Game Day West Coast vs Sydney, Carrara Stadium- This Fixture May Self Destruct If Not Properly Stored

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May 31, 2005
AFL Club
West Coast
Who keeps the Tigers off their flights, who rigs every Fixture night, we do, we do!”- Ominous chanting heard by roving reporters in the depths of AFL house

There’s only two things I love in this world- everybody and television ratings”- Gil on the absurdity of sending teams from a clean state to Covidtoria to play


Yes, I'm not above stealing memes, in 2020 there are no consequences

There are Millions and Millions of Stars in Your Eyes

This fixture is like a candle in the wind… unreliable.

One minute you’re writing an entertaining treatise on the extinction of the Sumatran Tiger and drawing complex parallels between deforestation and the abandonment of Dan Butler, the next you’re putting away the topographical maps and pulling out the record player to bang on To Be Kind because it turns out we’re actually playing the Swans.

Which, if you’ve never listened to a two hour long experimental rock album before, it’s roughly the equivalent of watching the last three games we’ve played all at once while being serenaded by the Devil. Who is Dwayne Russell. Who keeps ominously mentioning things like ‘party time’ and ‘safe word’.

Like trying to navigate the emotional rollercoaster of several amorous co-workers, there’s a feeling of instability and unease about the future. Both for our club, and the season itself. Has there ever been a time in human history with more uncertainty? If you don’t count most of it, no.

Also isn’t it great to be playing a home game at the stadium of one of the other 17 teams? The one that is literally the furthest away from our own? The AFL would consider a Wuhan hub before they’d move the Victorians. And they’ll probably still play the Grand Final at the MCG even if there’s a 2-week quarantine beforehand. #EatTheMCC #notbitter


This is for the 2 people who've heard of To Be Kind

Simpson and Delilah

If you were a hippie home-schooled anti-vaxxer, or even worse went to a non-religious school and worshipped at the false idols of Karls Sagan and Marx you may not be familiar with the story of Samson and Delilah. But I’m not here to hold your hand, so I’m going to press ahead with the analogy anyway.

Samson, fresh off a delightful slaughtering spree using the jawbone of a donkey (see 2018 Grand Final) finds himself in the company of Delilah (fixture boss Travis Auld). She is paid by the Philistines (AFL) to discover the weakness of their unbeatable enemy. After joking about being tied up with ropes or having his hair tied to a loom the bizarrely patient Samson finally lets slip that cutting off his hair will remove his strength.

Well our strength has been removed. All of it.

The combination of interstate staycation, greasy conditions and a lack of PlayStation controllers has seen the glorious hub dream devolve into a Lord of The Flies-esque horror show.

We have never been a good contested ball team, but we’ve gotten even worse. We relied heavily on a kick and mark controlling style and being devastatingly accurate when getting the ball inside the forward 50. Faith in the kick and mark style has been replaced with a hit and hope strategy, there is little support running and our senior forwards in Darling, Kennedy and Cripps are hopelessly out of form.

But no need to panic. In the end, Samson pushes over the pillars of the temple and crushes the foes behind him. I’m not sure if that’s a metaphor for the dismantling of the whole economic system or just the AFL, but I’m seeing a big finish somewhere along the line, comrades.


And there was much rejoicing


There’s a reason I wanted to pick the Richmond game to preview- Richmond are amusing. You can make fun of the fact they don’t travel well or how Trent Cotchin won’t enter a hub without his hair stylist. Crisp, timely jokes like that which you anti-VFL types lap up with glee.

What can you say about Sydney though? I couldn’t even be bothered to think of a funny title for this segment. Not even an unfunny pun or something either, I literally just wrote Sydney, but you probably already read that. Sydney is like unflavoured yogurt washed down with a tepid glass of tap water while watching Matlock reruns.

Bring back the Swanettes. I guess that’s amusing, sort of. Buddy Franklin likes COLA. Kind of amusing, there’s a subtle play on words there which I’ve left as an exercise for the reader. Basically, if Sydney aren’t up there contending for a premiership you almost forget they exist. Their gameplan is stale and boring, they haven’t done anything crazy like change the coach or rebrand the club since the 80s. Their most marketable player when Buddy Franklin is out is Tom Papley who wears his Carlton uniform by accident half the time.

Does Pinhead Sinclair still play for them?

They’re a middle of the road team playing middle of the road football, with a middle of the road list and a middle of the road coach. If you accidently bought zesty mayonnaise into the club they’d probably freak out. There’s more interest for me in the latest issue of Roomba Monthly than in anything the Swans have done since 1933.

And I haven’t forgiven you for banning me from your board 13 years ago.


The only man who still remembers a Sydney team that people cared about

The Stats That Matter, The Boring Part That Doesn’t Make You Laugh

If you don’t want to know the score, look away now. I’m serious, look away now.

West Coast Sydney

Tackles 15th 1st

Contested Possessions 16th 7th

Disposals 11th 14th

Marks 7th 11th

Disposal Efficiency 17th 11th

Hitouts 2nd 4th

Clearances 8th 3rd

Inside 50s 14th 8th

Marks Inside 50 15th 7th

Tackles Inside 50 15th 1st

Inside 50 Efficiency 10th 9th

If you look at those numbers, it’s clear we have a few problems. Namely, we don’t win it, we can’t get it back, and if we do we can’t use it. Apart from that everything is going perfectly.

