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Finals Week 3 – Geelong v Sydney: In search of a summer of thunder-shaking

 

GEEvSYD

So it boils down to this.

 

By midnight Friday we’ll either be singing in the streets or facing another long sorry summer of questions.

 

I’m torn. In some ways game-day can’t come quickly enough. On the other hand it’s a build-up to savour.

 

I can barely concentrate on anything else.

 

We’ve come so much further than anyone predicted, achieved so much with unknown young talent. But now we’re here to have it end so abruptly will be such a brutal disappointment.

 

Ferocity from the first bounce.

 

That’s the key to winning this, because this is likely to be a long tough haul. My general feeling is whoever gets the jump will stay ahead. Saturday proved we can go in hard and let’s hope that wasn’t just down to stung pride over that hideous loss to GWS or simply coming off a bye. No time or need to rest, we’re better on the run, building up steam. The Enemy haven’t played for over two weeks. Fresh legs vsersus momentum. I’m backing the latter.

 

Defence will stand tall. We’ve seen it all season. Aliir’s a bloody revelation, sure of foot and mind. Rampe, Smith and Grundy rock solid. Handpasses threading the eye of a needle and out to Hanners or Cunningham. Got to cut down on those panicked clearing kicks though; they’re an expressway to Turnover City. The Crows could’ve made us pay on that front but they weren’t thinking straight. Friday’s Enemy are far cannier. They won’t give up. The Hawks thought they had them dead in the water and were sucked in.

 

The Swans can do this. It won’t be easy but it’s within their grasp. Defend the corridor. Limit Selwood and Dangerfield. Make the tackles stick. Don’t just bomb it and hope. Take the risks. Think your way through. Lower your eyes and hit up targets. A bewildering set of tasks and operations that every single player needs to perform under Longmire’s careful orchestration.

 

Intrigue around the team selection. McVeigh’s marshalling abilities are crucial but everyone has to be able to play out the game and that calf of his could be a liability. If Jones is fit play him, we need the drive and toughness off half back. Rest Tippett? Naismith’s not winning every tap, and truth be told setting up the rovers seems equally if not more important, but he’s providing a tough contest in the ruck. Nankervis can double up and bulldoze The Enemy. Rohan’s the million dollar decision; the wide open paddock of the MCG is built for pace, but can he turn on the afterburners with that banged up knee?

 

No cloud over Kennedy though. He was absolutely stuffed in the fourth quarter last week, could barely run, but come Sunday morning was ready to roll again. A veritable rhino with seventeen tranquiliser darts in him and still rampaging. Parker and Hanners have stepped up a gear. McGlynn wants that premiership so bad he was fist pumping long after the final siren.

 

The x-factor goes without saying. Two of the best in the business; Buddy and Heeney, footy’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I love watching Buddy turn it on in front of the big sticks but it’s those team pressure acts he brings that really impress me. Have to be careful we’re not bombing it in his direction too much. The Enemy will be hanging all over him. Other avenues need to found through the likes of Papley and Mitchell. It’s what got us over the line in 2012 and it’s what will do the trick this year.

 

The Swans have got the talent and over this season shown that when their game play and structures click they are nigh on unstoppable.

 

I don’t want an empty summer.

 

I want to be shaking down the thunder.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

Comments

  1. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says:

    Nice, Tom.
    Kennedy is indeed the newspaper, kindling, timber and logs.
    And I agree that Midge McGlynn might be the psychological fire-starter.
    Having witnessed the R16 victory in Geelong first hand, I hope they bring the same smarts, the same awareness of space … and have something left in the tank.

  2. Keiran Croker says:

    Filling in the afternoon and waiting for the big game tonight. Reckon we are a big chance. The usual suspects will be there, am hoping that the wide expanses of the G will suit Gaz, X, Heens, etc moving the ball quickly to the boys up front!
    Go Bloods!

  3. Me too Tom. One more to go.

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