AFL Round 20: Pies sew up top-four spot by trouncing hapless Tigers in heated stoush

As we creep into the latter part of August everything begins to heat up.

On the weather front the temperature gradually begins to slide up as we near spring and out on the footy field the intensity rises and many teams fight for a crucial spot inside the eight with finals just around the corner.

On Friday night the footy team I play for, Knox, were preparing for our Grand Final to take place on the Sunday against Ringwood and our coach used the Ron Barassi method of preparation by showing us a film before the big game. The program shown was called Touching the Void, a documentary about a couple of British mountain climbers who ventured out to climb the Peruvian Andes and despite a close brush with death the pair lived to tell the tale. The Tigers would have to produce a similar against-the-odds effort to defeat the in-form Collingwood side that has prevailed in 10 of their past 11 matches.

Both teams had a significant reason to earn the four points for this clash with Tigers stalwart Joel Bowden announcing that this would be the last game for his beloved Tigers, retiring after 265 games with the club since the 1995 season. Bowden made a visit to my school earlier in the year and proved that he is well spoken and has a broad knowledge of the game and I wouldn’t be surprised if he enters the coaching ranks in some capacity in future years.

The Pies on the other hand need a victory to secure a top four spot and break free from the Bulldogs, Crows and Lions who are on their hammer in the battle for the double chance. These sides haven’t met each other since Round 3 of last season, which has certainly exposed the absurdity of this fixture system which forces sides to play each other twice within either nine weeks or almost two years. As a Carlton supporter I am willing the Tigers to win so the Blues remain a chance of scalping fourth spot, but I know the Pies are unbackable favorites with their current list almost cherry ripe in the lead-up to the finals.

As the game commences I notice how sunny and mild the weather is outside and I feel like a fool being cooped up inside. However it is the only game I can witness this weekend thanks to football commitments so I continue to view intently.

John Anthony produces first blood for the Pies after laying a brilliant tackle which would certainly help his confidence after a fairly rough season. Suddenly the Tigers start to show glimpses of ‘what might have been’ in the early minutes of the game displaying immense forward pressure with both Jack Riewoldt and Mitch Morton converting to give the yellow and black a seven point lead by the halfway mark of the quarter and I begin to lick my lips with the prospect of a tight finish ahead.

But once again I am left disappointed as the Pies step on the accelerator and slam through the next six goals to open up a 37-point lead at the first change. The usual culprits in Medhurst, Anthony and Cloke were firing and taking miraculous marks while battling with their opponents and if not for their inaccuracy the margin could well have been greater. The midfielders Swan, O’Bree and Lockyer were racking up the disposals as expected and skipper Nick Maxwell emulated his role in dropping back into the hole brilliantly. When a defender such as Heath Shaw wonders forward to boot a goal you know it’s going to be Collingwood’s day, with the Tigers playing too loose.

Early in the second term the Pies continue on their merry way with Leon Davis joining the party converting using one of his trademark snap shots. After a few questionable free kicks it is clear Malcolm Blight is not happy in the Channel 10 commentary box and I find it very entertaining as he vents his frustrations. As I hear Blighty speak his mind I am reminded of the funny stories told by some of Blighty’s former acquaintances throughout his coaching days (lining his Geelong players up outside the Crows rooms before the game is a favorite of mine).

Suddenly the camera pans in to Alan Didak kneeling on the ground with Collingwood players preparing to advance on Jake King and within moments King is at loggerheads again with the Collingwood team and it gradually turns into an all-in donnybrook. There are massive spot fires everywhere and I begin to get excited as this is the most decent melee seen on the AFL field since the famous ‘line in the sand match’ between rivals Hawthorn and Essendon back in 2004. The atmosphere quickly lifted as both King and Didak continued to exchange pleasantries.

After the dust settled the Tigers seem to fire up as they stem the flow with Robin Nahas booting the Tigers third providing his team with a glimmer of hope. However Ben Johnson manufactures the quick reply with a sensational running effort to see that hope diminished and the Pies regain their intensity levels. Collingwood are now winning the clearances at will as Dane Beams slots a major from the boundary and Dane Swan caps off a great team run with his first goal. Alan Didak then receives a free kick in the shadows of half-time and converts from close range to rub extra salt into the wound. It seems the game has already been won with the Pies taking a club record 70 point lead into the main break.

