• Swans match report v Carlton

    Swans v Carlton

    I was overseas during the early part of the season and had watched the swans play Carlton at the scg via the afl website. that's an interesting experience as you get a bit of a delay, you know ball kicked by number 5 to number 3 to number 4 who goals. this meant I approached the swans Carlton game without the preconceptions of those who had watched that game.

    However I have managed most of the subsequent games and must confess to being pretty apprehensive as I boarded the train to docklands. I think the league ladder flatters the swans performances to date. After all but for about 40 points and we could have won just two games for the year.

    The match committee had made the interesting decision of playing seaby, mummy and lrt in the same team. It looked odd and this was compounded in my mind by the decision to play jetta on the bench. It looked a slow team playing against a fast team at their home ground -which is the fastest in the competition.

    The teams lined up more or less thereafter as expected. Up forward lrt, Reid and goodes were a three tall forward line, with mcglynn and jack playing the hff positions. Mal and tadgh's were the two wingers. Interestingly bird went to Judd and mcveigh went to Murphy. Both of those match ups looked too slow, but it seemed as though we were trusting our players to break even.

    The first fifteen minutes were a dream start. After the blues kicked a behind, goodes marked a kick which just carried the defender and to my surprise nailed the shot. Shortly after jack spun out of a pack and kicked a speculative kick to ff where Reid and and his opponent negated each other so successfully that the ball squeezed past both and went through.

    Not for the only time in the match but certainly for the first time so far as I could tell the home town umpiring took place. Mcglynn broke from a pack and was clearly pushed in the back as he shot for goal - it was an amazing decision not the only one for the day but it did give you a sense of how the game might be officiated.

    Then Judd played on quickly from the full back line, lrt took a good contested mark, found bird who also converted from a tough shot. The score was 19-1. At this stage the blues were simply second to the ball, and we were killing them. We had probably fumbled an extra couple of opportunities in this time as well.

    Had you gone to sleep at this moment and then woken up with ten minutes to go to see some beautiful passages of swans play leading to a further series of goals you would have assumed that the swans had won by in excess of ten goals. Sadly this was not the case because from the moment of birds goal to three quarter-time there had been a further fourteen goals kicked, thirteen by carlton.

    The rot started as a result of a simple dropped mark by mummy on the hbf from a kick in - a situation that ought not to have occurred in any case malls kick-in simply took too long and allowed and blues defenders to get numbers to the space. Prior to waiting for mummy to arrive Marty had been standing there unmarked for what seemed like 30 seconds. Mummy's drop was swept up and delivered beautifully to kreuzer who nailed his shot from 40.

    To get the Blues further into the game tadgh was one on one with the blues younger superstar Marc Murphy. He stood Tadgh up, ran around him and left him for pace in the forward line and won a free kick from high contact from okeefe. To be honest it was a bevanesque attempt to bump.

    The third goal came again from a free kick in the middle of the field from an overly vigorous tackling attempt which slipped fractionally high on carazzo -one long kick to twenty metres from goal and a series of hand passes later and another goal was kicked.

    To demonstrate the skill level errors over the next five minutes AJ dropped a simple mark and then missed his target. It's hard to criticize AJ because he was one of our better players for us on the day -took some great marks in defence and generally looked assured. Grundy had four players shepherd for him and he still decided to kick with his left foot off a step and turned it over. Bird kicked to a two on one against mcglynn where both of the two were a foot larger than mcglynn, tadgh did a three metre kick to a player under more pressure than he was and then hand passed the ball to no one after shaw and mcveigh had done a stack of work to give him time.

    Now the truth is we had been seeing aspects of this sort of performance against north and the tigers but our midfield and defence had kept us in the game. Against a team with a decent midfield we were really looking like a slow side. The blues were doing better than breaking even around the ball and everywhere else (half back and half forward) they were faster and cleaner with their possession. Indeed at this stage it looked like we simply were just getting hold of the ball and kicking with hope. Te ball would land around half forward and come back with great speed.

    At quarter-time Richards went down the race with Nathan Gibbs which was not a good sign. And then the floodgates opened. The blues had kicked four in a row after our good start and Murphy burst onto a ball in the second quarter with mcveigh trailing in how wake. Another Carlton goal. Robinson swooped on a loose ball and another goal. It was now six in a row.

    Our only decent part of the quarter came for the next five minutes. Malceski dropped a straightforward mark, mummy missed everything from forty, goodes missed everything from thirty, and to break your heart tadgh in acres of space fumbled the ball chose not to hand pass to smith who was also in acres of space got tackled with the ball and then Kennedy conceded a fifty. Seven in a row. So from 19-1 it was now 45-19.

