LONG HAI CENTRE FOR CHILDREN’S PROTECTION VISIT
The move of the weekend’s games from Vung Tau to Saigon made it hard for many to get to the traditional Vung Tau and Long Hai Centres for Children’s Protection but it was great to see some Swans AND some great supporters of the Swans and the centre’s make the trip on Friday morning. Ron & Ailsa back after several years unable to travel to Vung Tau and help out were able to return as was Cameron Luke – a fantastic supporter of both the 2 centre’s and the Swans. The kids infectious enthusiasm as always makes these visits so rewarding and the footies, clothes and toys and ice creams will always be much appreciated. A great start to the spirit of our Friendship Weekend!
LEGENDS vs ALL STARS MATCH
The Legends vs All Stars Match has been a cornerstone of the ANZAC Friendship Weekend’s from the beginning. These games are more than a curtain raiser enabling guys who are visiting for the game, returning Swans, current players and plenty of former Swans legends to come out for a run and play a part in our biggest weekend. This year we played in retro guernseys harking back to the days of the RAAF and 2AOD teams dominating the Lord Mayor’s Oval of a Saturday afternoon during the VFL seasons in the late 60s early 1970s. There’s not doubt this innovation, the brainchild of former President and All Stars Captain/Coach Eric Kerrison will continue with requests coming from all corners of the globe to get one of the incredible guernseys.
The Legends’ long preseason paid dividends with a commanding victory that led from start to finish. Although the All Stars strategy was recruiting youth and speed, the Legends 45-55-year-olds brought battle-hardened bodies to the contest.
The midfield of Lee “let’s play Rugby rules” Knowles, Poodle & Dingo Wayne were the Diesel trucks that kept on going under, up, and through the contest to extract the ball, while hitting the scoreboard for a combined 1 goal and something like 7 points.
Up forward Ocker Edward’s movement and power in the goal Square (didn’t leave it) couldn’t be contained and he dished off some dart handballs for easy goals to others. Darren “Dazzle” Price was untouchable, always found space, and 100% kicking efficiency was all class. Although heavily tagged by the All-stars captain-coach Eric ” it’s hot today” Kerro, Adam “Stacka” Corrall agility and side-stepping saw him slot some majors that set the crowd alight and broke the All-Stars hearts.
In defense the father (Bevan Moroney) and son (Harry Moroney) combination of repeatedly won outnumbered contests with Neil “the dude” Dodunski manhandling any opposition FF out of the game to deliver the ball by ground, foot, headbutts to Steve Gange who ran the wing tirelessly shifting defense into attack time after time. The half time injection of fitness and skill of visiting former Swans gun Micka Matthews helped keep the standard high through the second half ensuring the Legends would convert their lead into a memorable victory.
Congratulations to young Harry Moroney who took out the best on ground award with a solid 4 quarter effort when some around him were wilting in the heat.
Words Adam “Stacka” Corrall
VIETNAM SWANS VS SINGAPORE WOMBATS (MEN)
Chills ran through those that stood listening to the Last Post as it rang out across the pristine RMIT grass, a stark contrast to the blistering Saigon heat. Arm in arm the players stood in anticipation, ready to take on the physical challenge of the game we love. The unique mix of cultures turned the moment from local to global, and reflective to perspective. National anthems sung, pep talks given, encouragement shared; it was time.
1st 5.4 to 3.1
The ferocity at the ball was evident early from both sides, with players in and under the contest. Neither side took a backwards step. The Swans took early control of the ball and converted the first goal of the game. The Wombats were quick to reply with their own goal from a strong Mark and set shot by spearhead Mitch Hyde, foretelling a seesawing opening quarter. Wasteful forward fifty entries from both sides saw missed opportunities late in the quarter. Some excellent forward craft from Paul Villanova saw the Swans inch ahead before the siren sounded to signal the end of the first quarter.
2nd 9.7 to 4.3
A determined Swans midfield took charge in the second quarter, led by the experience of both co-captains Jake Norris and Jono Mckay and the hard running of Ryan Tishler, the Swans controlled the ball out of stoppages around the ground and shut down the Wombats’ run through the middle of the ground. The structure around the ground saw the Swans capitalise on turnovers and exert fierce pressure on the Wombats through inside 50 entries. With four goals to one in the second term, the Swans broke away to a five goal lead heading into the half time break.
3rd 11.8 to 5.4
By half time the heat had taken a toll on the players, sweat dripped in large pools as players struggled to replenish their stores. As a result the ball became slippery in hand, causing strong players to lose their handle on the leather. Skill levels dropped as passes became difficult to hold onto and mistakes opened the door for the pressure to go up a notch during the third term.
4th 14.9 to 6.4
The pressure was still there right through the fourth quarter with plenty of big hits and suppressive pressure. When it was in tight, it took the party boy himself, Cam King, to snap a brilliant goal in front of the home bench to get the party going. Skipper Jono Mackay kicked it into full gear with another brilliant snap goal and celebration letting everyone know it was time to celebrate. The Swans had a little too much class on the outside for tired wombat legs, which saw the lead stretch 8 goals by the final siren.
A tenacious Singapore Wombats outfit fought to the end, led by Mitch Hyde, who ended up with all 6 of the Wombat goals. The Vietnam Swans continued their strong form in International games of late, with sights set on Indonesia in the coming weeks. Both teams played in the ANZAC spirit, firm and fair, turning on a fantastic spectacle on a special day.
Words Rusty Clarke
VIETNAM SWANS VS SINGAPORE WOMBETTES (WOMEN)
A new-look Swannies Ladies squad took on the reigning Asian champs and put on a defensive clinic to get their first win of the 2023 season.
With over half the squad playing their first ever game, what our 23 ladies lacked in experience they more than made up for it with ferocious attack on the ball.
Dominant across the middle, our engine room was able to keep the ball in our forward half for the majority of the game as we kept the Wombettes scoreless until the 4th quarter.
A bit of inaccuracy in front of goal and the opposition stacking the backline kept the game close. Our tackling and endeavor to take the game on was a real highlight and shows a lot of promise for the remainder of the year.
Words Wayne McMahon
BEST ON GROUND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Swans Men’s Best on Ground – Jono Mackay
The Swans Southern Men’s Captain has gone to another level through the 2022 and 2023 seasons. From the first ruck contest to all corners of the ground Jono has been leading by example. He reached new levels at the 2022 champs taking on Asia’s best and taking the points throughout the day. In 2023 his good form continues with a clear BOG performance and a fantastic captains goal in the last quarter to put an exclamation mark on a great win.
Wombats Men’s Best on Ground – Mitch Hyde
Former Swan Mitch Hyde came back as the Wombats coach with a plan and at times it looked like it just might work. Providing a continuous threat up front in the air and on the ground Mitch kicked all 6 Wombat goals for the game meaning that when the Wombats BOG was announced there were no surprises!
Swans Women’s Best on Ground – Claire O’Gorman
The Swans 2022 B’n’F continued her great form providing plenty of drive around the ball all game supporting both the Swans steadfast defense and attacking efforts.
Wombettes Women’s Best on Ground – Catherine MacLean
Thanks to EVERYONE who took part playing, spectating, sponsoring, organizing or any other role in this years ANZAC Friendship Weekend. Special thanks to the Singapore Wombats, one of the best footy clubs in Asia on and off the field. Your understanding and flexibility was key to this weekend going so well!
It was a challenge but we were able to get a result that has maintained the magic of the weekend and in the circumstances provided everything the weekend stands for. Who knows what 2024 and beyond hold but it will definitely continue to be a huge weekend for the club and our communities, HONK!