Giant Hunger (R3, 2013)


GWS versus St. Kilda

4.40pm, Saturday 13 April

Manuka Oval, Canberra


Its school holiday time in NSW and the ACT and that means one thing. Kids galore!!  Twilight games must be heaven for the food vendors because kids are at the football instead of having dinner at home.

Today’s game is for real. I have no desire to be stuck in a queue missing the action hence avoid the food chain.

Manuka Oval, now to be known as Startrack Oval during the footy season, retains the feel of a community football ground. A place where people can walk around behind or in front on the stands, engage in conversation, and have a kick on the ground after the game. The new light towers resembling giant fly swats have allowed twilight games to be staged.

The Saints begin the game well with the ever pesky Steven Milne kicking the first goal.  Riewoldt follows up after being awarded a free. Milne scores another from a free kick. Riewoldt brushes aside Davis to mark strongly but registers a behind which is some relief for the Giants. Saad and Armitage add goals for the Saints. The Saints’ backline gobble up everything the Giants send in starving the Giants. The Giants do not even get a shot a goal and finish the quarter scoreless.

The Giants must feel like naughty kids sent to bed without their dinner.

In the second quarter the Saints  continue to rung rings around the young Giants.  Ben McEvoy dominates in the ruck and the Saints’ receivers break into space and move the ball quickly at will.

If the Giants have a game plan, I can’t figure it out and neither seemingly can they. “What’s goin’ on Sheeds?”

The Giants crowd are delighted when Jonathon Patton scores their first goal for the day. The lady sitting next to me offers me bikkies and cheese (camembert and rice crackers) as if in celebration. It might be the only snack we get for the day. Giles misses a set shot for the Giants. At least the Giants have managed to scavenge   a small morsel this quarter.  The Saints reply. The Giants do not seem to be minding their men. Brogan scores the Giants’ second goal from a set shot on an angle.  The Saints score another before Scully lobs a beautiful pass over to Brogan who goals .The Saints score the next before Treloar keeps the Giants hopes up with another.

When Patton chases the ball in the goal square he goes down when tackled and clutches his leg, screaming in agony. This is bad. It looks like he has done his knee. The lady next to me tries to be positive when the trainers help Patton limp off.”He can put weight on it as he’s walking” she says but I am less optimistic. I fear he has done his knee badly.
MIlne scores again for the Saints. As Treloar is pushed after a mark the young Giants get angry and come in for a scrap.  Empty stomachs has them feeling cranky.  Treloar then gets them a much needed goal. The Giants have scored 5 goals -as many as the Saints this quarter.

In the third quarter Saad gets the Saints first. Giles misses a set shot before Smith for the Giants get one back.

Cameron marks and scores his first goal for the day. The Giants are running and moving the ball now and look so much better. They can’t sustain it though.  The Saints are never threatened.  They get 5 more for the quarter. Their fans in the front rows try to start the Mexican wave. “Hey, the game isn’t that bad surely?” The wave peters out after several attempts. The crowd is obviously here for the footy.

The Giants begin the last quarter in a positive fashion with Giles getting the first two goals of the quarter. But the Saints respond putting the foot down to pile on six goals to run out easy winners.

After the game the fans flood the ground for kick to kick under lights and are invited to stay on for an  extended session when the players  are due to return to the ground after about 45 mins.  I have a 2 hr trip home so decide to head off.

The Giants were done like a dinner tonight but the good news is there is plenty of room for improvement and they have precisely the same number of wins for the season as Carlton, North Melbourne and Melbourne.

Here’s hoping the hunger for a win spurs them on next week against Melbourne. The Saints will face their own test against a fired up Essendon.

St Kilda 5.4  10.8  15.12   21.14 (140)

Giants   0.0    5.1     8.3       10.8   (68)


St.  Kilda-  Armitage 4, Saad 3, Riewoldt 3,Milne 3, Maister 2, Miera 2, Steven, Montagna, Gilbert, Lee.

Giants – Treloar ,2 Brogan 2, Smith 2, Giles 2, Cameron, Patton.


St .Kilda- Armitage, Mc Evoy, Saad, Riewoldt, Hayes, Milne

Giants- Ward, Treloar, Brogan, Bugg, Smith

Umpires- Chamberlain , Fila, Burgess
Crowd 11,092

OUR BEST 3 Armitage (Saints )

2 Saad         (Saints)

1 McEvoy     (Saints)

Pamela Sherpa