AFL Round 1 – GWS v Sydney: Oh, What a Night!

GWS v Sydney
Spotless Stadium
Sat 15 Mar 2014


What a game, what a night. 

It started the way it was supposed to start – we got on the board first, stayed with them until about the 25 minute mark, and then they kicked away to secure a handy 13 point lead at the first break.

The first break of course, lasted longer than most first breaks do and got pretty hairy for a while into the bargain. We’d arrived early to secure our usual seats in the members’ reserve about 8 or 10 rows from the fence, where the 50m arc meets the boundary, just next to the Giant’s player race.

Normally, if the wind blows right, the rain doesn’t bother us, we’re under cover just enough – and when the rain started, true to form, it wasn’t a problem. As the clock ticked toward the 30 minute mark though, the wind began to swirl, the rain began to bucket and we were getting wet. There was a bit of lightning too. Decision was made to try our luck from the top tier of the grandstand. Never been up there before, we’ll give it a go.

Well we found some seats about 3 rows from the back – as nosebleed as I’ve ever been at an AFL game. About 2 minutes after settling in there was an almighty CRASH – BOOM from above and we watched in horrified fascination as debris reigned down onto the field in front of us.

That hit something. Right above our heads.

Eventually the rain began to ease and the lightning moved east and the officials came out to inspect the pitch. It was a bit disconcerting watching them huddle in the centre square and continually point up to the light tower that we were sitting about 10 feet away from. But we stayed where we were and watched the next two quarters from up there.

The Swans opened the scoring in the second quarter on the back of the worst decision in recorded human history – who the hell was the umpire? Aleem Dar? But Karma’s a b*tch and even the footy gods saw what an horrendous decision that was, allowing Sydney to only kick behinds for the rest of the quarter as punishment.

Buddy even obliged by shanking one out on the full, much to the delight of those of us sitting the in the Members area. After a beautiful goal early in the first quarter poor Buddy’s night was steadily going down hill – and the crowd was letting him know it.

At the other end of the park, two goals to Cameron (the second an absolute gem, bumping Malceski aside like he was GWS youngster circa 2012, and dobbing it from 50) and a late one to Tom Scully bought the half time score back to a mere 7 points. Happy with that. How can you not be happy with that?

Third quarter begins with a stuff up of the highest order from a player who should know better. Josh Hunt, 199 games and 2 premierships, kicks it straight to Lewis Jetta on the 50 who obliges by slotting a goal. We hit back with a couple of behinds and a snap to Cameron on his right foot. On his RIGHT foot – he’s got one – and it works. Be afraid.

A goal to Tom Mitchell from a Josh Hunt free took the margin back out to 10 points. Josh, Josh, Josh, you did some good things tonight but it wasn’t one of your best.

Our Captains were #standingtall all night. Phil Davis on Buddy Franklin and Callan Ward everywhere else on the park. He took a magnificent pack mark in defence and snapped a magnificent goal up forward. Margin 3 points at three quarter time.

Who’da’thunk that.

Fourth Quarter and the weather had cleared enough to leave the nosebleeds and head back down to the boundary (easier and quicker access for kick-to-kick). The teams traded behinds and the Swans managed to push the lead back out to 7. by the 15 minute mark.

This is the point where we usually start to run out of legs and the opposition kicks away. 7 points down halfway through the final quarter – I’ll take that whatever the final margin is.

Behind to Tom Scully – I’ll take 6 points down.

Coniglio dribbles one through from a tight angle – SCORES LEVEL.

KENNEDY!!!! (our Kennedy, not their Kennedy – Adam – remember the name) puts us in front.

In front! Into time on! Against the Swans! They start their “Sydney” chant – We drown them out.

A Patton behind makes it a two score game. A Cameron goal has us dancing.

FROSTY!!!!! Rookie listed, rookie elevated Sam Frost, who has been a rock down back all night bobs up with the ball ricocheting off a Whitfield smother and calmly slots it home to put us in front by 20.

Up by 20! at the 25 minute mark!

Patton with his third for the night and Whitfield with his first, absolutely ice the game and we are in raptures. I’m just hoping my voice will hold out long enough to sing the song when the final siren sounds.

It does, but it’s pretty much gone by the fifth time through.

Callan Ward wins the Brett Kirk Medal – 31 disposals (24 of them contested) and a goal.

I love this team and if they play like that, I’m going to enjoy this year – and many years to come.

This is not our biggest winning margin, but it is by far and away our biggest win. We beat a Premiership favourite going away, and by keeping them goaless in the last. That it was the Sydney Swans only makes it all that much sweeter.

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....


  1. Great game. Great result. Great report.
    Thanks Steve – just don’t use “Buddy” and “poor” in the same sentence again.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done Steve love your passion and it won’t be long till the rest of the competition hates GWS and Gold Coast you are coming ! A forward line with Patton , Cameron and Boyd is scary ironic but not getting Franklin may end up being a great result for GWS as it has helped you get the mummy which in turn has helped the mistake in not recruiting
    Brodie Grundy . We all look forward to more match reports from you thanks Steve

  3. This was a victory of Biblical proportions. It was great to see the Sydney greed exposed as just that; GREED. This is my new top 8:
    Gold Coast
    West Coast

  4. “easier and quicker access for kick-to-kick” … I miss that.

  5. So much Sydney inspired schadenfreude at present. And it’s just a little bit too good!

    Agree with Peter_B; the words ‘poor’ and ‘Buddy’ never go in the same sentence – unless it’s in sarcasm font.

  6. I unreservedly apologise to all Swans fans for wishing a career ending injury on Buddy.
    He hurts them far more by playing.

  7. Earl O'Neill says

    Steve, did you record the match and watch it when you got home? Asking because there was no possibility of me taking notes once the Giants got on a roll after Coniglio’s goal.

    I haven’t had that much fun at an AFL match since the ’05 GF.

  8. Did I record it? Have I watched it again.? The pope is catholic right?

Leave a Comment