    Goodes set up mal for our first goal since about the five minute mark and immediately afterwards as a midfielder burst from the centre square delivered to mcglynn who missed from thirty almost directly in front. Then mal received a pass from goodes - our quarter involved fourset shots inside the fifty from marks for two points. Impressive....

    On balance you would say that we had chances to be a bit closer. The ebb and flow of the game had favored Carlton but we probably should have been down a couple of goals at most but our inefficiency at kicking for goal was really hurting us.

    The third quarter was nothing short of a disaster. We started OK but turned it over repeatedly, johnson, reid missed bolton in the goal square and we couldnt get the ball past hf. And then tadgh popped up. Words fail me with this kick where he spun back to the boundary line to kick with his left foot not down the line but back into the middle and from a short pass to garlett the blues kicked the goal. So an arm wrestle for ten minutes ceased and from that moment Goals flowed.Judd beat bird of a boundary stoppage and delivered perfectly, Andrew walker benefitted from a sam Reid misplaced hand pass, goaled from a good pass and then Judd burst clear to goal and suddenly it was 86-28. To appreciate this they had scored 86-9 since the five minute point of the first quarter.

    Of the fourteen goals kicked in an hour the blues had kicked 13 of them. This needs to be properly understood. We had chances, and a few of them, but it calls for some serious soul-searching by the match committee. That sort of performance was not handed in by the lions or port or the suns. It was truly appalling and the response of the coaching committee must be closely monitored.

    the last quarter was junk time -which we won and we played some pretty decent footy. But as Terry Wallace said in year of the dogs" if the players are happy with that I'll spew"

    Some lessons need to be drawn from this game.

    Firstly, and sadly because I quite like seabs and mummy they simply cannot both be in the one team. It simply doesn't work.

    Secondly we need to work out exactly what sort of forward line we want. And then we play forwards as forwards and defenders as defenders. Lrt is simply not a forward.

    Thirdly tadgh has been really caught out by the forward pressure that now exists, and he has definitely lost two-three yards. I wonder whether the game has past him by. Unless he plays loose as he did against north I think he is struggling.

    Fourthly I'd be inclined to play shaw permanently forward, or bring bevan in. they are both reasonably hard at the ball and they actually can mark the ball.

    Fifthly I think we need to play goodes on the ball. He is less inclined to play for frees and just goes and gets the ball. And at the moment we need someone to win the ball for us.

    We need to work out how we are going to kick 15 goals against the better teams. In fact we actually need to work out how we will kick 15 goals against the mediocre teams. I am quite concerned about the crows game away and the freo and western bulldogs games at home. These are simply must win games for us but we need to get a forward line which is capable of kicking enou points to win those games. I believe we can defend well enough to stop most teams from getting more than 15 goals but I'm stuffed if I know how we can get more than that ourselves.

    All in all it was a pretty depressing day.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. ScottH's Avatar
      ScottH -
      Well summed up in the last sentence.

      What people wouldn't have got on the TV, was just how much space Kruezer had. He just wandered all over the ground at times, and was left unchecked. I noticed Reid was shadowing him around the ground at one stage, but that didn't last long.

      Kruezer also took an Uncontested Mark on the Wing, with Muford standing right beside him. didn't even make a contest.
      Mumford is still not right. He is nowhere near his form of last season.

      Thank for the report.
    1. dimelb's Avatar
      dimelb -
      Good overview Melbournehammer. As you say, depressing, but truthful.
      I don't mind Mummy and Seaby (or Pyke for that matter) playing in the same team; if they'd taken their chances yesterday we'd be feeling less down.
      Otherwise I agree pretty much down the line. LRT is one of our better players, and can go forward at times, but that's not his home. I suspect the injury to Ted may change that for us.
      Tadhg might have lost leg speed, but I think it's his head speed, or lack thereof, that's doing us in. I think the time has come to bite the bullet and use someone else with a view to the future, probably Rohan when he's fit.
      I like Shaw up forward at times, despite his regrettable rush of blood yesterday when he played on at a time when all he had to do was stand still, but he has become one of our better taggers and it probably needs to take priority; I think he might have done better on Murphy than McVeigh managed.
      Goodes is a bit like LRT in that he can play forward cameos, but his home is elsewhere.
      Overall we are not where we hoped to be and are rebuilding while trying to hold our ground. The best thing that could come out of this pain is learning what not to do on the way to a more balanced game plan and better skills.
    1. RBS1's Avatar
      RBS1 -
      Spot on , not much more to be said , personly cant see LRT playing forward againts good sides . White in to create a 3rd tall target and a get out kick option on the wing . He can also go into the ruck and give Mummy a spell , Goodes straight in the guts v Collingwood
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