As the second half gets underway it is now a case of how far can Collingwood extend the margin as the Pies continue to pile on the goals in the third term. The Richmond defence is lacklustre as the Collinwood forwards continue to bustle their way to the front and take easy grabs. Alan Didak snaps his second goal to open the quarter and despite Brett Deledio and Tom Hislop providing some respite against the onslaught with goals respectively, the Magpies displayed their skills to perfection with Leon Davis and Brad Dick dribbling through remarkable goals and Alan Didak succeeded in his attempt to hand pass while in mid-air. As Leon Davis slams through another major on the three-quarter time siren the margin extends to 97 points. However, it would be good to see if the Tigers can at least win the last quarter to farewell Joel Bowden in an appropriate manner.

Throughout the early minutes of the final term it is all Collingwood with both Davis and Pendlebury converting to provide the Pies with a whopping 107 point lead. Cameron Wood continued on with his splendid form from last week winning the majority of the hit-outs against an inexperienced Angus Graham. The Tigers eventually made a good fist of the final term beginning with the Tasmanian Tom Hislop, who has successfully bonded into the Richmond side after being de-listed from the Essendon squad last year, booted his second goal.

Halfway through the final term with the game already decided I opt to switch the TV off and log on to the laptop to witness the final scores which convey that the Pies prevailed by a mammoth 93 points. The Tigers did manage to win the final term to provide a consolation for Joel Bowden, who is farewelled from the ground with his children after the final siren, which has become the norm for retirees in their final game.

On the other side of the ground the Pies celebrate their 11th win during the past three months. However, big decisions are still to be made with veterans Josh Fraser and Anthony Rocca awaiting a spot in the all-conquering Collingwood side. But with the current side there is no doubting the possibility that the Pies can go all the way and win the flag on that last Saturday in September.

Do I want a Collingwood premiership? As a Carlton supporter my whole body cries ‘NO!’

Richmond        2.1 3.3 6.5 8.11 (59)
Collingwood        7.8 13.13 20.18 22.20 (152)

GOALS
Richmond: Nahas 2, Hislop 2, Riewoldt, Morton, Deledio, Tambling
Collingwood: Davis 4, Anthony 3, Cloke 2, Swan 2, Didak 2, Dick 2, Medhurst, Shaw, Lockyer, Johnson, Beams, O’Brien, Pendlebury

Crowd: 63,366 at the MCG

My Votes:   3. D.Swan      2. S.O’Bree        1. D. Beams

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16’s.

Comments

  1. Steve Healy says:

    Brilliant piece Damo,

    Great win from the Blues as well- nine goal last quarter. I think they can make the 4 with Melbourne and Adelaide home games coming up. But the Bulldogs have to lose their last two, which is likely against Geelong and Collingwood.

    Did your team win the premiership?

  2. Damian Watson says:

    Thanks Steve,
    Unfortunately Ringwood defeted us by two goals and I had to recieve a runner up medal!

    Nice to see your Dees smash the Dockers even if the janitor was the only person watching! LOL just kidding.

    As much as I am excited about the Blues I am still skeptical about whether they can make the Top Four despite the victory yesterday.

    2:34? Did you have the day off school today?

    I have one tomorrow.

  3. ..why do you guys have soo many days off school??? lmaoo how unfair!!
    Damo you are a very mean Carlton supporter!
    :P lol
    i love bryce Gibbs i call him ‘Duckie’
    this caught on when he used to have the muzza-ish blond spikey hair..UNTIL HE SHAVED IT OFF.. :(
    if you see your boys anytime soon tell that NOT TO SHAVE THEIR HAIR!!!!

  4. Damian Watson says:

    LOL I agree with you Danielle, I don’t see the point of shaving your hair off, especially when its either going to gradually fall out or it will eventually turn grey.
    My philosophy is to enjoy your hair while it lasts, at least in the cases of us males!

