AFL Round 6 – Western Bulldogs v Adelaide: The Talia Bros Cup

Enroute to the Claustradome, I made a deviation to the NGV to give my sidekick, Swishter#3, the chance to pick up some objects for her Art homework. Walking towards us, were my former Elizabeth High schoolmates and long-time loyal Loxton Lutherans, Dr Peter Hamilton (Hammo) and Bronny Hamilton (nee Voigt), a long way from home.

Hammo was the first kid that I met when I moved to Elizabeth South Primary School in 1966, sharing our High School years and we have remained in irregular but amiable contact throughout – the kind of people that will be on our Christmas card list forever, if you know what I mean.

They were over here to celebrate a significant milestone of Pete’s sister Vicki, and yes, they were also going to the game. We arranged to catch up later on, after confirming that we will both be sitting somewhere in GA.

Job done, we hastened to the ground, and took up our position on Level 3.

The crowd was sparse (later confirmed as 17,404), leading me to wonder about the economics of games like this.

I know that I’m in the minority here, but I was pleased that the roof was open. It would have been a shame to have been locked inside, but where were the Bulldogs supporters? Was it the 1:10pm start? Do they prefer Dwayne Russell’s call of the game to the real thing?

The Dogs pre-game video was soundtracked by an EJ Whitten oration – will they ever be able to move on from 1954, I thought?

Griffin won the toss and pointed to the HostPlus goal post pad end, leaving the Crows to aim at the shaded Mission Foods uprights.

Swishter#3 was surprised that from our lofty perch we could clearly hear the players yelling and calling to each other in the early stages, almost as if the crowd was honouring a voluntary minute of silence.

Potential cult figure Tom Campbell opens confidently for the Dogs. An awful clanger from Danger (shouldn’t they rhyme?) gifts them a second goal, followed by two more. The Crows could not find any clean air, they were being suffocated 26-0 by a more tenacious opponent.

Adelaide strung together three successive minors, but I found myself asking “where’s Eddie Betts?”. Finally, McKay created his own space and banged one in. The Dogs had the first 6 scoring shots, the Crows the next 5, but devoid of system and accuracy.

Minson seemed to have Jacobs’ measure and Dangerfield’s touches weren’t telling thanks to close attention from Lin Jong.

Qtr Time: WB 4.2 (26) Ade 1.4 (10)

Betts popped up to provide an unneeded behind to open the second quarter. From the kick off, the ball ended up in Adam Cooney’s hands, and his scything three-bounce run was notable for the fact that he ran in a straight line that veered right, when an inboard change in direction was required. If only the game was played without the need to deviate while runnning, thought Cooney’s knees.

A concerted roar of red, white and blue voices, “ball, yeah”, and Koby Stevens did the rest. A few minutes later and it was a worm-high 28 point lead after a Dickson goal.

Scott Thompson pulled off a deft move in the pocket to find the much maligned (by me) J-Pod over the back, and he did what he was there to do.

After another dud centre bounce, I wondered when the scoreboard stats would include each umpire’s “bounce efficiency” alongside each player’s disposal efficiency.

Adelaide’s Wright weaved his way into space and J-Pod caught the Sherrin in his lap and converted again. More Thompson bullocking and a Lynch walk-in goal – that’s better.

Not much happens for the next quarter of the quarter, targets are missed by both sides and you would think that the game was being played a few kilometres away in the windy Western Oval.

Jenkins misses a sitter, giving him 0.3, reminding me of his waywardness against the Swans a few weeks back, before jagging a left foot snap, set up by Scott Thompson.

The Crows were back, but so far this was a game of swinging momentum, and I thought back to our fadeouts in the first three losses.

Half-Time: WB 6.5 (41) Ade 5.7 (37)
A quick text to Hammo confirmed that we were both on the City side , so we reconvened at the nosebleed wing, after bringing each other up to date with the health and academic progress of our families. Pete’s interests in greyhounds and bloodstock continue, but I’m not sure how his runner in the 6th at Gawler Oval went last night.

Campbell and Boyd both made a hash out of gettable Dogs attempts, either side of a four-bounce run that (as they always do) ends up as a behind to Brodie Smith.

At this point, the Dogs were colder than a Gina Rinehart kiss, bereft of time, space and confidence. Their followers in front of us were heard to exclaim “even bloody physics is against us” as a shot for goal landed on the pointy bit and bounced safely into a Crows defenders grasp.

Swishter#3 remarked that her school footy coach had told them that they shouldn’t kick backwards, so how come both teams seemed to be doing this most of the time?

My response to her was,

“When I was your age, I was told three things – never kick backwards, never kick across goal and if you keep doing that you’ll go blind. But it looks like they were all wrong.”

