Round 1 – North Melbourne v Adelaide: Two and Twenty Blackbirds Deserve a Bake

I’ve got the Crows down as being 0-8 after the first couple of months this year, so I headed down to the Dome out of a sense of duty rather than hope. That’s probably underplaying things, but I can’t see any improvement in the playing list after losing the Moggs Creek Machine. Throw in another coaching change and I’ve decided to adopt the “that glass is empty, chuck it in the dishwasher, don’t leave it on the sink” view of this season until I see otherwise.

Upon arrival at Spencer St West, we lined up to grab our 2016 member’s caps, choosing the navy version, which managed to be both flimsier and uglier than last year’s model. I’ve always thought that the ‘We Fly As One’ slogan is a bit clumsy, it works better as a hashtag than a cap emblem.

After scurrying up to Level 3, we noticed that a swathe of seating had been sheathed in yellow vinyl, interleaved with some that were given a grey covering, which may have spelt out some sort of advertising message if we were seated in the right place. Upon parking ourselves three rows back from the front, we were approached by a representative of the Four ‘N Twenty organisation, with a special scratchie ticket, which, if a left footed, red haired recruit from Patchewollock kicked a six pointer after receiving a free kick for time wasting at the Coventry end in the last minute of the second quarter, and then only if the scratchie said ‘You’re a winner’, you would go into the draw for a free pie. Cold.


My companion, who knows a bit about footy pies, resisted the temptation to ask ‘do you know who I am?’ and joined me in an unsuccessful removal by thumbnail of the grey carded latex. Hope we do better in the second chance draw.


Sponsors of the Trigg-Tippett Cup

The raising of the Crows’ banner in front of us aroused some suspicions. Was the above threat of an eastern states incursion by SA’s premier pastry providore perhaps the purpose of this pointlessly pisspoor product promotion?

Adelaide had selected a trio of newcomers. Wayne Milera was of the most interest to me, but I suspect that I was the only crowd member who got the significance of this question in the trivia page inside the back cover of The Record.

4 players

A prize to the first person with the neatest correct answer in the comments.

It would also take me a while before I could recognise Seedsman as #11 and McGovern in the #41. Not to mention that this was the Don Pyke coaching debut.

The NMFC match day experience again had as its phallic centrepiece a risible dirigible. The quarter time frenzy over the chance to win a sponsor laden t-shirt fired from an oversized cap gun just added to the sheer crapness. Maybe they could fire the t-shirts out of the big blue willy, but I’ve got a feeling that the Rolling Stones and maybe even Skyhooks have tried that one already. For some reason, the sound blasted sponsor message of encouragement after each ‘Roos goal didn’t kick in until the third quarter. Did the marketing assistant leave the cassette at home?

To the game itself. Some expectations were met, the Tex miss from 20m out, the Tex bomb from 50m out, but I didn’t expect Eddie Betts to spend so much time on the ball, robbing from Simon Peter to pay James, son of Zebedee, I thought. I also didn’t expect to be up by 24 points and running away in the third.

A year ago I wrote off Harvey and Petrie so I didn’t expect them to be part of the Roosurgence that unfolded. Goldstein impressed me in last year’s Easter thumping and he was even better tonight, shading a fading Jacobs (although Sauce did bring back that 80s relic, the mark and goal from the resting ruckman). Wells was good early and will be better for the run, and (even) Waite did OK.

Of our newbies, Milera looked OK the few times he broke clear, but will probably make room for Charlie Cameron soon. Seedsman’s scything leg was useful on the rare occasions that he got near the Sherrin and McGovern made some chances in the last quarter that he squandered. As to the coach, it seemed that the game plan revolved around taking your chances rather than making your chances.

I was more disappointed with the output of Sloane, Smith and Thompson, who didn’t fill the void left by that guy who left, when it mattered in the last quarter. Thompson often reminds me of Psycho Killer – he’s getting the ball a lot, but he’s not doing anything. The continued selection of McKay and van Berlo is baffling and the lack of height in defence a worry. The captain should have spent more time getting on his bike than trying to out-muscle Robbie Tarrant.

Josh Jenkins played only his 70th game, but his five goals this week will only mean something if he can back it up in future weeks. He should be a 60 goal a season player. North showed the benefit of having multiple tall options, Adelaide only had one. Richie Douglas did a bit as a rover, even though he is more of a flanker type to this humble observer.

We lost a game that I expected to lose, but that only helps my footy tipping, not my outlook. A look at North’s recent Round 1 results tells me that opening round is just another game, but these are the sort of matchups that Adelaide needs to win.

