Round 9 – St Kilda v Geelong: Old Dog observes




It’s raining outside. Tomorrow’s match in Irrewillippe Recreation Reserve, 20 minutes out of Colac will be boggy.


Paddy Ryder is a ruckman. Many current AFL ruckmen are ruck rovers. Paddy is a RUCKMAN! That’s what’s good, if sometimes dated, about him.


Joel Selwood is no longer what he was. But who is? He still stands in the right places. Is of value. Though some umps are onto his head ducking.


St Kilda have a very solid midfield.


Geelong run it out of defence better than anybody. Fullback line, half back, who cares? If they get it, next contest; deep wing or half forward.


A bit like basketball.


St Kilda midfield put ripping pressure on. Ripping! That Geelong forwards only broke away for five minutes in a whole game, despite all that run out of defence speaks volumes.


My little girl loves the local footy. Kids everywhere, freedom, chaos. Netball, footy. 100 pairs of eyes looking out for her. It’s just plain healthy.


St Kilda’s backline look like accountants. Yet tonight they played with passion.


Zach Tuohy and Tom Stewart are brothers form the same hipster mother. If one of them gets a clean touch, so does the other. It’s Worsfold/McKenna all over again. Only hairier.


Jack Henry could be ANYTHING! So good!


Dan Butler looks brilliant, or not. It’s frustrating. His best is spectacular. Too many teams are now onto him.


Jack Steele wears No 9. He may be a champion one day, drives hard in traffic, but he’ll never be LAZAR VIDOVIC!


The latest batch of wood I cut is still a little green. The fire isn’t as hot as it should be.


St Kilda play with more passion than Geelong. The ol’ contested possession and slap-it-forward. Geelong play with numbers and the spread of hot butter.


Brad Crouch goes hard! Hard! When he was off, Geelong got going. This loops back to the midfield pressure.


St Kilda have the guts and drive of any team. They just don’t quite know how to kick goals that win matches.


When Geelong look good, Gary Rohan looks like a match winner. Less so the other way around. A handy top up, I wouldn’t back in an arm wrestle.


Tim Minchin wears No 29 for Geelong and plays a mean piano. It’s is not fair on Cameron Guthrie. He’s a good player.


In an ordinary game a good pack mark is everything. Thank you Esava Ratugolea. It’s a shame you come up against ruckmen most weeks, and are not quite a seize-the-game-by-the-throat half forward. Paddy smashed it in the middle.


Did I mention he’s a ruckman?


St Kilda had chances early, quarter way, midway, 2/3rds through, they just could not nail those moments! Their finishing is ten years ago.


Max King, what’s going on mate? Right now, you should be feeling pretty silly. Four gettable goals. In a close game, that’s four key moments. And the score St Kilda lost by. You seem super likeable. I’m sure you know it.


Bad finishing lead to a 21 point win, that was always going to be, but didn’t have to be. The game felt closer. But the result felt inevitable.


The ladder this week was consistent in its messaging.


The rain outside won’t stop. The waterfall at the bottom of the farm must be pumping!


I hope my bung knee gets me though the game tomorrow.


Fortunately our little girl is not old enough to realise the old grey mare ain’t what he used to be.




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  1. Rulebook says

    Good stuff old dog I vehemently disagree re Selwood ducking tho best player in the competition at going in low and hard in the contest tackler should have to. also.Ryder beautiful pure ruckman

  2. Matt Zurbo says

    Rulebook, I her ya, but another of a thousand things we disagree on. In the best way mate!! (Maybe he falls somewhere between the two) Love ya latest – love ’em all.

  3. Always interesting to take in your insights. Love the Stewart-Tuohy observation.

    How did your mob go yesterday?

  4. Daryl Schramm says

    Every time I read your analysis Matt I think I learn something about the game of footy and life. Enjoy your articles immensely. As far as the community footy goes, I managed to experience it on Saturday for the first time for ages at Tumby Bay. I saw your 100 pairs of eyes/healthy line at play as well. I also would like to hear if the knee held up.

  5. Rick Kane says

    Top stuff MZ. So many clean observations. The Rohan point was spot on. This as well: “The game felt closer. But the result felt inevitable.” And too your note on the Saints backline. Watching the game I wondered if it was indeed the Saints as there were so few mullets in the team. Ryder, just love his rhythm, he brings the game to his speed. Cheers

  6. What does an accountant look like?

    Great observations Matt. Ryder is a beauty. Geelong hasn’t had a ruckman since Brad Ottens.

    Still not sure what to make of that game from a Geelong perspective? Not sure what to make of the season thus far either!

  7. Matt Zurbo says

    Thanks to all. John, Daryl, not so good on either account I’m afraid. Played out the game, one of our better, but due for a week off. Back on the tree planting crews, which doesn’t help. Kicking and stomping motions several thousand times a day while climbing up and down slopes. So it goes.

    Dips, me neither. But they are obviously there abouts.

  8. Patrick O'Brien says


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