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Round 5 – Sydney v GWS: Whatever it Takes


Speaking too Soon

Sydney Swans vs GWS

7:25pm. Saturday 22 April

SCG, Sydney

Daniel Saunders (aged 15)


It was only 3 weeks ago that I had turned 15, and for my birthday, my father gave me tickets so that we could go to the 12th instalment of the Sydney Derby. As the Swans were only 0-2 at that point in time, I was expecting a lot from our young side.

A month later, we find ourselves 0-4, chasing history to make finals, needing to bounce back. As my dad and I are walking to the SCG, I am not expecting us to win. But I also do not expect that we will go down without a fight. We are not that sort of team. I do expect that we will play a lot better now that the cavalry in Kurt Tippett, Isaac Heeney and Gary Rohan have come.

The first four minutes are a blur. We are out of the blocks extremely early, and kick four goals in that small period of time, and the Enemy has not even racked up a possession yet. The atmosphere is electric. The Swans fans around me are just as pumped as I am.

Now I am starting to think that if we keep up this intensity, we may actually pull through with a win. And this is the Giants we are talking about. But you can’t keep a good team down. After five behinds, they then punish us for some sloppy turnovers across half-forward, and their overlap running really hurts us. When Stevie J runs onto one and kicks a clinical opportunist goal, the Giants hit the lead. Cameron then slots one a minute later, and they are up by 10 points. It’s like that those first four minutes weren’t even there, as we only score one behind after that point in time.

The second quarter is just an onslaught. The Giants just dominate general play, and we just cannot stop them. Even when we kick to a contest on the outer side, it just goes straight back in thanks to their explosive run and carry through the centre of the ground. Luke Parker misses an easy set shot, and that pretty much sums up the quarter, in which we manage only three behinds, to be trailing by 32 at half-time.

Although it is do-able, the Swans do not look like getting the ball in their forward half, let alone come back from this deficit. But we score the first two in three minutes of the second half, and the margin is back to 20. Unfortunately, the Enemy hit right back with two of their own, to make it over 5 goals once more. But the Swans are not over and out. Lance Franklin boots goal 799, and Luke Parker makes up for the one he missed in the second term. Buddy misses an opportunity for his 800th just before the siren, and the Giants start missing some easy set shots. Suddenly, the margin of 22 points seems feasible.

It isn’t. The Giants just capitalise on every chance they get, and we cannot take a trick. The final margin is 42 points, a lot more than what I expected. The only real highlight apart from those first four minutes was Lance Franklin finally kicking his 800th goal late in the final quarter. A well-deserved milestone for a lifelong champion of the game.

But we have ultimately gone down by seven goals. That simply does not cut it for finals, added to the fact that we are now zip-and-five. Our reinforcements did not stand up at all – Tippett was dominated by Mummy all day in the ruck, and gathered just the five touches. Isaac Heeney and Gary Rohan showed glimpses of class, but made some costly mistakes that resulted in goals.

I really don’t see how McVeigh and Rampe will make a difference, considering how low this team is. Remember how I said we will lose, but then bring ourselves back up? Well, now that we have lost, I am now thinking that maybe it is too big a task. Maybe I spoke too soon. Maybe finals is a long shot for us. I really don’t know.

One thing is for sure, we certainly cannot blame injuries for our result on Saturday. Our good players have been inconsistent, and our overall form has been poor. I guess we will just have to wait and see whether we can salvage something from the fire. Reach in and pull something out. Whatever it takes. Anything that brings us back to our brand of footy that we play so well, I am all ears.

SYDNEY                                                 4.1   4.4    8.7      9.9 (63)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY  5.5   9.6  11.11  15.15 (105)


Greater Western Sydney: Greene 4, Cameron 2, Smith 2, Patton, Lobb, Johnson, Ward, Tomlinson, Williams, S.Reid

Sydney: Franklin 3, Tippett, J. Kennedy, Papley, Rohan, Sinclair, Parker



Greater Western Sydney: Mumford, Scully, Greene, Cameron, Haynes, Williams, Davis

Sydney: Kennedy, Hannebery, Lloyd, Jones


Umpires: Deboy, Meredith, Ryan                                                    Official crowd: 34,824


Our Votes: Shane Mumford (GWS) 3, Jeremy Cameron (GWS) 2, Toby Greene (GWS) 1

About Daniel Saunders

I have been an AFL fanatic and Swans supporter for most of my life, much to the dismay of those around me; they never hear the end of it! What else do you expect from New South Wales school life?

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