NORTH MELBOURNE 2.3 6.6 13.7 16.11 (107)
ADELAIDE 3.5 9.6 13.8 14.13 (97)

North Melbourne: Waite 3, Harvey 3, Brown 2, Garner 2, Petrie 2, Goldstein, Higgins, Dal Santo, Thomas
Adelaide: Jenkins 5, Walker 2, Betts, M.Crouch, Douglas, Jacobs, Lynch, Mackay, Seedsman


North Melbourne: Goldstein, Cunnington, Tarrant
Adelaide: Jenkins, Betts, Douglas

Malarkey Medal – 3 Goldstein (NM), 2 Cunnington (NM), 1 Jenkins (A)

Attendance: 25,485

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Swish, I draw a blank on the trivia page, except I note that they all look like mug shots of bushrangers!

  2. Garry hocking , terry keays, peter Wilson and tony antrobus

  3. Nice job Swish. Disappointing to lose but North are preliminary finalists playing at home. Yet with some better decision making we win this comfortably.

    What odds that McGovern is nicknamed Maureen? With regard to the photos number 4 could be Antrobus, but they all might have been in a season of Swamp People.

    Agree regarding Thompson. Lots of it but little effect. Milera promising. Overall, I preferred my afternoon at the Shield final to the footy.


  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Correct Paubai, but the question is what is the Wayne Milera connection?

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Swish entertains and spot on I to have the crows not losing any early wickets being 0 for 8 the loss of
    Dangerfield is easily the biggest in the clubs history and unfortunately totally agree re S Thompson fantastic getting the ball but disposal lets him down dreadfully.I have no idea re the Wayne Milera connection.

  6. Wayne Milera has a shit haircut?

  7. Dave Brown says

    Got me beat, Swish – both the Crows’ prospects and the Milera connection. Something to do with jumper numbers?

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    A: Milera played juniors at Ingle Farm, as did Antrobus (also David Robertson, Martin Pike and Josh Francou)

  9. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well played Swish if you had just said photo 4 it would have helped I was trying to work out re in common with all 4

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    While he has his faults (kicking accuracy, decision making) I’m saddened at seeing P.Seedsman in the Crows #11 rather than the Pies #40.
    But more concerned by the SA pie infiltration of Victoria. Has pie girl been targeted by Balfours?? Counter offer from four’n’twenty??

  11. Luke – the Avenging Eagle and I caught up with the pie girl and some scruffy bloke claiming to be her “manager” at the MCG yesterday. Mum must be a looker.
    Unfortunately the “Pie Girl” has gone over to the dark side. Peddling half melted ice creams at exorbitant prices. Its a slippery slope.
    Swish is very bearish about the Crows early draw. I was wondering why I liked his articles so much. Meeting him I realised we were founding members of Pessimists United. Must have been something in the Adelaide water in the 70’s.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    In defence of the Pie Girl, she was coming into the season with a limited preparation. The cap on rotations and the removal of the sub meant that she had to take on lighter duties after an earlier beer-sodden incident when lugging her pie tray past some over-refreshed Hawthorn standing room buffoons.

    Might recommend that she goes in the game day gourmandisers draft if that Vili’s expansion team gets the nod, but counter offers are for mugs (the resentment doesn’t go away).

    And yes, her Mum is a looker.

  13. Ben Footner says

    Cripes Swisha, while the loss is a disappointing one, the pessimism is almost suffocating!

    I was out bush for the weekend so didn’t see the game, but from the reports I’ve read and the highlights I’ve seen they didn’t play too badly. Let the boys at least warm up before writing them off!

    Hopefully they can deliver a Showdown victory this weekend to fill your glass to above the half way mark – Port were far from convincing after all.

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I might concede that our chances against Freo in Round 6 have gone up slightly Ben. Hope I’m wrong about the other six games too.

  15. Right. Ingle Farm. Or as some of the kids I taught out there called it, “The Farm.” Good stuff.

    Had my first pie of the season over the weekend down at the Shield final but it must have been a slow pie day, much like the cricket, for it was near boiling. Ouch, pie-burn. A known killer.

  16. 0-8??? I am resigning from Pessimists United. You are in another league for talking down your side. They look pretty good to me. Don Pyke or Woosha for coach of the year? Another gift to the league from the Eagles dynasty.

  17. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Dunno what came over me, I can only blame my 0-8 prediction on my 9 to 5 proximity to Droop St in recent weeks. I’ve had another look and we’ll definitely be 7-1, before sliding to a mediocre 10-12. Or not.

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