The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 19 – Sydney v St Kilda: A typical Swans display at their second home

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 www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

 

 

Sydney versus St Kilda

7.40pm, Saturday, August 11

Telstra Stadium, Sydney

ROD GILLETT

 

FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS SEASON the Swans drew more than 60,000 to Australia’s homeground, as Telstra Stadium has been proclaimed (by the ground’s management). The Swans have drawn bigger crowds to the ground than the Wallabies or the Socceroos this season, and aggregrated more in three matches than either South Sydney or Canterbury-Bankstown – rugby league clubs that use Telstra Stadium as their home ground for the entire season.

 

In their three blockbusters at Telstra Stadium the Swans have drawn 63,369 against West Coast in Round 1; 64,222 for the Collingwood game in Round 12; and 63,369 for this clash. These have been the three biggest crowds outside of Melbourne this season. In a year in which capacity at the SCG has been reduced because of renovations, it is surprising that more AFL matches have not been played there.

 

The crowd was bolstered by the presence of 13,000 women who were part of the “Field of Women” program to support the campaign to raise funds to fight breast cancer. The sight of these people in pink ponchos forming the symbol of a woman on the field was a spectacular and moving sight. Each participant paid $50 to be involved. It was gratifying to know that all of the money went to the charity, and that no part of the ticket was clipped by the AFL.

 

To support the cause The Bride made her first appearance at an AFL game this season. We travelled to the game with two other families who live nearby. We got there early to support two other women from our neighbourhood; cousins whose mothers have experienced the anguish of breast cancer.

 

It also gave us a chance to watch the curtain-raiser – the NSW secondary schools’ Swans Cup final between Sydney GPS school Riverview and Wagga’s Kildare College. Ned Mortimer, son of NSW rugby league legend?Chris Mortimer, scored seven goals for Kildare, leading his team to a comfortable win, despite the presence of strong football pedigrees in the Riverview team. They had a Carroll (from Wagga), a Sierakowski (nephew of Brian) and Kane Murphy (son of former Swan David Murphy). When the main game started the Sainters were quick out of the blocks with Nick Riewoldt and Fraser Gehrig providing irresistible targets. The Swans had lost Leo Barry and Lewis Roberts-Thomson from their selected side. Their defence looked terribly unsettled. LRT, as he is known by the fans, was set to?play his first game of the season but a bruised buttock prevented him from taking his place.

 

Up the other end, Max Hudghton had put a blanket over big, bashful Barry Hall. It was left to the will-o’-the-wisp Jarrad McVeigh to post the Swans early goals. But St Kilda led the dour struggle at the first change.

 

The game opened up in the second quarter but just as the visitors were set to take control of the game the Bloods came back to even the scores at half-time. In a further sign that women are increasingly being recognised in Australian football, the Auskick matches on the field at half-time involved only girls as players and umpires. It was a quite a sight – and nothing seemed strange about it.

 

The exquisitely talented Nick Dal Santo got the scoring underway in the second half with a superb set shot from just outside the fifty. However, the Swans were able to dictate terms and controlled the game.

 

The teams traded goals again until, right on three-quarter time, Nick Davis slipped away from his opponent (like a soapy eel in the shower) and marked. His goal gave the Swans a four-point lead heading into the last break.

 

In the last term the Saints ran out of steam. The G Train, with only three possessions, spent a large chunk of the quarter on the bench. Craig Bolton, ably supported by Tadgh Kennelly, led a defence that was almost as impenetrable as a 13th century chastity belt.

 

Sydney continued their charge to September while the Saints had a meeting about their end-of-season trip. We drove straight home. There’s no post-match action at Homebush, which is in the middle of nowhere – neither east nor west.

 

 

Sydney  2.2 5.5 9.7 12.10 (82)

St Kilda  3.4 5.5 8.9 9.11 (65)

 

GOALS

Sydney: McVeigh 3, Schneider, Fosdike, Everitt, Ablett, O’Loughlin, Mathews, Davis, Schmidt, Malceski.

St Kilda: Gehrig, Milne 2, Riewoldt, Attard, Dal Santo, X. Clarke, Hayes.

 

BEST

Sydney: C. Bolton, Goodes, McVeigh, Buchanan, Mathews, Kennelly.

St Kilda: Montagna, Hayes, Hudghton, Harvey,?Riewoldt, X. Clarke.

 

UMPIRES

Donlon, McLaren, McInerney.

 

OUR VOTES

Goodes (S) 3, C. Bolton (S) 2, Hayes (St K) 1.

 

BROWNLOW

Goodes* (S) 3, Hayes (St K) 2, McVeigh (S) 1.

 

CROWD

63,369

 

 

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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