Round 9 – Geelong v Western Bulldogs: Raining cats and dogs


The round started with a tough one for tipsters and the teams. Both Geelong and the Dogs had a lot riding on this game. Geelong had lost 3 in a row after a perfect start and were criticised for lack of tackling. The Dogs had played three tight ones in a row with only one win. The Dogs hadn’t beaten Geelong at Geelong for years. In fact, they hadn’t beaten Geelong for yonks – period. And Beveridge hadn’t coached a winning side against them. I was really looking forward to it.


However, fate intervened and I wasn’t able to watch the game on TV until about 10pm. I had been asked to open up the old Marian Street Theatre on my way home from work. The ‘Save the Theatre’ committee wanted to do a quick photo shoot. I was happy to oblige and they took the hint that I had somewhere else to go that night. Little did they know I just wanted to watch the footy ‘live’ from the comfort of my own home and out of the rain that was coming down like cats and dogs.


As it turned out, the saviours came in handy. I inadvertently left my car headlights on. When I went to leave, the motor wouldn’t turn over. Fortunately I had some jumper leads and two of the group hooked me up to another car and got me going. However, we should have charged the battery longer. I just managed to get out of the car park but had no power once I turned on the lights. I drove for a while with no lights, then just parkers but the car kept stuttering. In the stop-start peak-hour traffic in pissing rain this was a nightmare. Finally old UDA gave up like Richmond minutes before the siren. I stopped her at the bottom of a hill on a clearway in a poorly lit area!


I put on the hazard lights and fearing that someone could easily ram into me, jumped out. For the next hour while I waited for the NRMA I watched with my heart in my mouth as cars came hurtling down the hill and nearly wiped themselves off trying to avoid old UDA.  Doesn’t anyone in Sydney drive slowly in wet weather? Once the NRMA came, I was told there was nothing they could do. The alternator had gone. I would have to be towed. But that could take another 90 minutes! I’d just had an operation on my eye (I am literally a one-eyed Dogs supporter at the moment) so with no light to speak of and rain drenching my credit card, I really struggled to give the NRMA my credit card details so that they could organise the tow. I was out of the ‘20k free ride’ zone so had to pay. In the end it was pure guess-work as the operator tried a few numbers until the ‘Approved’ notice came through.


About ten minutes later the constabulary arrived. They had been warned I was in trouble and so were other unsuspecting motorists. They had come to protect me with their flashing red and blue light because by now the hazard lights were dead.  No white light to accompany the red and blue but was it an omen? They stuck around in the comfort of their car for about 50 minutes while I stood out in the rain. Eventually they had to dash off to another call but it was only 10 minutes later that the tow-truck arrived.


Sitting up in the tow-truck cabin listening to the ridiculous truckie talk and exchanging ideas on a new car to buy with UDA dragging up the rear felt pretty cool. No fear of breaking down in the tunnel any more – I had already done that!


After the 25k drive across town we were fortunate to find a perfect parking spot right outside my local garage and the towie kindly dropped me home. Finally, a rub-down, a cuppa and a couple of biscuits (no dinner tonight) and I was ready for the game!


It was a cracking game played before more than 30,000 packed into the ground with the new Charles Brownlow stand being christened that night. The large Cats crowd were primed. The small Dogs crowd (the pathetic few who are allowed into ‘away’ games) were also geed up. The game lived up to all of its hype. Dangerfield kicked the first goal for the game but the Dogs bounced back. Wallis to Dickson for a goal, Bontempelli to Smith for a goal. Cockatoo to Blicavs for a goal. A miracle goal by Dangerfield off his left boot. Wallis was in everything. He took it from Hunter, got it to Suckling who passed to the Bont who proceeded to kick a shocker. Smith was great in defence. He passed to Lin Jong who got it to Boyd. Another goal. The Dogs were really strong in that first quarter and went in with a 9 point lead despite. The tackling for both teams was ferocious with Geelong laying more tackles for the first quarter than they had done for the whole of last week’s game.


However, things turned pear-shaped for the Dogs in the second quarter. They were held scoreless and almost touchless while the Cats piled on 5 goals. Taylor kicked a few and Dangerfield popped another brilliant one.


No-one could have predicted that in the third quarter the Dogs would do almost the same to Geelong – kick 6 goals in a row to erase a 32 point deficit and go into the final break with again a 9 point lead.  Hawkins scored the first with a strong tackle on Adams in the goal square (why Adams was told to play on I’m not sure) but Redpath replied with a gift goal from off the back of the pack. He followed it up with another. Then Wallis, then Webb. A terrific snap by Cloke and there was only one point in it. The Bont took a great mark and passed it to Boyd but only a miserable point resulted. Wallis laid a great tackle in the goal square and was rewarded with a goal.


Again, no-one could have predicted that the final quarter would be so dramatic and that Geelong would kick 7 goals to 2 to win comfortably in the end. Who could have predicted 22 out of 28 goals would be scored at one end with no wind blowing (according to the commentators anyway)? The fans in the new stand didn’t see a lot but at least they saw a victory. Crazy stuff, but an enthralling game with more than 200 tackles laid between both teams. Wallis made a great comeback but Dangerfield is mercurial. He was the difference between the two teams. He is a delight to watch with a couple of his goals impossible for anyone else.


So by midnight I had lost my car and the game. The Dogs sit uncomfortably now on 5-4, UDA sits uncomfortably outside the garage. My thoughts for the next week – footy, cars, footy, cars, footy, cars (copyright to the footy pies advertisement from a few years back acknowledged).


GEELONG                           3.0         8.5         9.5         16.8. 104

WESTERN BULLDOGS      4.3         4.3         10.8       12.9. (81)



Geelong: Taylor 5, Dangerfield 4, Menzel 2, Blicavs, Tuohy, Hawkins, J. Selwood, S. elwood
Western Bulldogs: Smith 2, Redpath 2, Wallis 2, Dickson 2, Boyd 2, Webb, Cloke


Geelong: Dangerfield, J. Selwood, Duncan, S. Selwood, Stewart, Taylor, Tuohy, Smith

Western Bulldogs: Wallis, Daniel, Jong, Murphy, Macrae, Dale, Boyd, Williams


Our Vote: Dangerfield, Wallis, J. Selwood

Umpires: Williamson, Jeffery, McInerney

Official crowd: 30,275 at Simonds Stadium


About Les Currie

I'm a passionate lifelong Bulldog supporter born and raised in Melbourne, After stints in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne I have now been in Sydney for the last 30 years. I have been involved in the arts all my life predominantly as a Theatre Producer and Manager with early stints in film and television. I am now getting back into writing and enjoying developing the character of Zuka the Flying Wonder Dog and working on a novel set in post '54 Footscray. When not working, writing, watching plays or movies or watching footy I'm at the beach or in the bush avoiding traffic.

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