Round 5 – Sydney v Greater Western Sydney: Sport. Sport. Sport.



If you’d told me a month or so ago that the Swans would be third on the ladder with four wins and a narrow loss, I wouldn’t have believed you. At the beginning of the footy year, Brisbane, Richmond and GWS were all considered premiership fancies, so to have beaten two of them has been remarkable, especially for a young, inexperienced team.

Saturday’s gut–wrenching last minute loss to the Giants was not what I expected when Marshall and I boarded the plane to Sydney the day before. Yes, we finally managed to get up north to be there in person – the first time in Sydney, and at the SCG, since June 2019.

A month ago, I decided to use up airfare money that was being held over from the cancellation of the footy early last year, so booked a hotel for two nights, and just hoped we’d both be well enough to travel. We were.

Being a lover and follower of several sporting codes, little did I know at the time that the AFLW Grand Final would be played this past weekend, featuring my Lions team, and that my very favourite cricket team, Queensland, would be in the Sheffield Shield Final. (Tell you the truth, I may well have gone up to Brissie instead, to enjoy their wonderful win against NSW!) But it wasn’t to be.

There is nothing better (sportswise) than sitting in your fold up armchair, under a tree, at a small picturesque cricket ground, watching your team playing it out for five days in a Shield Final. Or any red ball game for that matter. Just love it! Well, of course there is something better. Need I mention it?

Despite not being in Queensland, but instead, in Sydney for three days, and back in Melbourne for two, meant that for five whole days I haven’t been able to listen to any news, watch sporting news on tele or read any newspapers. You see, I am a bit of an obsessive (in more ways than one!), but especially when it comes to not wanting to know results before I have seen games.

I’d recorded the cricket (fortunately Fox was showing it this year), the AFLW, the Broncos, and all AFL games. So, Sunday night after arriving back in Melbourne, I started on the cricket, and after working almost eight hours every day, have now just finished watching the Shield Final and the AFLW Grand Final. I gave in yesterday on the men’s games, knowing full well I wouldn’t have time to watch them. I’ve just looked at the results on Footy Almanac. No surprises really.

So, I’m a pretty happy pseudo Queenslander. All of my teams (except the Broncos) won: The Lions women and the Queensland Bulls. And I was pleased that the Lions men’s team won as well.

Fortunately, I really haven’t had any time to think about my very, very favourite sporting team, the Swannies, and their loss against GWS.

The standard of the game wasn’t as high as our previous matches, but that can’t be expected, especially with so many young kids. I always knew that at some point we couldn’t continue winning, and must admit that through the week before the game, my gut told me we could well lose this one. In fact, I really believed we would.

Despite Buddy’s five outstanding goals, we just couldn’t hold on in that frantic last quarter. We missed Rampe and Heeney, and especially Hickey – who had been outstanding before going off injured – (what is it with Swans’ ruckmen and injury!) and with GWS peppering the goals in those last minutes, it was almost inevitable that, despite their inaccuracy throughout the night, one would eventually go through. Horrible, horrible feeling, losing like that, having been ahead all night!

But taking everything into account this past month, and despite this loss, the future is looking extremely bright for my beloved team.

Go Bloods!


SYDNEY 3.3 6.4 8.8 10.9 (69)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.4 3.7 5.11 9.17 (71)


Sydney: Franklin 5, Hayward 3, Papley 2,
Greater Western Sydney: Himmelberg 2, Finlayson 2, Daniels, Riccardi, O’Halloran, Greene, Kelly


Sydney: Franklin, Hayward, Lloyd, Dawson, Hickey
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Hopper, Taranto, Ward, Daniels, Mumford


Sydney: Hickey (knee)
Greater Western Sydney: Reid (hamstring)


Sydney: Dylan Stephens (replaced Hickey)
Essendon: Matt Buntine (replaced Reid)


33,541 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. Rhonda Carson says

    Hi Jan, Great to read that you were able to make the trip to Sydney to see the boys in action. I trust that you and Marshall are both keeping well and happy. Go Bloods!
    Cheer, cheer, Rhonda

  2. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,a shatterong loss. Here’s hoping for next week. Injuries are ravaging many teams. Go bloids.

  3. Shane Reid says

    It must have been nice to be back watching your Swans live again Jan. That must be the closest and most exciting Battle of the Bridge that there has been, surely. A lot to look forward to with your Swannies this year.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Bad luck for your Swans Jan, but what an outstanding performance by your Queensland Bulls. Superb bowling line up (Swepson & Neser both surely can’t be far away from a Test debut) and a wonderful innings from Labuschagne. The TV coverage was great, the crowds and atmosphere looked fantastic at AB Field. As a big Victorian fan it was just as pleasing to see the NSW Blues not win. Hope you get back to the SCG again soon!

  5. Rhonda: Thank you. Would love to get back up north for another game soon. Cheer cheer

    Tony: Yes, now with Buddy as well, injuries are very telling! Thanks. Go Bloods

    Shane: The two Sydney teams are gradually developing a rivalry. Don’t think it will ever compare to the footy states’ status, but interesting nonetheless. Thanks for your comment.

    Luke: Oh, how I’d love to have been there! Went up to Brissie for our previous Shield win, and maybe we’ll get another chance in my lifetime! Yes, our bowlers were magnificent, to say nothing about Marnus! Thanks

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