The View From Shepparton: Round 8

Geelong and Collingwood are light years ahead of the rest of the competition and next Friday night we will find out which team is the best at the moment.

In respect of last Friday night’s game I really thought that Freo would get up. I felt that the Magpies would be useless away in that  they seem to have an absolute dream run year in year out in terms of the away matches they actually play. What I wasn’t aware of was their truly impressive record in respect of winning interstate games.

Anyway I was totally depressed at quarter time. Collingwood were so much superior in a game where at last the truly perennial  underdog might have been able to finally get the monkey of its back and go  to the top of the table. As it was, the Pies were all over them, and in no time at all had 7 goals. They had out run, out muscled  and outplayed them. Luke Ball and Travis Cloke came to the fore time and time again. These days the Cloke is a really dangerous forward. The come back by the  Dockers  in the second quarter was stirring stuff given their history, and thus I hoped and prayed at half time that the home crowd might get them over the line. Collingwood, (or as the opposition is identified  in military parlance, apparently, the “hostiles”) piled on another 7 goals in the third quarter. The thing that struck me in the Anzac Day game, and in this one, was that Collingwood are a big side, and as seemed to be the case against Essendon, much bigger than their opponents, Sandilands apart. Emotion mean a lot in footy and thus I was tempted to turn off at three quarter time. I then thought how mean spirited this would be and that surely one should celebrate the game in a circumstance like this not the result. The last quarter was a formality though, the Dockers were never going to bridge the gap, but by the same token they weren’t totally obliterated either. Sandilands is a truly outstanding player these days, Barlow again and Pavlich were great as well.  Cloke stood out for me for the Pies and of course Didak  was a star also. Well done Collingwood. A bad day for Freo and indeed footy with the best interstate side beaten but they have a chance next week to get going again with Sydney falling into a hole.

A lot of what I said above applies to the game at the Gabba. In the end it was a pleasure (sort of) to see such a great team in action. In truth, I didn’t think that Brisbane played badly for much of the game but two things stuck out. In the third quarter when Brisbane might have been on a bit of a surge and just 20 points behind, Brown missed a gettable shot. He kicks a lot of great goals but he sure misses heaps as well. The other point was that immediately after this miss, and indeed it happened all night, Geelong with apparent ease were able to sweep the ball to their forward area and goal. I get nostalgic for those fast fading years when the Lions used to do this to all and sundry. Anyhow, I reckon that Tom Hawkins is starting to realise his huge potential, he seems to me to be gaining in his confidence and skills every game I see him play. Johnson was outstanding, Ablett, well he was there and was as as usual fantastic. I reckon that Black is an evergreen, he is a class above the rest of the Lions team, I liked some of Sherman’s work, he is always dangerous around goal. Thought that Leuenberger was pretty good too.

The Bulldog’s didn’t make Sydney’s weekend, nor mine by easily accounting for Sydney. Hall is doing for them what the Fev is supposed to be doing for Brisbane. Well good luck to him. I appreciated the fact that he plays the game hard but these days fair also and it was quite moving to see the personal interaction between him and the Sydney trainer at the end of the game. The fairly pointless TV interview stopped what might have been much greater TV had his old team members been given a chance to acknowledge him in a similar fashion. Goodes played another pretty good game. It looked bloody cold at Manuka, particularly towards the end of the game. Reminds me of why I left Canberra for the Sunshine Coast (and then I ended up in Shepparton).

A surprise away win for the Eagles. So disappointing for Melbourne. After a great few weeks they look like slipping back to being the Melbourne of recent seasons past. Who would have  thought that, the way they stopped Brisbane in their tracks a few weeks ago? Would hope that they could pick up a bit. On the other hand, as I have suggested I am really concerned by the slippage of the game interstate so that this win was great from that point of view at least. I think that Naitanui has gone off the boil a bit but Dean Cox seems to be coming back into form. Could the West Coast yet make the eight?.

I will be seeing Essendon play in a couple of weeks so from a personal perspective, “Go Bombers”. St Kilda are collapsing week by week. Again, a fast team “done em in”. As usual, it seems, Hille has been reported again. Does Fletch ever play a bad game these days? There seems to be a delicious delight experienced by opposition supporters whenever Milne stuffs up.

Carlton had a fabulous win against Port Adelaide, a game which on paper they would not win. They had had a short turn around and previously the Powerless had been great in the last quarter so that the  average observer would have thought that they would get up. I watched about the last 40 minutes of the game and the Blues reminded me of Geelong with their running fast football as they carved up Port. They have to be serious contenders now, surely. Judd, like Ablett, takes one’s breath away with the way that he gathers, twists and turns and invariably uses the ball to good advantage. Players like these (and the Carlton forward line) more than make up for some of the boring footy that his been dished out this year.

North Melbourne beat Adelaide. Yet another reminder that South Australian football needs some sort of resurgence from somewhere, as in new coaches for both sides. On the other hand North Melbourne have done surprisingly well given the shocking start to their season. Four and four isn’t too bad for a new coach.

Hawthorn beat Richmond. Does anyone apart from Jeff Kennett care any more? Jack Riewoldt’s mark and goal in the last quarter was a reminder as to why this is such a great game.

Chelsea beat whoever they were playing one zip. How fascinating is that?

Good luck to Jessica Watson. She proved all the naysayers (including me) wrong. Hate the hype that is about to be unleashed on us all but I suppose that had I achieved the feat I would be in it for all I could get.

About Peter Schumacher

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

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