• Sydney vs Richmond Round 3 Match Report

    Can We Have Our Money Back Please?

    That was the thought that crossed the minds of my companion and I midway through the second quarter. At half-time we were all ready to send the bill direct to the Richmond accounts payable department. By the time the game ended, we started to think maybe the Swans should chip in as well. This was never a game likely to rival the epic Sydney West Coast battles for competitive tension, despite the polite pre-game words about how Richmond have some really good young players, or how every team can be dangerous on their day.

    Once it was confirmed that Richmond were going to play pretty much as we expected they would - all of five minutes into the game - most of the Sydney faithful would have been licking their lips, waiting for party time. You know, one of those games, or even just a quarter, when the Swans would turn it on and bang through 8 or 9 goals in the blink of an eye. The frst quarter built as a reasonable overture to the crescendo we were waiting for. But the second quarter resembled nothing more than mediocre baroque - pleasant, soothing but hardly inspiring. By the third quarter we had descended into elevator music and the final term was little more than a bad wedding band past midnight with the comatose guests desparately waiting for the thing to end.

    Harsh? Unfair? Yes, probably, to both. It is a game that presents better on TV replay than it did live at the ground. Maybe that's because you can lie back and watch with no expectation of great things to come, and wander off to the ktichen during the dullest bits. Or maybe it is because the close up vision displays just how crisp and precise Sydney's first half disposal was, particularly in the back two thirds of the field. Of course there was hardly any pressure, and acres of space for receivers to run into, but still, a team can only play the opposition that turns up. The Swans were nothing if not clinincal in the way they put Richmond away well before the half time siren. The TV screen also makes apparent just how tired many of the Swans looked in that final fumbling term. Fair enough too, for they worked darned hard early in the game and reports suggest that last week's game took its physical toll.

    Breathtaking highlights or stand-out individual performances were few and far between. Bradshaw's 500th goal - the first of the game - came and went without a whimper, no doubt because 496 of those that came before it were scored in other colours. Still, it would have been nice to have seen an acknowledgement of the milestone flashed up on the scoreboard. It is one that fewer than 50 players before Bradshaw have achieved. Jude, ROK and Kirky did what Jude, ROK and Kirky always do. McGlynn kicked goals but should have kicked more, or should have looked for better options than pinging away. Goodes toiled away to create genuine scoring chances for others but it wasn't vintage stuff from the great man, while Jetta seemed subdued and reserved his one highlight for the twilight of the game.

    The two most encouraging contributions came probably from Mumford and Malceski. Handed the lead baton for this week's peformance, the Big Mummy was impressive in his all around game and indicated that he's ready to be more than just understudy to Seaby. Malceski was the crispest of crisp by foot and provided further evidence that the real Mal is truly back. He hasn't yet let rip with one of those ultra-sizzles but I don't think we have much longer to wait.

    Hardwick was surprising upbeat in his post match press conference, pointing to improvement since last week and a better second half. No doubt he has to manage the morale of a team looking unlikely to win in the forseeable future, but surely he can't take solace in the lack of chase or defensive nous that was evident in the first half? Or convince himself that the better second half was the result of anything other than the Swans taking their collective feet off the pedal?

    He has a bit to work with but is it enough? Deledio was disappointing, Cotchin well held, Morton invisible and Tambling mostly bumbling. Certainly Riewoldt shows heaps of talent and spirit and should have kicked at least 5, but he's not got the build or presence yet to hold a forward line together. If he had a big body down there to play alongside, he could become genuinely threatening but too much is being asked of him at the moment. Martin will be good, very good in time, though his long kicking was a bit indiscriminate at times. His two veterans, Cousins and Simmonds, must surely be causing some concern. Cousins is clearly a long long way short of the physical condition that enabled him to dominate in years gone by and it was slightly sad to watch a player of his ilk struggle to have an impact. Simmonds seemed largely disinterested, other than his ten minute spell in the goal square.

    But the Richmond woes are not really our concern. Instead we turn attention to North this weekend. While not in Richmond's league, they are another youngish team with experience spread thinly and need to be dispatched if the Swans are to retain their early season momentum. Evidence from Narranderra suggests the Swans' midfield should be too big and strong, and the forward line too diverse and talented, but a more sustained effort will be needed to make certain of victory number three.

    Sydney: 6.4 10.6 13.13 16.15 (111)
    Richmond: 0.4 1.8 4.10 7.14 (56)

    Sydney: Bradshaw 4, McGlynn 3, Goodes 2, J Bolton, Malceski, Mumford, Kennedy, Jack, Moore, O'Keefe
    Richmond:Riewoldt 3, Nason, Deledio, Edwards, Simmonds

    Sydney: J Bolton, Grundy, McGlynn, Mumford, Malceski, Jack, O'Keefe
    Richmond: Jackson, Edwards, Riewoldt, Martin
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. AnnieH's Avatar
      AnnieH -
      Nice Liz.
    1. dimelb's Avatar
      dimelb -
      Captures the main reactions of subdued elation and frustration.
    1. ShockOfHair's Avatar
      ShockOfHair -
      Not much to be said about that game, but Liz said it well.
    1. Mike_B's Avatar
      Mike_B -
      Well summed up liz - was a very ho-hum evening....

      There was a comment made at qtr time about Bradshaw having kicked his 500th, and the scoreboard did show 500 career goals when he kicked it, but only in the games, debut, goals today/season/career section.
    1. Lucky Knickers's Avatar
      Lucky Knickers -
      THanks Liz. I was laughing today with a colleague who is a Tigers supporter about how long the game seemed.
      Surprised you couldn't find room to comment on the excitement Ben Nason bought to the game because he reminded you of ROK in the Headband days.
    1. ScottH's Avatar
      ScottH -
      Shame about Bradshaw's 500th. It was a gifted shot. Might've been more exciting if he'd earnt it.

      Nice read Liz!!

      (Note to self: take pen and paper on Sat)
    1. RogueSwan's Avatar
      RogueSwan -
      Nicely put Liz.
      I don't imagine I will watch the second half of that game ever again, even in my most desperate hour (late Jan 2011).
    1. Yuri H's Avatar
      Yuri H -
      I thought it would've been nice to do a slightly bigger fuss for Bradshaw's 500th too. Maybe they were all blinded in horror by Nason's 'plucked eyebrows & drecklocks' look like I was every time he ran close past me.
    1. gumby_bolts's Avatar
      gumby_bolts -
      Enjoyable read Liz. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
    1. undy's Avatar
      undy -
      Bad wedding band > Elevator music

      One nice thing about that Swans of today is that in previous years they regularly managed to lower their game to the oppositions level when playing a weak team. I don't think they have done that so much in recent seasons.
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