It feels like I’ve been admitting to a lot of stuff on this blog lately, so why not drop another bomb? In the words of Dave Grohl – I’ve got another confession to make.
I don’t really care about this footy season any more.
I know. As Chief Footy Writer for Holding Steadfast, I should remain professional and see it through to the end. But here’s the thing: since the Hawks loss last week, I no longer care what happens on Grand Final Day, because the Poos and Wees won’t be there. In my mind, the season peaked last week. Add that to the fact that I don’t have TIPPA!™ to watch any more, and the fact that the Bombers won the wooden spoon, and the sum of all these parts = Zero Care Factor.
Raise your hand if you’re happy to see the Hawks out of the finals.
So yeah. I’m struggling for motivation this week. But – I’ve got a job to do, and this week it’s to review the 2nd Preliminary Final (that’s being played first) between Sydney and Geelong. So – time to put on my big boy pants and do my job.
Here we go.
National anthem. Teams look solid. Buddy spat on the ground during the anthem. Was that his Kaepernick moment? Probably not.
Bruce seems flat early. Obviously suffering from Cyril Withdrawal. You just get the feeling Buddy needs to put in a big one, don’t you, for Bruce to elevate tonight. Gee, it’ll take a big one, won’t it?
Cameron Ling… could they change his title from Special Comments to Captain Obvious? I do like what Wayne Carey brings to the table though.
Captain Obvious ponders his next move.
No pre match biffo again. Disappointing. What’s it going to take? Fingers crossed for Grand Final Day.
00:28 28 seconds in, and McGlynn snaps a GOAL. Swans off to a quick start. Dare I say “they look up and about early”? 6-0.
Nice to see Jimmy Bartel out there. Can’t believe there was speculation about dropping him. What’s with the Scott boys anyway? SACK ALL THE OLD BLOKES!
Oh – crap deliberate out of bounds call against Cats early. Here we go…
3:00 Franklin with a nice hit up to Kieren Jack. About 40 out, slight angle. Misses a relatively easy shot on goal. Point. Swans 7-0.
6 man commentary team for Channel 7. Bruce reeeeeeally stretching out his words tonight.
4:45 Lonergan fumbles a relatively easy pick up, and McGlynn has a running shot at goal and misses. Point. Swans 8-0. McGlynn getting a bit of it early. Should have kicked that though.
Bit of back and forth. Cats not using the ball well going forward. Swans look composed.
McGlynn again. WHO’S ON HIM!?
7:00 Franklin sells a bit of candy and then hits up Tippett inside 50. Buddy looking good up around half forward/wing. Tippett from 45 kicks a nice GOAL! Swans out to a 14-0 lead. Cats not looking threatening up forward at all. Swans look like kicking a goal every time they get the ball forward of centre.
Bruce with the big stat: Tippett hadn’t kicked a goal since round 9.
ANDRE AGASSI IN THE HOUSE! Dude’s got fat. He kind of looks a little like the singer from Distrubed. And he’s sitting next to Gillon McLachlan. Agassi that is. Not the singer from Disturbed. I think.
Andre Agassi at a recent music festival?
Ooh… Buddy’s hobbling. Lonergan goes in to “check” on him. Buddy throws the wild haymaker backhand. Kind of like Agassi actually.
BANG! Buddy just bashed through a tackler like he wasn’t even there. But now he’s coming off for a spell. Sore knee. Knee sore. Hmmm.
Stoppage central for the time being. Time in forward half: Sydney 70%, Cats 30%. Geelong don’t look like it. Swans pressure very good. Cats rushing their possessions.
11:00 TOM MITCHELL WITH SOME MAGIC FEET! Handball out to Luke Parker who drills a GOAL from 45. Swans lead 20-0. Cats are about to be blown away. Early night for me?
12:30 GOAL. Swans go forward again. Jack hits up Parker inside 50 who goals. 26-0. This looks ominous.
13:45 TOM MITCHELL AGAIN. Huge forward 50 entry to the top of the square. Buddy ragdolls his opponent, brings the ball to ground and handballs to Tippett who GOALS from the square. 32-0, and Buddy is giving it to Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor. The Franklin show is on tonight.
Swans have 9 of the last 10 inside 50’s. Uh oh.
There’s still 10 minutes left in the quarter.
15:45 Rushed behind. 32-1.
Selwood’s done bugger all according to Lingy. Pleading for him to lift. Shut up Lingy. Mitchell is giving him a bath.
Do you reckon Jimmy Bartel’s beard is a fake?
I rate Allir Allir. Reads the play so well.
Selwood doing some elite pointing.
Looks like Mackie has gone to McGlynn. Cats starting to get a bit punchy and cranky. We might get some biffo tonight after all.