Look at the line of stats starting with Hitouts. We win the ball at hitouts very well, but that only translates into a middle of the road clearance number, and that translates into a bottom of the pack inside 50, marks and inside 50 tackle numbers. It’s a broken system moving the ball forward and scoring.

Compare previous years at converting inside 50s to goals

2020- 19.5%, 17th in the AFL
2019- 25.5%, 1st
2018- 25.1%, 1st
2017- 25.9%, 5th
2016- 27.4%, 2nd
2015- 27.6%, 2nd
2014- 26.8%, 2nd

Despite what many people think about our intercept marking, kick and mark and whatever else, the main consistent feature of our gameplay under Simpson has been EFFICIENCY INSIDE 50. This was often down to two primary factors

  • Excellent key forwards who are accurate kicks
  • Tackling pressure inside 50 from both talls and smalls
We also had outstanding hitout service from Naitanui when he has been available leading to clean entries, but that is still a factor. These two points have dropped off remarkably this season.

The other main issue is that disposal efficiency. When we win the ball in the backline we are often turning it over in the middle, or turning it straight over from a clearance. Then our lack of accountability and tackling pressure leads to a lot of inside 50s the other way.

Basically, we’re dirt right now. And not the fancy store bought kind either.


I have taken the liberty of putting a giant oval around our problem areas, marked in green (poor), blue (bad) and red (struggling)

In The End, It Doesn’t Even Matter?

Will we win this game? If we win, does it start our season revival? What will the season even look like going forward? Will the season even finish?

So many questions to ponder. Our players didn’t even know until last week when they were meant to be finishing the Queensland hub. I don’t like to make excuses for our team, but there is a real sense from watching them that they are underprepared and mentally not focused on the job. I don’t blame them for that, but it is extremely hard to watch and I fear that by the time we enter our cozy Perth home we might have lost the season already.

But fu** Sydney, so Eagles by 102.


Aug 11, 2011
AFL Club
West Coast
There’s a reason I wanted to pick the Richmond game to preview- Richmond are amusing. You can make fun of the fact they don’t travel well or how Trent Cotchin won’t enter a hub without his hair stylist. Crisp, timely jokes like that which you anti-VFL types lap up with glee.
Right you are. Five stars!


Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2014
AFL Club
West Coast

Smashed it out of the park!


NB: Artists Impression of Rookie clearing the bar at about 10pm, after going out way too hard on the stinger sausages at pre-drinks.

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Balls In

Norm Smith Medallist
May 25, 2018
AFL Club
West Coast
Sydney are the best tackling team in the AFL and bad at everything else. That will be enough though. They will tackle and body our players and our skills will fall to pieces. The rest of the Sydney gameplan is too sh*t to take full advange and the game will be played on our halfbackline. Sydney wins with 6 scrubbered goals.


Club Legend
Jun 26, 2011
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Perth Wildcats, Perth Lynx
Excellent preview. I would definitely have given it an A but that's not an option yet sorry, but a B is still very good.

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That guy
Jun 22, 2012
Zombie apocalypse
AFL Club
From a Sydney point of view I did enjoy your preview. Lack of dragons and princesses means it cannot get an A++ but as it had pictures I just pretended it was Penthouse and went with it as an authoritative scholarly periodical and carried on.

Sadly I used to look forward to our games as a highlight of the season and who can forget that golden patch in the early part of the century. But this game, like the Sydney Swans, will probably end up being just plain disappointing. Weird season and I do expect you to bounce back this week.

We are severely undermanned and carrying a bunch of players that are just not performing. If you guys can come at this match with any intensity you really should sh*t in.

We do some things well but scoring ain't one of them. Absorb the early pressure and pop some points on the board - you will be fine. We just allow huge leads these days and then try to fight back. Looks all fine and noble but bleh.

Let's hope that both teams put on a spectacle. Some of the stuff we dish up is truly laughable.

Oh and pro-tip stop Papley. Only Swan worth 20 cents this year with the exception of JPK who is always a gold coin but cannot carry it all on his own.

Dark Sharks

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2011
Maynard was blocked
AFL Club
West Coast
Can JK back up his good game?

Right now the big fella is 1 from 4, and i can't recall him ever really getting off the leash against Rampe.

Can Cripps kick a goal?

It'll be 303 days, and 5 games (7 if you count the pre season) since he's troubled the scorers.

Can Darling bounce back from 4 touches, 3 clangers and 0%DE?

Averages 11 disposals, 4.5 marks, 3.6 tackles 1.4 goals and 65 ranking points vs the Swans over his career.

How much game time will Naitanui get?

Averaging 65% game time in 2020. Which is roughly 50% of a normal game i'm guessing.

Carbine Chaos

Blue Tree Project
Apr 1, 2009
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Perth Demons, Everton
I expect a comfortable victory.

Also expecting a few senior players to try for the first time this season.


Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 29, 2005
AFL Club
West Coast
We can't play in the wet.
But it's dry.
We'll, how's the humidity?
About 50%
Stupid Hub.

Back in the winners club today. 🤞

Tim Kelly B.O.G

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