Round 11 – Geelong v Adelaide: Once, Twice, Three Times a Loser

2015 was my first visit to Kardinia Park, that late season fixture where the Cats said piss off on your bike dont come Monday thanks for the memories to Stevie J, James Kelly and Mathew Stokes.

 

Sensing that a rare Adelaide win down there was on the cards, instead I endured a fairly feeble, never-in-it effort, even though Geelong were out of the finals race.

 

Last year I took my offsider for a dad and daughter road trip, here, with a similar disappointing result.

 

This year we decided to butter up for another crack at Moorabool Street, sensing, nay, hoping, that this could be our year.

 

My tipping has been a B+ this year; I tipped my mob in both the Almanac tipping comp and the Footy Maths Institute comp, the latter a unique head-to-head comp that requires both teams and margins to be tipped. It sustains my interest until the final siren of the Sunday twilight game most weeks, with results often decided by the final kick of a Subiaco fixture at the three tier stand end.

 

But my true thoughts were revealed during a brief “Are you going tonight?” chat with John Harms before the game. I can’t shake off the Kangas and Demons losses; hope rather than expectation is my reason for going, I told John, who was sensibly staying put.

 

On last year’s train journey, we were wide eyed during our late afternoon, mostly daylight, trek down to the little smoke. This year’s 5:07 to Waurn Ponds was accompanied by darkness so we turned our gaze inwards. Miss Year 12 was re-reading Nineteen Eighty Four but I chose something with more substance and meaning, tucking in to Rounds 6 through 11 of Yvette Wroby’s The Siren’s Call.

 

We’d decided to try our luck with some country style cuisine once we got in. I’m not sure which country we settled on, but the steamed Dimmy Bartels and dumplings did the trick.

 

 

The famous Geelong Dimmy Bartels

 

 

I’d booked our seats in early April, I knew we were close to the fence, but it hadn’t twigged that we were also adjacent to the Adelaide race.

 

Not only did we get a close-up view of the Crows pre-match activities, Channel 7 had also set up just in front of us. Bruce the Greater was wandering among the Adelaide officials, perhaps passing on a tip for the Angle Park greyhounds (which makes me wonder whether there is a dog track in country NSW called Reverse Angle Park).

 

Bruce the Lesser was there too, carefully rehearsing his live to camera piece for their SA news. I spied Bruce the Greater trying to collar Don Pyke for an interview, but the coach looked downright annoyed at the suggestion, leaving Lionel Bradley’s best known protégé hanging embarrassedly.

 

 

Was It Something I Said?

 

 

Soon thereafter, Brian The Boofhead materialised, which seemed to be the cue for Macca to trek back over to the Brownlow Stand side, fresh airing BTB in the process. Abba wandered over to BTB with a consoling handshake, passing on that ol’ Bruce did the same to Brasil last week, and even Bricho and Brarce had recently felt his scorn.

 

I smiled for the final time of the night when Eddie Betts launched a left foot torp from the boundary which bisected the Players Stand end uprights, before he returned to the rooms. I later reflected that he may be the Brent Croswell of small forwards, needing a big home crowd to inspire him into action, as he was rarely sighted during the match.

 

The cheer squad loomed, unfurling a banner celebrating the century for Josh Jenkins. His 101st might be a few weeks off.

 

Geelong made a brisk start, and I noticed that Dangerfield was roving to Jacobs’ hitouts far better than his ex-teammates were. Geelong played their skinny dungheap cleverly, creating space when it was needed by them, but denying it to us when they didn’t have the pill.

 

Adelaide kept within striking distance in the first quarter, not out of it, but never threatening to get on top.

 

The second quarter saw Geelong chuck the ball around with the sort of abandon that will probably attract an open letter to Brian Cook from Margaret Court on Monday. It was as if Adelaide thought that laying a tackle before marriage would invoke the wrath of the Devil (come to think of it, this could explain their loss to Melbourne).

 

Geelong showed us up for what we really are, not enough players capable of influencing the game, too many that rely on others setting up play. The Crows are too easy to shut down. When was the last time any of them crashed a pack or chased down a rampaging opponent?

 

With the national carrier’s 4G network virtually byteless from my possie, my Twitter feed only refreshed when I took a quick comfort break. That noted footy commentator Chris Kenny had stuck out an ill-considered tweet demanding neutral umpires. How indeed would this work I mused? How would “neutrality” be defined? Surely, if there is a home-team bias, it is due to the human nature of, err, humans as umpires, responding to the vocal urging of the 95% there who are following the first named side, not some conscious bias due to the birthplace of the person in lime. I can’t remember Kenny squawking about the equivalent outcome when we are playing at home.

 

Having said that, it wouldn’t do the game any harm to see the rules about correct disposal (including handball) enforced occasionally.

 

Our brief comeback after the long break was fruitless, Geelong killing us on the rebound after we failed to liven up the electrons on the new you beaut Brownlow Stand scoreboard.

 

We snagged a few cheap goals late in the last, turning what seemed like a 44 point loss into a 22 point one but could have been a 66 point one.

