The View From Shepparton- Round 15

The story of the week has to be the sacking or departure by mutual agreement of Mark Williams from Port Adelaide. I for one have argued for a while now that South Australian footy needs new blood but nevertheless I have the feeling that the those responsible at that club must have seen the demise of Rudd as a template for their own way of doing things. The cases superficially at least seem to be strikingly similar, that is a once popular leader had lost the faith of his one time followers, the future was frighteningly negative   and for the sake of the party or club had to be cut loose. I wonder if Mr Williams will be made the foreign minister of Western Sydney? As one who is a softie I had no personal joy at all about the manner of the demise of either former leader.

Ben Cousins seems to make an art form of making those of us who might wish him well wonder if he has reformed at all. Perhaps he should stick to drinking water just to be really on the safe side.

On the footy proper I thought that my mob gave St Kilda a red hot go and there was a lot to be positive about even though they lost (again) Nevertheless, I did not view the full game but really came in after half time and in that time was reduced to foul language, (sorry dear, also again) as Brisbane time and again resorted to ineffectual to and fro  kicking in their backline as they seemed to have no idea of how to progress the ball beyond half back. Where was our centreline? Nobody was offering anything in the way of making position for  potential passes but rather seemed to be glued to the turf. Even when HE got the ball Black uncharacteristically shot forward passes that missed their mark. I was a quivering wreck looking at this stuff. And the final straw as a lover of fair play was Buchanan’s effort in as the Oz said today in Riewoldt’s receiving ” a crash in the back…after the the (three quarter time) siren”. As I have said so often, footy is not for the faint hearted  but neither should it be for cowards who attack the opposition from behind. And instead of using gamesmanship to put champion players off their game, perhaps it would be more beneficial to their team and their supporters alike if they actually tried to develop the skills to best opponents in fair competition rather than doing so by cheap shots. What made this more galling was that this was the same team that sent Riewoldt off in disgraceful fashion all of those years ago. Another thing, how about actually showing respect for players who are coming back off long injuries. Not impressed Michael, not impressed at all. Buchanan should get 3 matches I reckon. At least Rich, Redden, Cornelius and Patfull provided plenty of hope for the future. Gwilt and Montagna  and Milne, damn it, took my eye for the Saints.

How I rejoiced when the Power was up 32 points and then scored a couple of goals not too much later but it was all to no avail. Collingwood had reeled them in by half time and for me it was game over. I thought it was a fantastic game to watch early on but then ghastly when the fortunes were reversed. Another good away win for the Pies.

I hope that having lost Barlow for goodness knows how long that Freo doesn’t fall apart but the signs were not too encouraging. As happens though oh so often they had the run of the play in the second quarter but could not put the Tigers away. I think that most teams would fear Richmond now, their revival has been remarkable and with each success must come growing self belief. Hands up those who thought that Riewoldt would make such a gun forward? Not me, for starters.

Saw two games which were real advertisements for their codes, State of Origin 3 (more later) and the Hawthorn Geelong game. In the latter mentioned game  a lead held was never secure. Lost count of the number of lead swaps. Stokes was brilliant in the second half. Rioli and Franklin were great for Hawthorn. If Franklin had realised that the siren was about to sound and had taken his time over that goal attempt 65 metres out who knows if he might not have made it. How I love to watch our indigenous players weave their magic.  For Geelong, Chapman, Selwood and Ablett never play a bad game. This game was fast and pressure pressure pressure. Had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Adelaide won over in Perth, this does not attract the Kudos that it once did but impressive all the same. Some of the Adelaide guns are starting to look good now, at last. Tipett, Porplyzia, Dangerfield, come to mind.  Next week has to be the acid test for them. Beat Geelong and their bandwagon will really start to roll. I had been writing them of as being totally useless but hopefully will have to change my mind. Can’t see any hope for the Eagles at the moment. .

The Western Bulldogs just too good for Carlton and I had thought earlier in the season that they (Carlton) were pretty OK. Hall played very well again. Good on him.

Melbourne thrashed Essendon, whom I had foolishly backed. These second tier teams run so hot and cold all of the time you don’t know where you are. I don’t blame Knights for being dirty on the umpires though. It has often been said that the fact that teams lose has more to do than being on the crook end of doubtful decisions however the fact is that Essendon was on a roll having just kicked 3 goals in a hurry in that first part of the third quarter. Momentum is everything and the Don’s had it right then. That free against them resulting in the Melbourne goal stopped that momentum dead in its tracks. Fair enough if that happens in the run of play but I can well imagine a coach’s anguish anger and annoyance when this results because of a poor decision particularly if his career might be on he line as well. But yes, the Dee’s were miles too good in the final analysis.

Sydney won well against North Melbourne, the best part of that being the return of form by Goodes. Keeps the Swans in the eight which is good.

The State of Origin was a magnificent game. For those who don’t appreciate League you really miss out on something. The big hits, the passing, the tackling,players like Hayne who look like they could immediately run the length of the field if given a break, Lockyer’s dropkicked field goal. Just fantastic as was the Blues fightback in the second half. It was one of the best sporting events of the year.

As was Adelaide Thunderbird’s efforts against the Waikato Magic to win the trans Tasman championship yesterday. I must admit that I turned away from the AFL to watch the second half of this game. I thought that any team that had Irene van Dyk on its side would be impossible to beat but Adelaide was really so good. And how about their on goal shooter Carla Borrega. This game was also sport at its very best. And from what I can see the game is played hard but fair, memo to other sports as previously mentioned. I reckon that if I had a family of girls I would encourage them to play netball (or soccer, which gets me to my next point).

I wanted to enjoy the Spain Holland game but in truth I found it made no impact on me at all. Oh sure there were many times when teams gradually got into position to score and in so doing there were some moments but say compared to the best of Aussie Rules or League I know which I would prefer. Perhaps I just don’t understand the subtle nuances of he round ball code.

About Peter Schumacher

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


  1. What about Adelaide water?

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    Well it is more than useful because as well as being a sporting drink to either kill or give its users a pick-me-up it can also be used to fertilise the garden.

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