AFL Round 18: I think Strauchanie should have been able to replace Presti

By Josh Barnstable

After contesting in two Grand Finals in a row which resulted in victory to the Brisbane Lions on both occasions, the Pies are ready to have another tilt at the flag, and defeating the Lions would go a long way towards that dream that has eluded the Maggies since 1990.

After forming a friendship with most of the Almanackers, I’ll write this report with the point of view of Danielle Eid in mind. Danielle is an avid Collingwood supporter.

The first quarter starts and big Daniel “Sauce” Merrett snaps a ripper goal to start the match, his first goal since Round 18, 2006. Simon Prestigiacomo clashes heads with Jonathon Brown and Presti looks in a bad way, stumbling around the field and comes off the field. If I was Danielle, I would be worrying. Without her boyfriend Nathan Brown in the side and now Presti off the field, Jonathan Brown will be looking to run rampant on the undersized Magpie defence. And he does just that, taking a mark on the lead and kicking his first from 45m. Then he marks while backing into a pack in the goalsquare. He puts through his second and the Lions lead by 18 points. Dale Thomas takes advantage of a bad dropped mark by Jason Roe, kicking the goal off the ground to get the Magpies on the board. Brown kicks his third after a one-handed mark before Paul Medhurst kicks a big goal just before quarter time as the Lions lead by 9 points, 4.1 to 2.4.

The second quarter starts and Leon Davis goals from a free kick before Thomas snaps a great goal after some great work by the Magpies forward line. Alan Toovey takes a great mark and is off like a rocket, and surely would have inspired Danielle, as Toovey is her favourite player.

The Lions finish the quarter well, with Brown kicking his fourth, Justin Sherman kicking a great running goal and Michael Rischitelli running into an open goal to give Brisbane a 14-point break at half-time, 7.4 to 4.8. Just before the siren sounds though, the highlights of the match come on. Big Sauce takes a screamer, sticking his size 14 boot into Heath Shaw’s head, leaving stop marks and also leaving Shaw with a nasty gash on the back of his head. While he is off the ground for half-time getting his head strapped, I pray the Collingwood doctors also give Shaw a bigger jumper. His is so small! Looks like little Sharrod Wellingham should be running around in it.

The third quarter starts and I worry for Collingwood, as Jon Brown is looking dangerous with no one to stop him other than Leigh Brown. The Pies start well, with Jack “Superman” Anthony taking a good specky and kicking a goal. Anthony seems to have made a visit to the hair stylists, with a light orange colour now.

Davis then provides the highlight of the night; after a six-bounce run along the wing by Jaxson Barham, a shocking kick is followed up by Davis on the half-forward line. He picks the ball up, runs along the boundary, handballs to Dane Swan who handballs back to Davis and “Neon” snaps a ripper goal from the pocket, cutting the margin back to a point.

Thomas goals with a checkside kick to give the Pies the lead, and goals to Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams see the Maggies leading by 20 points at the last change, 9.14 to 7.6. Pendlebury is up to 27 disposals for the Pies while Simon Black is playing well in his milestone match with 20 touches.

The final quarter starts and Alan Didak kicks a goal to finish the Brisbane Lions’ chances of winning. Brown is given a free kick and kicks his fifth goal but after Presti runs back out on the ground to the applause of the Magpie faithful; Brown may have been thinking his game would not contribute another goal. Presti seems to be going forward, and I cross my fingers that he can kick a goal.

Shane O’Bree receives from Presti and snaps a goal from 50m, giving the Pies a 31-point lead before Presti marks and kicks a point from a tight angle. Beams snaps a late goal and Presti gets another chance at a goal but misses terribly, and I’m sure both Danielle and I let out a groan at poor Presti, who can’t t add to his career tally of three goals. The Magpies kick 3.9 in the last quarter, very inaccurate. Good teams just don’t kick nine behinds in a quarter! In the second half the Pies have kicked 8.15 to 1.3, so the margin probably should have been over 10 goals.

My opinion on the interchange bench is different after tonight. After Presti went down, the Pies had no back up to go to Brown. If the Magpies were allowed subs, they could have brought Bryan Strauchan on for his first match and thrown him on to Brown. Brown would have been covered, and the Pies would have been home by half-time.

Next week is a mini-Qualifying Final for the Pies. If they defeat Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, they will most likely get into the top 4. The Lions on the other hand are looking a bit shaky. The top 4 dream seems to be just about dashed, and with a danger game at the MCG next week against Essendon, they could miss out on a home final. And judging by tonight, the Lions are no good away from home.

Collingwood 2.4—4.8—9.14—12.23 (95)
Brisbane 4.1—7.4—7.6—8.7 (55)

Goals:
Collingwood-Thomas 3, Davis 2, Beams 2, O’Bree, Medhurst, Anthony, Pendlebury, Didak
Brisbane-Brown 5, Rischitelli, Sherman, Merrett

Best:
Collingwood-Prestigiacomo, Pendlebury, Thomas, Davis, Beams, Swan, Didak
Brisbane-Brown, Merrett, Black, McGrath

Crowd: 47,268 at the MCG

Votes: 3: Scott Pendlebury, 2: Dale Thomas, 1: Simon Prestigiacomo.

Comments

  1. Damian Watson says:

    Great stuff Josh,

    I only viewed the first half of this game and the Lions should’ve run away with the game in the first term while big J.Brown was on fire. The next morning I was shocked to see the scoreline, the Pies always seem to lift in the second half of the year.

    Just finished reading your 80+ threads, you 3 should be comedians instead of journalists LOL

  2. Josh Barnstable says:

    We can always be both lol

  3. Danielle says:

    GREAT work!!
    Toovey..my favourite?? not too sure about that.
    you were spot on about teh groaning when Presti missed..i even had to cover my eyes!
    oh well! :)

  4. Josh Barnstable says:

    Haha the Toovey bit was a joke :)

    I don’t know why but i’m really getting behind Presti to kick a goal before the season is finished.

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