The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 10 – West Coast v Kangaroos: A wayward Western performance leads to small-club syndrome

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



West Coast versus Kangaroos

2.10pm, Saturday, June 2

Subiaco Oval, Perth



JUST LIKE THE SWANS FOOTBALL TEAM, South Melbourne pubs are more Sydney than South these days. They’re big, bright, polished and food-based. While Bell’s Hotel is one of them, it’s also quite the footy pub: the plywood panel behind the bar that was holding 14 remote controls was testimony to that. Screens, both big and small, adorn its many rooms, which are populated by at least three generations of locals.


I ordered lasagne, purchased a Boags and found a seat without any difficulty. I reckon only five of the 50 people in the room had an interest in this match. The kitchen hand walked into the area with a small basket of bread looking for the guy who’d just ordered his lunch. We made eye contact and, through arching my eyebrows, I expressed something like: “For whom the Bell’s rolls? The rolls for me.”


The game began with last week’s hero, Andrew Swallow, kicking a goal for the Roos within 20 seconds, but the Eagles were unperturbed. Quinten Lynch (surely the only man in football to have three vowels in his first name but none in his last) kicked two goals. Although both teams were very direct after winning the ball in the centre, the home side looked more polished. A gorgeous Chris Judd snap after crumbing from a ball-up set the tone. By the end of the first term, North’s rare movements forward looked rushed and panicky, and the Kangas were lucky to be only 15 points down at quarter-time.


At the start of the second quarter, the North Melbourne midfield jumped on a bus and popped down to Margaret River for a wine-tasting tour. Or something. Michael Braun, Adam Selwood and Darren Glass took advantage of this untimely excursion and did as they wanted. It required the best efforts of North backmen Archer, Gibson and Sinclair to keep the Roos in touch.


When Eagle Rowan Jones kicked a goal at the nine-minute mark, the Eagles led by 26 points and the Kangas were in trouble. West Coast, however, wasted opportunities and, in a messy quarter, only three goals were kicked – all by the Eagles. A shaky North Melbourne managed just six behinds in their first goalless term of the year.


I wandered back to the bar (is this the last pub in Melbourne to still have Carlton Draught, Victoria Bitter and – dear Jesus – Foster’s on tap?) and took a bit more of Launceston back to my table. The Essendon Women’s Network began setting up in the ‘main’ back room for the screening of the Bombers’ game against Sydney. It all looked fabulously organised. The royal-blue-and-white blood in my veins turned green with little-club envy.


A reassembled North began the third quarter with verve and determination. Early goals to Aaron Edwards and Corey Jones brought the margin back to three goals. Mitch Morton’s goal for the Eagles at the 12-minute mark steadied the Eagles on the scoreboard but it was very much against the flow of play. Despite the form of Selwood and Rowan Jones, the Eagles could not find the space that had previously been so accessible. Although the Kangaroos had finally started to play the game on their own terms, and Shannon Grant even managed a goal after the siren, they had only managed to diminish the Eagles’ half-time lead by 13 points.


I would rather have my eyelids stitched open and be forced to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy than sit through the final quarter of this match again. Suffice to say, with the exceptions of Archer, Josh and Jess in the backline and a gallant Hamish McIntosh in the ruck, the North Melbourne boys jumped on a boat, popped over to Rottnest Island and frolicked with the quokkas. Eagle Matt Priddis played as if he was in his tenth season, not his first. He accumulated 14 deft possessions in the term and was well supported by Fletcher, Rosa and Stenglein. West Coast kicked eight goals (almost effortlessly) and could have kicked more. North had their second goalless quarter of the year.


Brady Rawlings should be applauded for holding Chris Judd to 20 possessions but, really, that’s like holding The Beatles to the Let It Be album. Sure, we expected a little more, but anyone else would take it in a flash. The Eagles were back to their best and when Daniel Kerr, Andrew Embley and Ben Cousins return to their ranks they will be frightening.


I left Bell’s as calamari rings were taken to the Essendon function and Paul Salmon posed for photographs. At least they were in for a good night.



West Coast  5.4 8.8 10.9 18.13 (121)

Kangaroos  3.1 3.7 7.9 7.13 (55)



West Coast: Lynch 3, Morton, Judd, LeCras, Cox 2, Wirrpanda, Priddis, R. Jones, Chick, Seaby, Rosa, Brown.
Kangaroos: Grant 3, Swallow, Thomas, Edwards, Jones.



West Coast: Braun, Priddis, Selwood, Cox, Stenglein.

Kangaroos: Rawlings, McIntosh, Gibson.



Fletcher (West Coast) 150 games.



Rosebury, Allen, M. Nicholls.



Braun (WC) 3, Priddis (WC) 2, Selwood (WC) 1.



Priddis (WC) 3, Selwood (WC) 2, Braun (WC) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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