From anxious to frustrated


by Jake “Cobba” Stevens


It was a few weeks ago since I had last been to a Swans game. And it was fair to say that their previous efforts hadn’t satisfied me. Last weeks result against Essendon was disappointing. A few weeks ago Fremantle (and Chamberlain) had gotten the best of the Swans. And the last game I attended was round 15 whereCarltonhad smashed the lacklustre Swans by 34 points. Of the past 12 timesSydneyhad played at the MCG they had won only once. I was anxious.




– Adjective


Full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous.


However I knew Sydneywould come out fighting this week. They would break the MCG curse. This week would be a turnaround for the club. This week would ensure a finals position. This week would be an easy win. I was confident.




– Adjective

Having strong belief or full assurance; to be sure.


My sister, Dad and I met up with Des, Dad’s best mate, and took the train up decked in our red and white. We collected our balcony passes and passed through Gate 2 of the MCC Members Reserve. We took our seats, and as the game started, I was excited.




– AdjectiveTo be stirred emotionally; positively agitated.


Richmondwas on the attack early and Nahas delivered their first goal complimentary of a free kick dead in front. Minutes later on the far wing, Goodes leaped skyward and took a classic specky.  The skipper was inspirational early, dominating possession and taking control of the game and Sydney’s opening goal. But the Tigers kept it up. Relentless attack into the forward line seemed endless but theSydneyhalf-back, headed by Grundy, were contesting well as few balls made it into the hands of the Richmond forward line. With minutes left in the quarter, big man Shane Mumford smothered a Cotchin kick and handballed to McGylnn, who then chipped to a one-on-one with Goodes and Rance, the ball dropped down to Kennedy who picked it up and snapped a goal from 45. Sydney led into the break, despite Richmond having most of the possessions. It was a little shaky but I was still pleased.




– Adjective

Feeling or showing pleasure and satisfaction at an event or a situation.


Richmondstarted their 2nd quarter perfectly, setting up a Vickery goal. Alex Johnson thought he had an answer but missed completely when running into an open goal. Meanwhile Bachar Houli was finding plenty of the ball. He has improved immensely since the start of the year. And he soon backed this up with a spectacular running goal from half-back. Martin had redeemed himself from earlier blunders and kicked a goal and Jack Riewoldt was starting to lighten up after his 180º contested chest mark and set shot. Cotchin, too, was getting in on all the action, leading the disposals and dominating in the clearances. The Tigers continued to control the quarter as they led into the main break by 11 points. At this point in time I was starting to get a little nervous.




– Adjective

Unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive.


Richmondcontinued to show very fine form into the 3rd quarter. Nahas ran into an open goal and extended their lead.Sydneycontinued to miss opportunities and were wasteful with the ball. They seemed uncommitted, unwilling and unaware of the situation they found themselves in. O’Keefe who had kept very quiet for most of the game was starting to open his eyes. He took a contested mark and the goalled. Josh Kennedy, a stand-out for the Swans, took advantage of a stiff 50 metre penalty against Foley and took the Swans back within 4 points. It seemed like a real stalemate at this point. And we all felt that the next goal would become very crucial. Regular ball-magnet Deledio stood up and punched a low ball through the sticks, and team-mate Robin Nahas again marked, played on, snapped and goalled. It was his third for the day. The crowd lifted andRichmondhad all of the momentum going into the last quarter. I was becoming more and more frightened.





Being afraid or anxious; scared; terrified.


Again, the first goal of the last quarter would become vital to the game’s result. The Tigers had been hard at the ball all day, and were tackling ferociously. This was no better demonstrated, first by Houli, when Goodes was streaming into an open goal and he bought him to the ground and was awarded a free kick. And secondly, by Miller, who caught a clumsy Grundy to the ground. Miller earned a free kick and converted to putRichmondin front by 24 points. From then on it became a frenzy, with goals coming from King, Cotchin, Morton, Riewoldt and Martin. Although Bird and O’Keefe contributed two more goals, the result was always beyond doubt. The Swans were rattled and gave a very poor performance.Richmond’s desperation and effort dwarfed Sydney. They looked anything but a ‘finals-contender’, and poised serious questions, not only about the rest of the year, but also about the future aspirations for this club. Anyway,Richmond ran on to record a surprising upset, winning by 43 points. Needless to say I was very…





Depressed or discouraged by the failure of one’s hopes or expectations





Angered, provoked, or annoyed.





A nervous, irritable state of mind.





