AFLM Round 12 – Adelaide v St Kilda: ‘Your Saints didn’t do very well last night’


Friday 12th June

7.20 pm Adelaide Oval

Yvette Wroby


I knew it was a bad sign when the Adelaide Crows were celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their beating the Saints in the 1997 Grand Final.  Their victory was just another painful memory for St Kilda supporters.


I had no confidence before this anyway. Adelaide Crows have been playing well, especially at the fortress that is Adelaide Oval. I was hoping to see our boys have a good crack. That didn’t happen either.


In the first few moments, I found myself yelling encouragement at my TV set. Feeling teary, and I was not sure why. There seemed to be a strong Saints presence, effort, getting if forward but poor skills meant the ball went up the other end and Eddie Betts started the Crows run. I felt confident when good team work ended with a Bruce goal.


Then something lovely happened. Rina could make it to watch the game after all so we settled in, had some whisky and watched Rory Sloane goal. So far, their two frees turned into goals.


I sipped whisky as Adelaide pummelled the Saints. Five goals to one at the end of the first quarter, and Mav Weller looked in trouble with a sore ankle.


Saints stepped up a little I the second, confining Adelaide to 3 goals. The kicking yips were infectious to both sides. They led by over 6 goals at half time. (They beat us by over nine goals in the end.)


With not much positive happening at the footy, I took stock of what was good otherwise: Rina’s presence to share the game, the Yamasaki 18 I’d bought back from Japan, the pistachio nuts my cousin had bought over earlier in the day, I was warm, well fed, Weller was OK, and Bruce had found some form.


The game didn’t improve and Saints were smashed. Rina left at ¾ time and I went to bed pondering the negative press and conversation that would be around the Saints after a game like this.


After walking with my friend in the doggie park the next morning, I went chasing Pokémon and catching some rays of sun, taking photos and contemplating life. I watched as a walker passed me with two black and white dogs with red collars and leads, and smiled at myself, as they were my red, white and black moment. Then Sue, the owners of the dogs, said gently, ‘Your Saints didn’t do very well last night’ and I agreed with her as she walked on. I sat with her statement and thought, that’s my title. A gentle and kind comment that summed up the game.


I slowly walked back to the car park and met Sue again, this time finding out she was a West Coast Eagles supporter who has lived in Melbourne and went to WCE games with her son. She said it was such a lovely thing for them both to do together. I thanked her for giving me the title of this week’s write up of the game. It said it all.


Walking out of the gym an hour later, another bloke says, ‘Your Saints were no good last night. They played terrible football’. I pondered how many opinions and comments like this I would get over the next few days. I responded that there’s not much we fans can do about it and they’ll learn from it. I don’t think he was that convinced.


I did lots of visiting after this, the elderly friends of my mother at her retirement village.  They’d turned off the game, said it was poor. I visited my Uncle Marcel in Bethlehem respite and he turned the game off and went to sleep he told me. My Aunty Eve and cousin Deborah and Uncle Maurice and I sat and talked of life before Marcel told me the chap across the way, behind the curtain, was a Saints supporter too. As I left, Uncle Marcels neighbour called out to me, and said, everyone should just settle down, they will improve, it takes time. Here was John (I found out his name), lying in palliative care, cheering me up with his positivity.  He wasn’t giving up on life or the Saints. I told him he’d made my day.


As I walk down the corridor to leave, Solomon, my uncles nurse, an Ethiopian Jew who had been rescued and taken to Israel with his family, and has lived in Australia now for 20 years, told me he was a Doggies supporter and to keep heart.  His Doggies weren’t having such a great year either, and he stopped his job to chat footy with me, telling me he was too nervous to try and get to the grand final last year. He was working anyway, and was just happy that they won. He said that all teams kept promising their fans they’d be contenders in 3-4 years, but there were 18 teams and it just wasn’t feasible.


I felt healed as I made my last stop to visit my Aunty Serry. It was her 93rd birthday today, and I’d bought a small orchid from the money Mum’s friends had paid for my book. Stopping here for a cuppa, cheering my Aunty up, I felt cleansed of footy for another week. My Aunty Serry was so proud because there was an article of me in the “Jewish Report”, a free Melbourne newspaper fostering connections in the Jewish community.  My article was ½ page and there I was grinning in my footy scarf and the book ‘Siren’s Call’ next to me.  It was titled, for the Jewish audience, “From Matzo balls to footballs”. Another inspired phrase from this mad St Kilda supporter.


My beloved Saints had a rotten night, had to travel back deflated and defeated, be the subject to intense negativity, and still have to find a way to face it all again next week.  Meanwhile, my night and day was brightened by my footy buddy and a slug of whisky, a sunny winter morning, fresh air, people who loved talking about footy, and my family. And some terrific chicken soup for lunch which might have just been my best batch ever. The recipe is in the book.


Now to prepare for North Melbourne and the Williamstown Literary Festival. Just another ordinary extraordinary footy week.



Adelaide Crows          5.6       8.9       11.11            16.15   (111)

St Kilda Saints            1.1       2.4       3.6              7.12   (54)


GOALS: Adelaide Crows: Lynch, Jenkins, Walker (3), Betts 2, Otten, Smith, Melira, Beech, Sloane.

St Kilda: Bruce 4, McCartin, Billings, Gilbert.


BEST    Adelaide: Jacobs, Laird, M Crouch, Douglas, Smith, Lynch

St Kilda: Ross, Bruce, Geary, Roberton, Newnes, Webster.

UMPIRES          Rosebury, Hosking, Schmitt        CROWD 46,082

OUR VOTES      Jacob (Adel) 3, Laird (Adel) 2,  Crouch (Adel) 1.



About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. John Butler says

    You can always find a positive in any situation, Yvette. And why not? Games won or lost, life goes on. We get carried away with ourselves sometimes.

    I can’t help but wonder if the karma bus isn’t giving the Saints a bit of payback at present. Since their sledging of Marc Murphy, it’s been all downhill since. There would be no measurable connection, but it’s funny how things play out at times.

    Just a thought.

  2. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    I agree that there are few better partnerships than footy and whisky, Yvette.

    It’s a lovely baton you’ve got twirling in this piece, this idea of our footy losses as types of wounds that need healing over a day or two. Banter must be one of the best healers, especially the great examples here. It’s expansive and miniature at the same time. Suppose that’s often what wounds need, some close attention and then a bigger frame.

    John’s comment above is rather poignant too … a self inflicted wound for the Saints perhaps? Interesting …

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Thanks John and Mathilde,

    I don’t believe in karma buses otherwise we would have a different USA president and Saints would have more premierships. That incident had Saints in the headlines for all the wrong reasons and perhaps they need to keep the energy of being aggressive without the sledging. Who knows. Footy thrashings and whisky are a fine combination, and chatting to people even better. I find I often need space to write about really awful games, and letting it sit with me brings interesting experiences and thoughts which shift the thought process. I trust in the process…time is a healer.

  4. Hi Yvette,

    Solomon’s words on his Bulldogs are so encouraging. The right time for us is coming soon, I believe. The Doggies have done and why not us?

    In reality we seem to have to take John’s point of view on Marc Murphy. And I agree with you that our boys should have showed energy and motivation on the footy field rather than sledging the opponents. Sadly Montagna has been criticised by a former Hawthorn player who is a footy commentator now. It’s time to stand against this s*** comment and get over on the footy field. I really hope we have a big win over Kangaroos on Friday.

    And can you please make the link with the article about you in the Jewish community newspaper? It’s nice to hear and you have done the great work on your Siren’s Call.

    Go the mighty Saints!


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