Round 15 – Sydney v Melbourne: Well, doesn’t that break your heart. No, mate, not my heart!


It’s 4.30 Thursday and footy is about to start. Actually, it doesn’t seem to have stopped. Day in, day out, at all sorts of strange hours of the day. With plenty of lockdown time on our hands in Melbourne, who cares! Do I record it? Do I watch it live? Recording wins out.


At 5pm we settle in, and believe it or not, the sun is still shining outside. Spring has certainly arrived this week and despite the doom and gloom of lockdown, I must admit I do look forward to the footy.


Marshall asks “Where is it being played?”.


Do I mute it? Do I listen? Depends on the commentators. At least it’s not Bruce McAvaney or Brian Taylor, so I give it a go.


The Swans start well, with goals to James Rowbottom (great tap from Hayward) and Sam Wicks, and with Melbourne still yet to score a major half way through the quarter, my non–muting instinct hadn’t seemed such a good idea. Dermott Brereton: “…and there’s predictability. They are all on the same page, the Sydney Swans – you love unpredictable play from the key forwards, but you love predictability as a crumbing player – where’s the ball going? At the other end, there’s no predictability for the crumbing players to go and get the crumbs – it was very predictable by the Swans where they knew they had to go to get the crumbs”.


“Where are they playing?”, asks Marshall.


Perhaps Brereton’s words inspire Melbourne, as two goals are added before the end of the quarter.


With a three–point deficit, our second term is magnificent. Luke Parker, in one of his best games this year, snaps a goal from 15 metres, Hayden McLean, our up and coming ruckman, adds another, Will Hayward, over his goal–kicking yips, kicks truly from the boundary line, Tom Papley and Justin McInerney combine for another, followed by the young McInerney’s second and our fifth consecutive for the term. 28 points ahead at the main break.


Fast forwarding to the third term, Marshall asks “What ground are they playing at?”



As Melbourne goal from a 50–metre penalty, their next opportunity hits the post. Now it’s Dwayne Russell’s turn to remind us of the bleeding obvious: “Wow, what a moment that might be!”


Three quarter time sees a goalless term from the Swans, and with much talk about the breeze, our boys will have it for the final 20 minutes. We’re 21 points up at the break.


“Do you know the result of this game?” Marshall asks me, as I fast forward the ads.

“No, darling, it’s being played now, live”, I reply.


It’s so good seeing Ryan Clarke having an impact and Lewis Taylor back in the team, and I’m impressed with Harry Cunningham’s performance – he’s been thoroughly reliable all year. Luke Parker kicks his second for the game, 40 metres out on an angle, a direct result of good play by Justin McInerney. Dwayne Russell then informs us: “And this tells me the kid has a big, big career, as somebody who can kick to advantage, going forward.” Agree, but isn’t that what one is to assume any good player can do/does?


A few minutes later, just before Harms goals for Melbourne, with 12 minutes left, our friend Dermie is at it again: “It’s just a small thing that you want, you want unpredictability the way you win the ball, but when your teammate has it, you want his predictability so you know how best to win the next possession.” Wow! I certainly know a lot more now about predictability and unpredictability!


“Do you know the result of this game?” Marshall asks.

“No, darling, it’s live.”

“Where is it being played?”



Steven May adds another for the Demons. Can they get three goals in eight minutes? Of course they can! Bloody hell! 50 metres! What for? Melbourne’s Langdon lines up 25 metres out – almost straight in front – he misses! Great relief!


I can’t bear it, have to go fast forward. With play six times normal speed, I can pick out Lewis Taylor running, extremely fast, toward goal – YES!!! I scream. I rewind and watch it properly, YES!!! I scream again. With 4.50 remaining on the clock and 20 points up, Max Gawn marks 20 metres out. Dermie: “Bang it through big fella!” He misses. Then, to top off the commentary, comes the best of all. “Well, doesn’t that break your heart”, spurts Dwayne Russell.


“No mate, not my heart, my heart is mightily relieved, my heart is dancing for joy, it is far from bloody broken, you idiot!” I yell at the television.


Paps misses the easiest goal he’ll ever attempt, with the worst shot he’ll ever attempt, but when Melbourne kick out straight into the arms of Ryan Clarke, for our 10th goal, victory is assured. Cheer, cheer rings around Cazaly Stadium in Cairns – the strangest of places for an AFL game – but it is a delight to hear.