  5. Josh Barnstable says:

    It’s got nothing to do with this but North Melbourne have just announced their new coach! And i’m sorta disappointed with the result.

  6. Damian Watson says:

    Yes, Brad Scott pretty interesting decision!

    This leaves some unanswered questions!

    Firstly I wonder if Scott will stay at Collingwood as assistant for the rest of the year and push for a Grand Final spot or will he make a new home at North Melbourne?

    Secondly, did you watch the Sunday Footy Show Josh?
    James Brayshaw made it clear that he had not talked to Brad Scott whatsoever about the coaching job but now it becomes obvious that his claim was false.

  7. yer its okay josh..i mean
    i know how badly you wanted me to coach at North but dont worry..it will all be okay.
    :)

    …LMAOOO

  8. Josh Barnstable says:

    Well i wish you were coach Danielle, coz i could just come on here and tell you who to play and who not to play :) and sorry for stealing Scott away from Collingwood. He was one of the toughest players in his playing career and i hope he brings that to the table. I don’t usually watch the SFS Damian, i watch the first half hour where they talk about the injuries, facts and stuff on the games but not the actual game reviews because i see all that on Channel 7’s Game Day.

  9. Lol its okay hes all yours now. you shouldnt be dissapointed i mean look at it my way:
    Mick is one of the best coaches out there and Scott was his student. Scott will bring great stuff to North!! :)
    im trying to imagine myself in the box coaching North against Collingwood..LOL :)

  10. Michael Allan says:

    Damien I’m not sure what your going off when you say Tom Hislop has successfully bonded into the Richmond side.

    If your going off how his fit in with our wide array of inaccurate kickers who can’t hit a target then yes.

    If you mean he’s bonded well with Jake King with his rough play and over the top aggression than yes.

    If your think he’s bonded well by joining the group of players who do one or two good things before becoming invisible for the rest of the game then yes.

    But if you are suggetsting that he has been a worthy contributor week in week out, and was a good pick up for Richmond in the draft. Then I think your way off them mark.

  11. Damian Watson says:

    Michael,

    I am not necessarily claiming that Hislop has become a somewhat large contributor in the Richmond side throughout the course of the season but he has certainly obtained a regular part in the Tigers line-up especially over the last couple of months.

    Keep in mind Hislop missed 8 games after damaging AC Joint earlier in the season.

    When quoting that he has ‘bonded successfully’ I am elaborating that Hislop has become a part of the regular senior side and it is clear that the coaching staff have placed complete faith in him and I am sure he has bonded well with his teammates within the club.

    Hislop did manage to boot two goals on the weekend and he was one of only two major goalkickers on what turned out to be a horror day for Richmond, so while Hislop is clearly not the most talented player in the side he certainly isn’t the worst either.

    Damo

  12. Josh Barnstable says:

    Hislop is a very good player IMO. Not the best, but because he plays for a crap side (no offence), he doesn’t get noticed. But playing for a crap side is why he has been given game time. If he was to move back to Essendon, he would be given a spot because they know what he can do.

  13. Michael Allan says:

    Damien

    I think the only reason Hislop has made such regular appearences in Richmond’s side is because of the selection criteria Jade is going by. I never said he was the worst and quite frankly there are far worse players who scrape in for a game at my club. I may be too harsh a critic on him and it’s his first year at the club but at the moment I’m far from labelling him as success or putting him in Richmond’s future. Having said that I’m all for giving him a chance and I felt last week was one of his best games. Kicking two goals is a fair effort when your getting as little delivery as the Tiger forwards were getting.

  14. Essendon knows what Hislop can do alright. That’s why they delisted him.

  15. Steve Healy says:

    I don’t think Hislop is a very good player. He’s not a major ball winner,(averages 11 touches) he’s not a major goal kicker (nine goals this year). There were big wraps on him when he was playing at Essedon, but he kept getting injured. He sometimes gets one or two cheap goals each game, but he doesn’t use the ball paticularly well either.Jade Rawlings must rate him highly.

