Monday, 2 June 2008

St. Kilda v Melbourne - The Stephen Powell Memorial Shield

The first of our guest reviews comes from Big Footy regular CaptainDavey - Enjoy!

Heaven and Hell. Saints and Demons. Going on names, you’d think that a match between two sides dubbed the Saints and the Demons would be an almighty biblical struggle. But it wasn’t. To be honest it rarely is. Instead we, the Demons, found ourselves reamed by our holy counterparts without mercy. The Saints simply went biblical on our collective arses. Now I’m not one really for religion, but a showing such as this would test any true believers faith. But for some unexplained, uncanny reason, we the faithful (who are small in numbers) continue week in week out to subject ourselves to painful, unbearable attempts to play the game we commonly know as ‘footy’. Sunday was no exception.

Roughly 28,000 fans turned up to the Docklands to watch Melbourne attempt to kick a red leather oddly shaped ball through the big sticks. When you put it that way it sounds easy! But tell that to Russell Robertson. Robbo marks the ball merely meters out and decides to play on which results in a touched attempt at goal. From that point onwards, you knew things weren’t going to be pretty. St. Kilda went about their merry way and piled on the goals and had it not been for their woeful inaccuracy, they probably would have flattered West Coast and Richmond’s performances. Melbourne in typical fashion responded with a firm ‘No! We will not allow ourselves to be trampled on by our opposition! So we’re going to go out there lay some half arsed tackles!’ Which was replied with more goals and more classy St. Kilda work, particularly in the middle. Statistically we were better in the contested possession area of the game, however we had our boxes smashed in the center clearances which meant the dynamic duo of Warnock and Garland couldn’t stem the tide of delivery into the forward line. I don’t look much into statistics. I remember Claudio Ranieri once said ‘Statistics are like a bikini. They look pretty but what they conceal is vital’. What he meant by that, well I’m not entirely sure, but 55 inside 50’s to 39 is a bit of a spanking. Not only that, but for Melbourne to score a goal, it cost us roughly 46 disposals as opposed to St. Kilda’s 20. Cop that Claudio. At this point in time I would like to make mention of our ridiculously ridiculous looking clash kit. It has a design that looks as though it belonged on a netball kit. It actually made it difficult to determine which players were from which teams at some points, particularly in marking contests…But as soon as either Riewoldt, Koschitzke or the much heralded Matthew Ferguson emerged with the pill from marking contests it became painfully apparent which players were posing as AFL footballers and which players actually had any hand/eye coordination.

Essentially the story of the day was St. Kilda winning the ruck contest, tapping it down to Luke Ball, Ball gets a clearance, Riewoldt takes a mark inside 50, shanks the kick, Melbourne fluff the kick in after the behind and Adam Schneider kicks a goal. Multiply that by about 12 or so and swap the names of various St. Kilda supporters and then you’ll have a grasp of what was played out over the chilly Sunday afternoon. The odd thing was though, despite St. Kilda mopping the floor with Melbourne, it appeared as though their fans genuinely weren’t that excited and pleased with the performance. I couldn’t understand why. Maybe St. Kilda has a higher percentage of angsty teenaged fans. What the hell do they have to complain about anyways? You’ll have to forgive me for going off on a tangent as admittedly there wasn’t a whole lot to report on concerning Melbourne. Well, nothing really worth noting to be honest. Matthew Bate and Colin Garland continued their good form from last week and Paul Wheatley was a welcome inclusion. It’s comforting to know that you can drop a player after a 20+ possession game and then bring them back in for another 20+ possession game. He also recently became the second most expensive defender in Dream Team. Lynden Dunn continues to disappoint a little. I think I am about to concede he is not the Chad Cornes prototype we were all hoping for. I think the only way to describe how Melbourne played was dumb. Just unintelligent football with unnecessary turnovers. That and our blatant inability to lay a tackle, which comes as a disappointment after having such a physical game against Hawthorn.

Throughout the course of the game there were little to no highlights to report on. Matthew ‘Red Prawn’ Bates effort was worthy of a mention. I put him in the ‘I give a shit’ category along with the likes of Jones, McDonald, Green, McLean and our stellar backline duo of Warnock and Garland. The loss of Russell Robertson was very upsetting, although it had little to no impact on the immediate game, he’s just a nice bloke and you wouldn’t want to wish that upon him. He’s the kind of bloke your Mum wouldn’t mind you bringing home. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Yze was Yze. When the going got tough, he was about as imposing as a Take That reunion. However when it didn’t count, only then did Yze waltz in and pop in a few goals. He’ll keep his spot given we’ve got the Queen’s Birthday approaching however after that, back to the magoos for you! Valenti would be a welcome return for the team, as well as seeing Rivers come in. Newton is also a requirement. Unfortunately the arse has to be given to one or more of the following; Dunn, Buckley, Bartram, Bell and possibly Moloney. Which is a pity given that those lads are favourites amongst the fans, but someone has to cop the arse and there is only so much we can take. Yze has a big fat ‘cop the arse’ target on his back as well should he not perform against Collingwood.

I remember when I was in year 9 back in the day at Caulfield Grammar School, Luke Ball, Steven Baker and Justin Peckett (Yeah remember him? Mr. 5 o’clock shadow) came and spoke to the male students of the school about masculine power and how we should utilize it properly as opposed to abuse women. Yes Melbourne did play like a bunch of girls today, so it would had been nice to see the Saints practice what they preach and not slap us around like a St. Albans housewife. Despite the spanking we received on Sunday, there are some things we can take heart in knowing. For example, the name St. Kilda Football Club, when abbreviated, St. KFC. Yeah I laughed. Not only that but who could ever forget Brock McLean’s stellar performance against the Saints in that elimination final many moons ago on that bitterly cold and wet MCG evening. It’s the memories that count. Here’s hoping that we have many more in the weeks and seasons ahead, beginning with the Queen’s Birthday. Here’s to Nick McCallum and the trumpet. Whattawesing?

2008 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Bate
4 - McDonald
3 - Wheatley
2 - McLean
1 - Garland

Leaderboard

16 - Brock McLean
15 - Brad Green
14 - Nathan Jones
13 - Cameron Bruce
12 - James McDonald
10 - Austin Wonaeamirri (Leader: 2008 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
9 - Aaron Davey
9 - Cale Morton
9 - Matthew Bate
6 - Paul Johnson
6 - Jared Rivers (Leader: 2008 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
5 - Brad Miller
5 - Brent Moloney
4 - Clint Bartram
3 - Nathan Carroll
3 - Lynden Dunn
3 - Jeff White
3 - Paul Wheatley
2 - Russell Robertson
1 - Mark Jamar
1 - Shane Valenti
1 - Colin Garland

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