AFL Round 3 – GWS v Melbourne: The First And The Last

Greatest Western Sydney v Melbourne

The Showground

1310, Sunday 6 April


Dollar-thirty favourites!  A grand day indeed, in the storied annals of the Giants.


Pre-match, representatives of junior football clubs sauntered around the boundary line.  A small showing, one club being represented by dad and his two kids, but it made a good point and gave a clue, one hopes, to how this club will engage with the locals.


Dad and I had taken seats on the flank near the rooms, so we had a good view of the cheersquads and the banners.  GWS  squad were kitted out in nice big wintry jackets, too smart looking for it not to have been a donation from the club.  Melbourne squad had been afforded no such sartorial luxuries and raised their banner early.  This gave me too much time to dwell on the possible meanings of the message:






The players took note, unleashed their inner demons and consequently did not kick their first goal until 19 minutes into the second quarter.


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  The big screen showed vids of players while introducing them, gave us their twitter addresses (by the gods, such tech-savvy!) and while most players were content to punch the ball from one hand to another in these vids, Nick Haynes and his long blonde hair spun it on the tip of his finger.  The PA was too loud, the music was too loud, there was a countdown flashing on the screen with heroic images of footballers in action and then…  The bounce.


JC kicked a goal seven minutes in and with the Fuchsias being as sloppy as they were, an easy win seemed likely.  Not to be.  It made an interesting comparision with last week’s match against St Kilda – then, two young teams ran riot, played to their instincts, kicked goals and it was an entertaining contest.

This first half was dreary.

It was wet and slippery and the greasy ball seemed to engender greasy decisions.  The Monaros didn’t make the most of their chances.

Were wet, low-scoring matches at the Western Oval in the 1950s this bad?   The big teev was showing a direct feed from Fox, which featured the countdown clock, so that’s one irritation you wouldn’t have found then.

Half-time and three goals have been kicked.  As the kids ran out, the announcer rambled on about the “Hallowed turf here at Spotless Stadium.”

And so to the Premiership Quarter.  Tho the rain had eased, there was still a lot of pointless finessing.  Some dumb tactics for wet weather, players from both teams turning back into the pack and trying to handpass when a kick forward would have at least gained ground and made for a contest.

Halfway through and, blow me down, but Melbourne started to play some decent football.  They were stringing together disposals that found the right target, they kicked goals, and there was Paul Roos at the bench thinking “Yep, drag ‘em down to our level and beat ‘em with experience.”  Watts snapped a good goal, Melbourne’s third in eight minutes, that gave them the lead.  A few minutes later, JC snapped a good goal and ‘Goodnight Irene.’

Melbourne kicked the first of the fourth within a minute, but that was it.  The Monaros woke up to themselves and ran into space, took chances.  Four of their five last quarter goals were kicked by small running players, the other by Mumford from a free, the one that really put the Fuschias back in the 8-inch pot.


Melbourne weren’t nearly as terrible as last time these teams met.  They had more confidence and cohesion, but it’ll take a while longer for them to get over the psychological shellacking they’ve copped over the last few years.  It’d help if Roos signed on for four years rather than the two or maybe three that he’s admitted to.


West gutsed it out.  They had five behinds in each of the last three terms, some rushed, some snapped, some set shots  – and a few OOFs.  Better goalkicking and better delivery to the forwards and they could’ve had this nailed in the third.  That level of composure will increase this year.


If you live in Sydney and you dig football, get on down to The Showground soon.  The sightlines are excellent, you can hear the players yelling at each other, you’ll get to watch this team developing and gelling and see great young players and a few well-chosen old-hands helping them along.  Mumford and Shaw have made an enormous difference to this team.


GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY         1.2    2.7   5.12   10.19  (73)
MELBOURNE                               0.2    1.5    5.5      7.5    (47)

GWS: Patton 2, Cameron 2, Kelly 2, Treloar, Mumford, Smith, Coniglio
Melbourne: Dunn 2, Watts 2, Kent, Frawley, Jones



GWS: Treloar, Mumford, Ward, Bugg, Shaw, Kelly

Melbourne: N Jones, Dunn, Vince, Cross, M Jones


Crowd: 7016


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production

Brought to you with the assistance of Bettye Lavette and Carole King.


Our votes: 3 – Mumford; 2 – Shaw; 1 – N Jones.

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Earl O'Neill says

    Votes: 3 – Mumford; 2 – Shaw; 1 – N Jones.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Earl a step in the right direction for this young team. GWS and Gold Coast are coming at the moment were all watching and grudgingly admiring all the young talent , the loathing etc will come when both sides start to dominate the competition .
    I enjoyed the contest between Mr Bean ( Alex Giorgeo ) a fine dual Premiership Player for Norwood and Patton who is going to be a super star Thanks Earl

  3. Earl, I was at the game and ‘I hear you’ on the PA volume. They should know that the background noise they are competing with is coming from a crowd of 7,000 not 70,000.

    It’s fantastic how you can hear the players shouting to each other if the play is your side of the wing. Parts of yesterday reminded me of surburban footy, it’s just the skill level wasn’t quite as good……

    As a Pies support it was great to see ‘Heater’ giving his all. He is part runner / part footballer they way he organises the defence.

    I’m not convinced that Patton will be a super star. He’s a great mark, but jeez he’s slow when the footy hits the ground. Maybe he’s still getting back to full tilt after the operation.

    Cheers, Matt

  4. kath presdee says

    Thing I loved about the dour scoreline on Saturday? I was goal umpiring Auskick so I only missed two goals and a heap of scrapping in the first half. Emerged from the tunnels under the Stadium just in time to watch Patton kick the first in the 3rd.

    Oh yeah Roosy – if you’re not going to go all the way through the Auskick guard of honour, can you at least say “excuse me” to the kids when you detour? Pushing through between two eight year olds was not the best look, even if they do only come up to your thighs and you were in the game mind-zone.

    Matt S – I was thinking the same thing about Patton. He lumbers and he doesn’t appear to be a full tilt fitness wise yet. Patton can play a devastating game in the wet. His debut against Richmond in 2012 was amazing in shocking conditions. It’s only his third proper game back, so I’m cutting him some slack but should Tom Boyd start to shine in the 2s on a regular basis, we may need to bring him up instead.

    And I third the comments about the Showground. I love watching the footy there – the PA and music is too loud, they still have difficulty getting the Giants team list correct before the game (everyone knew Phil Davis wasn’t playing and he doesn’t look like Stephen Coniglio!), but the sightlines are excellent and the facilities good. The footy can, at times, be pretty special too.

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Patton has come back extremely well from a knee reco it won’t be till next year at least that he hits his top his effort to monster , Sydney was incredible a huge talent

  6. Earl O'Neill says

    Interesting comment about Paul Roos, Kath. I long thought he considered himself somewhere above the game. A planet-sized ego is essential in his caper but a pretence of humility is at least some requirement.
    Patton deserves time. Like Kath and Matt say, he seems slow and lumbering, but he’s had two knee recos and has only played 13 AFL matches. He’d have been a gun 30 years ago, still could be, but aint gonna look great next to JC, who’s a once-in-a-generation forward.
    Patton has size and skill, he’d be well advised to get talking to Mumford about ruck work, needs another arrow in his quiver.

Leave a Comment