The View from Shepparton : AFL Round 1 (part one)

Well, it’s started already. Like Malt Mickhouse all of those years ago, Francis Leach took exactly 30 seconds, when putting his point of view on “Offsiders” yesterday, to opine on what advantages the start- up clubs have compared to everyone else and how unfair it all is.


If you want this to be a truly national game, you have to, have to, give the new boys a leg up. I freely admit that Sydney have had enough when they can sign on Franklin for some ridiculous amount, can’t even remember now if it was seven million, ten million dollars, whatever. Incidentally, as pointed out previously, this signing, and Tippett’s the previous year would appear to fly right across their no dickheads policy. I have to say that my view on this subject (the advantages, not my point of view on the no dickheads policy), has not gone unchallenged over the years.


For me this is the best start to a season that I can remember even though it is ridiculously early, includes a 7:30 pm start on a Sunday, and is split over two weeks. As usual, average observers are being treated like mushrooms. This start will however be even better if Brisbane and Adelaide get up.


Let’s get into it. I have decided that because I am getting older and more infirm each year I will no longer watch matches to the end where the game is not close and the result certain. I do make exceptions to this rule however for example I must confess that in my first test of this theory I lost out badly, watching to the bitter end Freo smashing the Maggies.


The other exception to the rule will be when I look at Lions games. As a supporter you have to support your team to the bitter end and I suspect, sadly, that this year there will be a lot of those for Brisbane


Anyway, I remember thinking at times last year that Freo played with an almost animal ferocity, ruthless fanaticism, and that was certainly on show in the last three quarters. You’re going OK too when you can take your best player, Nathan Fyfe, off as a precaution just in case he gets injured. As happened last year Collingwood really rely far too much on Cloke who most of the time, or so it seems, misses set shots for goal. I did think at the end of the first quarter that this would be an easy win for the Black and Whites but that is like trying to make a judgement on teams after the pre-season games (during which Freo were hopeless).


I heard on the ABC News at midday that the defeat of Sydney was the greatest upset in AFL history. For me I am not too sure about that, as a born and bred Croweater any one of the rare occasions that SA beat Victoria was the greatest upset in history. Anyway it was an exhilarating game to watch as you just waited for Sydney to get away but somehow GWS hung on, and then that last quarter, does it get much better than that, for Greater Western Sydney, for the entire competition. And they did it without Franklin who would have been an expensive hindrance anyway. I always argued that as they had a star in Jeremy Cameron why should they worry about Franklin anyway? Can’t say that the Fev, Brown, duopoly worked a treat.


My tipping was further dismembered by the Gold Coast’s gutsy win over Richmond. I thought that when Richmond took the lead in the final quarter that was it but as usual Ablett played a starring role in the comeback. Has there been a better player? Voss in his prime was fantastic but Gazza has it for me. This was a good game to watch as well and had me engaged to the end.


I watched a fair bit of the Port Carlton match, however in a pre-match nuptial agreement with the Minister of Home Affairs had agreed to watch “Rake”. When I left the footy Carlton were about 21 points up, when I returned Port were about 16 points up. How did that happen? Carlton then caught up and were leading at three quarter time. I thought for sure that they would have an easy win so headed for bed. Imagine my amazement when perusing the result at about 2 am today I saw that the Power had got up easily. I tried to watch the replay but messed that up too so that I missed that last quarter. Westhoff will be a great player when he gets the hang of it all!!!!!!!!!!!


So that was the end of a great weekend of AFL


Highlight: GWS

Lo-Light: Ricciardo

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Agree with you on an entertaining Round 1 to date. I saw most of the Dockers and Suns wins on free to air. Saw half of the Power game down the pub (looking over AE’s shoulder and pretending to be engaged in the conversation).
    Listened to the last half of the Giants win on ABC radio.
    3 tight games where the good guys won, and even I had to admire how scary good (and attacking) the Dockers were on Friday night.
    All good stuff. Thanks PS.
    You had a mistake at the end – Peter Riccardi retired years ago.

  2. aussie80s says

    GWS winning was a case of great schadenfreude for any Hawks supporter. It wasn’t the greatest upset ever when compared to St.Kilda beating Carlton 1984, Brisbane beating Hawthorn 1989 and Fitzroy beating West Coast 1991, and for those with a longer memory, Fitzroy’s only win in 1963 came against eventual premier Geelong while Kevin Murray was away on state duty.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    The highlight for me apart from the expansion clubs winning was the form of several youngsters in Patton coming back from a knee reco and yet dominating was amazing
    O Meara , Wines and Whitfield continue to rapidly develop . Andrew Swallow lifted a cog interestingly the opponents and time slots did not seem to capture the Collingwood and Carlton supporters imagination
    Thanks Peter

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    It was a great start to the season because of the results. Except for Friday night. But the fixturing is/was horrible. At least a week (or probably 2) too early. Who cares if the NRL and Super Rugby start earlier. Split rounds are bad enough midway through the season, let alone in Round 1. I have to stew on the Pies loss for two weeks now.
    Enjoyed Gold Coast’s, Port’s and GWS’ wins immensley.

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