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Round 5 – Richmond v Sydney: Go the Mighty Bloods – I love you, win or lose!

Richmond v Sydney

7:25pm, Saturday April 20




How many synonyms are there for “turnovers”? Quite a few actually, but they all relate to business productivity, output and production. If these were applied to the Swans on Saturday night, the balance sheet would indeed have registered a major monetary loss.

Instead, we could use terms such as errors, mistakes, faults, howlers, blunders, miscalculations…the list is inexhaustive, and we certainly carried each of them out to perfection. So perfect in fact, that 11 of the opposition’s 12 goals resulted from footy’s version of turnovers.

If I were a Richmond supporter I’d probably be raving on about the pressure we’d put on the opposition, forcing the errors, but, thankfully the Yellow and Black is not a part of my history. Instead, all I could see were Swans’ mistakes. Our current Bobby Skilton medallist, Jake Lloyd; so consistent and reliable across half-back, set the trend in the first quarter, kicking straight into the arms of Rioli for their first goal. Formidable players such as Luke Parker, Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills all added to the frustration of Swans’ fans, literally giving the ball to Richmond players, as if mesmerized by the ability of their opponents to capitalise on the Bloods’ blatant mistakes. As time went on, it became infectious.

By half time the game was almost over, the second quarter onslaught from Richmond doing the damage. Leading by 33 points at the main break, I was hoping some miracle would take place in the remaining hour’s play. After all, I’d had a really good feeling about this match all week, truly believing we could turn it around for a surprise upset. There had certainly been plenty over this Easter weekend.

At half time my brother Tony phoned me. He was with his son, Sam, watching from the ground level, in amongst Richmond supporters. Complaining of their ridiculous booing every single time our players touched the ball – let alone when they got a free – I asked him why he hadn’t moved, to sit with his own mob. “Because I find their comments funny”, he replied. Then he told me about one guy who, every time the ball came near Buddy, screamed out, the veins in his face almost exploding, “Your nothing but a girl Franklin, you’re just a girl!” Original?! At least it wasn’t racist, but the implications were pretty obvious as to his interpretation and understanding of the roles of men and women in today’s society.

I didn’t feel in the mood to wander all the way from our Level 3 seats to join them, so just pondered what might be in store for my under–siege team this year. I reminded myself of 2017 and how we fought back from our 0–6 win loss ratio to start the season, and ended up playing finals. You just can’t really dismiss the Bloods, despite the fact that so many of our players are still learning the game and in their first or second year of senior footy. I also kept reminding myself of our success these past couple of decades, and how lucky I had been to have attended the majority of the matches and be a part of that success.

Alas, the second half miracle wasn’t to be, even though our effort – especially the last quarter – was to be admired. We certainly didn’t give up, and kept pushing right up till the siren, outscoring them in the second half 6.5 to 4.6. Our possession count was remarkable – a total of 464 – with Jake Lloyd leading the way with 38, but if ever those numbers were to highlight that possession of the ball means very little, Saturday night’s game was the perfect example.

A good opposition will always pounce on their prey’s mistakes, and that was the story of the night.

So, what’s next in my Swans journey, now that I’m a Melburnian? Sounds strange, and I don’t feel like one yet, but it’s a gradual process I imagine. Just like the improvement of a footy team. It takes time, and patience.

We’ve decided to drive to Sydney for the game against the Giants next Saturday. Will leave Friday morning, and come back Sunday. I have no gut feeling about the match, except that I hope the Giants play as they did this weekend (losing badly to Freo in Canberra), and that we respond in front of our home crowd, with a glorious red and white victory!

Go the mighty Bloods, I love you, win or lose. Isn’t that what supporting a team means?



RICHMOND   3.3   9.5  11.9  13.11 (89)
SYDNEY        2.1   4.2   6.3     10.7 (67)

Richmond: Martin 3, Caddy 2, Lambert 2, Balta 2, Rioli, Ellis, Baker, Castagna
Sydney: Franklin 4, Heeney 2, Papley, Kennedy, Parker, Reid

Richmond: Edwards, Martin, Prestia, Stack, Vlastuin, Higgins
Sydney: Parker, Kennedy, Rampe, Lloyd, Franklin

Crowd: 40,053



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. Joe De Petro says

    Love your passion, Jan. I look forward to the obligatory “Swans recover from a poor start” reviews that won’t be too far away. I thought they were good on Saturday night.

  2. You were better! Thanks Joe

  3. Donna McGrath says

    So nice to read some more of your thoughts on our mighty team. I, like you were hoping and praying they could turn things around in the second half, but it wasn’t to be. Turnovers were the killer. But, onward to victory. Cheer,cheer the red and the white ALWAYS.

  4. Hi Donna
    Thanks for your comment. What more is there to say other than Cheer Cheer the Red and the White ALWAYS!!

  5. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,tad late with response,but I must endorse your reference to turnovers. I don’t recall a Swans game when almost the entire score of the opposition resulted from our stuff-ups. In part due to Richmond’s pressure,but also our less experienced players were a tad off the mark. I was encouraged by,and enjoyed,our fight till the end. Re the opposition fans’ behaviour,our species can become quite irrational when adrenaline takes over.

  6. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    I too had had a good feeling about that one, Jan.

    Turnovers always seems to speak of doubt. Yes, skills and pressure too, but often doubt. That split second that means pressure counts. Like the drivers who get smashed up on the laneless Place Charles de Gaulle which circles the Arc de Triomphe. She who hesitates is stuffed.

    It may be off piste and a little wafty, but I feel like they need a joy injection. Not sure Horse is up to that.

  7. Thanks Tony and Mathilde

    A joy injection, indeed, Mathilde! We all need that, I must say – what a happier world we would inhabit!

    Cheer Cheer

  8. In reference to turnovers, the only ones i really appreciate are the APPLE TURNOVERS from our local bakery – delicious.

  9. Keiran Croker says

    Thanks Jan, yes … win or lose we will continue to support our Bloods! I agree with Mathilde … an injection of joy, playing instinctively. They look like they are afraid to make a mistake, and are second guessing what they need to do. Play with abandon!

  10. That’s funny, Fisho!

    Thanks Kieran. Go the Bloods

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