Lincoln McCarthy could be Geelong’s best number 6 since David Spriggs.
Swans just moving the ball too easily – hitting targets at will. No pressure from Geelong.
20:53 WHAT THE HEENEY??? I don’t know how he did it, but he tumbled a punt from 48 metres out of congestion for a GOAL. Swans 38-1
Al Clarkson in the crowd looking glum. That made me laugh.
FREE KICK SELWOOD. Got pushed in the front. Not sure how that’s a free kick. But anyway. 23 minutes in, and Selwood needs to kick this. 20 metres out, 45 degree angle.
AND SHANKS IT. Just scrapes in for a point. Swans 38-2. If Swans kick another this quarter, this game is about over.
Did I mention the Swans pressure yet? Relentless. Cats can’t cope. Lingy agrees with me. Damn.
24:30 Tumbled punt from Rohan finds Papley alone 40 metres out. He’ll have a shot.
Or handball it off to FRAAAANKLIN! GOALS from 50. Swans lead 44-2. I’m calling it. GAME OVER.
Dangerfield trying his guts out for the Cats. 13 possessions. Not getting much help in the middle.
28:00 Caddy marks 50 out. Kicks from 55 and misses. Swans 44-3
30:00 Rampe great defense on the goal line saves a goal. Big spoil.
31:00 Long shot from Mitch Duncan misses. Swans 44-4.
31:30 TOM HAWKINS SIGHTING. Marks near the boundary 35 out. Kicks from 40 after the siren and misses. Swans 44-5. Allir Allir in the hands of the trainers, limping badly off the ground.
QUARTER TIME Sydney 7.2.44 v Geelong 0.5.5
Thoughts: Cats aren’t up to it tonight. They can’t handle what the Swans are throwing at them. Plus they’re wasting their opportunities on goal. They did work back in to the game in the last 5-10 minutes of the quarter though. Also – the umpiring is very substandard, but neither team is really advantaged.
No biffo. Again. Cats need to start a stink I reckon. Get a few of their players to raise a sweat.
00:30 Brilliant tackling work from Isaac Heeney. Kids a legit superstar in the making. Will win a Brownlow.
Buddy drops it cold while tackled. Play on. I maintain that the superstar players are umpired differently to the rest.
1:30 Cats stuff up coming out of defense. Centering kick from Mitch Duncan was too high for Bartel, who got a hand to the ball but couldn’t mark – he would have 5 years ago. Rohan pounced on the loose ball and kicked a GOAL! Swans 50-5. This is ugly.
Allir Allir up and running with his knee strapped. Good signs.
2:45 Long ball from Dangerfield bounces at the top of the square, and the Swans rush a behind under no pressure. Well. If that’s not deliberate, I don’t know what is. Smith had 3 goes at tapping it over!
4:00 TOM HAWKINS SIGHTED. Fought off Heath Grundy who was basically molesting (or making sweet love to) him. Took a strong mark 35 out straight in front. Squeeeeeeezes it in for the Cats first GOAL! Swans 50-12. Zero emotion from the Cats. Can a sports team be in shock?
Bruce reckons the Cats are lifting. Meh. Not so sure about that.
That said – inside 50’s are now evening up. Just 2 difference.
Bartel takes a big mark. But Heeney gets a free kick instead. Apparently Duncan shepherded him out. I thought he was contesting the mark to be honest.
7:05 GOAL to Xavier Richards. Who? Anyway… the ball went deep inside 50 from the Heeney free kick, McGlynn did some nice front and square work and got the ball to this Richards kiddie, who kicked a goal from the goalsquare. Nice moment for the kid – his first time on the MCG. And now he’s watching himself on the big screen. Good for you.
Mitch Duncan… I count 3 mistakes this quarter. SPUD!
Motlop gets some free space on the wing. Then turns it over. SPUD. I feel like I might be calling a few more in the blue hoops that as we go on.
Lingy now pleading for someone to help Danger. LMAO. Cheer squad much? Anyway – Danger has 18 possessions – 11 contested. Freak. Will probably have himself a Brownlow in a few days time. Won’t be playing in a Grand Final though.
Danger looking for help. Keep looking mate.
Commentators trying to talk up Cats. They’ve lifted etc. Newsflash: They haven’t. They’re getting the ball inside forward 50 – but not with any real success. Very haphazard stuff.
50m penalty to Swans for TOMAHAWK ABUSE! Watch the Swans score from this. They’re brilliant at doing that.
Sure enough – point to Sydney. Kennedy nearly soccered goal of the year from the boundary though.
Great entry from Bartel – but somehow Heeney spoils Blicavs, and then takes the ball away – clearing it from defensive 50.
Andre Agassi looks confused. And tired. And a little like the singer from Disturbed. Where’s Steffi? She’d love footy, surely?
