Tuesday 24 June 2008

I see Red………Hair

(Where the international odyssey continued with an Australia Network assisted viewing of the game from a pub in Singapore at 11.30am while sick as a dog trying to decide whether it would be better to just die 3 minutes into the first quarter. Thanks to McLean_4_Captain for providing today's report!)

So, I'm back in town now - thus we endeth the era of Demonblog reports being concise, well thought out and generally actually about footy. Thanks for helping us flirt with reality for a few weeks guys! Anyway... let's roll.

Neil and Tim could not have put it any better and that’s what I was expecting today, to see a sea of Red. Sydney Red that is. With the “neutral” venue and the swans’ current form, my thought going in was that anything under 10 goals would be a win. What a sad state we are in when I automatically think like that. Sad, but not quite despondent.

I see Red in the crowd too. We get paid money regardless of the crowd in Canberra, why not play freo or someone there so we’ll definitely get the majority of the support? It is meant to be our “home” game. There were 3 or 4 to 1 Sydney supporters there from all accounts, so playing them there isn’t exactly going to build our supporter base, is it? And I read in the paper today that McNamee wants us playing Sydney there to be an annual fixture, so they’ll have a similar amount of experience playing at the ground and because of the location they’ll have the majority of the support, at least Hawthorn play different teams in Tassie and have the crowd on their side. I know we need the money, but it would be nice to get a slight home crowd advantage instead of giving it to Sydney. Seems to me like out of the Gabba frying pan and into the Manuka fire.

Back to the Finn’s. All we saw was Red. We didn’t get a disposal in the first 4 ½ minutes, and not long after Jonesy got our first touch in the back pocket the swans slotted their 3rd straight goal. It was looking dim and thoughts of getting within 10 goals were sliding towards 20. Five minutes later and Hall puts through his 3rd for Sydney’s fifth straight goal, 12 minutes of play and were 29pts down. Now 20 goals was looking in danger and Hall looked like he might give Fred’s 61 year old record a push.

But that’s about as bad as it got. Bruce ran hard for a nice goal to give us our first and fire crutch Bate got our second to keep the margin to 30pts at ¼ time

The Split Enz 1978 classic featured heavily again in the second quarter, but in an entirely different way to the first qrt, which had me feeling along way from the Rage that Tim Finn so eloquently expressed in that little gem. Stand-up and be counted Matthew Bate. Presenting well up on the wing as he has in previous weeks, but also kicking the goals which is what we really need from him. 2 goals in the second and he had 3.2 up to half time, keeping us within 5 goals at the half. Someone may have mentioned Bate to “step up to the next level and become a revelation off the HF line” in a recent Bolters 2nd half of the year BF thread, what a top prediction that was…

Not only did Bate come alive in the second quarter, the moisturising pair of Johnson & Johnson, both showed what we’ve been hoping to see from them all year. CJ was not only keeping O’Keefe quite, which is no mean feat on its own, but also giving us some run off the HB line. PJ started to lead well up on to the wing and was providing us a target too big for Leo Barry to compete with. But he was playing too far up the ground for mine and need to be put down at FF, we’ve already got Bate and Miller to lead up outside 50. Green and Wheatley started to get plenty of the ball across half back and provided us with some run, but some errant kicking didn’t help.

Another goal to Barry Hall had him to 4.3 up to half time, Warnock tried his ass off and wasn’t doing a lot wrong, not many are going to stop Hall in that kind of form and it was a valuable lesson for the veteran of 12 games.

Quarter 3, dare I say it, we dominated from the opening bounce, Miller kicking the opening goal of the half after about a minute. Bailey stuck PJ in the goal square from the outset and it paid off straight away, with a nice mark just inside the 50 and goal that never looked like missing. Two in the first 5 minutes and we’d cut the lead to 19pts. Sydney responded but let us off kicking 3 behinds that could’ve easily been goals. Davey gave us some much need pace playing as deep as half back racking up possessions and was back to his best. Hall added a fifth and a couple more points to be 5.5 up to ¾ time, he had more shots then that and could’ve easily kicked 10 for the day.

