Round 1 – St Kilda v GWS: Put it in the bank

Round 1
St Kilda v Giants
Etihad Stadium
Sunday Apr. 5, 2015; 1:10pm

It’s tough when your team plays its opening round match away.

Here in Sydney, we spent part of the rather soggy Easter Saturday sitting at Spotless Stadium watching the turf get ripped to shreds by motorbikes, Holden utes and horses. There was even an idiot American who put himself in a box and blew himself up. It’s no wonder that we have to wait for the post-Sydney Show relaid turf to take hold before we can have a home game (but free tickets to the show is a reasonable trade-off I suppose).

One team that has never played at Spotless is St Kilda. One team we have never beaten is St Kilda. But the trend, at least, is tracking in the right direction: losses by 128 points, 72 points, and 7 points last year in a game we probably should have won but didn’t kick straight.

Five more scoring shots than the Saints in the first quarter today, and only a five point lead had me worried that the same would happen again this year. By half time we were sitting on 7.9. Got to kick straighter boys, we’re keeping them in it.

We missed a hell of a lot early and could have put the game to bed.

First game of the year, so both sides were a bit rusty; both had good passages of play; and both had some horrid turnovers after some woeful decision-making.

And while St Kilda led early, once Wardy kicked a goal after a soft (but certainly there) fifty, we never really looked like losing – right up until about five minutes to go when the Saints were piling it on and we were playing panicky football.

My position on the couch went from laid back and relaxed, to knees up under my chin, to occasionally walking it off through the kitchen and back; and although I was close, at least I didn’t throw anything.

Joel Patfull: what a pick up. When it got tight late, he took two really telling marks, slowed it down and brought a cool head to the situation and pretty much got us home.

It’s a hard game to write up, because it was a bit all over the shop. We won the hit-outs but lost the clearances. Mummy was great, particularly at putting the ball in the hands of the Saints midfielders. But I’m being harsh, his tap-work for the Shiel goal in the last was just sublime and his work around the ground was awesome for a big man.

Oh and while I’m mentioning him – memo to commentators: It’s Shiel – not Shiels, not Sheild, not Shields; and the G is silent in Coniglio – and there’s no The in GWS (unless you add the word Giants/team/players etc. at the end of it) – its GWS – not The GWS – you don’t call them The North Melbourne, or The Hawthorn do you? You would think that after four years they would at least know the name of our team. Grrrrrrr.

But back to the game – Jezza Cameron – inked a five year deal (I like it when players ink contracts rather than themselves) and celebrated by only touching the ball six times today; and one of them was a soccer off the ground. Of course in real old-school style his six kicks ended up as 4.2 so you get absolutely no complaint from me.

Speculation has swirled around who would step up and help out Jezza out up forward after the General went down with a knee and Boyd went down the highway with a million dollars. As I’m typing this I’m humming “I’ve got SUNSHINE, on a cloudy day” and a return of 3.1 in his first full game I think answers the question.

One of my favourite Giants players right from the start in the 2011 NEAFL year was Josh Bruce; and he was certainly among the best today for his new side St Kilda. Took an outstanding hanger in the third quarter and was pretty composed throughout the game. I should be happy; but I’m not. We traded him away for a pick we didn’t use at the end of the 2013 season. Oh well – it’s good to see him doing well.

Other Saints to shine included Steven, Armitage, Geary and Montagna; with Savage kicking a couple of great goals including one from an impossible angle from a long way out, to almost get them there in the last.

When we picked up Ryan Griffen from the Dogs in the Boyd deal a lot of people said that not only could he help teach the young midfield group how to go about it, but that as opposition clubs concentrated on shutting him down, our young brigade might get off the leash a little bit.

Adam Treloar 32 disposals at 78% (to go with his goal and 7 tackles); Dylan Shiel 28 @ 82% (with a goal and 6 tackles). Throw in 31 and a goal from Lachie Whitfield and our midfield were doing some pretty good work.

We used to leak points like an old boat, but with the addition of Shaw last year, Patfull this year and the growth of players like Haynes, we are able to withstand the onslaughts far better. If the game had have finished at quarter time Haynes would have been best-on.

Round 1 – not pretty but I’m more than happy to put the four points in the bank, away from home against a team we hadn’t beaten. I think I’ll have a celebratory chocolate egg this fine Easter Sunday.

My votes: 3: Treloar (GWS) 2: Mumford (GWS) 1: Steven (StK)

The Giants announced their Name and Colours on the evening of November 16, 2010 – steve duffy became a proud member on November 17. Writer, artist, library technician and family man, he has also been known to, on ocassion, don the big suit and stand in for G-Man around the Penrith area, where his son plays for the Penrith Giants under 9s.

To visit the GWS site click the logo below

GIANTS_Logo 2015

 

 

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.....

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Steve while there was plenty of justified publicity re recruiting , Griffen personally I reckon , Patfull is far more important as he is exactly what you needed and totally agree you are shoring up your defence ( pun intended and I admit I am biased towards , Patfull after all he is a ex Redleg ) . GWS are coming along nicely

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