The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 8 – Sydney v Port Adelaide: All the signs were good!

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!

Sydney versus Port Adelaide

1.10pm, Sunday, May 20

Sydney Cricket Ground



Why can’t Port wear their prison bars-style black and white guernsey all the time? Not just for the heritage round, when Eddie McGuire tells the AFL its OK. If Port were to wear their prison-bar jumper all the time, then we could all feel the same way about them as the rest of Adelaide. Theyre joshing us in the teal, black and white very un-football colours for a famous club like Port Adelaide. I cant see why they cant be the Port Magpies. Then thered be two teams in the AFL wearing black and white and arousing similar passions among opposing supporters.


It was another glorious Sunday in Sydney blue sky, no breeze and 25°I got to the ground just before the kick off (it being Sydney and all) my sons game of junior footy didnt finish until noon. In addition to there being so many more junior Australian football teams in Sydney these days, we had to negotiate the Sunday traffic through Manly (going to the beach) and Mosman (going to lunch) and then the Harbour tunnel traffic going to the SCG.


The corporate suite was again full; this week with surgeons and psychologists from the bosss weekender territory of Berry on the NSW South Coast. Only one of them had seen an actual game before and that was in 1952 when Collingwood played Richmond for premiership points in Sydney in the round known as ‘national day’. That day, VFL games were also played in Brisbane, Hobart, Albury, Yallourn and Euroa.


The Bloods had come to play. In the opening minutes Barry Hall chased after the ball like a ratcatchers dog, brushed aside three Port opponents and sent a laces-out pass to Mick OLoughlin. The tone was set for the quarter. The Swans produced their best opening stanza for the season by booting 6.4 to Ports 3.1. Brett Ebert, the son of one of Ports greatest players, Russell Ebert, kicked two fine goals from tight angles at the Randwick end to keep the Power in the game – just.


There was a strong sense among the Swans faithful that this was a strong platform for victory but a winning feeling doesnt always last in the modern game.


All the signs were good: Spida and Darren Jolly were working beautifully in tandem to win the knocks; the midfielders, led by Luke Ablett and Jude Bolton, were attacking the ball with the recklessness of death-row criminals with ulcers, and most importantly, Tadgh Kennelly, in concert with Nick Malceski, was initiating more devastating attacks from half-back than Genghis Khan on the Mongolian steppes.


Port answered early in the second quarter by kicking three unanswered goals as its fleet-footed brigade dominated proceedings. They cut the Swanslead to just one goal, before the Swans were inspired by a brilliant solo effort from Malceski, whose long running shot at goal from outside fifty cleared the line. The home team regained the initiative and extended its lead to five goals at half time.


Just like the footy in the bush, the discussion in the company box turned to how much rain wed had as the Pitt Street farmers compared notes significantly in points, not in millimetres. We also discussed the sad plight of Australian rugger as we quaffed down the corporate juice.


The third quarter proved largely uneventful as the Swans extended their lead by a couple of points. The game seemed home and hosed for the locals at lemon time. However, it was all Port in the last quarter as they kicked four unanswered goals, including two pearlers to Steven Salopek, to reduce the Swanslead to just 19 points. The local fans got concerned and started barracking. The Swans responded with goals to Michael OLoughlin (again down to a long run from Malceski) and Adam Schneider. The Bloods went into their lock-down mode and that was it. Port were dislodged from the top of the table.


The medical corps then headed off back home to the south coast, happy conscripts in Sydneys red and white army, with the former Dean of Surgery at the University of Sydney declaring that he wouldnt wait another 55 years to see his next game of Australian football.


Sydney 6.4 10.9 13.14 17.16 (118)

Port Adelaide 3.1 6.3 8.6 13.9 (87)



Sydney: OLoughlin 4; Hall, Ablett, McVeigh 2; Davis, Malceski, Everitt, Jolly, Buchanan, Goodes, Schneider.
Port Adelaide: Ebert 4; Salopek, Motlop 2, Pearce, S. Burgoyne, K. Cornes, Thomas, Bentley.



Sydney: Ablett, Bolton, OLoughlin, Kennelly, Malceski,
Barry, Buchanan.
Port Adelaide: Ebert, K. Cornes, P. Burgoyne, Bentley, Wakelin.



Bevan (Sydney) 50 games.



Donlon, Stevic, Allen.


CROWD 25,423 



Ablett (S) 3, Kennelly (S) 2, Ebert (PA) 1.



Buchanan* (S) 3, Pearce (S) 2, Ablett (G) 1.


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


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



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  1. I would have been there, Rod, but can’t recall the actual sequence of play and how the individual players performed. So, thanks for the reminder. Not often that Ablett got the three votes!
    Go Bloods!

  2. Roseville Rocket says

    Yes Jan, these were salad days at the SCG!

    Luke Ablett also got a Brownlow vote.
    Very under-rated player.
    Popular with team-mates.

    Cheer cheer

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