AFL Round 4 – Sydney v Geelong: A superb SCG innings

Score a footy and Cats gear

Score a footy and Cats gear

Music will almost always trump sport for us, and so it was to be this evening until a lucky coincidence dropped SCG Member and Guest passes into my lap.  Can’t pass up an opportunity like that, can you?

We found us some fantastic seats in the top deck of the Members Stand.  This and the top deck of the Ladies Stand are the best viewing areas for football at this ground.  High enough to afford a good view over the ground but close enough for you to see the details.

The first term was one for the aesthetes.  Fast, slick ball movement resulted in fifteen goals being kicked by eleven players.  It was thrilling to watch and was followed, inevitably, by a four goal arm wrestle of a term.

Sydney had an edge early and kicked two goals, stretching out to an three goal lead.  Geelong couldn’t seem to buy a goal.  Then the tide turned, marked by a dodgy 50 against McGlynn and a goal to Podsiadly.  The Cats looked the more assured team for the rest of the term and trailed by 5 points at the long break.

One of the advantages of the Members area is a nice patch of lawn behind the stand.  There’s food and drink and picnic tables and it’s all very relaxing and the visiting team strolls past on their way to the playing field.  The visitor’s rooms used to be located under the old Bradman/Noble stand and have been shifted into a glistening white marquee out behind the old cricket net area.

Very little relaxation was to be had in the Premiership Quarter.  Adam Goodes’ poster a few minutes in might be considered by some to be a ‘what if’ moment, but I’m not one of them.  Geelong were ferocious, at the ball and at the man.  Their first goal was a direct result of a mistake in Sydney’s backline, their second came from a captain on captain battle below us.  Hawkins had barely been sighted all night, but suddenly kicked two of the next three.

Geelong were superb, it was a near-perfect display of 2013 football.  In the manner of a great Test batsman, who will leave some balls, defend others and pounce on the loose balls for boundaries, they suffocated Sydney, locked it in, yet took their chances and ran wild when the opportunity presented itself.

When a team is on a roll like this, even the bounce of the ball will favour them.  Steve Johnson kicked his only goal of the match when a bounce evaded two chasing Sydney players in favour of the one Geelong player.  Sydney looked uncharacterically rattled in the third.

And so it went, chance favoured the Cats because they made it so.  Sydney’s only goal of the term was kicked by Mike Pyke (Perky Girl wrote a poem about him) and, 50 matches in, he played a good game all round.  Young Dean Rampe had a great first half but disappeared thereafter.  I went looking for him in the Members’ Bar, but he wasn’t to be found, so he must’ve headed down to Surry Hills.

Come the fourth and the Swans kicked two quick goals, but it didn’t really mean much.  The final term was a bit of a non-event, the visitors doing what they had to do, the locals restoring a shred of respect to the scoreboard.  Chris Scott would have had some words to his team for slacking off a bit too much.  He was on the big screen after a Sydney goal, looking more than miffed.

Longmire will have concerns about the number of marks Reid didn’t take, Goodes’ lack of vision and touch and Jetta’s seeming inablity to run with the ball. Yes, he may be blocked but even when he has space, he prefers to throw it on the boot for little to no effect.

There were a lot of quick breaks out of the centre in this match, from both teams.  Does this indicate a weakness or a strength?  Maybe it’s both, Sydney conceded nineteen goals, Geelong conceded sixteen.

Sydney had trouble getting the ball into the forward line with effect..  They lacked system.  Geelong were roving the packs, they had numbers at the fall of the ball at the right time and place.

So does this mean that Sydney are a crap football team?  Not necessarily, they’re usually slow starters  But there were some disturbing signs that they might need to enter a rebuilding phase, ahem, so to speak.  When it counted, Geelong outran and out-tackled them.

I’d sat in my great seat scribbling notes on the game all evening.  After the final siren, a bloke walking past in the row in front asked “We’ve been having a debate, are you recording stats or writing poetry?”

GEELONG                7.2     9.4     16.7   19.10 (124)
SYDNEY                    8.1    10.3    11.3   16.7 (103)

Motlop 3, Hawkins 3, Taylor 2, Chapman 2, Stokes 2, Horlin-Smith, Podsiadly, Smedts, Johnson, Selwood, T. Hunt, Christensen
Sydney: McVeigh 3, Goodes 2, Bolton 2, Hannebery 2, Malceski 2, Reid, Roberts-Thomson, Pyke, McGlynn, Kennedy


3 – Selwood; 2 – Hannebery; 1 – Chapman.

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. Stephen Cooke says

    Stats or poetry? Earl, sounds like your good self and Perky Girl were providing as much entertainment as the match, which is saying something.
    Love the cricket analogy.

  2. Entertaining report on an entertaining game. Thanks Earl.
    From the gravatar pix, I don’t reckon anyone looking over Perky Girl’s shoulder was looking at the handwriting.

  3. Dr Rocket says

    Dean Rampe is from the eastern suburbs. Try looking for him in Clovelly not Surry Hills.

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