AFLW Round 2 – GWS v Carlton: Giants gazumped by classy Carlton the inclement weather specialists

GWS Giants v Carlton Blues
Friday 9 February 2018
Kick-off: 7:05 pm
Drummoyne Oval, NSW


By Jennifer Muirden


I sat down to watch the Fox Footy’s television coverage of Friday night’s interstate match and, on paper, it looked like I was to be treated to a fiercely contested battle and highly entertaining contest between fifth-placed GWS Giants with their Drummoyne Oval home ground advantage and an unbeaten third-placed Carlton. However, things didn’t go quite as GWS may have planned and the scrappy conditions suited Carlton better such that they ended up victorious by 21 points in another low-scoring game. This has to be expected in the early stages of the 2018 AFLW competition when all players are rusty fresh from the off-season interchange bench and are also adapting to the ever-evolving rules.


A further consideration is that the game was staged under thunder, lighting and breezy conditions and while things looked bright early on with GWS forward Phoebe McWilliams scoring the first, and the only goal for the Giants, by quarter-time the heavens well and truly opened and the game was suspended for twenty minutes. It was during this extended quarter-time break that there were both some positives and some negatives with the Fox Footy’s broadcast. I loved viewing the retro-styled NAB 2018 AFLW We’re Supporting History In The Making television commercial which I had already noticed in print form the week prior in the NAB 2018 AFL Women’s Competition Record at the season opener Carlton versus Collingwood game at Princes Park. The other highlight was taking in former VFL Fitzroy FC player and now Giants coach, Alan McConnell’s pre-match motivational speech. The standout line for me was, ”Trust yourselves…you have nothing to prove…you will get the result you deserve”.


Ok, so now on the flipside, as much as I’m eager for the traditional men’s AFL competition to commence, why choose to play the AFLM ‘Greatest Moments of 2017’ highlights package to fill in time? Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to play ‘The Greatest Moments Of The Inaugural 2017 AFLW Season’? Then to almost add salt to the wound, we were subjected to the moronic Polyfilla of Fox Footy’s “Yesterday’s Heroes” Competition featuring Spud Frawley and Jason Dunstall staging an initiation test between former AFL champions Brian Lake and Cameron Mooney. At least the character generator operator got it right featuring a scrolling caption throughout advising, ‘Electrical storms have postponed AFLW GWS v CAR play due to storms in Sydney. We will return as soon as play resumes’. Anyway, then when the players were back on the ground we had the visuals but no audio. Talk about a comedy of errors! Once again though, kudos to the character generator operator who promptly displayed the caption, ”We apologise for the temporary loss of commentary” as ever professional Anthony Hudson and Kelli Underwood rushed down to ground level on the boundary line in order to resume calling the game.


Once play and the commentary finally recommenced it seemed to affect the Giants momentum who sadly seemed to lose a grip on the game with the Blues ultimately adjusting to the inclement conditions better to achieve ultimate success with stand out performances by Brianna Davey, Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and twin sisters Jess and Sarah Hosking. Meanwhile, GWS midfielder Courtney Gum amassed an impressive sixteen touches and eight tackles and, along with fellow star performers Captain Amanda Farrugia and Alicia Eva, will be a major player in the Giants future development. The most worrying aspect of the game for me was the rising injury toll with GWS midfielder Britt Tully suffering a significant ACL shoulder injury and imposing Blues defender Brianna Davey sustaining a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. There was a sickening scary moment in the final quarter when Carlton’s Tayla Harris, possibly the best-contested mark in the competition, collided with Giants marquee player Renee Forth who has only just returned after taking eighteen months to recover from a long-term knee injury when she ruptured her ACL on the eve of the 2017 AFLW Season. Thankfully it appears Renee came out of the clash relatively unscathed and will continue to go forth this Sunday against Collingwood at Olympic Park Oval.


As the final quarter began Fleetwood Mac’s classic track Dreams from their Rumour’s album (1977) flooded my mind especially the chorus “Thunder only happens when it’s raining…Players only love you when you’re playing…Women, they will come and they will go…When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know”. But somehow this game required an edgier and grungier sound for me to sum up the imagined inner critic voices of the hometown gals GWS (Giants Women Strengthened- through-Surrender). Thus one of my favourite Garbage songs Only Happy When It Rains is the obvious choice for me to encapsulate the disappointed vibe no doubt being felt by the Giants and my reworked lyrics culminate with a renewed resolve for GWS to come back ballsier, bigger and better than ever!


Giants Not Happy When It Rains by Jennifer Muirden
Sung to the tune of “Only Happy When It Rains” (1995) by Garbage’s on their self-titled album


Giants not happy when it rains
Why did it have to be so complicated?
And now we can so totally appreciate it
We’re not happy when it rains
You know we don’t love it when the score is bad
It doesn’t feel so good to feel so sad?
We’re not happy when it rains


Lay your tackle down
Lay your tackle down on me
Lay your tackle down
Lay your tackle down on me


We’re not happy when it rains
We don’t feel good when things are going wrong
We’ll be happy when we right our wrongs
We’ll be happy when we again reign


We’ll smile when we skylark
Our only comfort is when we redeem and come back
I implicitly know when I tell you that
We’ll only be happy when we again reign
The rest will get the message by the time we’re through
No use to complain about AFLW Season two
We’ll be happy when we again reign


So c’mon, lay your tackle down (Lay your tackle down)
Lay your tackle down on me
Lay your tackle down (Lay your tackle down)
Lay your tackle down on me
Lay your tackle down


Just don’t kick my kidney
Where’s the duty of care?


