It just doesn’t feel right not being there. I really would love to be at Etihad stadium given it’s a Pies home game. But I think I’ve made the right decision in staying home to watch the Collingwood v Footscray Sunday twilight match on TV. My wife is booked in to give birth by caeserian section tomorrow (Monday). Our third child, to add to our two boys. Our final night together as a four piece band. It’s been a hectic weekend, making sure everything is ready and in place, and finishing off some jobs for my business. We are ready.
I did get a live footy fix this weekend. There was plenty of buzz around Colac this week due to the Colac Tigers’ home match against South Barwon. The visitors were to be travelling down the highway with possibly the greatest Full-Back to play our game, M.Scarlett. I met my Uncle Dean (a Carlton fan) and Aunty Colleen (a rabid Geelong supporter) at their home and we travelled together to the Central Reserve in Colac, where the playing surface has had a significant upgrade and now looks at an AFL standard. Seriously, it’s that good. We are keen to see M.Scarlett, and as we walk through the gate at five to 2 who do you think the first person we see is? It’s the great Geelong defender, in jeans and a hoodie. Dean’s shoulders slump. Colleen seems disappointed but is happy to be in such close proximity of a legend of the game and her favourite Cats player since the departure of Gary junior. I’m a glass half full man. “Maybe he leaves it until the last minute to get ready” I say. We grab a beer and take a bench seat on the boundary on the wing. Colac run out first. There’s a delay before South Barwon run out. “Maybe they’re waiting for ‘Scarlo’ to finish his hot dog and coke” this writer optimistically says. South Barwon run out without their star. We find out the great man has a back injury.
South Barwon have dominated the Geelong Football League for over a decade. They start strongly and show they are a polished team. But after the early part of the first quarter Colac are the better team throughout the first half. A goal after the siren gives the Tigers a slight lead at the main break. They should be further in front. It’s a very high quality game, typical of what you would expect from the highest rated football league in country Victoria. South Barwon show why they are a dominant force in the second half as they run out 25 point winners. Colac just need a couple more good big blokes to be a real strong team. Enjoyed the day at the local footy, keen to keep following the Colac Tigers even though I never played for them, and actually played against them when they were in the Hampden league (at under 18 level).
It’s 4.40PM on Sunday and I’ve grabbed a cold one, am on the couch and ready to watch the Pies. We dominate the first half, playing much better than we did against Melbourne on the Queen’s Birthday. The Bulldogs aren’t as bad as the Demons though, they are much more organised but just don’t have a forward line. There’s a future for the tri-colours if they can unearth a key forward. 53 points up at half time and I’m thinking about our lowly percentage and the boost it might receive today. It doesn’t happen. Footscray outplay us in the second half, kicking 7 goals to four. We only win by 34 points but somehow I’m happier with that than our 83 point win over the Demons last week. Are the Bulldogs a 49 point better team than Melbourne? Who knows. And who knows where Collingwood is at. Definately a top 8 team. Sydney, Hawthorn, Geelong and Fremantle look better at the moment. We look a 5-8 team right now, but there is lots of football left. David King said in the paper today that we could win the flag with a few attitude changes. Skipper Maxwell referenced King’s article in their after game interview on TV with King. Hopefully it has sunk in. Our less experienced players were again superb. Pendlebury and Swan just keep racking up possesions. Cloke looked liked kicking a huge bag again but settled with 5.
It’s not often I set out to keep an eye on an opposition player but I have become a Bob Murphy fan the last few years. He didn’t let me down. I rated him by far the best Footscray player of the match and enjoyed watching his run and his skill. A superstar player and a superstar media performer, I love his work on AFL 360 on Tuesday nights (especially ‘Bob’s Rascal’) and his weekly column in The Age. It will be interesting to follow his progress once his AFL career is over. Which won’t be anytime soon given his current form. He’s right up there with Jonathan Brown and G.Ablett jnr as my favourite opposition players.
The Robert Rose trophy has been retained.
This week’s bye has come at good time for the Pies and a great time for me and my family. Or I could claim it as well planned. Either way looking forward to a new Collingwood supporter being born.
COLLINGWOOD: 4.2 11.4 13.6 15.9 (99)
FOOTSCRAY: 0.2 2.5 4.9 9.11 (65)
COLLINGWOOD- Cloke 5, Elliot 2, J.Thomas, Pendlebury, Blair, Dwyer, Seedsman, Kennedy, Jolly, Martin
FOOTSCRAY- Giansiracusa 2, Stringer 2, Griffen, Boyd, Liberatore, Stevens, Murphy
COLLINGWOOD- Shaw, Swan, Pendlebury, Cloke, J.Thomas, O’Brien, Williams, Brown
FOOTSCRAY- Murphy, Goodes, Griffen, Talia, Boyd, Liberatore, Stringer
UMPIRES- Bannister, Armstrong, Jeffrey
CROWD- 32,253 at Etihad Stadium
3. Heath Shaw (Coll)
2. Dane Swan (Coll)
1. Bob Murphy (Foots)