The fourth started much the same as the 3rd with us looking lively. Dunn who completed his best job of the year thus far nullifying Adam “head-high” Goodes effort and putting in a contender for behind of the year. He collected the ball inside defensive 50, took four or five bounces right up the corridor, received a sheppard from Bate and banged a nice drop punt towards goal from just outside the 50m line, which faded late for the best point of the game.

Just like Dunn’s kick, we faded late. From the Sydney kick in Sylvia claimed Mattner on the wing as he tried to step off the mark and gave away what is the shittest 50m plenty in the rule book, “You weren’t in the contest” says the fluro one. Not in the F#@king contest!!! He got there before he controlled the mark and then only grabbed his jumped as he stepped to go around him. That goal ended all hope and the Swans decided we were close enough so they stepped up a gear we all new they had in them and we didn’t, and we didn’t trouble the scorers for the next 20 minutes while they iced the game. All wasn’t lost with the 40pt margin as I backed Sydney by 40-59 @ $4.00 before the game

Miller led up well and took plenty of marks, but 1 goal and 1 goal assist isn’t really enough. Green collected his usual 25 or so touches playing the loose man, again with several strong defensive marks. Great to have Whelan back in the side, gave us the hard edge and experience we’ve missed in defence and let junior play more in the middle were he belongs. McLean toiled hard all day, but was tagged heavily all day mostly by Kirk. When Kirk needed a rest McVeigh had a go. Sydney smashed us at the clearances and I’d say Roos identified McLean as the one player who always had to have an opponent at the stoppages, which worked well for them. Garland was our best tall defender again, shutting Hall down later in the game, but that forced Bode onto O’Loughlin which had me cringing. He’s had a few weeks, not showing enough.

2008 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
5 - Bate
4 - Dunn
3 – C. Johnson
2 – P. Johnson
1 – Garland

Bate was clearly best. Dunn not only shut down Goodes but also did some good things himself. CJ gave us some great run with only a few errors as well as shutting down the dangerous O’Keefe. PJ would’ve got more votes but he was up the ground too much, if Bails is going to use him at FF he has to be told forward to stay in the F50.

The last vote was a raffle. It could’ve gone to any of Green, Wheatley, Junior, Davey or even Wona for his 3 goals. I went with Garland as he worked the hardest all day and did the team stuff. He copped a big hit, he was close to the interchange so he crawled off on hands and knees so another player could come on. Held O’Loughlin well, and then went to Hall when Warnock was struggling in the second half.


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

Whinge Section
Shit umpiring. I’ve spoken to both neutral and Sydney supporters about it and all have said we copped it pretty badly. Sylvia was having a bad enough day without shit 50m penalties. Anderson needs to change the interpretation of that rule, even the crap commentators mentioned that no one would’ve noticed if they’d let that one go, needs to be a bit more leeway.

Treatment Room Corner
No official injuries. Garland took a hard hit and went to the rooms, but was back on later in the quarter.

Sin Bin
Goodes has been done for Rough Conduct for his Head-high bump on Bartram. So he should, cheating prick. I’m hoping he gets rubbed out because he deserved to for the Selwood bump. And it also takes him off the consecutive games list. He is on about 205, so at 28 and injury free he was getting too close for my liking to Jimmy’s record.

Commentary Watch
Watched the late replay on channel 7, so I think it was the fox commentators. Fuck me they were bad, 7 coverage is bad enough on its own, I think it was Liam Pickering, Alistair Lynch and some other clown. Absolute Rubbish.

Coach Watch
Dean’s getting there. Game plan seems to be a working a little bit more each week, so hopefully at this rate we’ll win a premiership by the time Morton turns 50 (He'll be lucky to turn 50 kilograms - Ed). In all seriousness we were good in patches again against an opposition who were lacklustre for all but the first 15 minutes. The move of PJ forward worked well, but he I think he needs to be played deeper. My one real query was that we did nothing to help McLean break his tag, Kirk is good enough to deserve his own tag, so why not tag the tagger and hopefully free up McLean.

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