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Round 7 – Sydney v Essendon: Dynamic Duo

History and entertainment are littered with partnerships that just work. Simon and Garfunkel’s idyllic harmonies and guitars. Sherlock Holmes and Watson stalking criminals through the London fog. Statler and Waldorf ripping into everything the way almost every pair of mates does at every footy game at every dodgy call.


Well on Saturday the Swans added their own. Cue stage call for ‘The Buddy and Heeney Show.’


There were rumblings of it early on in what was largely a dismal and frustrating half of football. Flashes of brilliance that made you glad you’d come to the SCG on a smoky, chilly Saturday afternoon; Heeney’s leap, Buddy outfoxing The Enemy to find space.


Last week’s game against the Lions had been a wakeup call and I wanted, no expected, the Swans to come out breathing fire. Instead it was a case of fumbling fingers, kicking to unwinnable contests, overusing the handball and playing on to a man under pressure. The Enemy in contrast found space and targets at will; slipping through the defence and breaking away with quick bursts down the wing. We looked vulnerable and in one cut up to the coaching box Longmire appeared as exasperated as we all sounded.


So pockets of brilliance, but no rhythm, no overall concerto of disposal. What should’ve been midfield crescendo rising to goal line climax was instead off-key notes and miscued timing. As soon as we had the upper hand we threw it away with infuriating over-creativity.  At quarter time we should’ve been four goals up. Instead The Enemy were merely a kick away. Early in the second they were ahead courtesy by exploiting gaps the size of Brazil in our zoning.


Heeney’s strong grab and goal sparked a minor revival. Tippett shambled the ball out of the centre for Buddy to mark. Perhaps confused by the Swans sudden energy one umpire said play on, the other said not to. Either way the six points were never in doubt. Parker and Hanners were slowly working their way into the game and our forward pressure went up a notch. Before long though there was another retreat into the back fifty. It must be some sort of collective ritual to test out not only the defence but also the nerve of the crowd, as if to say ‘how much of this pressure can you take before you abandon the ground yelling in frustration?’


Late behinds from Tippett and Sinclair put some daylight between us and The Enemy by half time. Not exactly what we would call classic play. Or completely classic depending on the year you were comparing it to.


There’s a certain point in recent games when Buddy gets this “I’m sick of being held on to and double teamed. And you know what? There’s an empty spot on the shelf for another Coleman” mindset. I wouldn’t want to be playing on the bloke but watching him work up a head of steam and bulldoze over the opposition is very inspirational. It certainly revved the team up and from that point early in the third quarter The Enemy no longer looked the dominant threat they were in the first. What seemed to be happening was a shootout between Buddy and Heeney with cameos from the likes of Jack, Sinclair, Tippett and Papley.


That’s not to say the basics of football were suddenly mastered. Hospital handpasses and errant kicks still flavoured the play. But having spent their tokens on attack in the first half The Enemy were now shoring up their defence and most of our mistakes were recoverable. And with Buddy roaming around at will, completely in his domain, there wasn’t much stopping the scoreboard rapidly racking up.


Time then, rather than defence, was the factor now. How many more would Buddy get? Would Heeney catch him? Sadly neither happened. Buddy had the ball on the siren and his attempt for goal number seven went awry. Heeney left stranded at five.


All up then a very comfortable win and a great day to watch this new goal kicking partnership develop.  The next three games though will be interesting for us. Fast starts and more polish are required and definitely some more of that dynamic duo.


  1. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Shamble makes a very nice verb, Tom.
    Isaac and Lance rang a little of O’Loughlin and Hall.

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