What a long wait for another game after the Round 1 loss to Fremantle, which from memory was staged just after the Boxing Day Test. A loss of that magnitude leaves a horrible aftertaste. You want your team to be back out on the park as soon as possible. As the Sydney lead hits 23 points early in the second term, I’m thinking a long break between watching games is maybe a good thing. It’s a typically ugly game played on Sydney’s terms. At Sydney’s version of Waverley/Football Park where, as the diminishing attendances at this venue for this clash attests, is an unloved venue that probably only Mike Fitzpatrick is happy matches are still being played at.
My 6 and nearly 4 year old boys, watching the game on TV alongside me, grow increasingly jubilant as the Pies claw their way back into the game. A Travis Cloke snap from the boundary has them jumping up and down on the couch and high fives all round. My work is done.
Moments later Cloke marks 25 out in front. The 6 year old asks if Cloke will do the same type of snap kick. After he misses (of course) my reply is “he should have”. A Scott Pendlebury goal gets Collingwood closer. Younger brother Josh loves Scott Pendlebury (like his Dad) and thinks he kicks “all the goals”.
Our new captain was very quiet early on but is now stamping his influence. A cheap shot, behind the play, to the solar plexus by new Swan ruckman Derickx only slows Pendles down briefly. Sinclair is given a goal after a review. What the AFL thinks it can see from front on cameras for goal line decisions is beyond me. The second half is glorious, old style Collingwood.The Cooollllinnnngggwoooood chant goes up by the Magpie fans at the stadium. It sounds good through the TV. Better than listening to Channel 7’s horrible commentary team. Elliot, Cloke and Goldsack kick goals. Frost does a more than capable job on Franklin, who normally kicks 7 or more against us every time he plays the black & white. Brodie Grundy is raw but as good a ruck prospect as Collingwood has had since Damian Monkhorst. We need to be patient with him. Nick Maxwell, allowed to play loose in the backline, is back to his best. For mine his 2012 season was the best of his career. And his 2013 probably his worst. A poor Round 1 and his career is questioned. I’m thrilled this great leader (still, even if not officially) has performed in his big milestone game.
Josh is in bed at 3/4 time. We record the final term for him and he enjoys every minute of it on Sunday morning. 6 year old Gavin watches right until the end. We celebrate every goal. And the greatness of Scott Pendlebury. 30 touches in the last three quarters. If there was any doubt about his captaincy credentials, there aren’t any now. He led the team to victory with his on field deeds. As good a game as the number 10 has played. From my time watching the black and white, from Tony Shaw onwards, Collingwood doesn’t get it’s captain wrong. Pendles will be a great leader. As was Maxi.
Sydney will get better. Players out and Buddy will fit in better as they go along. Jetta is electrifying when he gets the ball. Kennedy and Hannebery are tough, quality players who I enjoy watching. But so will the Pies. Swan will get fitter and better. White was very ordinary and will surely improve. The likes of Seedsman, Fasolo and Keefe will return.
From thinking our season was all but over in the the second quarter to the joy of winning a tough interstate game. It finally feels like footy season.
SYDNEY 3.1 7.2 9.7 10.9 (69) lost to
COLLINGWOOD 1.2 5.5 9.10 12.17 (89)
SYDNEY: Franklin 2, McGlynn, Hannebery, Jetta, Rampe, Cunningham, Reid, Pyke Malceski
COLLINGWOOD: Elliot 3, Cloke 2, Goldsack 2, Pendlebury, Swan, Sinclair, Young, Beams
SYDNEY: Hannebery, Kennedy, McGlynn, Mitchell, Pyke, McVeigh
COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury, Maxwell, Beams, Frost, Grundy, Young, Elliot, Lumumba
UMPIRES: Rosebury, Foot, Farmer
CROWD: 32,347 at ANZ Stadium
3. Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2. Nick Maxwell (Collingwood)
1. Dan Hannebury (Sydney)