The View from Shepparton: Round 22

Another great round of footy with of course some really unexpected results.

I found the Richmond Essendon game interesting for a couple of reasons, the first being that I marvelled as to how a team (Richmond) could have so much of the play and yet only be 29 points up at the half time break and the second as to how much the Bombers had gone backwards in the last few weeks. This was a team who not too long ago I was sure would be favourites for the flag this year. You knew that there were going to be problems when that first daffy little pass from Jobe Watson across the halfback line was intercepted and what had been a move out of defence suddenly became a deadly forward attack for the Tigers. Shane Tuck and Houli repeatedly caught my eye for Richmond where for Essendon I thought that Heppell was OK. Cotchin might have been OK except for his continuous inaccurate kicking for goal. The great combo of Hird and Thompson simply hasn’t worked this year.

What a victory for the Suns! I bet that the AFL is rapt even if Carlton supporters are not. I certainly was, nothing like seeing the rank outsider getting up. Besides all of the Victorian judges  who reckoned that this whole expansion thing is a lot of nonsense will have to reconsider their position. The Suns need to do a lot better next year though before they get taken seriously. I wonder how a Malthouse coached Carlton will go in 2013? OK perhaps if they have a few less injuries than they sustained this year. A good thing about the Suns in this game was that they were able to maintain their poise even when challenged.

The Perth Eagles v the Colliwobbles was a great game to particularly if you wanted to see Naitanui in action. I have never quite been a believer in this bloke as I reckon that he is at times a bit flashy and is not in the play as much as one might want but perhaps it is the “flashiness” that generates the excitement regarding him. At any rate Nic was fantastic in this game. The Pies looked decidedly out of their class but to give them their due this was the first away loss for yonks. They can’t win though with Cloke and Dawes so out of form. Still, let’s see how they go in Melbourne in the finals, wouldn’t completely write them off, they looked invincible for a long time this season. West Coast are a real danger all the same when you have players like Kerr, Shuey and Priddis around.

I’ll be honest, I was so disappointed that the Hawks got up against Sydney principally because Malthouse had written them off as contenders. It was a great win though, I thought that they were done for into that second quarter, you always think after the game that another goal when a team has had the run of play would be a bridge too far for the opposing team but the way the game is played these days even 50 points ahead short  of half time might not be enough. I thought that when O’Keefe got that goal with about a minute to go that the Swans could hang on but no.  Port Adelaide must wonder how they lost Burgoyne, I most certainly do. And Franklin had a pretty reasonable return, he reminds me so much of Carey the way he is able to dominate games.

My mob had a good win away against the Powerless but it is hard to get wildly enthused given the opposition and the time of the year. Besides, I only heard about it on the wireless after the game. To be fair Port must have played well in the third quarter, might have been just as well that I wasn’t listening, could  have had a hearty. I suppose that I am being a bit lousy selling the result so short, after all here were two teams like all of the others trying to have a  real red hot go. Brown got four, good on him, and I note that Black and Redden were again amongst the best players with the evergreen Brad Ebert Port’s best.

St Kilda walloped the Sprawlers, one of the many one sided contests that have unfortunately taken place this year. I think that despite all of the excuses the sheen has absolutely gone off GWS. Hope that Folau gets going next year.

Adelaide had a ten goal third  quarter, has to be some encouragement going into the finals but again against such a weak side. I had thought though that given the result the previous week that a Melbourne  win was an outside possibility. Very encouraging that Tippett found some form, I suppose that if the Adelaide forwards really get going they could make life interesting in the finals. They do leak in defence, which would be deadly against Hawthorn, whereas a strong defence used to be one of their strengths.

I was thoroughly enjoying the Fremantle  North Melbourne game until we had visitors just after half time and that fixed that. As occurred in the Richmond Essendon game I found it amazing that one team could monopolise possession, in the forward half particularly and yet blow so many scoring opportunities. I made one of my usually astute observations to Minister for Home Affairs advising her after North Melbourne’s first goal following that  miss of Mayne’s  that the Kangaroos would win in a canter. Imagine my schlock horror and annoyance for that matter that I had to imagine what I had  missed when seeing that final score. Freo would have impressed everyone by this win as the Roos had been pretty red hot. Like the Suns, it was very good that having surrendered a lead the Dockers were able to come back, in this instance in a big way and without their inspiring captain, Pavlich.

Geelong beat the Bulldogs, what else would have been expected but at least the Dogs must have had the local supporters scared in that last quarter when they drew to  within 15 points.

Highlight: Hawthorn getting up against Sydney. Low Light. The Sprawlers being belted yet again.

About Peter Schumacher

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

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