View From Shepparton: Dominant Saints prompt disappointing Crows to revert to type

By Peter Schumacher

St Kilda are definitely the team to beat now, no doubt about that. Adelaide will quite possibly slide out of the eight. That they reverted to their instincts of trying to close down the game when the going got tough in the second quarter was very disappointing. I guess that as an armchair critic it is easy to be negative about the Crows’ tactics when in fact they were playing against a far superior team and thus trying to cut their losses. But the fact is that they failed the first real test for weeks and the result merely confirmed that they have really gone nowhere since they were thrashed by the Saints in Adelaide. Port will most likely beat them in the Showdown and the downturn will continue after that.

Was amazed the way that Collingwood fell apart against Hawthorn. Again it could be argued that this was the Woods’ first fair dinkum test in weeks and they weren’t up to it. If Hawthorn do make the eight on their current form they will be extremely dangerous but it is still very difficult to get to the Grand Final from outside the top four.

This gets me to Brisbane, now out of the four on percentage but certainly knocking on the door. They did have an away win in Perth, which is always great irrespective of the circumstances, particularly given that the playing conditions were terrible and Fremantle were bound to improve after last week. The margin was still awfully close. Further great games from Brown and Rich, and how glad I am that Rich is playing for Brisbane. I reckon that we might make the top four and I fervently hope that this is the case because I would like to have one final at least played out of Melbourne and see how a Melbourne-based team would fare away from home this year, particularly at the Gabba.  I didn’t want to hear that Bradshaw was injured; he has been seen to be not playing at his best this season but has still kicked 40 goals.

Essendon played well in the first half and I thought that they were a real chance but with players like Lake (who hadn’t crossed my radar until a few weeks ago) and Hahn taking control, the Western Bulldogs were always going to fight back. I reckon that the Bullies are the team to take on the Saints although to win they will have to succeed where no other team has, that is, get some traction against the miserly St Kilda defence.

Port had a good win against the West Coast Eagles at home but then so they should. Nothing too exciting about that, but still expect them to beat the Crows next week.

Similarly no one would have seriously expected to see Melbourne beat Geelong at Geelong, but at least the latter have returned to the winners’ list. Selwood is such a gun player for them and he is aged only 21; seems like he has been around for yonks. Liked Jurrah’s one-handed wrap-around mark and kick to Robertson.

Richmond barrackers must wonder how far their team needs to be ahead before they can be considered safe. Great effort, though, by North Melbourne to fight back after such a crook first half. I suppose that Hale did get his opponent in the back in those last few seconds, Richmond might have had cause to cry foul had the mark been allowed; there is such a low margin for error either way these days.

In terms of umpiring and so forth, pretty ordinary efforts in the Second Test at Lord’s. If referrals are allowed upstairs why was the notion of appealing from the field not allowed for this series? Yes I am aware that it slows the game down but once again there is so little margin for error. Hughes could have gone onto a big score; now his whole career could be called into question if he doesn’t get going soon.  The current system isn’t working.

About Peter Schumacher

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


  1. Tony Dalton says

    Peter I am validating your opinion; the saints are definitly the team to beat but not yet prepared to wipe out the Crows as legitimate finals contestants and would be surprised if Port was able to make a contest with them this weekeend. I am a saints supporter and watched intently on the weekend.I tipped against them for the first time this year fearing the physical drain on them from an intense game against Geelong and travel to the west and am now of the firm opinion that their ability to turn it on and respond to any challenge is unparrallled in their history.I also think that their stlye of footy has never been played before and it will be some time before others work it out and develop a strategy to counter act it.It is not inconceiveable that they will remain unbeaten for the rest of this year finals included they are an awesome team.

  2. Tony, regarding Adelaide, I think you’re right. As bad as Crows were, anyone who writes off a team based on a single peformance does so at their own peril. Take Geelong’s performance against Collingwood last year. Or 1995. If you watched Carlton’s lamentable performances that season in consecutive weeks against Sydney and St Kilda, you would not even have picked them to make the eight, let alone win the Grand Final, let alone not lose any other game for the entire year!

    As fot St Kilda, they really could go 25-0. And even as a Doggies supporter, I wouldn’t mind if they did. So well are they drilled that, even if nerves kick in, they do all the right things purely by habit. If they do win, I think the Friday night scrap against Freo last year (when Dal Santo and Milne were dropped) should be seen as a defining moment in the journey. The game itself was not a good spectacle but the renewed intent amongst the players (apart from probably Riewoldt and Harvey, whose work ethics could never be questioned) was palpable from the other side of the fence.

  3. Peter Schumacher says

    You blokes might have a point but I am a great believer in momentum or loss of same. I agree that the Saints are a great side this year but still feel that nevertheless Adelaide was humiliated. As such they are on a downer and Port will get them on a good week (for the Power).

    I also wish them St Kilda best of luck in attempting to win a long overdue premiership.

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