15:15 PAPLEY! Great running GOAL from outside 50. Missed handball from Lonergan to Enright thanks to pressure from McGlynn, and Papley swooped! Swans 63-13.
Scores from turnovers: Swans 6.3.39. Cats 0.4.4
Cats inside 50 but can’t get the shot on goal. Swans tackling is unstoppable.
18:40 Mitch Duncan draws the high contact free kick and will have a shot from 60. Dude. Know your limits. Unsurprisingly – he misses. Swans 63-14.
Allir Allir looks like he could be done for the night. Icing the medial by the look of things. Boo. Richo calling for Ted Richards to come in for the Grand Final already. Settle down Richo.
Bartel is playing well this quarter. As is Selwood. It’s not really getting results though. Cats need their next tier to step up. But they’re MIA.
Not much going on here. Bit of kick to kick style. Harry Taylor heading for the rooms.
25:30. Rohan spots up Franklin inside 50. Buddy kicks from goal from the 50. Straight. Through. The. Middle. GOAL! Swans 69-14. What’s the record winning margin in a preliminary final? Someone google that please.
Swans running the clock before half time. Just over a minute to go.
Scott Selwood has a shot from 50 as Hanneberry looks to be injured.
JIMMY BARTEL! Checksides a GOAL from 40 out. Great skill. He’s had a really good game so far Jimmy. Cats close to 49 points. Swans 69-20. 8 seconds left in the half. Hanneberry comes off for an early mark with a grimace on his face.
HALF TIME! Sydney 11.3.69 v Geelong 2.8.20
Well. That was unexpected. The Cats have been blown off the MCG in this first half. Sydney is just outworking, outpressuring, and flat out beating up the Cats. There’s no great science to this destruction – the Swans are just plain and simple BETTER than Geelong, and can start preparing for the Grand Final already.
Underway again. Here we go. Can the Cats pull a miracle out of the bag – or will the Swans romp into a Grand Final appearance? For my sake, let’s hope the Pussies kick a couple of quick ones to start us off here.
2:30 Cats have come out breathing fire. They’re taking their best shot right now. Swans holding up though.
Bews with the Loooooong…. POSTER. Swans 69-21.
5:00 Blicavs has a spud moment. Took possession of the footy at centre half back and then forgot that there were other people on the ground. McGlynn laid a huge tackle and pinged Blicavs holding the ball, then pumped the ball to Richards in the pocket. Tom Mitchell runs over and gives Blicavs an absolute gobful. Classic Angry Little Man Syndrome. Meanwhile, Richards misses and Luke Parker is off with a possible knee injury. Swans 70-21.
Henderson having a mare. Add him to the SPUD list.
7:00 Papley pumps the ball inside 50 and big Naismith pulls out an over the shoulder snap from 10 metres out and GOALS! Swans 76-21.
Parker getting his knee strapped. Commentators calling it a possible medial ligament injury. I don’t really know. Parker is up and running though so it can’t be that bad.
8:53 GOAL! Selwood from the goal line after the free kick wasn’t paid to a Sydney player who basically got thrown to the ground. Swans 76-27.
9:52 GOAL! Caddy now goals with a snap. MOMENTUM! Swans 76-33 Swans claiming the ball was touched. 3 out of the last 4 goals to Geelong.
Dennis calls Jack nimble. I see what he did there. Just call the footy ya flog.
Cats pressing. Last 5 inside 50s.
Is Xavier Richards Ted’s brother?
Again. Umpiring has been crap tonight.
14:20 Game turning into a typical Sydney stoppage fest here.
15:00 Papley gets a fortunate free for holding the ball on Bews. Has a shot from 30 metres out near the boundary. GOAL! Cats momentum halted. Swans 82-33.
16:30 Long ball forward from Menegola, and a good one on one mark to Harry Taylor. Kicks a GOAL! Swans 82-39. Great stoppage work from Dangerfield to get the ball out to Menegola.
17:30 Point to Bartel. Little toe poke off the ground. Swans 82-40.
Gary Rohan has given Mackie a touch up tonight. I reckon the Cats should consider trading Mackie.
19:30 Harry Taylor takes another mark up forward after some nice run and carry from Duncan. Very non-SPUD like effort from Duncan. Kicks from 40 and GOALS! Swans 82-46.
22:45 More bad umpiring. Guthrie taken high in defence and no free kick paid. In the next second Papley gets a free kick for high contact. Chris Scott is thrilled by this decision. Papley goes back and kicks a GOAL! His third, and the Swans lead 88-46. Swans small forwards are too good for the Cats – Rohan, Papley, and McGlynn have all troubled Geelong tonight.
