Round 15 – Gold Coast v St. Kilda: Perhaps this winning thing was easier than we thought

Marathon weekend on the Gold Coast has been kind to the Suns for the last couple of years. Crowds have been above average, which admittedly isn’t high, the atmosphere at the ground is better than what you’d normally feel and the results have often gone their way. Despite the timeslot for the match moving earlier, this year’s marathon weekend clash against St.Kilda couldn’t have gone any better, especially coming off a 10 game losing streak.

 

After getting in for the last quarter of the NEAFL match between the Suns reserves and Southport (missed the O’Meara cameo in the first half, shame because it was a pretty dull affair for the quarter I watched), the initial thought was that this was going to be a close affair played in perfect conditions. Not a cloud was in the sky, ground looked to be in excellent condition, the breeze was only very slight and the contest looked to be reasonably even across the ground. Sadly as it turned out only one team turned up to play.

 

The game should have been over by quarter time with the home side able to waltz the ball from defence to attack with as much ease as Joey Chestnut digests another hot dog in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (he won by eating 70 in 10 minutes for the record, 17 his final margin). While the delivery into the Saint key forwards played into the hands of their minders for the day, a factor I’m sure contributed to another McCartin concussion, the forward pressure was left down the road at Royal Pines or at another establishment. If Gold Coast had kicked straight instead of blasting 5 goals 7 for the term then the strong support for the Saints would definitely have headed back to the Casino. It was good to see that the umpiring crew did learn something from the previous night’s game regarding deliberate rushed behinds, not being fooled by Montagna’s attempt to channel Joel Bowden from about 2006.

 

The middle 2 quarters were seemingly shorter than I anticipated. There may be a single quarter in a match that goes for less than 30 minutes with the others extending beyond the half hour mark for a period spanning a matter of seconds to a few minutes. St.Kilda never made any inroad into the Suns advantage, which wasn’t helped by their skipper kicking 0.5 for the afternoon. Perhaps Riewoldt thought the shots that he had were going to be as easy as a Coalition victory at the polls that evening and missed the mark accordingly.

 

By the time the last quarter started it was a case of going through the motions. The players from both sides continued to blaze away with limited success, missing 10 of the 15 shots. The Suns fans were just looking forward depending on age to either the post match kick to kick, or waking up tomorrow for a free Big Mac. Saints fans and players probably just wanted to get back to Melbourne to try to escape another nightmare on the road. The only people that were really interested in my vicinity were a few Saint fans who knew big ruckman Tom Hickey, obviously because one female fan called him Thomas and when you get full names it sounds like you’re either in trouble or they were present at a christening. I thought he played OK but neither ruckman really had a major impact on the game.

 

For the home side, all the better players came from their side in all areas of the ground. The defence wasn’t really tested all afternoon, with the tall pillars generally holding St.Kilda’s big forwards and running types like Malceski being able to do as he pleased. The midfield wasn’t reliant on number 9 as they all too often were. Aaron Hall probably had the game that the coaching staff were expecting when he got the axe from the team a number of weeks ago, being able to provide the drive in the middle and pushing forward to hit the scoreboard.

 

Both key forwards Wright and Lynch looked to tear it apart particularly early, although Lynch did butcher the ball when looking for a short pass instead of shots that he should as the number one key forward be taking. Even the smaller forwards had their moments despite the tall timber dominating proceedings. This time though there were no passengers of the 21 that played the bulk of the game (Matt Rosa pinged a hamstring early) which they need to repeat in the Q-Clash next weekend where anything can and usually does happen.

 

The main consolation prize for the Saints and their fans is that they don’t leave Melbourne for the remainder of the season. As someone who loves travelling around Australia to catch games of footy and run here there and everywhere, I could try to give them some advice on how to get over their woes on the road. Only problem is they won’t listen anyway, even if I had some sort of sport science credentials. So rather than give them specific advice, all I’ll remind them of is that to earn respect and finals positions in this competition, winning on the road is an expectation. If you don’t find the cure to your woes soon then with the current drafting system in place (Suns have a few academy players in contention for this year’s draft) then there’s a chance that even with all the talent you may have and even if you find a couple of key defenders, you’ll be stuck in the basement with no way out.

 

As for me, the early timeslot for the footy at least worked somewhat to get me back to my hired apartment early enough. Too bad the election result wasn’t as clear cut as this game, for it cost me a couple of hours sleep. I should have gone better than running 4:20 on the Sunday, exactly 2 hours 11 minutes behind the winner. I’m sure I’ll improve on the road running as the year progresses, and if I can do it then perhaps St.Kilda should be able to as well.

 

MATCH DETAILS
GOLD COAST 15.18.108
ST.KILDA 8.20.68

 

SCORERS
GC: Wright 3.1, Hall 2.2, Matera 2.2, Prestia 2.0, Lynch 1.4, AhChee 1.3, Ablett 1.2, Davis 1.0, Malceski 1.0, Miller 1.0, Nicholls 0.1, Rischitelli 0.1, Sexton 0.1, RUSHED 0.1
ST.K: Membrey 2.1, Newnes 2.0, Weller 1.4, Gresham 1.2, Lonie 1.1, Bruce 1.0, Riewoldt 0.5, Hickey 0.2, Gilbert 0.1, Montagna 0.1, RUSHED 0.5

 

BEST PLAYERS
GC: Hall, Malceski, Rischitelli, Lynch, Wright, May, Thompson, Matera
ST.K: Weller, Membrey, Riewoldt

 

VOTES
3: Aaron HALL (GC)
2: Nick MALCESKI (GC)
1: Michael RISCHITELLI (GC)

 

MATCH OFFICIALS
UMPIRES: Jordan BANNISTER, Andrew STEPHENS, Ben RYAN, Scott JEFFERY
BOUNDARY: Aaron DECKYS, Nick WADE, Gareth HUGHES, Drew KOWALSKI
GOAL: Shaun APTED, Steven PIPERNO (and the review official who wanted and got airtime twice in the second quarter)

 

CROWD: 14071

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

Comments

  1. Rulebook says:

    Well done,Mick I am interested re the marathon how much harder is it re running in the warmer temperature ? Spot on re the saints travel woes.The Suns have to much talent to be down in the lower level of the ladder need better luck re injuries and keep there players.Two metre,Peter may well have the footy world asking how in the hell did he fall thru to draft choice number 8

  2. It really only got warm for me with about 10km to go which is where the legs also started to feel tight. Tending to stop at every water station can be both a help and a hindrance, for it’s so easy to take on too much fluid and to feel heavier in the stomach. Naturally it does help if you’ve trained for it in those conditions but it is a lot harder to be able to maintain the form that you want for longer periods. I know training for Canberra was affected when I tried to train late Sunday Afternoons when the air temperature was over 35 degrees. I found I needed to stop and have an extended rest after about 5km when I wanted to schedule three times that distance.

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