This heralded a three goal run to Adelaide, Tom (doing better than Tyrone and Tom but getting paid half as much) Lynch, Eddie (value for kicks) Betts (who carried on like the proverbial pork chop) and James (Swish, you were wrong) Podsiadly.

As the siren sounds, Giansiracusa picks off an unwary Patrick Dangerfield, a pretty rank act considering play had just stopped. This was his only contribution to the match so far.

Lemons: WB 6.6 (42) Ade 8.10 (58)

Inside a minute, a Crows clearance via a fired up Dangerfield sees Jenkins on the end of another Tom Lynch pass.

His goal is cancelled out by Crameri’s opportunist snap in the square (where has he been all day?).

If Bruce McAvaney was watching from home, you get the feeling that he would say to his kids “you get the feeling that this game is not done yet.”

And he would have been on the money (for once).

All semblance of structure had disappeared from both sides with open, end to end footy the outcome.

Dalhaus pinged a tentative Jaensch, pegged one back. Then Dalhaus again, with the worst ever dribbled attempt at goal that somehow defies physics and logic and its Crows by 3 only, with time on the Dogs side if they are good enough.

It was almost Dalhaus again again, the crowd squawks as he isn’t paid a juggled attempt. The ball is swept down to Sloane (via Dangerfield again) who salutes from long range.

But we are only ten minutes in and the Bullies hit back, Gia marks and goals, then Dickson judges best a lofted Murphy chip and the narrow lead is theirs.

Rory Sloane is at the centre of two Crows forays, the second of which see the hapless Jones fluff a simple chest mark, strong work from J-Pod to Wright and the Crows regain the lead.

A lack of composure sees the Dogs waste two more chances, the ball is rushed down to Sloane again, over the top to Jenkins who takes an unnecessary bounce before a 6-point torp into Level 3. Adelaide by 10.

The woodwork at the Mission Foods end takes (tacos?) another hammering just like the night before, two Dogs posters.

Whoosh, down to the sunny end, but McKay takes a selfish snap. Eddie Betts causes the turnover of the year so far when he leaps to stop a McCrae handball from the kick-in, waltzes in and game (almost over).

Jake Stringer is thrown forward and despite his dirty day, has a good minute to bring the margin back to 9 points with enough time for two goals. However, the Crows defence stands tall, and it is fitting that J-Pod takes the final grab in the defensive goal square on the siren.

In the end, Adelaide did the right things at the right time and made the Doggies pay for their mistakes. It will be how they go against the likes of Essendon, North and Carlton that will determine their finals chances.

I don’t pretend to know the Dogs intimately, but today they lacked a reliable tall option or two up front and Griffin gave them nothing. I also noted that they seem to be the most anonymous of all the AFL teams, blending in rather than standing out. I want to like them but I hardly know them (apart from Rob Murphy of course).

As we left the ground, Bronny wisely noted the importance of Sloane in the last quarter. She always was a good judge.

Final: WB 12.11 (73) Ade 13.14 (92)

My Votes

3 – Lynch (Ade), 2 – Podsiadly (Ade), 1 – Dangerfield (Ade)

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Swish- lots of funny bits, but I especially enjoyed the “Mission Foods uprights” as it reminded me of Roy and HG insisting upon calling teams the “Canberra Video Ezy Raiders” etc.

    It’s a worry when there are more Foxtel employees than paying fans at a game.

    Agree with your wife about Sloan. He had been quiet until the final quarter, but was influential late.

  2. Dan Hansen says

    Good write up, Swisher. I’m all for starting a lobby group to get the AFL to put the “bounce efficiency” stats on the scoreboard.

    PS. You weren’t a mediocre forward pocket, you were a dangerous but erratic forward pocket.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Mickey – as I said offline, Bronny is Hammo’s wife, not mine

    Handbag – if erratic = inconsistent then guilty as charged

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Loved the summary , Swish brilliant , Gina Reinhart line and I enjoyed your response to your daughter . Very average crowd have the vics had a gutsful of the hidden prices ?
    Easily J pods best game for the crows so far ( you weren’t alone , Swish )
    Kerridge did a good job tagging , Griffin at footy park last season and then was inexplicably made the sub when we were at bulldogs v crows at , Etihad at least they didn’t make that mistake this time . Lynch with his sheer work rate is a hard match up
    Jenkins goal kicking is his main weakness with his athleticism his strength .
    The doggies lack of quality talls was the main difference between the two sides
    Dalhauss killed Jaensch in the last q and threatened to win the game but the crow guns lifted and the tall forwards got them over the line . Thanks Swish

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