Round 10 – GWS v Brisbane: Winning Ugly is Still Winning

GWS v Brisbane
Spotless Stadium
Sunday 7 June 2015

I wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Where I wanted to be was about ten rows back from where the fifty metre arc meets the boundary line in the pocket Devon Smith (and Eddie Betts) likes to kick impossible goals from.

Where I actually was, was the Taren Point Hotel deep in the Sutherland Shire; my father-in-law’s birthday lunch.

This was a game we should win. As someone who has been going to Giants games since the beginning of our first NEAFL season in 2011 at Blacktown, I haven’t seen that many wins. Each one is cherished, savoured. Today should have added to my collection of winning memories.

Brisbane were decimated with injuries, we were relatively healthy. They were bottom four, we were comfortably in the eight. It would be an upset of pretty big proportions if we went down today. That’s not something I think I’ve ever been able to say going into a game before.

On the drive over we kept pace with the twitter feed of the NEAFL curtain raiser – Brisbane with only 6 listed players. Quarter time 8:4 to 1:1 – nice. Half time 17:10 to 1:1 – ouch. Three quarter time 27:14 to 1:3 – that’s ugly. Finally siren 33:18 to 3:6 – now that’s just off the scale ugly.

At lunch I keep one ear on the conversation at the other end of the table and one eye on the iPad app on the bench next to me. Goal to Jimmy Stewart in the opening two minutes – good start. I should be there.

2 minutes later Nick Robertson (who?) evens it up. Behinds in quick succession to Wilson and Smith – the little dot on the diagram tells me he kicked it from right in front of where I would have been sitting. Behind to Patfull – come on guys – kick straight.

I’m not worried about today but kicking lots of behinds is going to cost dearly in a bigger game than this. The skyline flatlines for a bit and then goal to Zorko. They take the lead. I’m not worried but come on. At the eighteen minute mark Mitch Robinson kicks a behind. I spend the next 10 minutes hitting refresh and thinking that the signal must be out; there’s nothing, no response, complete flatline.

Then Quarter Time. Wait. What? That must have been a pretty horrid quarter. Hope Leon gives them a bake.

Out of the blocks again in the second; behind to Scully; rushed behind – Come On. Then “Goal to Jeremy Cameron. About time. Jezza! That’s how you do it. Now I wait for the lag between the score update and the commentary blurb with the little graphic of where it was kicked from, and before it comes through, the score updates again to tell me Treloar has slotted another.

That’s more like it. Up by ten. And that’s the closest they get for the rest of the day.

It was an odd experience, experiencing a game like that. Waiting for the app to update. Waiting a little longer to get the description.

“Beams attempts to kick the ball in defence, but he is taken down by Cognilio. BALL, YES!”
Goal scored by Stephen Cornelio – Cognilio takes the free kick on goal and he slams it through. The Giants are starting to press the Lions as they lead them by 16 points”

I watch the Manhattan skyline climb up and up with only the occasional downturn. The game is seemingly in hand and I can participate in the conversation around me a little more than I had been.

Liam takes over control of the iPad – plays a little minecraft at half time but gets back to the game when it’s on.

“Dad – Cam McCarthy just kicked a goal”

“Thanks mate – what does that make it?”

“We’re up by 33”


Lunch ends and we’re back in the car to hear Ryan Griffen put us up by 46 well into time on. We all cheer. Nathan Wilson runs down Pearce Hanley in what sounds like an epic chase and tackle and we miss a few late and let them kick the last three – oh well. A win is a win is a win. I’ll take it.

It doesn’t sound like I missed all that much at the ground – game certainly didn’t get any rave reviews and watching the replay later I can agree with Callan Ward when he is pretty scathing of the team’s performance (though he himself had a massive game).

But then again… there was a time, and not so long ago, that any win would have been heaven sent. That we managed to be unimpressed by a thirty point win says a lot about where our team is now, and where we are going.

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.....

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