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Round 6 – Brisbane v Sydney: No Time To Relax

Ah, Queensland – ‘Beautiful one day, perfect the next.’ When Willem Janszoon, the Dutch navigator became the first European to reach terra firma in Queensland (and Australia) in 1606, the wonderment and marvel must have been mindboggling. The place is the epitome of paradise. Well, usually.


History is littered with smatterings of southerners migrating north to experience this slice of paradise, the endless summer. In 1889, Banjo Paterson pondered the whereabouts of his old shearing and droving cobber – Clancy, of the Overflow. He received a reply shortly after, claiming that ‘Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.’ Almost 100 years later, Warwick Capper’s bleached blonde locks and penchant for cut-off denim hot pants also navigated their way north to the Sunshine State. There must be a reason.


Well, Clancy & Wiz, I don’t blame you. One can easily lose oneself up there. You see, I’ve fallen in love with this spot myself – not quite droving – and thankfully not adorning any hot pants – I’ve just been holidaying in Noosa.


Upon our arrival, as the newly hired Hyundai whirred past the mangroves and everglades nestled along the unfamiliar road from Maroochydore to Noosa, it hits me. We’re a week too early. Never before has disappointment struck with such ferocity, as I realise that the Swannies will be visiting just seven days after we leave (this disappointment was surpassed a few days later, when we visited the ‘untouched and unloved since 1983’ Big Pineapple). Despite this discrepancy in the diary, spirits remained high; how could they not, we were on holidays!


The Swannies however, are on no vacation. As per usual, when our boys travel, it’s all business. This match also sees a homecoming of sorts, as our fourth debutante for the year returns to the city of his youth. It’s a youth not experienced by most. Aliir Aliir was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where he spent his first eight years with his South Sudanese family. His story is exceptional. His debut will prove to be impressive. He fell for the game as a kid at the Aspley Hornets – “I went to training and asked the coach if you are allowed to take a hanger and he said ‘take as many as you can as long as you grab it’. Ever since then, I have been going out on the weekend and trying to take hangers.” Here’s to a career filled with hangers in the red and white – Cheer, cheer Aliir Aliir.


The rain today is surprising, as a few days into our northern recess, I temporarily feared that my Tasmanian winters would now be filled with regular daydreaming episodes of ‘Queensland longing’. I also feared my long held notion of embracing the meteorological variety that each season brings, may have been savagely crushed like the ice served in my poolside pina coladas. However, as much as I love our sunburned country, I simply cannot handle a sunburned Joe. My home is much more complementary to my Irish complexion.



Riding the wave of a long footy season means encountering a variety of conditions. This match starts in driving rain that’s contradictory to the experience of my recent visit. The match begins with the Lions on top. Before the Bloods can get a grasp of the Sherrin, the locals have kicked two and are enjoying the early momentum. Our first of the day arrives via Benny McGlynn as he finishes in a manner that belies the slipperiness. Buddy looks like a man in total control of his talent as he rises above the rest in a supreme early display. George Hewett matches Buddy’s three first-term goals and looks at home at this, the highest of football levels.


A second term challenge from the home side, sees Hanners – today’s 150-game milestone man – do as he seemingly always does. Our courageous number four is leading the way around the clearances, something he has done for our Swans since he first flew in and flew out as a Xavier schoolboy. Life membership is deservedly now his, and as the youngest Swan to reach the milestone, there are sure to be many, many more. Tommy and Joey are equally up to the task and the second term provides somewhat of a stalemate.


This state doesn’t need to ration their sunshine, and our Bloods do not ration any hardness. But, at times today, supplies seem unusually low. The sun finally shines after halftime and so do the home team. Tippo however, is continuing to cultivate his craft in the ruck with superb results. Today calls for physicality and our ruckman obliges. It’s tough in the clinches and we’re far from having things our own way. There’s certainly no sign of holiday-makers in the guts of the Gabba.


The final term begins and we’re clinging to an eight-point lead. The holiday was much more relaxing than this. As the final siren draws near, an unthinkable loss enters my mind. Could this be the most deflating moment since I inexplicably and most publicly fell (twice) from my paddleboard into the Noosa lagoons? Our young team’s young leader stands up when it matters most however, and Luke Parker delivers an inspiring finish to the match. Now, that’s a bloke who deserves some well-earned R & R. But it’s only Round 6, and although we win, there’s still much work to do.


Life’s not always sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but one must enjoy it when it is. We’ve won five from six, and a Queensland holiday ensured space to breathe and the capacity to contemplate. This makes any break from the everyday, imperative. Our boys are far from holiday mode though and Hanners is chaired while Aliir is cheered as our Sydney Swans emerge victorious. Just like Noosa, a vision splendid.



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About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. jan courtin says

    Pity you couldn’t have planned holiday and footy to coincide!

    Yes, an unthinkable loss entered my mind too, but only for a fleeting second.

    Now we need to win by heaps next week, to up the percentage. Shouldn’t be cocky though, or hopefully the players won’t be.

    Cheer Cheer

  2. Joe Moore says

    Almost got the holiday and the footy to coincide, Jan!

    The boys are playing well, here’s hoping for another good win.

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