It is also a delight to have seen the young kids performing to their best again. Each week, win or lose, they have shown we are on the right path. Each week at least one of them has shone. Whether it’s been Elijah Taylor, Sam Wicks, James Bell, Matthew Ling, Zac Foot, Haydn McLean, Dylan Stephens, Jackson Thurlow, and this week Justin McInerney, they have been a pleasure to watch all year. And what has also been a pleasure, and not just when we’ve won, is that we’ve managed without up to a third of our more experienced players, due to injury. Tonight, with no Buddy Franklin, Dane Rampe, Isaac Heeney, Callum Mills, Sam Naismith and George Hewett, we still played to our strengths, and for the majority of the game dominated yet another finals aspirant. GWS a few weeks back, then apart from part of the first quarter, against Port last week, and now Melbourne. Great stuff.


Friday morning I decide to watch the game again. Marshall joins me.

“Do you know the result of this game?”, he asks.

“Yes, I only ever watch replays of games we’ve won, not lost. Do you remember watching this one last night?” (Oops! Silly question!)

“No, who won?”

Isn’t it wonderful that he gets to see so many games for the very first time, every time, and can look forward to a win! If only he remembered them!


Go Bloods!



SYDNEY                       2.0       7.2       7.4       10.7 (67)
MELBOURNE              2.3       2.4       3.7       6.10 (46)


 McInerney 2, Parker 2, Rowbottom, Wicks, McLean, Hayward, Taylor, Clarke
Melbourne: Brayshaw, Spargo, Neal-Bullen, Harmes, May, Brown

Parker, Kennedy, Lloyd, McInerney, Blakey, Taylor, Rowbottom
Melbourne: Langdon, Tomlinson, Gawn, Petracca, Brayshaw 



To read more from Jan, click HERE


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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. There’s a lot to look forward to with these Swannies Jan. It was great to see Lewie Taylor back and playing well.

  2. Hi Shayne. I remember, very vividly, commenting that that young guy Lewie Taylor (in his first game at the Lions) was going to be a beauty! He was for a year, then what happened? I really like him and hope he’ll settle in well and contribute as we know he can. Thanks

  3. Keiran Croker says

    Thanks Jan. Yes, getting ready to watch our home game from Cairns at 4:30pm on a Thursday evening certainly let’s us know it’s a crazy year. I’m living at my Mum’s and looking after her in lockdown. She is always asking me where the footy is being played and if it’s live. She knows how the Swans are doing based on my level of animation.
    It was another fine performance from our boys from the usual suspects down to the newbies. I’m pleased to see Clarke and Thurlow doing well to add to the mix.
    At last year’s preseason function in Melbourne I got a chance to have a good chat with Tom Harley. I asked him about the recruits and he said that while he was reluctant to single anyone out he did say he thought McInerney was outstanding and would be a very good player. Let’s hope he is right!

  4. Daryl Schramm says

    Oh Jan. That response to Derm’s comment is gold. And I can also relate to the QandA with Marshall when I’m with my mum, except it is about the time, weather and other mundane subjects but not the footy. I watched a bit of possibly the worst game ever Port v NM at 2 x speed to minimise the frustration. It’s a handy gadget.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Enjoyed watching this game from Cairns, have spent a little bit of time there when a mate lived up there for a while (saw Stuart MacGill take a five for and Darren Lehmann smash a ton in a Test match at that ground). There’s a strong Aussie Rules community and competition in Cairns, reckon it might be a better place for the AFL to push into than other places they’ve tried.

    Great win by the Swans!

  6. Jan good to see,East Adelaide SAPSA player,Will Hayward continue to impress ( I hear a rumor he was superbly coached ) Jan dementia frustrating,demoralizing,shattering and at times amusing immense respect thank you

  7. Keiran: Hope all is OK living at your Mum’s. We certainly have much to look forward to in the years to come, and hope that the kids progress as all Bloods people hope! Take care

    Thanks Darryl: Yes, there certainly are plenty of the mundane as well! The fast forward gadget is one of the best inventions, ever!

    Luke: I don’t recall that particular test match – though I probably would have watched in on tele. Can’t wait for some real cricket! Thanks.

    Rulebook: I love Will Hayward – have since he came on board – so thank for the superb coaching! Yes, dementia, in all it’s insidious forms, is everything you say. Thanks.

  8. Richard Davis says

    I was going to write a review of the Sydney v Melbourne match, but as I read yours, Jan, there is little more that I could add. Derm’s commentary is like an elderly gent trying to remember the past, but forgetting most of it. He is the master of the blooming obvious, still, I think he pips BT on the post.
    Of the team, I am very excited by the current crop of young players and by the quality of the coaching in a very difficult season. McInerney and Rowbottom are standouts but young Wicks looks a real goer.
    Can’t wait for tonight! Go Bloods!

  9. Hi Richard
    Many thanks for commenting. Yes, we have a lot to look forward to. We’ve been so fortunate: success over the past 20+ years, a few years of enjoying the transitioning, and, hopefully, more success to come. Go Bloods and Cheer cheer!

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