Saturday, 30 May 2009

Golden Showers

When it was announced that Channel Ten were covering the Fremantle vs Richmond dead-rubber of the century rather than our game I'll admit I had a whinge. "What's wrong with showing the top team in country against the 2045 premiership favourites?" I wailed. Now, I'd like to apologise wholeheartedly to Channel 10.

Not only was our game completely rubbish, but it turns out that the only long distance camera angle available at Carrara is akin to filming the game from the moon. On the other side of the country Richmond and the Dockers were playing out a classic with the additional side-angle of Ben Cousins return to Perth. Of course that was the more appetising game. Even if they had picked it this week rather than six months ago did anyone doubt that Ten wouldn't put Richmond on every week for the rest of the season so the vultures could show the footage of the kid crying every ten minutes. I turned over at the end of our game and guess what they were showing? Ten should just hire Craig "hiding in the bushes" Hutchison already and make a network out of being [deleted for legal reasons - editor].

It's also understandable why nobody else wanted to write the report for this. It was never going to be pretty. To be honest I wasn't even going to watch it until half an hour before the first bounce. With no Foxtel at home and the dodgy internet streams all showing the Freo game I was content to stay home, listen to the radio and be a crochety bastard in the comfort of my living room. The major advantage to not watching a Foxtel Saturday night game is, of course, not having to put up with the utter tripe that is Dwayne Russell as a commentator.

For the second week we managed to avoid copping a shot on goal in the first twenty seconds. The tide is clearly turning. In fact we scored first, the suddenly 'reliable on the run' Sylvia missing on the run. He did get another one not long after. We continually pegged them back when they jumped away to a break, even James Frawley wandered forward for a goal. This leaves Jack Grimes as the only player in our 22 who has never kicked a career goal - come on son, it's been five matches already. Fire up and kick a bag. Adrian McAdam had 29 in the same time after all.

Then after quarter time the game just died. I honestly can't remember what happened for most of the next three quarters other than it being horrible. And to think I was supposed to be going to this game before financial considerations kicked in. At least then I'd have been able to cheer myself up by going on a waterslide at Sea World tomorrow instead of watching reserves football.

Did we actually get a free kick in the first half that wasn't for out on the full? I'm not suggesting there were any rorts at work, and god knows even if we'd had them they would just have been botched, but I can't remember any. Oh, and the hands in the back rule has officially been removed from the rulebook. Ring Kevin Bartlett up on Hungry for Sport and ask him what happened to it. Shithouse. We got a handful in the second half

So, how bad was the second half? Well, put it this way I'd rather sit through two hours of the CGU ads with Susan the rapping providore than ever watch it again. In fact don't ask me what happened in the last quarter, because I spent the whole time on my friends couch reading Wikipedia on a laptop and telling him who North Melbourne had drafted in any particular year. I did look up at one point to see Whelan laying another blockbusting rugby tackle - I don't think anyone gives enough credit to how much he's going to be missed when he goes. Kyle Cheney looks like a successor at times but he'll need to learn how to produce killer tackles and get injured at inappropriate times if he's going to fill Whelan's shoes.

Also interesting was McDonald getting crunched in the knee and going off as if he was completely rooted. Came back on, but clearly wasn't right. Our midfield doesn't have a great deal of people knocking on the door to come in (Bell was so-so, Buckley is around somewhere) but if he were to cop a serious injury now would it be the end of him? Love the guy, and his tackling is a highlight, but it might be time to move over and let somebody else have a crack. Meh, whatever - we're shit let him go on for as long as he likes.

It's a credit to our backline that even with the ball spending most of the game inside the Saints forward 50 we didn't concede a massive score. It was also a credit to the fact that they couldn't kick straight most of the time, but go with my point. I'll say this every week until we are actually good but it's the backline that's going to be the foundation for our success. Now to find some semblance of a forward structure. The Stefan Martin Experience forward experiment (SMEFE?) was an abject failure, but then again so was our entire forward line other than Bate - who was doing all his work outside 50 - so it's not a great indication. I still don't think he's a natural to play down there, certainly doesn't look too comfortable with it.

To top off a great night I went outside to my car and realised that I'd totally forgotten to look at the street signs when I parked. Hello 15 minute zone, hello $57 fine. Not so bad considering I was there for about 4hrs longer than legally allowed.

Draft Watch
No need to talk tank, with Richmond's ludicrous win over Freo they're now a game and percentage in front of us. If we don't get this draft right then we'd may as well give up, Mulder and Scully or whatever the fuck these new messiahs are called had better be ready to dedicate themselves to a career of failure and disappointment.

Kasey Korner
Tomorrow against Geelong @ Casey Fields. I've got something else I'm supposed to go to, but frankly the prospect of standing on the hill alone and listening to the gloriously - and therefore great - 3SER amateur radio call is a much more attractive option. Besides there are so many interesting angles in the match that it's impossible to ignore. Will Robertson bounce back or is he rapidly sliding towards irrelevance? Does Watts do enough to get a Queens Birthday debut? Will Ricky Petterd get played in position? Should Lynden Dunn even bother turning up? Half-assed reportage later tomorrow.

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
5 - Jared Rivers (Did well in defence, had precious little competition at the top of this lineup)
4 - Mark Jamar (my god, I never thought we'd see the moment that somebody with 2 kicks almost wins BOG)
3 - Matthew Whelan (the most underrated MFC player of the last decade)
2 - Matthew Bate
1 - Brent Moloney

Apologies to Grimes, Green, Maric, Sylvia, Frawley and McLean

Leaderboard
18 - Aaron Davey, Brent Moloney
11 - Brad Green
10 - Nathan Jones
8 - Brock McLean, Jared Rivers, James Frawley (CO-LEADERS: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year), Colin Sylvia
7 - Brad Miller, Cameron Bruce, Stefan Martin
6 - Cale Morton
5 - Kyle Cheney (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year), Matthew Bate,
4 - Matthew Warnock, Jamie Bennell, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
3 - Ricky Petterd, Russell Robertson, Matthew Whelan
2 - James McDonald
1 - Lynden Dunn

Next Week
Queen's Birthday. Not her real one, but who's counting? Last week I might have claimed we were a chance, but after tonight I'm not so sure. Here's to them suffering a black death style injury plague in the game against Port tomorrow. At least we'll be able to finally answer the question - who would you rather throw into the sea, Cloke or Miller?

Final Thoughts
Tonight made me want to fill my pockets with rocks and walk into the ocean.

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