play from Adam Treloar. He’d roved the pack, chipped inside fifty, gathered the spoil and kicked truly. He’s always been one of my favourites Adam Treloar. He would finish the game with a game high 33 disposals and a game high 14 tackles to go with one of the goals of the day. Just a work horse.

Down the other end of the ground the D’s get three in a row. Two pretty good ones and a softer than soft free kick to Jack Watts put them in front by a couple of points.

We have been dominating around the ground, in the clearances and we’re down by 2 points. That’s what happens when you don’t put the score on the board. Jezza comes to the rescue though and calmly slots another goal to have us up by 7 at the final break. 5:12 to 5:5. That inaccuracy could really come back to bite us.

From the opening bounce of the last quarter the ball is toed forward off the ground to land fortuitously in the outstretched maw of James Frawley. Yes, James Frawley playing in the front half of the ground. He goes back and calmly slots the fourth goal of his 121 game career. The D’s players swamp him with congratulations in a clear demonstration of a bit of team spirit.

A minute into the last and it is a one point ball game.

Enter Josh Kelly.

Roving the pack, slotting it from an exceptionally tight angle. That kid is class. Tyson has been good for Melbourne today, their highest possession getter, but I really like the look of this kid. Back to seven points.

A ruck infringement and Mummy slots one from about 20 out. 60 hit outs, 9 tackles and a goal. Buddy going to Sydney meant we ended up with Mummy. It’s a no brainer really who won that one. An umpire goes down on the outer wing, limps off to be replaced by the emergency. All the play is at the other end of the ground from where we are sitting and I don’t care. I can’t see them very well through the downpour, but while it’s up the it’s not down here with Melbourne scoring anything.

Josh Kelly again. Clean pick up, wheel around, sell some candy and calmly slot your second. This weeks rising star nomination sewn up. Giants by 19.

Another six behinds before a goal from Devon Smith pushes the lead and the time out to where it is comfortable. Matt Jones’ goal in the 29th minute is consolation and cancelled by Cog’s goal in the 32nd. We win by 32 points and sing the song for a second (7th/8th/9th) time in three weeks.

It was ugly. The conditions did not allow for beautiful free flowing passages of play. It was dour and sloppy and slippery. Not one for the collection. But I’ll take it. I’ll take ugly any day of the week if there is four points at the end of it.

Oh and Penrith Red beat Penrith Black by a goal in a tough low scoring defensive tackle dominated game at half time. It was that sort of day.

My votes: 3 Adam Treloar, 2 Shane Mumford, 1 Callan Ward

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....

Comments

  1. Earl O'Neill says

    Great write, Steve. I’m glad someone’s shepherding the AusKids around – I’d lose them.

  2. Kath Presdee says

    Josh Kelly is really looking the goods, isn’t he.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done Steve especially with your important aus kick role kids do remember !
    Good write up and GWS in Mumford ironically ended up with what they needed a class ruckman to build a side around not another key forward you are the only side in the comp who didn’t need another 1 ! ( Ruck wise GWS with Richmond and Western Bulldogs still stuffed up re not picking Brodie Grundy ) We don’t get too many old fashioned wet weather slogs it is the 4oints which counts

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