Round 7 – Sydney v Brisbane: Bouncing Back

1.10pm, Sunday 07 May
SCG, Sydney

Daniel Saunders (age 15)

It’s been a long week. I am now in Year 9 and next week is my assessment block, where the tests roll on like a Buddy long bomb. With commerce, science, history and maths assessments, on top of NAPLAN, I was feeling burdened with an almighty force. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

To put the icing on the stress I have felt for the week, on Friday, I was taken ill. Great timing too. Not only was it just before my exams, but it put me in significant doubt that I would pull up in time to go to the footy on Sunday.

With a sore throat and massive fever, I was feeling awful and dejected. But I just kept plugging away, taking note after note after agonising note and studying all day on Friday and Saturday, until my brains fell out of my head.

By some miracle, on Sunday, I feel a lot better. I have no fever or sore throat, and just a minor blocked nose. There is nobody to stop me from going to the football. I have pulled off a remarkable comeback and managed to bounce back. Much like my beloved Swans today.

My father, mother and little sister are with me. Being 0-6, this game against Brisbane will be our best chance to get our season back on track. The Lions do not look like they will win a lot of games this year, so I fancy our chances. But we cannot take anything for granted this season, because lose this, and we will be left with little chance of playing in spring.

It doesn’t take long before the returning McVeigh finds Buddy lace-out for the opening goal. Where was this decision-making from Macca that we have missed the first six rounds?

The Swans don’t hold back either. They manage to kick seven goals before quarter time, with Buddy managing to score one from 75 metres out on the run. Things are looking up!

It starts looking very ominous for the Lions in the second term, when Harry Cunningham boots two in as many minutes. But they keep putting in the effort. Their defence is a lot stronger, and their run and carry is way smoother. Unfortunately for them, we have all the answers, and Buddy adds two more to his ever-growing tally against the run of play. We have a 44-points advantage at the main break.

The second half starts well poised, with the first seven majors going goal-for-goal, the highlight being Zak Jones with his thunderous run and booming, team-lifting goal. That’s when Buddy turns it on again. A free kick goes his way fifty metres off the ball courtesy of Nick Robertson. Buddy converts, and has a bag of seven at the final change. I start hoping that he will kick a bag of ten by the final siren.

My parents continually pester me that the Swans have it in the bag, and that we should leave. My response? A blunt no. I want to soak up the atmosphere and feel the winning feeling I have not felt in the longest time. The fourth quarter is a little bit of a slugfest. It isn’t until the six-minute mark when young Will Hayward(my father keeps annoying me by calling him Tom) puts through his second major. Now I just want us to win and win well in order to boost our percentage.

This isn’t helped by the fact that the Lions score the next three goals. Seven goals split the two sides. Just win by over fifty points please! Sinclair answers my call. He steps to the plate and kicks his second goal in his 50th game. 48 points. And what better man to kick the winning goal than Lance Franklin? He takes a solid mark, plays on and ices the game with a monster. Trademark Franklin. We win by 54 points. Doesn’t even matter to me anymore. We got the four points. I am thrilled. The traffic back home was well worth it.

Much like me with my sickness, the Swans have bounced back when they needed to. We are still a great team. Heeney was a major factor throughout the game, while Zak Jones’ run and carry was something to behold. And then there was Buddy. He is well and truly in a class by himself. It’s taken him one game and he is already equal third on the Coleman tally.

We may need to win our next three to get back into contention, but when you get an opportunity to celebrate, then do so while you can. Never count Sydney out. We have newfound confidence. I am backing us in. Never count Sydney out. Watch out in the second half of the season. We have what it takes to bounce back.

SYDNEY                       7.5    12.10    17.13    20.15 (135)
BRISBANE LIONS       2.0      6.2         9.5       12.9 (81)

Franklin 8; Hayward, Sinclair, Cunningham 2; Towers, Kennedy, Heeney, Parker, Jones, Hannebery
Brisbane Lions: Lester, Schache, Rockliff 2; Zorko, Close, Berry, Barrett, Keays, Robertson

Franklin, Jones, Heeney, Parker, Hannebery, Lloyd
Brisbane Lions: Rockliff, Paparone, Martin, Andrews, Zorko

UMPIRES: Fisher, Margetts, Dalgleish                                          CROWD: 25,619

OUR VOTES: Franklin (Syd) 3, Jones (Syd) 2, Rockliff (Bris) 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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