The View From Shepparton Round 1

At last the 2015 season has started and I can see why for me and millions other barrackers this is the real code.

Yes Australia’s winning the Asian Cup was fantastic really, indeed it was a day in which that sport could stand tall in this country but when it really boils down to it, look no further than the Port Freo game the other night to see what surely was one of the best first round games in our Australian code which game just showed how superior Aussie Rules really is.

I had enjoyed hugely the other matches in the round, even though they did not go my way, indeed I will digress at this stage and describe briefly how I saw them:

Carlton v Richmond. For the first third or so of the game I had thought that Carlton had won the premiership already. They were all over the Tiges. Just goes to show that nothing is certain. Terribly bad luck for Dale Thomas; huge loss for Carlton when he had to go off. So this ended up being a bad loss for the Blues and already Mick’s future is in question.

West Coast v Western Bulldogs. Nice for the Bulldogs to start with a win but Eagles I reckon did very well until three-quarter time after which they just ran out of steam..

Brisbane v Collingwood. I watched on in horror as my mob played badly for most of the first three-quarters. Never looked like it at that stage. Indeed the Minister for Home Affairs called it a night due to a mixture of tiredness, and boredom at the unevenness of the competition, and I felt like doing the same but loyalty to the cause prevented me from doing this. I said to my spouse though that this was going to be a total embarrassment. Pendlebury and Swan seemed to have been a licence to roam and we seemingly had no answers. The Brisbane bubble had completely burst. The Magpie lead stretched out to 54 points. Rockcliff who had been close to being our best player received what seemed to be a season ending injury and this increased my gloom. From nowhere though, Brisbane through Rich and Zorko among others somehow manufactured 7 unanswered goals to draw within 11 points with a comparatively fair amount of time to draw the enemy right in. But it wasn’t to be, the Magpies steadied. Overall, good luck to Collingwood, they clearly were the better side for most of the match. For us, it is not a good omen at all about how the year might go particularly with Rockcliff injured. Most of the time we seemed to play the same brand of insipid football which has been our hallmark for many games in the past few years.

Sydney v Essendon. Gutsy effort by the Dons but was hoping for a Sydney win which is what eventually transpired. Goodes was dreadfully out of form. I would have thought that the Bombers would have gained a lot more encouragement from this outing than would the Swans, particularly given that it was their home game.

Adelaide v North Melbourne. Tex Walker and Patrick Dangerfield were fantastic, North Melbourne were not and thus whilst a hugely encouraging result for the Crows, the opposition looked terrible although it could be argued that they could only play as well as their opponents allowed them so to do. Hard to know from this one game how good Adelaide really is. Must admit though that I enjoyed watching the match to see one side at least show how the game should be played, in the first half particularly. The Roos did get a real flier for half of the third quarter during which time they looked really good but Taylor Walker then steadied the ship and after that it was no contest.

Freo v Port. In this game both sides showed how the game should be played for the entire match with fast attacking footy being the feature. It was a joy to watch. Because of the nature of the game, sure some clangers were made particularly by the Power, notably in the last quarter but that was the price to be paid for risk taking. Freo at home were just too good on the day and I for one was happy for their supporters. Pavlich and Sandilands were outstanding for the Dockers, Ebert for Port.

Melbourne v Gold Coast. Gold Coast never looked like it, Ablett isn’t properly fit. Melbourne for their first first round win in ten years. Have to be happy with that. Their supporters have enjoyed (or not) ten years of barrenness. Nathan Jones amongst many others must have felt a tremendous amount of relief and happiness at the final siren. Be a long season for Gold Coast.

GWS v St Kilda. GWS looked pretty good, but as in all rounds can’t tell much (mostly) from round one. Very encouraging for the “Giants” (how I hate that “nickname”, bloody American tosh) to have their first win against the Saints particularly away from home. Bugg should have received 6 matches for that off the ball behind the back hit on Riewoldt. No way that contact was in the flow of play.

Hawthorn v Geelong. Hawthorn simply too good, end of story, well not quite, obviously Geelong are a fading team and probably won’t make the finals this year unless they have more than an equal amount of games at home, if so, they might, just. Hawthorn, well on that form only Freo and Port might, (and possibly Adelaide , certainly hope so) , could challenge.

Highlight: The whole of the Port Freo game.

Lowlight: Bugg collecting Riewoldt.

About Peter Schumacher

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

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