A major cull of expectations began mid way through the second quarter for Roo fans during their opening round clash with Essendon. Jumped by 4 Don goals at the start due to a distinct lack of defensive accountability – summed up repeatedly by closeby Roo Rhodes Scholar member as “pick up yer man ya useless prick” – the Kangas were only briefly ahead once during the game and then by one point only.
Fan frustration was only heightened by the central umpires inability to correctly bounce the ball 6 times in succession during the 2nd quarter. Roo member boos generally reserved for celebrated villains such as Nick Reiwoldt, were displaced onto the Umpire in his ongoing moment of professional crisis. Such fans, however, when confronted one on one with a club provided psychologist (bulk billed of course) with their actions would acknowledge, in lieu of opening round shock therapy, that their behavior was driven by the drivel they’d shelled out good money to watch rather than any personal animus against the umpire.
Given the 1967 mantra of Tune in, Turn on and Drop Out of this years “let em play” umpiring benchmark, it’s certain that additional fan complexes would be identified through these Club led free association diagnosis/sessions providing additional topics for potential PhD candidates to pour over and ponder. Symptoms currently manifesting themselves can be view in the petri dish that is the Roos Facebook page.
Fighting the Don’s precision short possession and kicking to position running game, the old Roo boogeys were back on display – poor disposal by hand and foot, rushed decision making when in control of the play, no tagging of key opposition playmakers, an overwhelmed midfield and a certain lack of polish and class. The symbol of this disarray is the current incantation of the club mascot “Kanga” that when viewed up close looks like it couldn’t progress through even the early rounds of Who wants to be a Millionaire. Hard to be confident when everyone’s talking cull.
Essendon newcomer & Geelong reject Paul Chapman kicked 4 goals (one pearler off one step from outside 50 metres), Jobe Watson amassed supercoach points at will, Brendan Godard showed his class when given freedom up forward and big long lean Joe Daniher signalled his career intentions taking 2 frightening screamers providing a portal for the decade ahead. Dustin Fletcher celebrated taking the club games record by nearly bagging a major from the centre with a huge torp that was touched on the line.
Ironically injured Roo Robbie Tarrant speaking pre game in the social club revealed such “torpedo” are a no no for Scotty perhaps again highlighting the distinct lack of license for Roo players to balance backing own judgement against team rules. Only Lindsay Thomas showed leadership in the Roos camp with the diminutive forward taking 2 inspiring “hangers” that for a time gave the side momentum. He finished with four goals.
This was a game fought in the media in the lead up. For Essendon in reluctantly revisiting the fallout of the ongoing presence of James Hird and wife Tanya’s ABC TV claim match eve that AFL President Andrew Demitriou tipped off Hirdy last year about the looming drugs probe. The Kangaroos awoke mid week to a State Government trial in which Kangaroos professionally culled on farms in northern and western Victoria can be sent for processing as pet meat instead of being left to rot or buried. Only the Don’s put these distractions to the back of their mind. To be safe, perhaps steer clear of your favourite Roo BBQ and Korma cuts until at least Round 4.
Trivia buffs will find their metabolism rising when presented with this result adding to Coach Brad Scotts failure to win a round 1 game during his reign. Lock that away in the vault.
Essendon 15 9 99 defeated North Melbourne 9 6 60