Round 6 – Melbourne v St Kilda: An optimum state of being

Etihad Stadium, Saturday 30th April, 1.45pm


My footy and magnificent friend Rina has explained that in Chinese medicine terms, there are two extreme states of being: “deficiency,” or its opposite, “excess.” The optimum state of being is the harmonious interplay of energies, yin and yang. We witnessed the Saints’ dynamic and harmonious state of play.  They were at their optimum. It was truly a blessed day.

Rina spends her time between intensive care and company of her mother in a nursing home; a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice of massage, dietetics and counselling to assist people; and to design recovery programs from physical or emotional stress, illness or injury. Like I said, she’s pretty magnificent.

Rina was sitting on my left during this game, up with the Moorabbin Wingers, in Aisle 35, third level of the Dome. With a radio plugged in her ear so she could understand the movements from so far away, she happily enjoyed a rare afternoon of freedom and pleasure. The Saints were bringing their yin and yang, their defensive pressure was awesome and their offensive push goalward balanced out the footy energy perfectly. It was joyous to watch when time after time, the ball was pulled from the improving Melbourne Demons’ possession and put into our hands, beautiful, more accurate hands that found players, way up forward, over the crowds and the defensive zones. Ping it would go and lo and behold, there were runners, St Kilda runners, either marking or creating good contests and even winning most of them. It was a sight to behold.

To my right, Marianne was my other guest. Marianne, a nurse now working in cancer research, spends Sundays with me at Tai Chi classes, where we learn the physical manifestations of yin and yang. Where we learn to balance and move in careful, thoughtful ways to help our aging bodies remain flexible and healthy. At the footy today, we enjoyed each other’s company in such a different space, giving up on listening to the radio just to soak it all up. To our right, we had the maestros Steve and Ben, the men who would rise from their seats each time the Saints goaled and orchestrate the cheering. Waving us to higher noises, pulling us together as a group to make as much an uproar as possible.

Uncle Bob and Gary, ever the stalwarts, enjoy their time surrounded by the St Kilda faithful, enjoying the group appreciation and noise being created around us all afternoon. We were in the heavens and in heaven. Overseeing the whole game, watching the flood upon wonderful flood as we took possession and just ploughed forward with accuracy that we’d only dreamed about against Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn and GWS.

Dominating the game, we could also then appreciate the terrific play of the Demons players like Jesse Hogan, who for such a young man is proving an awesome footballer with 7.2 for the day out. Bernie Vince and Jack Viney were everywhere, and their in-form ruckman, Max Gawn, matched it with Tom Hickey all day. Jack Watts, having been battered and bruised by years of criticism, has matured into a good footballer who will only get better. Their future star, Christian Petracca, showed good touches and a few yips in front of goal, and will only get better. Their captain Nathan Jones shows great courage and effort, all game. Melbourne people, now ever fearful of playing the Saints, at least got the pleasure of watching their team improve. They made the sort of mistakes we’ve made in losing games this year, but will turn it around soon.

Kudos has to go to the wonderful Saints boys for this game. Tim Membrey, with his 5.1 haul, can look forward to cementing his place beside our Saints treasure, Nick Riewoldt (3.2; he was everywhere, forward, defence, wings). Josh Bruce (3 goals), though quieter in the first half, was also in ruck and up the ground actually helping fling the ball down forward over and over again.

When the ball was in defence and Jesse Hogan wasn’t goaling, Sam Gilbert, Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher, Jimmy Webster, Leigh Montagna, Jarryn Geary and Shane Savage worked their magic and flicked the ball, accurately, to all the runners (or sometimes ran it themselves). Jack Steven, Sebastian Ross, Blake Acres (2), Jack Billings, Jack Newnes (1), David Armitage (1), Jade Gresham, Luke Dunstan (1) Jack Sinclair (2), Darren Minchington and Maverick Weller (1) in turn would push forward and goal (or pass to our three big forwards). If Melbourne defended one, two others would be flanking the wings and passing the ball. The ball mostly was pushed forwards, in long kicks and accurate hand-passes.

I mention the whole team because it was probably the most comprehensive, whole team performance I have yet seen for the Saints. Every single player worked cohesively, tackled madly, over and over again.

A special mention goes to our in-form ruckman Hickey, who played one of his best games for the Saints since joining us, and he and Blake Acres (Rising Star nominee of the week) showed us the way to go forward into the future. Every single player stepped up and made us proud, made themselves proud. They showed what was needed and made it a challenge for anyone of our tribe to get into this team.

I have been basking in the yin and yang of it all week and find myself in a harmonious state of being. At least until we face North Melbourne next week.


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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. Hi Yvette,

    You use great metaphor to describe how we played including our wonderful team works.

    I was impressed with Blake Acres who gained power by yang. And captain Nick also had Ying.

    North are doing well but I hope we upset them on Sunday. Are you going to Etihad Stadium?

    Have a good weekend!


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