Friday Night Swans Hit Wrong Note

As the wise Rebecca Black once said, “It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday”. It turns out that the Sydney Swans did just that. Sydney was hosting Carlton at the SCG last Friday night. It was a different experience for the Swans who hadn’t played a Friday night game in a home and away season since 2003.

Carlton who had flown up following a hard-fought win over Adelaide at Etihad were facing the determined Swans coming off the bye, and I’m sure were hungry for a win at home. The Blues have had a terrible record against the Swans in recent times. Sydney had won 14 of the last 15 games against Carlton. And Carlton hadn’t won a game at the SCG since 1993. It was fair to say that I was confident that the Swans would win.

I was at home watching the game. All day I was excited to see how my boys would go up against the Blues. I rode home from cycling training, gobbled up my dinner and quickly switched the TV to Channel 7. I was very pleased that Channel 7 came to its senses and decided to televise the footy instead of the Royal wedding. I’m sure I’m not the only one sick of hearing about that wedding.

The players ran out onto a very wet and soggy SCG. The rain had been falling all week on Sydney and the ground was showing just that. The Swans were wearing a special jumper to honour the Club’s 25th anniversary of sponsorship with QBE Insurance. This year QBE insurance were celebrating its 125th year in existence so the Swans players wore a jumper that was based on the strip worn by South Melbourne 125 years ago.

Tadgh Kennelly was playing in his first game of the season, returning from an off-field knee injury and Jarred Moore who injured his ankle in before round 1, also played. Mike Pyke replaced an ill Heath Grundy just before that bounce.

Blues, Hampson and Yarran withdrew early to be replaced by O’hAilpin and Armfield.

The game started and Benny McGlynn was the first to score. You would have to be blind to not realise that the ball was slippery. It bucketed down as both teams found it hard to keep possession. The wet contested-type game was perfect for in-and-under players like Kieran Jack and Jude Bolton. The Swans had jumped out early and were using the horrible conditions to their advantage. Lewis Jetta kicked a long bomb to the empty goal-square where McVeigh, Gibbs and Goodes sprinted to the ball much like the recent Stawell gift. McVeigh’s goal was followed up by an unconvincing passage of play by Carlton that led to Jarrad Waite’s first. Both teams struggled with the wet ball and were often forced to bomb it long and hope for the best. Moore proved himself by kicking a goal and followed that up with an impressive speccy.  A goal after the siren meant Ben McGlynn had his second and the Swans had kicked 5 and were up by 13 points.

The rain had slowed in the second quarter and so had the goals. Neither team managed to kick a major. However both teams had real chances to. Inaccurate kicking could be blamed on the soap-like ball, but both teams were disappointed that they couldn’t kick away. Ruckman, Shane Mumford was dominating the taps and working hard all over the ground. Rookie Ed Curnow was playing well, much to the delight of my Supercoach team. And Jude Bolton’s 1%’s and tackling was as superb as ever. My heart had stopped for moment when my favourite player, Kieran Jack had hurt his ankle. Jack had been tagging Judd very well in the first half. But Jack did manage to recover from his injury and came back onto the ground but was unable to continue to tag Judd. This move had proved to be important later on.

By the start of the 3rd quarter it looked like the rain had stopped. Thanks to the great drainage from the SCG, it seemed like the ground and the ball dried up pretty quickly. Although the drop-in centre square was a mess and resembled somewhat of the grounds in the old days. Andrew Walker was quick to kick the Blue’s first of the term, but a handball from Jetta to McVeigh who then dribbled it from 50 got the Swans back into it. However, the Blues would refuse to lie down. Eddie Betts kicked three consecutive goals to help put the Carlton in front by one. Just when it all seemed to be falling apart from the Swans, a controversial interchange error gave ruckman Setanta O’hAilpin his first. Apparently the Sydney interchange had 5 men on the bench, and when Dan Hannebery stepped off before an oncoming Goodes the steward signalled a foul when there were only 17 on the ground. I’ve since heard that the interchange decision will be investigated. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Whether the decision was correct or not, the game was definitely influenced. Carlton had all of the momentum. The pain from least year’s elimination final loss was enough to spur the team to lift. Judd was inspirational and had 11 disposals in the quarter. I would have admired his hard work, had I not been a grumpy Swans supporter. He ripped through the team. Carlton was winning all of the clearances and the tackles. This was a crucial part of Carlton’s game. Throughout that quarter they somehow managed to beat the Swans at their own game.

Carlton went into the last quarter leading by one solitary point. But it seemed like they had all of the run. The rain started back up in the last quarter, and although the conditions seemed to favour the Swans, their poor kicking was inexcusable. Jeff Garlett snapped a goal to give the Blues some breathing space. White and Walker joined in the fun as the Blues continued to dominate the contested possessions. Judd along with Murphy continued to wreck havoc in the midfield, and Eddie Betts proved to be a real handful up front finishing with 4 goals. Nearing the final siren, McGlynn kicked a goal from a pressure set shot. In the dying stages Mumford took another strong mark and goalled. But time was up. Carlton held on by 16 points.

Carlton had thoroughly deserved the win, and proved to the rest of the AFL that they are a real top-four contender. Carlton were certainly pleased with their win as they sung their song with pride:

Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Meh… It’s still better than Fremantle’s song…

Cobba

About Jake "Cobba" Stevens

Jake "Cobba" Stevens is currently studying Sports Journalism at La Trobe Uni. One of the youngest 'old bloods' supporters in Melbourne, he can't decide if the crowd was louder at the 2005 or 2012 Grand Final.

Comments

  1. I stopped reading after you mentioned Rebecca Black.

    :P

  2. Jake 'Cobba' Stevens says

    hahahaha. yeah i hate her too.

  3. Steve Healy says

    I believe the “Wise” Rebecca Black said that way more than once! Well, more specifically, sang it in the foulest way possible.

    Well done Cobba, I was sad the Swans couldn’t get over the line for you.

  4. johnharms says

    Cobba, are you playing any footy yourself? And mayb you could tell us a bit more about your cycling and the club you are in? Where do you rrace? Events? Perhaps there’s a couple of articles for you if you havt time.

  5. Jake 'Cobba' Stevens says

    Yeah thanks guys.
    I played junior footy for the past 6 years at Mt Martha JFC. But this year I have joined the senior club, Mornington. I had my first hit out for the Dogs a couple of weeks ago in the Under 18s Colts side. I’m having fun and looking forward to the rest of this year, as in past years the under 18s team has been very successful.
    Before when I referred to cycling training, it meant, more specifically, HPV training at school (HPV is a cycling based sport) Here is one piece i wrote earlier about HPV: https://footyalmanac.com.au/?p=17725
    Come Maryborough time, I will probably write another report about the race.
    Thanks again!

    Cobba

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