  16. Josh Barnstable says:

    Well Steve, cheap goals or not, they are still worth six points.

  17. I dont like Hislop at all.
    to be honest i didnt know he even existed until he went at Heath Shaw while he was still down. in that one instant my views on him were not respectable.
    Then when the commentator mentioned he was an ex- Bomber i wasnt surprised at all.

  18. Steve Healy says:

    I guess he can improve. He’s just 21 and has only 19 games under his belt.

    Josh I think it’s great that North Melbourne got Brad Scott. I saw it coming yesterday, because there was a rumor spread. Brayshaw never gives away anything. He doesn’t like talking about coaches, and when he does he never gives away anything.

  19. Michael Allan says:

    Dani his bump off the ball on Shaw happened right in front of me. He was helped up by Joel Bowden. (just thought I’d continiue on raving about how great Joel is)

  20. ..well in that case hats off to Bowden :)
    But i still dont like that jerk Hislop!
    By the way Michael im not trying to be all stubborn or offend you in anyway, im just being honest in what i think.
    :)

  21. Josh Barnstable says:

    Steve: At least if Brad does no good, he can swap with his brother and see how he goes since they are twins lol. But it has come from no where really. I was set for Hardwick to be coach or even Glenn Archer but Scott is a surprise to me.

  22. lol Josh!! Hardwick, Archer.. WHAT ABOUT THE BEST COACH EVER?? ME???

    lol :P

  23. Steve Healy says:

    Hahaha, if Brad’s sick or can’t make it to a game he should swap with Chris and no one will notice! A few days ago I thought Hardwick would definitely become coach.

  24. Michael Allan says:

    On the North coaching situation, absolutely relieved you guys didn’t steal our Hardwick!

    No worries Dani, as I said before, I’ve never thought much of Tom.

  25. Steve Healy says:

    Hislop’s lucky he might only be missing a week for the strike. Danielle you’d be happy that Toovey got fined in the melee.

  26. ..yeah i saw!!
    but why NO SUSPENSION???
    COME ON..Toovey really needs to learn his lesson..i mean hes setting a bad example..how about 8 seasons suspension? that seems fair :)

  27. Steve Healy says:

    He was fined $1600. I didn’t even know he had that much money! He was trying to get into the fight to be seen. He couldn’t do enough damage to get suspended.. I saw him dragging some players around.

  28. trust Toovey..anything to get on camera!!!
    seriosuly does anyone want him?? ANYONE at all?? you dont even have to trade for him.
    ..i wonder if he has a girlfriend?

  29. Michael Allan says:

    At least you only have one player you can’t stand at your club. Richmond have a whole batch.

  30. Steve Healy says:

    Damian- congratulations on your spot in the book this week.

    Steve

  31. Damian Watson says:

    Thanks Steve,

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for you tomorrow.

    For Melbourne’s sake hopefully we get a competitive game, good to see Liam Jurrah back into the side, hopefully we’ll see something mercurial from him!

    Damo

  32. Damian Watson says:

    LOL sorry he was in the side all along!

    I haven’t been watching too many Melbourne games in recent weeks.

  33. Josh Barnstable says:

    Yeah congrats Damo. Hope to read a good report about the game. I won’t be watching it. Ron Barassi is in town and im going to go meet him again

  34. Hello footyfannzz.
    Congrats Damo cant wait to see your work in the book. :)
    does anyone want to read a mountain of notes about ras3/4 and history and type them up for me???? :P

    yeah..didnt think so..damn the footy draw!
    i cant wait until SUNDAY to see my boys!!
    ‘AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!”
    :( :( :(

  35. Josh Barnstable says:

    Yeah i will Danni. Just kidding haha thought you had your work done then didn’t you?

    Just think how North Melbourne and Melbourne and the like feel when every second game is on a sunday. Annoying.

  36. Steve Healy says:

    Thanks,

    I think I’ll be going but i’ve been sick for the last few days. But I’ll defintley be sitting on the broadcast side wing. Liam Jurrah wasn’t in the side all along- he came back last week. I wanted Jurrah to be Melbourne’s leading goal kicker this year, he’ll need to overtake Bate’s 27 to do so. I wrote a report for the book on Melbourne V Adelaide in Round 5- the worst game of the year.

