Round 15 – Brisbane v Sydney: Voices and footy



Brisbane Lions v Sydney Swans at the Gabba – Sunday 12th July, 2015


It’s Sunday evening and I’m waiting at Hobart Airport for my flight home to Melbourne. I was hoping the Swans game would be on one of the TVs in the common areas. However it’s only Hawthorn v Fremantle on display, and the Hawks are looking awesome. I’m forced to rely on my AFL app to keep up with the scores for our game. I’m not one of those people who can record the game and watch it later, as if it’s live. I need to know what’s happening. Though, I’ve used my Foxtel app to set the box at home to record for a later viewing.


I’ve been in Hobart for the Festival of Voices. I sing in a gospel choir in Melbourne and about a dozen of us have come down to be part of workshops and performances with the legendary African American female acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. I ponder on the similarities between my passions of sport and music. Sure there are individual pursuits in both, however I believe it’s the collective nature of footy and choirs that draws me in. A sense of belonging and the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as Aristotle famously said. Who did Aristotle play for?


Taking the analogy further the four musical parts of base, tenor, alto and soprano may well align with defence, midfield, forwards and those well beyond categorisation. Nick Smith might well be a base … solid, dependable, knows his part, while Buddy is clearly a diva, soaring above the rest … unpredictable. It’s clear though that all must perform on the day, whether it’s a beautiful melodic song about hope and peace or a cohesive game plan that delivers victory.


Earlier in the day over a long brunch at T42 on Elizabeth Street Pier with fellow Almanacker and Swans supporter, Joe Moore we have dissected the Swans team, and the Ashes Test team too and reconfigured them. We are pretty satisfied with the Swans line up, though both see a need for one or two more of the young brigade to get a shot … B.Jack, Hewett or Newman perhaps. A need for renewal will arise soon, as Shaw, Goodes and perhaps Richards face football mortality, though it’s not as urgent as the need facing our cricket team. Watson and Haddin must go now!


Back at the Airport I try not to check the AFL app too often. It’s a slow start for us. The stats say Lions players like Hanley and Papparone are getting plenty of the ball while for us as usual Joey Kennedy is heading the pack. After trailing at the first break we get a move on and kick the next four. Tippo has two already, that’s good, though Buddy has only kicked a point from a few possessions. Dan Hannebury’s stats increase in front of me as I check the screen. He is getting plenty of it. A late goal to the Lions reduces our lead to only 12 points at the main break. It’s low scoring. Is it wet and windy up there, like the rest of south east Australia? Surely all our parts will come together in the second half to deliver a glorious well needed big win. After all the whole of the Swans, a top four team, compared to the whole of the Lions, bottom of the ladder team, suggests it should be so.


As our flight is delayed due to poor weather, I have the opportunity to check the scores a few more times. Macca gets an early goal to increase the lead. Good. I gather my luggage and do a few last minute bits and pieces. Queuing at the boarding gate I check one last time before turning my phone off. What! The Lions have kicked three in a row and are only a point behind. Not good. Buddy is till goalless. It’s going to be a nervy flight home.


I get some sleep, it has been a busy few days. I quickly check the score once the plane lands and it’s ok to turn on devices. Good news we have won – 70 to 49. Joey and Hannas have got a mountain of possessions and Buddy has come good with three late goals. It sounds like it’s been a scrappy and uninspiring game. No spectacular, memorable performance.


At home I decide to fast forward through the recording to the good bits. That should not take long. I watch a bit of the second quarter, then the latter half of the third and most of the last. To my surprise the conditions look good, certainly no rain. The Lions have applied great pressure and played some good running footy at times.


For our part it looks like we have little run and connection through the sectors of the ground and our skills are poor, continually missing targets by hand and foot or taking poor options. Nevertheless we have won.


It looks like we may need some minor surgery on some of the parts. Nothing drastic though. However it’s clear at the moment that all the parts are currently not forming a cohesive whole. Our conductor/director, Longy will need to pull it all together quickly if are to seriously perform on the big stage come September. The first Saturday in October looks like a far off dream at present. Though the sum of the parts is extremely good and there is still time for this collective to hit the high notes and soar.


BRISBANE LIONS   2.3   3.3  7.5  7.7 (49)
SYDNEY SWANS     1.2   5.3  8.6  10.10 (70)


Brisbane Lions: Zorko 3, Beams 2, Adcock, Hanley
Sydney Swans: Franklin 3, Tippett 3, Robinson, Jack, Jetta, McVeigh


Brisbane Lions: Zorko, Hanley, Beams, Paparone, Clarke, Redden
Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Hannebery, McVeigh, Tippett, Franklin, Mitchell


Brisbane Lions: Gardiner (shoulder)
Sydney Swans: Nil


Brisbane Lions: Rohan Bewick replaced Darcy Gardiner in the second quarter
Sydney Swans: Harry Cunningham replaced Mike Pyke at three-quarter time


Reports: Nil


Umpires: O’Gorman, Findlay, Ryan


About Keiran Croker

Keiran is a lifelong Swans supporter, despite a brief dalliance with the Cats and Tigers in primary school years. Family connections to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne demanded loyalty to the Swans. The long wait for success was worth it.


  1. Joe Moore says

    Not quite the style of win we were hoping for Keiran, but a win nonetheless!

    Great write-up mate.

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