Evening all, it’s Monday night and time for another instalment of your favourite Sydney Swans podcast, The Swans Blogs’ SwansCast. We settle into this week on the back of a tremendous come-from-behind win at the Cattery on Saturday afternoon, making it three in a row at GMHBA and thoroughly shocking the local faithful.
It’s hard to put into the words what the game and win was like. I waited until later in the week to decide if I would go, I wasn’t sure if I would, with the injuries and outs and all the over-the-top negativity. But with the prodding of Mrs Blogs (thanks, love you!), I decided I would. Heck, screw it, result aside, I’ll go there and cheer on the boys no matter what happens; a proud supporter regardless of the result.
First quarter gave me hope, but I was cautious. I thought we could have – and should have – been further ahead at quarter time. We wasted several guilt-edge chances, but to the lads credit, they thoroughly dominated the opening stanza. Kennedy was on fire early and Sinclair was having a day out.
I always expected the Cats to come back into the match. You can’t keep a good side down, and they’re just that, despite missing a few really good players. Scott Selwood was a massive out for them on the eve of the game, he was certainly among their best players in both games last season. Sinclair was having a quiet spell in the middle quarters after copping a cut next to the eye, and the Swans work-rate dipped.
Despite the commentary on the Swans’ faithful boards and supporter groups, the Swans weren’t entirely out of the contest. Yes, the Cats lead at half-time, but they had to work bloody hard to get anything out of the contest. A few of their goals were had a fair helping of luck, rather than anything else.
The third quarter was much the same, we scrapped and dragged them into the mud and stayed within touch, but despite their dominance, Geelong simply couldn’t put us away. Then Kennedy and Sinclair went berserk in the last quarter and destroyed the Cats. Fox’s towering mark started the rot and it was well and truly set in five minutes later with Jones’ awesome running goal.
Hayward’s goal had me rattling the sideboards, much to the displeasure of the chirpy Cats supporter sitting behind me, and then Ronke’s goal had me dancing on the spot. Florent’s goal settled the match, but by then, I was in such a euphoric state that a celebration wasn’t necessary. I just sat back and enjoyed what was happening in front of me, especially when Hayward put is 15-points ahead.
The chirpy supporter nicked off before the final siren and when the match ended, the other Cats supporters stood up with me and apologised for her behaviour. As much as I don’t really like the players of the football club, going to Geelong and watching a game of footy is a rare treat.
Their supporters are as passionate as they get, but without being riotous, racist and rude supporters. They’ll happily have a chat and congratulate you on the way out. It’s a far cry from going to Etihad against Carlton, Bulldogs or Essendon, or dealing with Hawks supporters at the G, or even hopping a state over to Adelaide Oval.
I know for sure that I’ll go to every Swans match that I can at Kardinia Park. It’s one of the few places you can really enjoy your football and not feel shitty about it. Helps that they supply plenty of booze and had a kebab stand, gets two thumbs up from me.
I’ve been to almost every Swans game in Melbourne (not Geelong) since ’07, every single Melbourne final in the same time (including those dreadful losses in ’08 and ’09), and more recently, a number of Sydney and interstate games. I loved our win against Essendon last year, and there’s been plenty of wins at the ‘G and Etihad that I’ve enjoyed, but Saturday’s was about the best win outside of the ’12 premiership game.
It’s hard to explain really, to put into words and describe what I felt. I’m sure a lot of fans felt the same. Immense pride perhaps, in the way they battled adversity and belted their opponents, and the fact that it came from nowhere. Winning in the face of staunch criticism and the ridiculous ‘plan b’ discussion, especially with all the commentary about Longmire’s future and whether he’s a good enough coach, and his assistants as well.
I ended up chatting with the other Cats supporters around me for maybe 10-15 minutes, about the game and the season and how everything looks. I ended up sitting next to Leigh Harding’s mum and we had a good chat about Hawkins, how he’s going and the parallels between him and Leigh and their confidence. I must have wandered around aimlessly for the next 10 minutes, and sat down for a while to let it sink in.
Listening to Cats supporters say that the Swans deserved the win on the way out is perhaps the most refreshing thing in football I’ve experienced for a long time. Even last years’ semi-final there wasn’t any animosity between the teams or supporters.
I don’t really love Geelong, but I admire them and their supporters. They’re a pretty good lot all things considered. It’s as if they’re isolated from the football fish bowl, like Sydney. They even talk about Melbourne as if it were ‘Capital City’ from the Simpsons, or ‘the big smoke’, no kickin’ for chicken this year though. Was really looking forward to my free KFC hit.
It’s the first week of our new format and we’re absolutely delighted with it and the new content it brings. More commentary, more giggles, less waffle. I’m back on Thursday with regulars Heather Quinlan and Steven Park for our very first episode of the SwansCast Extra, our weekly preview show after the teams have been announced. If you’re wondering where our preview and predictions are, you’ll have to wait until Thursday!
In this weeks’ SwansCast I’m joined by regular Rowan McKenzie and we dissect the weekend of football that was and look at the Swans excellent win against the Cats. It’s another great episode, so give it a listen, send us feedback, and if you love it, chuck us a review on Facebook or Whooskaa, our podcast platform.
Enjoy the week and the episode! As always, hit us up on social media using the tag @theswansblog, or the hash tag #SwansCast and #SwansCastExtra.
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