The View From Shepparton: Round 12

Australia down 4 zip, Collingwood v Melbourne 76 points each in front of 67,000, I know which code I prefer. Or, leaving the Australians out of it I would prefer a 76 points each draw to a one all draw any time of the week

Having said that, the Socceroos effort was a huge disappointment to all of us and yet it was a wake up call to those of us who think, hope, pray, believe that somehow that intangible and very hackneyed idea of “Aussie Spirit” will always prevail in sporting contests irrespective of the skills of the teams involved. The implication  is of course that no other teams on earth have this “spirit”. The truth is that we duped ourselves that we would somehow be competitive. Yet our A League produced only one player deemed to be good enough to be selected for the final team so how can we expect much else? It’s a real conundrum for soccer. On the one hand the A League is weak and losing support or so it seems. On the other hand because it is losing support there is a real chance that the code will not succeed in Australia. I have been listening to Les Murray reading excerpts from his book and I can just imagine his disappointment at the way things have panned out.

Getting back to my favourite code, I fear for the immediate future of our game outside Victoria, particularly  Queensland, if interstate teams are not competitive. I suppose it is not so bad in South Australia and Western Australia where really Aussie Rules is the predominant code. How is it though that Port Adelaide were so hopeless against Sydney?  They, like the Crows have half a state to choose their players from.

By the way I thought that Carmichael Hunt’s debut was less than scintillating. It appears that he just does not have the aerobic capacity required at this stage, a fact which to be honest surprises me a bit, only in that I would have thought that NRL players would have had to have been pretty fit in that regard. And of course he needs to get into the game to pick up the required skills.

Now for some positives (and a few more negatives). After a season of being kicked in the head by pundits, like myself, Richmond has come good with a rush. That is good for the game and an important component of their success has been the rise and rise of Jack Riewoldt. I have been critical of him but he must have been stunning in that first quarter, let alone the rest of the match. Ten goals is a great effort. On the other hand for the West Coast Nick Naitanui seems to have gone completely off the boil. This is most unfortunate as he had been such an exciting player. I must confess that I have not heard of many of the Richmond players. On the AFL site, Cotchin, Jackson, Martin, are named in the best players list. Have to start watching for them. I have heard of having dummy spits but surely boot hurling is not part of the game. Serves Scott Selwood right although his action was scarcely helpful when his team might have been making a bit of a run.

My mob were thrashed unfortunately. I had thought that after being 4 zip up early on in the season that their run might come to an end, albeit temporarily and in that context mused that having beaten the Doggies in Brisbane, the real test as to where they were at would be in the return match in Melbourne. Where they are at is that they are floundering with injuries (but that doesn’t seem to stop Geelong) and have lost any pretence to being a finals team. Very disappointing really.  Hall has been a revelation for the Dogs. Another thing for us is that we have players who though they should be starring are inconsistent with their form week by week. Rich is an example of this. So the short version is that it looks like this season is rapidly becoming a wipe out for Brisbane. They are no certainties against Richmond.

I had said previously that Essendon at times reminded me of Geelong. Well “reminded” is the operative word. Geelong just showed again how the game should be played. Podsiadly, yes by now most of us should be able to spell his name was great again, along with Selwood,  Bartel, Chapman et al. Watching Geelong when they are really going is a footy purist’s dream I reckon. Brisbane were like that once…

Hawthorn were way too good for Adelaide. There seems to be a certain inevitability now that the Crows will be thrashed week in week out. Even in this day and age a team kicking 7 goals in the first quarter is always going to be hard to catch. Hodge in particular played a blinder with Lewis and Mitchell doing well also. Kurt Tippet apparently played well.

20,000 at the Port Swans game, can’t believe how support for the Powerless has dropped off. For most of their history in the SANFL they were the team even though as a Norwood supporter I hate to admit it. Sydney hadn’t been travelling that well of late either so it was a really good win for them. Adam Goodes was again great. I sometimes think that he is dropping of the pace a bit but he can still play, no doubt about that. Salopek being out for the rest of the season is shockingly bad luck for him and Port.

St Kilda was another team which had attained a fantastic result. Freo fought back  from a slow start but in reality this was a home loss. Has their bubble burst? Milne played well again. Just wish that it wasn’t Milne basically. Just have to hope that the Dockers are having a mid season slump.

As mentioned before the Melbourne Collingwood game was one reason why soccer will find it hard to get a real presence in Victoria at least. Things happened in this game even if the happenings included  Collingwood’s 22 points. Sidebottom argues that accuracy isn’t a problem for the Maggies. He would be the only person who thinks this. The trouble though  with drawn games is that everyone present reacts as if they have been present at a funeral. I mean Jamar wasn’t the picture of happiness at the end of game interview and yet the truth is that Melbourne drew back from the brink of being horribly thrashed so that it was a great comeback. Sure, I appreciate the fact that they were in front a few times in the last quarter but really I always felt that the next Magpie forward sortie  would be decisive. I thought that Dale Thomas looked like he was really going to have a great game but he faded out a bit, this being brought about by an elbow injury possibly. Aaron Davey was always exciting to watch.

Nearly forgot the first game of the round North v Carlton. Well again contrary to my views about the team as expressed earlier this year the Roos simply out played Carlton most of the time. This is turning out to be a really good season for Brad Scott. I am not very familiar with Lindsay Thomas but 7 goals is one way to make a point or 42. Carlton at times have looked the goods this year. Form is proving hard to pick.

Hewitt beat Federer, does this mean much in the overall scheme of things? We will soon find out.

About Peter Schumacher

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

Leave a Comment