 

Hugh Greenwood looked to be worth persisting with and I’m still a big Jake Lever fan, but our midfield and key forwards didn’t give a yelp. Matt Crouch didn’t stop trying, but I’m having trouble warming to his brother, although at least he occasionally got his hands on the yellow leather thing.

 

The Crows would be unbeatable if we played each game at the expanses of Elizabeth Oval, but they’d probably need to upgrade the High School car park and the Goodman Road entrance gates, so that probably won’t happen.

 

As for Geelong, they seem to have bounced back from last year’s Prelim in better shape than Sydney and they put on a good show at home. Dangerfield and Selwood seem to be ok footballers, I hope our coaching staff have worked that out for next time.

 

 

2018? No thanks.

 

Speaking of which, if we are drawn to play at Geelong next year, I think I’ll give it a miss, especially if it’s at night.

 

GEELONG        3.6    9.10   12.13   13.18 (96)
ADELAIDE       2.3    5.5     7.9       10.14 (74)

 

GOALS
Geelong: Dangerfield 3, Menzel 3, Hawkins 2, Taylor 2, J.Selwood, Motlop, Parsons
Adelaide: Walker 3, Lynch 2, Jenkins 2, Cameron, Betts, Otten 

BEST
Geelong: J. Selwood, Dangerfield, S. Selwood, Henderson, Smith, Stewart, Tuohy
Adelaide: Lever, M.Crouch, Lynch, B.Crouch, Greenwood 

INJURIES
Geelong: J. Selwood (cut head)
Adelaide: Lever (ankle)

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Kamolins, Meredith, Harris, Ryan 

Official crowd: 30,468 at Simonds Stadium

 

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

Comments

  1. Great article Swish about a pretty poor night for the Crows.
    Not sure when our coaching staff is going to try to do something different when playing Geelong because recent history shows that what we are trying isn’t working.
    There is some debate online that we have witnessed the reincarnation of Neil Craig or Brenton Sanderson in the guise of Don Pyke, due to the lack of match day reactions from the coaches box. (Or meaningful planning beforehand and the unwillingness to make significant changes to the team, especially when senior players who are out of form stay in the team, getting gold passes.)

    (Wonder if it’s going to take Roo going into the rooms and having a chat with Tex and Sloane à la Dermott Brereton and the infamous ‘line in the sand’ game against Essendon for the Crows to finally adopt some unsociable football?)

    Cheers, Steve.

  2. John Butler says:

    Swish, a tough night, but this piece at least makes up for some of it.

    Good to know Bruce the Greater has some taste.

    All Brent Croswell references score bonus points.

    Cheers

  3. Peter_B says:

    I share your pain Swish. Some nice lines in sardonic despair. JJenkins gives you good material for that.
    Would love to know what Rulebook and Bookettes made of the performance. Sadly – with Norwood also losing – we will never know.

  4. Ben Footner says:

    Bloody average wasn’t it? After trekking to Geelong to witness terrible efforts 3 times in a row I think you’re justified in giving it a miss next time around!

  5. Love it Swish. Just wish I’d been there to take it all in first hand.

    Yes, PB, we need to throw the challenge out to Rulebook. He is a handy analyst and I’m sure he’d have something to say about what happened.

    To my (TV) eye the Cats won the middle – one of Z. Smith’s better games – and the Cats put the clamp on the ball getting past halfway. Stewart looked like he was Corey Enright because the structure was in place – a la B. Lake in the GF that year. You’d have to say C. Scott goes well v the Crows. And his players carry it out.

    Three successive KP win against quality opposition. That’s worth heaps. But what of the weird and wonderful losses to the runners of GC, Ess and Coll?

  6. Thanks for enduring this insipid effort so I didn’t have to, Swish. Part way through the third quarter and out of expletives, I turned off the tele (yes, a fair-weather supporter) and retired to my laptop and listened to the new alt-J album, which is as patchy as the Crows form. We seemed incapable of gathering the ball, and when Geelong had it, even more incapable of touching, let alone tackling them; as in your M.Court reference.

    Still, it’s a bit like beating India at home.

  7. Nice work Swish!

    And why shouldn’t the Cats have a home final? Of course they should, if they make the grade.

    Dangerfield and Selwood seem to be OK footballers. One of the great statements for the season so far.

    Cats seemed to be up for everything over the last month. If someone can figure out why they could be the newest billionaire on the planet.

    How do you rate your bottom 6 players? That seems to be the key for most teams.

  8. Dave Brown says:

    Had to sit through four plus hours of absolute hideousness this weekend, PB. Don’t expect us to write about it too? Truth be told I only watched a quarter of this game – enough to see which way the metaphorical wind was blowing and know my overall wellbeing was better served by doing anything else. Very funny given the circumstances, Swish. And to see a BT up close in his habitat – a rare privilege.

