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Round 23 – Sydney v Richmond: Keeping a lid on things

“This could be our second goal.” – Enemy supporter, 3rd quarter.


“They’re coming!” – Swans supporter, 4th quarter after The Enemy’s third goal.


There are times I need to have a little more faith in this team. Wandering over to the ground from Fox Studios with fellow Footy Almanac scribe Keiran, I had horrible reruns of Round 8 going on in my mind. A beautiful Spring afternoon in Sydney and we were top of the ladder but memories of that disastrous turnover in the forward line and that goal after the final siren were hard to shake. Knowing we had to win this one against a bogey side or drop to fifth place was a cloud hanging over me.


I needn’t have worried. By half-time it was clear this wasn’t the same mob that edged us out all those months ago. Not even close. The game was so one-sided you’d have been forgiven for thinking some of our supporters had come out in black and yellow jumpers for some sort of charity fund raiser hit out. By the last quarter some of the Swans fans in our block bizarrely started clapping whenever The Enemy got a mark, either out of sympathy or perhaps boredom who knows? Really, the closest The Enemy came to a hard hit was when their coach half-jokingly swiped a Hannebery adorned Gatorade bottle off the table during his post-match press conference.


Normally my notebook is full of comments with the occasional happy or sad face depending on the scoring. Yesterday I could barely keep up with the smiley faces and who was slotting them. McGlynn was a definite standout; you can almost taste his desire to get his hands on the premiership cup. Richards and Rohan were impressive too. Overall it was just a fantastic team effort not seen since we ripped Geelong apart two years ago. This doesn’t happen a lot with the Swans and you have to savour the moment when it does. The crowd were certainly into it with a three-lap Mexican wave around the SCG early in the third quarter.


If the first half put the game out of reach, the second was a race to see if Buddy could catch West Coast Eagles Josh Kennedy and win the Coleman. With four goals by half time, he’d racked up another three by early in the fourth quarter. Working his way up and down the field, arms frantically trying to conduct the Sherrin to him anytime it went anywhere near the forward fifty. Seven more goals was probably too much to hope for though and ultimately Horse decided to play things safe as Buddy and Rohan weren’t seen from around halfway through the last quarter. Once it was clear the Coleman was out of reach we switched to wanting to see Aliir score a goal. I’ve been very impressed with our debutant defender and he didn’t disappoint today, particularly with his strong fend off late in the game.


The Enemy managed a few junk time goals but from the outset it seemed they had the board shorts packed for the post-season holiday. Another season turned to dust. Their faithful must be a strong lot; it’d be a test of fortitude to keep coming back after years of dashed hopes.


So there we are, a 113 point thumping making a great bookend to what has ultimately been a very successful home and away season. As sad as it was to not see Goodes and Shaw out there this year where we’ve ended up has surpassed most of my expectations, with new talent not just emerging but slotting in as if they’ve been out there together for years. Defence is looking stronger, the ever reliable midfield, a forward line coming together nicely and most pleasingly sharing the scoring load around.


With the Hawks getting lucky tonight we’ll be steeling ourselves up for a trip out west against our cross-town rivals. After yesterday I have all the faith in the world we’ll get the job done.




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  1. Keiran Croker says

    Great summary Tom. It can be quite surreal when your team is thrashing another. I got to see the recorded game around mid week and it looked worse on tv – that is that we were playing a set of witches hats. I think we actually played really well, particularly early, then the Tigers players checked out.
    Good to catch up for a drink, pre and post game. I hope we are still live come prelim finals, so that I can come up.

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