AFL Round 6 – Gold Coast v Fremantle: Nonna Night

By Nicholas and John Burmej

Saturday nights, not withstanding bouts of gastro, tsunamis, earthquakes or Saturday night footy at Patersons, are Nonna Nights.  Four generations of the Condo, Rechichi and Papalia Familgia  (or the CRAP’s as we call them) gather at Nonna’s with assorted blow-ins for a meal, a chat, a laugh and during footy season a dissection of the Saturday night game on Fox.  La Familgia, until the introduction of one lot of blow-ins (that would be the Burmejs), was composed of 100% Eagles devotees.  How depressing.  Dockers away games on a Saturday night are not that frequent so any chance we get to educate them on the Dockers way are moments to saviour.

The Burmejs arrive just in time for the bounce down, all decked out in Dockers apparel.  There have been various threats over the years, ranging from reports to the child protection agencies for brainwashing, to refusal of food to anyone in purple or white (just don’t tell Nonna), to incineration of clothing.  We sit down with the usual suspects for the start of the game and everything is as expected.  Crowley to Abblett, Silvagni starting as the tall option up forward and La Familgia looking forward to a Gold Coast win.  Not tonight folks.

In reality, this game was over very early on.  The Dockers kicked the first four goals of the match and that was about it.  The Gold Coast were never liking after that.  Harbrow got a lot of the ball for the Suns and Swallow was pretty good as well but the rest were very ordinary.  Nicholas reckons that the battle for spots in the eight will be tight this year, so we need some percentage boosters as insurance.  Well that aint the Dockers style.  I reckon a win by 45 points will be as good as it gets for the Dockers this year.  They are never gonna blow sides out of the water.  More a slow, debilitating, strangulation that leads the opposition into eventual submission.  No complaints here.  Just as long as we end up with one more point than the opposition at the end of the game.

Crowley again employed the Hopoate principle.  If any part of Ablett’s body couldn’t be reached by Ryan’s middle index finger, he was too far away.  Ablett tried hard but of his 28 possessions, 21 were contested, really contested.  For the other seven, I can only assume Crowley was cleaning his fingernails.  Walters continues to impress as a lively forward and his third quarter when he kicked three goals was excellent.  Griffin’s form and work rate continues to be of the highest order and he would have to be close to ‘All Australian’ form. He took a few marks up forward as well and kicked three.   Once again the back six or seven were all excellent but really, who did they have to beat.

Ballantyne continues to intrigue.  He gets the ball, he goes left, then right, then left, then around in a circle, then fakes right, trips himself up, gets up, avoids a tackle, fakes left, then realises he is on his left foot so repeats the above in reverse to get back on his right foot.  By the time he has to release the ball he is so knackered he misses the target by a postcode.  Ross loves him because he works so hard.  Some of us would prefer he just worked smarter.

“That had to be high on Crowley”.  “It’s never high on Crowley”.  “Bally wants a free for that.  Come on”.  “Well you normally get a free when you get pushed fair in the back”.  “Are you watching the same game?” The banter is muted in keeping with the game.

The game peters out and we end up channel hopping to the Geelong v Richmond game on the other channel until the Cats kill that one off as well.  Nicholas wants to make sure that he doesn’t drip any of the ice cream he was having for dessert on his Dockers top.  He wanted to wear it on Sunday to the Eagles v Bullies game at Pattersons.  He ended up with just his Dockers backpack and hat.  His mother feared he might meet physical harm otherwise.

Interesting fortnight ahead for the Dockers.  The Pies at home, then Sydney away.   That will be interesting.  The hatred of the Pies is high within la Familgia .  We will be at the game next Saturday night at Paterson’s.  I wonder who la Familgia  will be cheering for at Nonna’s?


Gold Coast Suns          0.2       2.5       5.8       7.12 (54)
Fremantle Dockers     3.3       6.5       10.6     15.9 (99)


Gold Coast: O’Meara 2, Bennell, Ablett, Hunt, Harbrow, Prestia

Fremantle: Walters 4, Griffin 3, Crozier 2, C Pearce, Silvagni, Hannath, Suban, Sutcliffe, Mayne


Gold Coast Suns: Harbrow, Swallow

Fremantle Dockers: Griffin, Walters, Pearce, Ibbotson, Suban

Umpires: Schmitt, Harris, Ryder

Official crowd: 10,552

Our Votes: 3 Griffin (Frem.) 2 Walters (Frem.) 1 Harbrow (GCS)

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