Frogs, Fevers and Footy

Trying to force the frog from my throat for the 500th time, I stretched out on the couch, annoyed that I’d caught the flu again, the third time in exactly a year. Funnily enough, I got the flu a few days after the Sydney v Collingwood game last year, whereas it has happened again. An even bigger coincidence, on both occasions did I run water for the Waaia seniors against the Shepparton East Eagles, at Shepparton East on the day of the traditional clash at ANZ Stadium. Perhaps the Eagles’ water is contaminated?

My condition seems to fluctuate towards the golden time of 8:00, the time the footy starts, an hour delayed. What the hell? It doesn’t make it better that the coverage begins at 8:06 due to a late finish to Masterchef. Channel 10, how about fewer ads to get the footy started on time? A five year old could work that out.

The Blues, unbackable favourites, started on fire with Eddie Betts marking and goaling inside the first minute, but James Polkinghorne got one back. Jeff Garlett marked and goaled from 50m out, before Todd Banfield ended a trot of Brisbane behinds to snap a goal on the run, before putting through his second from a 50m penalty. Aaron Cornelius impressed with an early mark on the lead, he missed the shot, but got another chance late in the quarter, and converted to give the Lions a surprise 13 point lead at the first break, 4.5 to 2.4.

I decided to get the video camera out and relive the antics of the 2009 Almanac launch, mainly the speeches of John Harms, Paul Daffey and Anson Cameron. As I looked up at the TV to see the second quarter start, Heath Scotland kicked a booming long goal from beyond 55m, before Garlett and Lachie Henderson both capitalized on Brisbane errors to kick goals. Cornelius marked uncontested in the goalsquare to kick his second, before Chris Yarran put through a doozy from 50m out on the run, giving Carlton the lead. Kade Simpson goaled from a 50m penalty, and Ryan Houlihan took a great mark on the behind line before riskily playing on to snap a goal just before half time, giving Carlton a 20 point advantage, 8.9 to 5.7.

The second half began and two quick goals to Daniel Rich after a shocking kick-in by Jordan Russell and to Simon Black from a 50m penalty saw the margin reduced to just seven points. Carlton put the pedal to the metal with consecutive goals to Betts, followed by a great shot by Henderson, 50m out on a tight angle. Yarran snapped a goal to see the margin out to 31 points, but Jack Redden clawed one back for the Lions after yet another 50m penalty, the Blues leading by 25 points at three quarter time, 12.9 to 8.8.

I put myself to bed, feeling very crook and with a high temperature. Still, I was shivering, so I turned the electric blanket up to nine, and started to feel better, but extremely tired. I willed myself to stay awake though, Carlton giving me good reason to with the opening three goals of the last stanza in just under three minutes, through Betts, Simpson after a great mark and Scotland from another 50m penalty. The margin was out to 43 points, and looking to blow out even more. Bryce Gibbs beautifully intercepted a kick-in by Mitch Clark, and put through a goal, before Betts impressed with a nice snap goal after gathering the crumbs of a pack. Amon Buchanan showed a courageous effort with a mark running sideways into a pack, he finished it off with a goal, but the Irishman had the last major of the night, Setanta O’hAilpin running from the wing to the goalsquare to mark and kick the goal, Carlton winning by 55 points.

As soon as the siren sounded, I turned the TV off, got out of bed to turn the heater off and to turn the inferno electric blanket down, before trying to sleep. That frog just wouldn’t clear from my throat.

Carlton 2.4—8.9—12.9—18.12.120

Brisbane 4.5—5.7—8.8—9.11.65


Carlton-Betts 5, Yarran 2, Scotland 2, Garlett 2, Simpson 2, Henderson 2, Gibbs, O’hAilpin, Houlihan

Brisbane-Cornelius 2, Banfield 2, Black, Redden, Polkinghorne, Rich, Buchanan


Carlton-Betts, Simpson, Jacobs, Judd, Murphy, Scotland, Carrazzo, Armfield

Brisbane-Black, Leuenberger, Rischitelli, Rockliff


35,623 at Etihad Stadium


3: Eddie Betts (CARL)

2: Simon Black (B)

1: Matthew Leuenberger (B)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. John Butler says


    It’s a brave man who would try to stand in the way of the Masterchef juggernaut.

  2. Steve Healy says

    Hope you get better Josh.

    However, I’m impressed with the Waaian technology. An electric blanket? Impressive

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