Repugnance caused by something offensive; strong aversion.






To cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash.





Disturbed or bothered in a way that displeases and troubles.





To disappoint or thwart a person.



About Jake "Cobba" Stevens

Cobba Stevens works in sports social media and content. A keen middle-distance runner in both the ammos and the pros, he's also one of the youngest 'old bloods' supporters in Melbourne.


  1. Richard Naco says

    Superb yarn.

    Terrific language lesson.

  2. Hi Cobba

    Not that you necessarily need more words to help you explain the Swans game and your emotional reaction to it but, in the manner of one Almanacer assisting another,I offer a few more words to get you through.


    entelechy \en-TEL-uh-kee\, noun:

    A realization or actuality as opposed to a potentiality.

    moxie, noun:

    1. Vigor; verve; pep.
    2. Courage and aggressiveness.
    3. Skill; know-how.

    ambsace \EYMZ-eys\, noun:

    Bad luck; misfortune.

    gumption \GUHMP-shuhn\, noun:

    1. Initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness.
    2. Courage; spunk; guts.

    mundify, verb:

    To purge or purify.

  3. Basics

    Noun. Something that is fundamental or basic; an essential ingredient, principle, procedure, etc.: to learn the basics of music; to get back to basics.

    i.e someone needs to spell out the basics of football to the team.

    An absolute shocker of a match. Great article though. Intended to write something myself and the notes were there but halfway through the 4th I had leave the apartment before the TV was a victim of my

    1. intense anger; fury
    2. aggressive behaviour associated with a specified environment or activity

  4. Great piece, Cobba.

    There are several young Swans, but several young Tigers too. I’m suspecting a disintegration of team harmony. This goes back several years.

    Nick Davis was always on the outer, he never bought into the “Bloods ethos”. The treatment of Barry Hall was disgusting; regardless of his brainsnaps, he was a premiership captain and shouldn’t have been criticised in the media by Roos and Kirk.

    Now those two strong characters have gone, along with co-captain Craig Bolton. Adam Goodes has been carrying the team; Jude Bolton was earlier, but hasn’t been the same since his injury. Authority doesn’t seem to sit too easily on Longmire’s shoulders, not yet, anyway.

    There is no full-forward and no forward structure worth the name, delivery from the midfield is haphazard (Sydney have had less top ten draft picks than any other team over the last ten years).

    Make Kieran Jack the sole captain. He’s young, hard at it, can afford a year or two to grow into the role. He is, by all accounts, a relaxed sort of fellow who doesn’t care a bit for Buddhism and meditation. It’ll make a break from a club culture that delivered a premiership but has lost the two men who most spoke it up.

  5. Jake Stevens says

    Thanks guys!
    Keep the definitions coming!

    3# Tom, I too just wanted to leave during the fourth quarter. But I had already taken so many notes and I didn’t want them to go to waste!

    4# You are spot on Earl!
    Talent is one thing, but what won the swans the premiership in 05 was determination, unquestioned loyalty and a belief that they could win. This certainly stemmed from Roos and Kirk along with many more of the senior players. Now that they have left, that self-belief and will has seemed to left the group, and that’s why there is a ‘disintegration of team harmony.’
    Demetriou was way out of line to criticize and brand the swans as ‘ugly’. And they way the media (and blind footy fans) grabbed onto that was disgraceful. And again the way Barry Hall was treated (by the umpires too) was saddening, but I felt that when he left he hadn’t more to give Sydney. He should be recognized for what he did for the team, which was winning a premiership. A lack of high draft picks comes with been a relatively successful team in the past few years, so I can’t complain too much about that, but I still believe that this half-fast midfield and lack of a quality forward line needs to be addressed. And not just by adopting the typical Sydney ‘recycled players’ approach.
    As a fan, I would be more than happy to see Kieran Jack become the next captain. He epitomizes the courage and work ethic of Kirk (and perhaps Kelly too). In saying this he shouldn’t emulate the Kirk style of play and philosophy, but adopt his own new way of reuniting the once great team. Find a way in which he can relate to the team, but also inspire them to win games of footy. He would be a great role-model (I hate using that word) for all of the city. Not to mention the popularity and crowds it might bring to make a Sydney-born rugby star’s son a captain of an AFL team. I feel that the coaching staff has focused too much on individual skill rather than team skill. The sooner they recognize this, the sooner Sydney will once again become a strong-willed, team-orientated and focused team that wins games.


Leave a Comment