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Round 7 – Sydney v Geelong: Oh, ye of little faith!



Sydney v Geelong
7.25pm, Saturday 1 May



One week ago today, my brother Tony said to me, ‘We’ll beat Geelong next week, just you wait and see.’


This was just after Geelong had pummelled West Coast by 97 points, and the Suns showed just what they are capable of by thrashing the Swans by 40 points.


Tony’s bold prediction was certainly not shared by the experts, and I doubt many Bloods’ supporters would have agreed with him. I certainly didn’t. And the first 30 minutes on Saturday night at the SCG backed up my belief. Geelong smashed us in that first quarter and it was almost a matter of ‘how far’ when the first siren sounded.


Unable to get up to Sydney this weekend, due to illness, I had to make do watching it on Fox. I loathe watching my team live on television (too much tension), so always record the game, allowing me to fast forward or change channels when anxiety becomes too much to deal with.


So, this game was watched in probably the most bizarre way I’ve ever watched a game.


I started playing the recorded version half an hour into play. Persisted with the first quarter, then, a little disheartened, switched over to the Lions v Port Adelaide game.


Half an hour later, back to the SCG to watch the second quarter and the beginning of our pretty amazing comeback: goals to Warner, Gulden, Stephens, Florent and McInerney. Swans 5.1 to Geelong 1.3 for the term.


During the half-time break, it was back to the Lions game, occasionally oscillating between the two. With Geelong kicking the first goal of the third term, the anxiety became a bit much, so I started fast forwarding. Too frustrating, so over again to the Lions v Port.


Meanwhile at the SCG, the third quarter was pretty even, 3.4 to 3.2, with McLean impressing with his second goal, Hickey, definitely impressing with a grab out of the ruck and popping one through, and then Warner combining beautifully with McLean for another.


Four points down at the start of the fourth term, for some reason I found it all too much, and went to bed. I hadn’t been well for a few days, and just needed to rest.


Fat chance! On went the tele, and god knows how many times I changed channels and went fast forward in that final 30 minutes. As soon as our game went to ‘live’, and I wasn’t able to fast forward, it was back to Brisbane v Port.


In Sydney, with nine minutes left on the clock, and eight points down, the ball is spending a lot of time in the opposition’s forward half. Too much anxiety. Back to Brisbane v Port. Meanwhile, Sinclair is instrumental in passing out to Florent, 25 metres out, and we’re now 2 points behind. Geelong’s Hawkins misses. And again! With 3.58 minutes left, Dahlhaus marks on the goal line for them. We’re 10 points behind and things are looking glum. We now need two goals! The remote gets another working over. Over to Brisbane v Port.


Ten minutes later, back to the SCG. Rowbottom goals from 50 metres. Four points down. With just 1:24 minutes to go, Haywood takes a backward–running, game saving mark in Geelong’s forward line. Kicks to Lloyd, onto to Parker, to Cunningham, to Papley, to Sinclair, and back to Papley 20 metres out. GOAL! OMG! We’re ahead!


Geelong get it back into the forward line and, with nine seconds left, Cameron marks for them on the boundary line, next to the point post. Inevitable goal! Devastation! I turn the tele off and throw the remote onto the floor. Very profound swear words spurt forth.


A minute passes and my anxiety is at fever pitch. I think to myself How can I possibly sleep knowing that Geelong has won. I have to take another look. Retrieve the remote, and back to the recording. Watch the remaining pulsating seconds and, with all Swans’ fans, breathe an almighty sigh of relief. A minute later I burst into tears!


On Sunday morning, in a far more relaxed state, I watch the last three quarters all over again.


This was an unbelievable comeback by our boys. All the stats went Geelong’s way but, in the end, the players believed in each other, believed they could overcome a disastrous start, and believed they could win against all odds, against a top quality team. They simply found a way! You can’t help but love them.


And, as for Oh, ye of little faith, well I have learnt my lesson. And my brother was right, ‘We’ll beat Geelong next week, just you wait and see’.



Go Bloods!




SYDNEY           2.1       7.2       10.6      14.6 (90)
GEELONG        6.5       7.8       10.10    12.16 (88)


Sydney: McLean 4, Florent, Papley 2, Warner, Gulden, Stephens, McInerney, Hickey, Rowbottom
Geelong: Cameron 3, Rohan, Close 2, Miers, Menegola, Duncan, Hawkins, Dahlhaus


Sydney: Mills, Hickey, McLean, Florent, Rowbottom, McCartin
Geelong: Guthrie, Selwood, Duncan, Stewart, Cameron, Henry


Crowd: 29,123 at the SCG





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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. hey Jan what a fun way for you to watch the swannies play a game! quite unique! very funny indeed! thankyou for your un story and the great ending. A SWANS WIN woooohoooo

  2. Nick Kossatch says

    as a port man, I should have watched the final few minutes of the Bloods / Cats epic…

  3. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,I know exactly your emotions while watching our team The tension was too much.. I,too,was watching the Brisbane game. Late in the game I was about to flick over to our game for a score and Liz said: “Not yet” I was not aware she was checking live scores on her ipad. She is only too aware of my tendency to irrational behaviour when watching footy,especially our Swannies. When she said: “Ok,you can turn over now”,relief flooded my body. To think 2 responsible(seemingly) adults can be so emotionally effected by a game of foooy is testament to Mike Brady’s words in Up There Cazaly, .”….it’s more than a game” That’s my excuse!! Go Bloods.

  4. Daryl Schramm says

    With the Gabba game coming to an inevitable conclusion, I checked the score from Sydney. Close, so I went to Kayo on the phone. Six minutes left! Riveting for a neutral. I don’t have to imagine what it was like for the ‘diehards’ after reading this.
    Great story telling as usual Jan.

  5. I watched the final quarter of this exciting match and have to admit I was astounded Cameron wasn’t awarded that mark in the dying stages. That being said it would have been an exceedingly difficult shot at goal with every chance of a point or even out of bounds on the full. Geelong had it’s chance earlier when Tomahawk missed 2 very gettable shots at goal a little earlier, 1 a point and the other not registering any score. Full marks to the Swans for never ever throwing in the towel – a most enjoyable game to watch.

  6. Many thanks one and all, for your Comments. Much appreciated.

  7. Rulebook says

    Jan enjoyable read and I truly get it re your way of watching highlight for me was easily what the Swans put up on Facebook re Dylan Stephens family I admit I was emotional watching that

  8. Greg James says

    Well done Jan- at least you can watch part of the game live!! I tend to curl up in a foetal position, often in the bath!! Wish me luck- I’m taking 2 of my grandkids to the MCG on Saturday night for the Game of theYear!

  9. Richard Davis says

    I looked at my wife, curled up on the couch. Did that really happen? Demoralised by a rampant Geelong, Sydney worked away at the 27 or so lead and by half time the game was in the balance. Half way through the last quarter it was gone again.But they kept pushing forward when they were able, defended defiantly and snatched a great victory. Like Greg we’ll be at the G on Saturday, urging these youngsters on knowing that they will give their all.

  10. Keiran Croker says

    Oh Jan. Yes, it’s hard work at times. I can’t not watch. My anxiety is worse if I can’t see what’s happening. Like your brother I had faith we could match it with the Cats, though that faith was being tested by the first break. What a comeback, and you’ve got to love Tommy Papley!

  11. Another thank you to Rulebook, Greg, Richard and Keiran.

    I too will be at the G Saturday night, hoping our rapant win over Richmond can be repeated. Whatever the end result, we’re certainly on the move!

    Thanks you for your comments, and GO BLOODS!!

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