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Round 5 – Sydney v Adelaide: Beware!

Sydney Swans v Adelaide Crows – Friday 20 April, 2018 7:50pm at SCG


It’s the Swans first Friday night game of the year at the SCG and its Heath “Reg” Grundy’s 242ndgame, which makes him our most prolific rookie player surpassing our Captain Courageous Brett Kirk. What a player Reg has become. Like a fine red wine from South Australia he has matured beautifully becoming a reliable defender who takes the opposition big guns.  However he is more than just reliable being a great user of the ball by hand or foot and a calming influence on our other defenders, who by the way are also predominantly off the rookie list. Well done Reg.


Speaking of fine red wine, I’ve settled in at my brother’s place with a Wirra Wirra Shiraz in hand. Will this be a relaxing, satisfying night in the lounge chair in front of the tv? Completing the SA theme, the Crow boys are in town to take us on.  All the pundits are backing an easy Swans win, as the Crows were thumped last week at home and are missing some key mid fielders and Eddie Betts up forward. Beware!


As you’d expect of a good side, last year’s runners-up, the Crows bounce out with intent and endeavour and are all over us at the beginning.  We just can’t get the ball and it’s trapped in their forward half, however the Crows fail to make a real dent on the scoreboard missing numerous opportunities. We scrap and scrape to get a few goals and go in only 12 points down, it could have been much worse. We are playing like a flagon of cheap chianti – rough and unsophisticated, very unsatisfying.


We start to get in to the contest in the second stanza, though the Crows big bodied mids are effectively blanketing our key midfielders, Kennedy and Parker while they have extras double teaming Buddy up forward.  Our defence is fighting the good fight and keeping us afloat with McVeigh, Rampe, Lloyd, Smith and Mills getting plenty of the ball. Our key avenue forward is via Isaac Heaney whose overhead marking is sensational. However we make little impact and the Crows extend the lead with several goals to big Josh Jenkins. We keep the deficit to a manageable 16 points at the main break, courtesy of a poor turnover by the Crows, which hands the ball to Jack who slots a fine running goal from the left boundary 30 seconds from the siren. This is not the evening I was looking for.  It’s bloody frustrating! The Crows are getting more out of their big forwards, Walker is prominent and they are dominating around the packs. We need to find something different after the break.


We mix it up with young Millsy moving in to the midfield and Parker spending more time up forward.  Buddy is playing higher up the ground.  Our pressure has increased markedly and we turn the tables with the ball camped in our forward line, however we struggle to score. We finally drag the deficit to less than a goal with snapped majors to Harry Cunningham and Gary Rohan, much to the applause of the partisan crowd of over 38,000. It seems like we now have the ascendency and will roll over them. However, Seedsman, who’s been prominent, scores a fine goal on the run via a counter attack.  The Crows go to the last break 9 points up. We have little to show for a dominant third quarter, however it looks like either team could prevail.


The Crows reverse the trend and quickly add three goals to grab the biggest lead of the game – 27 points. However, we are not defeated yet and push hard dominating the later part of the final quarter. We have numerous chances with Buddy and Heens missing set shots. A second goal to Gazza edges us closer. He then seems to get another with a soccer from the goal square, however it’s deemed to have been touched off the boot. We push and push and Georgie Hewett marks and goals. It’s a frenetic finish and we have chances though we can’t bridge the gap. It’s a 10 point win to the Crows.


In a game where we have not led but for a very brief period in the first quarter, we’ve got little from our champs and our forward structure has not functioned at all, we can’t say we deserved to pull off a win. Yet we have hung in and battled to the end, with good solid efforts from our defence, none better than Macca.  And Millsy has shown something on ball after half time.


I’m thinking of the Wirra Wirra Church Block Cab Sav Shiraz Merlot blend. With a number of key talls missing up forward for some time we are going to need to look for alternative mixes and structures to counter Buddy and the key mids being blocked out of games. I think we are up for it and am looking forward to how we tackle the big games ahead. Go Swans!



SYDNEY           3.3       6.6       8.9       10.15 (75)
ADELAIDE       4.9       8.10     9.12     12.13 (85)


Rohan 2, Jones, Towers, Florent, Franklin, Heeney, Jack, Cunningham, Hewett
Adelaide: Walker 4, Atkins 3, Jenkins 3, Seedsman, Gallucci


Sydney: Lloyd, Rampe, McVeigh, Jones
Walker, Laird, Seedsman, Jenkins, Atkins, Talia


Sydney: Nil
Adelaide: Hartigan (hamstring)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Donlon, Haussen, Meredith

Official crowd: 38,017 at the SCG



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. Hi Keiran
    Bit of a bummer wasn’t it! Certainly had our chances in the last quarter, but, contrary to previous weeks’ efforts, our accuracy let us down. And three posters! Just wasn’t our night. And, as soon as Collingwood beat Adelaide last week I just knew we’d lose this one.

    Hopefully “we’ll do an Adelaide” against the Cats next Saturday!

    Cheer cheer

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