Attn: Geelong. This is what Tom Papley looks like. You probably should man him up at some point.
Some Cats player has done his shoulder. Who is number 24?
26:00 Boundary throw in deep in Cats forward line. Dangerfield snaps a great GOAL! Swans 88-52.
Oh yeah – 24 is Bews.
Cats fans starting to boo every non free kick. They actually lead the free kick count 21-17. Mind you – the umpiring has been complete crap tonight. They’ve probably got a point.
THREE QUARTER TIME – Sydney 14.4.88 v Geelong 7.10.52
The Cats managed to close the margin by 13 points, this quarter – largely off the back of Selwood and Dangerfield. I still don’t think they can win, but with the week off – they should finish stronger, and the Swans are down a rotation or two as well. It’s a one in a million chance from here I reckon.
Another rubbish deliberate out of bounds paid after a missed holding the ball. I wouldn’t think any of these umpires will be invited back next weekend…
1:50. Big clunk to Rhys Stanley and bangs through the first GOAL of the last quarter. Swans 88-58. Will be interesting if the Cats get another quick one right now. (No it won’t) Lingy continues to barrack…
Horse is starting to look agitated in the coaches box. He seems worried.
4:50 Another mark to a Sydney small forward. Rohan this time marks 35 out, just in from the boundary. SHANK point. Swans 89-58.
5:15 Cats cock up the kick in. Well, Enright did. Sold Guthrie down the river, who was tackled by Papley – the ball spilled free and Rohan snapped a GOAL. Geelong don’t deserve to win this match, nor do they even deserve to be in the preliminary final. They’ve had 2 good players tonight, and that’s it. Sydney chants ring out around the MCG. Swans 95-58.
Players who have done bugger all for Geelong tonight: Hawkins, Motlop, Henderson, Mackie, Smith, McCarthy, Motlop
10:30 Richards ball into F50 – marked by Naismith. Misses. Swans 96-58.
12:30 – Out on the full next to the point post. Menegola with a shot on goal. Out of bounds. Not even on the full. That’s how much he missed by.
Rohan grabbed by the ankle and falls over. No tripping free kick. Have I mentioned how ordinary the umpires have been tonight?
Geelong’s best have been Dangerfield, Selwood, and Bartel. The rest have been grade A hot garbage.
SYDNEY chants now properly ringing out around the G. Really hate it.
14:45 Rushed behind to the Swans. 97-58 Mitch Duncan disguised it pretty well, but it was again – clearly deliberate.
Bruce pulling out the Stuey Dew Leap Year stat. Wins a flag in Leap Years apparently. I’m not sure whether that’s an impressive stat or not.
On reflection – It’s not.
Sydney’s Lucky Charm (according to Bruce)
22 minutes in to the last quarter. Surely the Cats know it’s over now.
Buddy slaps Motlop in the head. Nice.
I’m pretty sure that Xavier is Ted’s brother. They keep cutting to him in the crowd. Ted, not Xavier.
TOM HAWKINS SIGHTING. And kicks it out on the full. Has really stunk it up tonight.
Bartel giving Buddy some lip. It could just be a friendly chat I suppose. I’m imagining that Jimmy is probably trying to give Buddy beard envy. It is a ripper.
24 minutes. Can we not just call the game? Swans have taken the foot right off the gas.
Bruce starting to question Geelong’s recruiting – ie: they went for experienced players to improve the side rather than youth. Is it a mistake? They’ve got the quick climb up the ladder, but their best ball getters tonight have been the old blokes. This actually is worth talking about. So of course, the commentary team moves on. I think they’re all scared of Chris Scott’s Scary Eyes.
Ling talking up Selwood again. Something about most contested possessions in a final. Shut up Lingy.
Less than 3 minutes left. Thank the deities.
20 minutes since a goal. YAWN!
25:16. Bews long poster. 97-59 Swans.
26:16 With 30 seconds left, Geelong’s best number 6 since David Spriggs, Lincoln McCarthy snaps a point. 97-60.
GAME OVER. Sydney 15.7.97 def Geelong 8.12.60
Well. That petered out to a dull end. 2 goals in the last quarter. A massive win to the Swans sends them into the Grand Final. What else is there to say? The Swans got the jump on the Cats and the Cats never threatened. They were completely outclassed tonight by a rampant Swans midfield, who tackled and harassed their way to a very comfortable preliminary final win.
Some interesting stats:
Sydney: Heeney, Hanneberry, Rampe, Mitchell
Geelong: Dangerfield, Selwood, Bartel,
Sydney: Papley 3, Tippett, Rohan, Franklin, Parker 2, Heeney, Richards, Naismith, McGlynn
Geelong: Taylor 2, Stanley, Caddy, Hawkins, Selwood, Dangerfield, Bartel