• Sydney vs Essendon - Round 11

    "A game the Swans had to win to keep their season alive." "A tightly fought contest that went down to the wire." "A match were the "old blokes" finally stood up." All are true but a bit passe. Jude's record for contested possessions has already been gushed over, McVeigh's clearances delighted in. The weather remarked upon, the umpiring ruminated upon. What else is there to say about this game? I thought I would approach this match report a little differently, and write about a few of my favourite things. (Timings are approximate and refer to the count down clock.)

    8 "You're GONE" (Q3 12.15 )

    Some of the holding-the-ball interpretations nowadays are so ridiculous that the pleasure of a "BAAALL" decision has somewhat dissipated. But there is still something thrilling about seeing an opposition player completely nailed from behind when he didn't have a clue it was coming. Jesse didn't exactly have to run Hocking down, so one can only wonder why Hocking was thinking, as Jesse had time to stand up, brush himself down. He had time to pull up his socks and check his hair in the mirror had he wanted. And still Hocking was standing there. That didn't make the "crunch" any less fun for Swans fans.

    7 "Speed trap" (Q1 3.10)

    For a team still sometimes labelled as plodding, it is great when a burst of speed breaks a moment open. Even better when it is two players in tandem. This time it was the Big Quick Bloke and the Little Quick Bloke running together, Jesse's toe poke keeping the ball rolling forward and Kieran collecting the half volley cleanly, all the while big legs and litle legs pumping at top speed. Jesse was the final beneficiary as he stormed towards goal to collect his second for the afternoon.

    6 "Top taps" (Q2 13.40, Q3 10.55 )

    We've gotten used to, over the years, some great goals from ruck set plays in the forward line, but those were in the days of Ball and Jolly. It is encouraging to see our current ruck brigade carrying on the tradition. Midway through the third quarter, Mumford produced a wonderful long angled tap that found Mcveigh in oodles of space (relatively speaking). Unfortunately that time he wasn't able to bend his shot back far enough. It had been a different story more than a quarter earlier when a deft tap down the throat of McVeigh was so sublime that it took the commentators several minutes to realise it came from the Canadian, not the Mummy.

    5 "The kids pick up" (Q3 9.17, Q3 3.29)

    Despite the veterans grabbing more of the headlines this week, there were still enough sparks from the youngsters to cause ample salivation. One of my favourites was Rohan's clean-as-a-whistle pick up from the greasy turf, his turn, his over-the-shoulder (slightly dodgy) handball to Goodes, which found its way to White running into the goal square for his third goal of the afternoon. A few minutes later, the Jetstar more than matched Rohan for cleanness of hands, scooping the ball at full pelt off a now sopping turf. It would have been a worthy pre-cursor to his first AFL goal but sadly, the last bit was not to be.

    4 "Goodsey finally has something to smile about" (Q4 4.19, Q4 1.09 )

    So no, not a great afternoon for our champion Swan, but having fluffed easy chest marks, run under the ball, been caught napping behind etc etc, he pulled off one of his hardest chances late in the game, turning in the air as the ball went over his opponent's head. The shot at goal was far from easy too, but it split the middle of the posts, just as Goodesy's expression of joy (or was that relief) split open across his face. No doubt the feeling was even better a few minutes later when a smart handball from Jude gave Goodes the chance to seal the game.

    3 "Brawn and brain" (Q2 1.42 )

    My favourite goal of the afternoon - Jesse looked to have wasted an opportunity when he fumbled an incoming ball at his feet. But he chased it to the boundary, used his bulk to perfection to protect the space around the ball, and his pick-up made its way into McVeigh's hands. I groaned a bit as McVeigh apparently ignored Rohan, alone at the top of the goal square, and seemed intent on dodging past two opponents to slot it home instead. But no, he was just making the goal a complete soda by drawing all available defenders away from Rohan.

    2 "Plays like Tarzan" (Q4 5.04)

    No list of favourite moments from this game would be complete without at least one Jude highlight. His game - indeed his career - was encapsulated by this moment when, having already secured best-on-ground-honours, he once again showed no regard for his own well-being and dived head-first at a contest in the middle of the ground.

    1 "The fallen oak tree" (Q2 7.30)

    I could probably have filled this whole reel of highlights with excerpts from the Mummy Tapes. His taps to advantage, ground level second and third efforts, his clearances, and especially his ferocious tackling were wonderful all afternoon. But I've picked this one example of something a bloke that big just shouldn't be able to do - off balance for the mark, he lunged forward at the ball and pushed it, two handed, into space as he fell flat towards ground. A chain of the cleanest handballs all afternoon found its way to Bevan for that great long, opportunistic shot at goal. Kudos to the Swans recruiters for this bold, aggressive bit of trading. Getting Mumford to the Swans is possibly the most exciting thing to have happened to our list since the Big Bad One was secured in 2002.

    Sydney Swans 3.3 7.5 10.12 12.17 (89)
    Essendon 2.2 7.5 11.6 12.8 (80)

    Sydney Swans: Rohan 3, White 3, Goodes 2, Bevan 2, Smith, McVeigh
    Essendon: Jetta 3, Davey 2, Gumbleton 2, Lonergan, Welsh, Howlett, McVeigh, Zaharakis

    Sydney Swans: Bolton, McVeigh, Mumford, Roberts-Thomson, Jack, Rohan
    Essendon: Watson, Lovett-Murray, Davey, Prismall, Jetta

    Sydney Swans: Nil
    Essendon: Hille (hamstring), Monfries (hamstring), Stanton (ankle) replaced in selected side by Howlett

    Reports: Nil

    Umpires: McBurney, McLaren, Meredith

    Official crowd: 29,329 at the SCG
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. ScottH's Avatar
      ScottH -
      What an excellent review!

      I recall most of those highlights.

      Nicely done, liz!!
    1. dimelb's Avatar
      dimelb -
      Great read Liz - wonderful to relive the moments!
    1. RogueSwan's Avatar
      RogueSwan -
      I loved #5. The clean hands of the youngsters is a joy to watch. Drop Jetta? pffffft!
    1. Mike_B's Avatar
      Mike_B -
      Great read liz. And the excitement when Jetta scooped that ball up was just brilliant, I know I was out of my seat only to throw my head back in agony when it missed. I'd commented not long earlier that Jetta's first goal would be something special and it was oh-so-close.
    1. Xie Shan's Avatar
      Xie Shan -
      Great work Liz!! I really liked the non-linear structure of the match report, it was something different to try - well done!

      You know, I don't really see us as a 'plodding' team anymore -- some of our talent is still quite raw, yes, but watching the swans of 2010 has a very different 'feel' to previous years.
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