Round 1 – Sydney v Collingwood (Floreat Pica Society): At least I didn’t go to Sydney

By Andrea McNamara for the Floreat Pica Society.

There’s one thing about Round 1 for which I’m grateful. I didn’t actually go to Sydney.


And one thing has emerged this afternoon (Sunday) that eases the pain of a crap start to a season that looked like we might possibly emerge from the no-finals doom and gloom of the last couple of years. Freo got smashed by the Doggies!


There’s very little to say about last night. In less than a minute Buddy goaled and signalled that he was going to enjoy his welcome-back party. And about six minutes later Swanny went down, grabbed his foot and was helped from the ground in obvious pain. And that was pretty much it. Game over.


I kept thinking about Round 1 2014 when Freo belted us by 70 points. That was awful – we kicked 5.16 and they had ten more scoring shots. It was deflating, especially after the previous outing which was an unceremonious loss to an inexperienced Port team in an elimination final. Every ounce of hope for the season disappeared in those couple of hours.


I think this loss to Sydney is worse than the Freo one. For a start, Sydney kicked 18.25 – they had a staggering 43 scoring shots to our 18. What if they kicked 25.18? And we should now be way better than that dispirited lack-lustre no-pressure effort. We did keep watching though, right through to Bucks’s presser.  I was in shock as I headed home from a group watching the debacle.


Rather than a quarter-by-quarter analysis – which would be very dull because nothing happened that any of us want to read about – I thought I’d capture the mood of the game via a selection of the text messages I received.



‘Good to see Channel 7 is showing the comedy festival’

[from a Dees supporter, going the early crow after their unexpected victory. Poor form.]


‘Swan! We’re f-ed.’

[from a footy season friend, a Pies supporter. This was his first communication of the year.]


‘Oh dear’

[from fellow Legend. Exactly.]


‘Statless. New word.’

[from another Legend. In relation to Trav’s performance in the first half.]


‘Two pies supporters near us have been kicked out for fighting each other haha’

[from a Swans-supporting colleague at the SCG]


‘Turning this off. Pretending it’s not happening.’

[from first Legend mate. We kept watching – it’s a personal rule that we don’t leave the ground till the end, and we don’t turn it off.]


‘Gone to bed. Do not disturb sign is up’

[from another Legend]


‘Do you know anyone who wants my seat for the year. Gone fishing.’

[footy-season friend]


Sunday morning


Search for Travis Cloke continues

Search for Travis Cloke continues

[another Dees supporter]


‘Dad was pretty happy last night. Today he’s so hungover he can’t speak or move.’

[from niece, about my Swans supporting bro-in-law]


So, that just about covers it.


A couple of observations about my votes. Treloar looked OK, and I cut him some slack because it’s his first real game for the team, and at least he got the ball 34 times. Sidebottom looked likely early, and now it looks like he’ll be gone for a high bump. Will he ever get past Round 1 without a hiccup? He was rubbed out in the previously mentioned Freo game, then broke his thumb in Round 1 last year. I say start him next year in about Round 4. Pendlebury made un-Pendles-like errors, but they were probably as much to do with his dopey teammates being too slow or too inept to be where they should’ve been. Adams worked hard enough, but he was a long way from being a star who is touted as one day leading the club. De Goey seemed like a second-year player and Darcy Moore looked out of his depth. Gault looked like Gault of last year, rather than preseason Gault, and Wittsy went missing. Sinclair was busy but lacks class, and I don’t think we can win many games if he’s in our best team (same goes for Ramsay at the moment). Defence-wise we’re lacking. I think Frost battled manfully but was outclassed and too many times it was a solo effort – there was no back-up. Tom Langdon needs a haircut. And Cloke – the ball wasn’t coming into the fifty for him, but when he was thrown into the ruck and played higher up the ground, his lights still didn’t come on.


We missed Varcoe, and it’s not worth mentioning Ben Reid. But one player wouldn’t have saved the day.


Sydney looked awesome and weren’t troubled by missing players like McVeigh, Reid, Richards and a couple of high-calibre retirees. Their debut players slotted in beautifully, alongside the experience of Hannebery and Jack. Parker was magnificent.


I can’t remember why I thought we might beat them when we were so inept at both ends of the ground, and they were so strong, everywhere. It didn’t matter that Tippett only had 8 touches. We (supporters) were lulled into a positive frame of mind based on a few scratch matches where the Pies played fun frenetic footy and staged a couple of great comebacks. In the real world of Round 1, nothing worked. Collingwood players were little more witches’ hats, spectating the ball while Bucks looked for his plan B.


Big test coming up on Friday night, that’s for sure.


3          Treloar

2          Pendlebury

1          Adams


  1. E.regnans says


    Well played Andrea.

    T Cloke and his role and his perceived role(s) could fill several PhD studies.
    His value the other night could be summarised on a sheet of A5 paper.

    But it’s just a start.
    Teams are pretty well matched these days – I’m not at all phased by the margin. Blowouts happen readily when the balance is off (e.g. Swan injured early).

    Bring on the Tigers.

  2. Gallant post in defeat. I thought just maybe that the Pies struggled in the tighter confines of the SCG. That probably doesn’t explain the effort for the last 3 quarters. I will continue watching with interest.

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