We’ll be happy when we again reign
We want to once again make an impression
We’re not going to slip into depression
We’ll be happy when we again reign


Lay your tackle down on me
We’ll be happy when we again reign (x 4 times)


Lay your tackle down on me (x 6 times)


Giants Captain Amanda Farrugia Photo source : May 29, 2015 – Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac


Everything happens the way it is meant to and for a specific reason. The Giants know that their situation can and will get better. It’s a matter of not falling into the trap of dwelling too much on what went wrong and focus on how as a team they can work together to change things for the better to turn their form around. Things work out the way they are meant to, and life takes us places we are meant to experience. While it’s important to have goals (and kick them too!), it’s more paramount to live mindfully in the present moment. Yes, consider and plan loosely for the future, but live in the moment.


What I got most from this match was about learning to look for the silver linings in life and to emphasize the hopeful side of situations or outcomes that on the surface may seem catastrophic or producing an irreparable outcome. After journeying through all the ups and downs of life we discover exactly where we are headed and how to get there when we eventually arrive. Nobody is immune to life’s trials and tribulations and it is through suffering losses which test and strengthens our perseverance, patience and endurance thereby fostering hope and inevitably bringing about ultimate victory. What you practice grows stronger. Hallelujah sister! Mark my words all ye naysayers, GWS Giants will never surrender, they’ll feel the ground a-shaking and will be greater than the rest.


GWS Giants:
1.0. 1.0. 1.2. 1.3. (9)
Carlton: 0.4. 1.7. 3.7. 3.12 (30)

Nicola Stevens 1, Katie Loynes 1, Darcy Vescio 1
GWS Giants: Phoebe McWilliams 1

GWS Giants:
Alicia Eva, Amanda Farrugia, Courtney Gum, Phoebe McWilliams
Carlton: Brianna Davey, Jess Hosking, Sarah Hosking, Darcy Vescio, Shaw Audley, Tayla Harris

GWS Giants:
Britt Tully (ACL shoulder)
Carlton: Brianna Davey (leg)

UMPIRES Crosby, Newell, Rawlings
CROWD 4,952

Brianna Davey
(Carlton) 3, Jess Hosking (Carlton) 2, Amanda Farrugia (Giants) 1

About Jennifer Muirden

Jennifer Muirden has been a keen St Kilda supporter since 1978 and fondly remembers her childhood Saturdays spent at Linton Street, Moorabbin. In her lifetime she hopes to experience the Saints second Premiership.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Jenn,
    here we have a song, a match report and philosophy and wondering. Who says we don’t get it all on the site?

    Let’s keep looking at that hopeful side.

    Thanks for your words.

  2. Kasey Symons says

    Great report Jen, loved the song – how great are Garbage?!

    I think GWS are a side that looks so much better than their 0-2 standing suggest. Hopefully a win is on the cards for them this week.

    All the best to your Blues without Bri, a heartbreaking loss.

  3. Jennifer Muirden says

    Yvette, you speak of the importance of remaining hopeful and obviously I totally concur. Monty Python’s Eric Idle was most sage when he wrote and sang ”Always look on the bright side of life” which featured in one of their stand out films, “Life of Brian” (1979).

    Yes, the only way is onward and upward with the AFL womens competition. Just got to improve crowd attendances and get more young girls enthusiastic about getting involved in playing Aussie Rules football.

    Kasey, glad to hear that you too are a Garbage gal! I saw them live in Concert at both Festival Hall and the Palace back in the nineties and can tell you that Scottish pocket rocket Shirley Manson can really belt out a tune!!

    It’s interesting that you wish all the best to “my Blues”. Last year watching the AFLW Season solely on television I was totally barracking for the Adelaide Crows and I was particularly taken with Sarah Perkins remarkable story to stardom.

    However this year, after attending the AFLW Season Opener Carlton v Collingwood at Princes Park, I became very smitten with the Bluebirds (sic). In particular I just love the passionate, tenacious and resilient play of Darcy Vescio, Brianna Davey and the Hosking sisters. So for 2018 yes, I guess I have gone back to my old secondary school’s winter uniform and am on board the Navy Blues train!

    Obviously once the Saints women’s team finally joins the competition in 2020 I will be staunchly loyal and fully support the mighty Sainters.

  4. Hi Jen,

    It’s a great match report with the wonderful philosophy for all of us. And as always I admire your writing songs.

    Do you think Carlton girls get used to wet conditions more than Giant girls?

    Girls are developing and I think we will see more powerful games in AFLW in the near future. Yesterday’s Crows versus Doggies was good to watch. If you can watch the replay on Fox Footy, you should do!

    I sense what filled during the suspended time on the live coverage is disrespectful to women. It was a women’s game, so lady footballers should have been featured.

    As for the philosophy, live by the moment is what i need to remind all the time. But the current work is only for income and my purposes are not there. I really hope writing contributions and involvement in the Osaka Dingoes will bring me a writing and translating work. I should not hide my talents or skills. And I should work for someone who help me utilising my skills, not forcing me in basic tasks.



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