  37. yeah lol.
    The sacs went all week but im trying to get my notes ready for exams from now.
    if i leave factual subjects like history and Ras3/4 to the last minute ill die!

    yeah that must suck, i hate sunday footy!
    just a question, do you watch the thursday night footy show?

  38. Steve Healy says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean,

    Melbourne have had 27/44 Sunday games in the last two seasons. I love going to the footy on Saturday afternoon.

    Josh, I remember you wrote earlier this season about all these famous footy players you have met, I found it amazing. Hope you have fun talking to Barrassi. I saw him at the “walk to the G” before the Queen’s birthday match this year.

  39. Steve Healy says:

    Danni, what’s Ras3/4?

  40. Josh Barnstable says:

    Thanks Steve.

    Danni, watching the Thursday Footy Show is a real ritual for me. I hardly ever miss it, it’s so funny and has always got good panelists. The only bad point about it is it runs too late into the night.

  41. ras3/4 is a religion.
    at my school you can do ethier
    T&T= Text and Tradditions
    OR
    Ras= Religion and Society.
    Because im in year 11 but chose to do year 12 Religion it becomes RAS3/4.

  42. really Josh?
    i dont watch it at all.
    i find it degrading.
    Maybe if they got rid of Sam Newman i would watch it.
    they should also consider a female on the panel.

  43. Steve Healy says:

    Oh ok,

    What’s wrong with Sam Newman?

    I love the footy show but don’t get to watch it much cos Mum and Dad are always watching something else and they don’t like it.

  44. Damian Watson says:

    Thanks for the comments,

    Carlton have had a fairly genorous draw this season, only 4 Sunday games.
    But it’s a little unfair how teams like St Kilda,North Melbourne, Melbourne and the Bulldogs have such ridiculous draws,especially in recent years. Going to those Twilight games would be a pain time-wise.

    My favourite part of the Footy show is Sam’s Mailbag.
    Did anyone see those wedding photos sent in last week?

    One of the funniest things I’ve seen!

  45. Josh Barnstable says:

    I know where your coming from. But IMO the only girl who belongs on a panel of sorts is Sam Lane. Caroline Wilson i find very bland and takes aim on the same club/player each week.

  46. ..whats wrong with sam newman???
    seriously? lol

    well lets see.
    you guys know how important it is to me that females are getting more recognition in footy and then you get boof head womanisers like Sam Newman.

    Thats whats wrong.

  47. Steve Healy says:

    Oh yeah hahahah. That was hillarious. Melbourne have had 2 friday night games in the last two seasons! It’s horrible. And that is opposed to 4 twilight games in 2 seasons.

  48. Josh Barnstable says:

    Haha yeah the past two weeks of the wedding photos have produced some laughs from me. Almost Footy Legends i like the most, and also Mailbag. Does anyone like Street Talk? I find it repetitive and they only talk to the weirdo’s.

  49. Steve Healy says:

    I found street talk hillarious when the guy kept saying that Richmond are crap. hahaha. I like street talk.

    They can’t get rid of Sam Newman cos when they do the ratings go down a long way.

  50. In that case Newman should just interview himself! HA

  51. Steve Healy says:

    Ahhh I’m getting anxious cos it’s my brother’s birthday and we haven’t even had dinner yet and I wanna watch the footy tonight.

  52. well Cats have scored their first

  53. Steve Healy says:

    Ok. I usually don’t like to find out the score but I won’t complain.

  54. Damian Watson says:

    Who scored it?
    Sorry I’m multitasking between this and my History assignment so I can’t get to a radio.
    But I am almost finished.

  55. LOL..sorry, im on the Herald Sun live coverage thingo.
    ill shutup about the score. :p

  56. Just been reading these comments…Hislop is hard at it, but in all other respects he’s a complete dud who can’t hit a barn door. For a large part of last year I was hoping we’d permanently ditch Sloppy and bring in Adam Thomson, who I rate much higher.

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