AFL Round 9: (FPS) Pies work together for Tarks in the west

by Andrea Mcnamara

Collingwood 12.16.88

West Coast   9.12.66

I like to get my game preparation right, and looking back, I know I

wasn’t ready for either that Monday Massacre or the Sunday Blues

game. With both, life got in the way of footy – I hadn’t fully

absorbed how much the team had changed since we beat North and that

we were a team on the brink of coach destruction.

So I knew I had to concentrate on the West Coast match and on the way

home from the G last Sunday I decided not to even try to go to Perth.

Too high risk – I was there last season when Freo beat us and Subiaco

is not a pretty place when you’re in the minority and barracking for

the losers. I did my tips for Round 9 and picked the Eagles. The old

mantra beat loudly: tip with the head, not the heart.

Then something in me shifted on Friday. Ploughgate was still hogging

the limelight in the media which meant Mick could get on with

marshalling the troops. And the fact that the game wasn’t on free to

air and was Over There meant that there was a high likelihood of the

Pies giving it a red hot go. And Tarks’ 200th – surely they’d lift

for such a loyal foot soldier. And Neon Leon always fires up over

there … and a week’s a long time in football. Look at how the Doggies

gave the Cats a good run for their money on Friday night, and then on

Saturday arvo the Blues played The Worst Quarter of Footy on Record

(previously played by Collingwood in Round 7 and later challenged by

Port against Sydney). That put me in a good mood so I made a late

change to my tips, picked the Pies and decided to have faith one last

time. Instead of going to Perth, I decided to go out to watch it on


As the ball was bounced I couldn’t help noting The Missing. And Dick

for Reid? While I was glad to see the albeit temporary removal of

Reid, I expected little Dick’s contribution to be merely adding

another Naughty Name to the side. (My inner 12 year-old got a laugh

out of Cox, Sidebottom, Dick and Goldsack in the one team, especially

with another Cox and a Cocky on the other side.) Let’s just say the

first quarter was not inspiring and the quarter time scores were

disturbingly familiar, as was the turnover rate for the Pies. I

checked with the experts and the Pies’ score of 1.4 was exactly the

same as Round 7 and 1 goal different to Round 8. But in spite of that

familiarity, I thought we looked busy at least and competitive at

best and the footy gods were on our side with West Coast missing a

couple of golden opportunities.

At the start of the second quarter, Jack goaled with confidence and I

started to think we looked the goods even though it was very much a

contest between 10th and 11th with errors galore from both sides. The

difference was one L. Davis, racking up the possessions and most of

them effective, unlike Kerr who had an effectiveness rate of 40%

(luckily). And Cameron Wood was having a real crack – at last! – so

by the time Swannie juggled the ball and passed to Heater who long-

goaled I was starting to think we were in it to win it. You can read

the match reports of the experts for a sophisticated analysis of what

the Pies were doing, but to me it seemed as simple as 1, 2, 3. One:

applying pressure through our defence so their forwards had few

options. Two: creating our own version of the zone when they were

kicking out from their goal square. And three: trying to lift our

scoring rate when the ball got inside our 50. Hardly rocket science.

A couple of telling things happened after half time. Swan marked and

had time for a chat with Neon before handballing to him for another

goal. Maybe Woosha had made the Eagles watch the Collingwood games of

Rounds 7 and 8 too many times because they were starting to play like

those cold Pies: standing by, watching on, doing nothing. And then,

miracle of miracles, L. Brown actually marked and kicked a goal! And

I started to like the look of the post-knee reco Dick – he resembles

a Baby Bomber with his lively attack on the ball. However, to put

things in perspective, and not get carried away, don’t forget that

Number 29 in black & white spotted up a player running to position in

the Pies defence … the only problem being that he was wearing blue

and gold! It had to be The Worst Turnover Ever. The man must be

colour blind. But when Embley played on in the goal square and hit the

post, I started to believe that our 20-point lead at three-quarter

time was an indication that a win was on the cards.

So the final quarter starts and Kerr is getting angrier and angrier.

First with his teammates and then with Tarks. His head butt to the

back of Lockyer’s neck is hilarious, especially when shortly

afterwards gleeful Leon looks like he has the ball on a rope and

kicks a goal. And then flies high and kicks another one! He’s having

a really good time so I decide to relax and enjoy it too, especially

when it is noted that Wood is up to 20-something possessions. Surely

his possessions have never been higher than his jumper number before?

When Steele seals the deal with another goal, we have broken the bad

run of the past couple of weeks.

Has anyone ever seen a happier looking man than Tarkyn Lockyer in his

post-match interview? Normally pretty straight up and down, verging

on serious, he was grinning from ear to ear. ‘22 guys doing their

job’ was what he put the result down to, and he’s spot on. While

there were many errors, they didn’t chuck it in. And Max Nickwell

played a sterling game as did the rest of our defence.

The Horsburgh Medal

3. Neon Leon (for being the Igniter)

2. Tarkyn Lockyer (because it was his 200th and he hasn’t ever given

up all year)

1. Max Nickwell

Pendles and Swan are a bit stiff but they’ll get plenty more votes

over the year. I think Maxy’s game was defining, both for him as a

captain and for straightening up the defence so it was like the old

days when Jimmy and Wakes ran the show down there. and I’m pretty

sure he didn’t hit anyone high, back at the scene of the crime.

Cumulative voting:

15 – Pendles

8 – Tarkyn, Leon

4 – Swan, Max

3 – Jack Anthony, Presti

2 – O’Bree, Josh, Harry,

1 – The Mop, Beams, Medhurst

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