    That said I’m also finding the general Crows fan defeatist attitude (best observed on twitter) almost unbearable. No-one is that good this year and, despite the clear and acknowledged weaknesses, the Crows have every chance of being there at the pointy end. Pyke’s barely one and a half years (and one draft) into his tenure, with a 25-9 record (Clarkson was 10-24 after his first 34 games), yet is being compared to Craig (when Craig’s name is unfairly used as a pejorative). Can live without it – rather go and sit behind a tree at Unley. Looking forward to seeing JJ down the Parade this weekend.

  9. Peter_B says:

    Rulebook is a deadset FTB (Flat Track Barracker). Last time he wrote about a Crows or Redlegs loss (other than finals) was…………..? (I think Robert Oatey was captain coach that day and Big Bill Wedding missed a sitter).

  10. Stainless says:

    Hear Hear PB – I’m sure we could flush him out by suggesting that Adelaide could have used the steadying influence of Troy Chaplin in defence!

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    Steve – not enough nous or mongrel

    JB – I was probably harsh and complimentary of Eddie in the one breath

    PB – it’s bred in us

    Ben – I’m guessing that you have a similar commute to AO, just with generally better results. KP isn’t a bad place to watch footy from, but I prefer being home before 1am afterwards

    JTH – very astute

    Mickey – I’m thinking control-alt-delete might work better

    Dips – I think our problem is that we have ten players in our bottom six

    Dave – guilty as charged. My concern is that we’ll go 16-6, then limp out of the finals

    Stainless – that’s very good

  12. Mark Duffett says:

    If you want a picture of the future at Kardinia Park, imagine a cat’s paw stamping on a crow’s face – forever.

  13. Rulebook says:

    Worked Fri night and was a maggot on Saturday so hard to write on either ( and correct I don’t wish to )
    From what I saw a bewildering performance from the coaching box and pigheaded
    1 Enright who killed us last year so there for the Cats haven’t got any 1 else to play the plus 1 role ?
    Surely playing players behind the ball hasn’t worked against the Cats but no we will do it again complete and utter incompetence.
    2 We all knew S Selwood was going to Sloane so there for Sloane had to go to Danger or J Selwood ?
    3 All 3 losses midfield has fallen away rapidly there is Sloane,Matt Crouch and then a massive fall away,
    Brad Crouch inj has seen him lose a yard of pace and he can’t impact games positively huge chance he will end up being regarded as a could have been.
    4 2 Key forwards built like,Tarzan play like,Jane last time,either,Walker or Jenkins crashed a pack
    Adam and Eve were sharing apples.
    5 As a maggot I totally understand the non free kick re Hawkins and Matt Crouch geez if he had put any more mayo on it he could have opened up a factory v v lucky no action taken against Matt for over acting
    If the MRP had given the correct decision re Cotchin there would not have been all this carry on since a free kick and a fine more than sufficient in this case yes dumb by Hawkins and Matt Crouch but that was it
    6 Pyke revealing frightening similarities to Craig with lack of moves,stick to our structures and don’t dare make a move till it’s to late ok it was junk time but we outscored the Cats when it was finally six on six in our forward line,Laird,Lever tried on ball hello ?
    6 For all of it in pure simplicity we had the best on baller unfortunately he decided to go home
    7 Swish love the Margaret Court lines and JJ re 101st I can assure you if he is playing at the parade on
    Saturday and does anything remotely physical he will be reminded that it is allowed in the Afl thanks Swish

  14. An enjoyable read, thanks Swishter.

    My most shocking observation: that you follow Chris Kenny on twitter.

    My most laughable observation: a Crows supporter complaining about incorrect disposal!

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Mark D – Imagine if I’d used AFL Travel

    ‘Book – the knock that Laird took early slowed him up. Enough of the Tarzan/Jane though. Point 6 is the key. Say hi to JJ for me.

    Smokie – Ta, else retweeted him into my timeline, I’d only follow him with a shovel. We may have invented the Crow Throw, but others have perfected it.

  16. Re Chris Kenny: Thanks for the clarification, old mucker! There is no accounting for some of twitter mates’ tastes.

  17. Ben Footner says:

    Dave Brown you are an insightful man – I also tire of the defeatist attitude of the majority of Crows fans. The supporter base seems to implode on social media every time we have a loss. I prefer to save my emotional energy for causes far more worthwhile.

    We’re 2nd on the ladder @ 8 – 3 and if we can get over St Kilda this weekend will be in a fantastic position to cement a top 4 spot in the second half of the year.

    In the grand scheme of things I’m also kinda glad that the playing group is being confronted by their weaknesses at this time of year, rather than at the pointy end. Lord knows I’ve seen plenty of ‘premiership contender’ Adelaide outfits get bundled out cheaply over the last 20 years.

  18. Earl O'Neill says:

    Great piece, Swish, almost fell off the chair once or twice.
    Ladder is weird, percentages all over the shop. Even the ladder-leading Monaros have faults, like half our starting 18 in the medical room.

  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    People see no worth in you Earl
    Oh but I do

  20. Luke Reynolds says:

    Swish, we have better 4G in the Otways now than they do in Geelong.

    As a Western Victorian, the best thing they ever did was put a road around the Little Smoke, ensuring a faster trip to the Big Smoke.

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