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Round 9 – Sydney v Carlton: Missed it

By Tom Bally


In years to come when anyone asks me “what were you doing when Adam Goodes did his war dance?” I will stand proud, hand on heart, look them straight in the eye and say that I have no idea.

A big moment and I missed it completely.

Maybe it’s the altitude. Row U in the O’Reilly Stand is not the best place to spot the finer details in a game. I tend not to watch post goal, too busy scribbling notes about the play up to that point. But even that seems like a lame excuse. In my opinion there’s nothing untoward in his actions but I’m definitely giving myself a ‘C minus must try harder’ for not actually witnessing it. By all accounts even The Enemy thought it was a fine way to celebrate a goal.

I have a peculiar fondness for the Blues. Years ago, when I was just getting into footy, they were the first away game I went to. The Swans won which led to my first taste of sledging on the way out of Docklands. Then there was the elimination final in 2010. Forty thousand of us going nuts as Trent Dennis-Lane chased down Dennis Armfield in the pocket. One year on a wet and wild Friday night I gave up my normal seat for a look at the SCG members only to have to watch from behind the goal posts as we lost. Two of my friends are Carlton supporters which undoubtedly gives the rivalry a more personal connection than other teams.

Not that long ago the teams were evenly matched, both having a hard working midfield which always led to a good contest. Now their paths have diverged and with The Enemy floundering at the bottom of the table I admit that contemplating the game last Monday there was little to get excited about. Tuesday however bought some intrigue. With Malthouse being pushed out the door what would this do for The Enemy’s approach? Would they find some fighting spirit? They were missing three of their key players but the game suddenly had a bit of danger to it. We were coming off a bruising win and although the smart money was for us to get over the line I was concerned it would come at a cost of some injury or suspension.

Well we got the injury before first bounce. Stuck at the bar, I heard Grundy was a late withdrawal. Still queuing I missed the 50 metre penalty against us which no-one could explain. Luckily Pyke got his fingers on the ball at the goal line to deny the six points. The Enemy put some pressure on us but Buddy wasn’t intending to go goalless for three games and took a strong mark in the square. Moments later he was one out but slung off a certain mark which earned him another goal. I wondered if I’d be writing his name down a lot. As he goaled again off Laidler’s chip it looked like I would be. The Swans were in control and as Rohan split the sticks my father in-law, down from Queensland for a few days, pondered whether we should start up a ‘bring back Mick’ chant just for fun. The Enemy made some minor inroads late in the quarter but Rohan put us twenty-two points up on the siren.

It was all Sydney in the second quarter despite some improved Enemy pressure. Rampe’s beauty of a kick to McGlynn and Robinson’s debut goal were a couple of early highlights. Finding their way effortlessly out of defence the Swans got the ball to Goodes. His follow-up celebration completely passed me by. The Enemy were winning the clearances, playing better than I’d seen in some time, and their patient build up was rewarded. They marked on the siren but the kick didn’t get the distance and we went in with a comfortable lead at half time.

In my defence I did catch the crowd’s Cyggy dance off. Maybe not as historical and symbolic as Adam’s but the best one I’ve seen yet.

It was Buddy for his fourth early in the third. Shaw’s wayward kick in from defence put us under pressure eventuating in an Enemy goal. Buddy replied with a belter from the fifty and the game started to crack open. To their credit The Enemy did not fold up like the proverbial deck chair. Laidler was easily shouldered aside for a goal. But again it all the Swans way until the siren with a mixture of goal kickers to give us a sixty three point lead.

We were held reasonably quiet in the final term with The Enemy trying hard to chip away at the margin. But the result was never in doubt with Buddy scoring two more and Hanners and Tippett adding to the tally.  With a ten goal margin it’s a handy and welcome percentage booster in what is a very tight competition this year.

Hopefully next time I won’t miss the big moments.


  1. Don’t worry Tom…pontificate at your will. Everybody else is.

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