Before the game I checked up. Collingwood and Melbourne had played 221 times, 129 of those of those at the MCG.
The Pies had taken the honours 138 times, the Dees 79, and there had been four draws. I wasn’t put off by this stat, I know that Melbourne play well against Collingwood. Collingwood are the arch-rival, that’s the mindset that I had going into this game at the MCG. No-one else thought the Dees had a chance.
Things didn’t start well, and this is before I had even got to the ground. I just missed the train and I had somehow lost the Sport section on the way to the station.
The MCG confronted me. I scanned my membership card and walked up the escalator in the Olympic Stand, and took seats 1 and 2 in Q49 (closest to MCC Members). There were a couple of Melbourne supporters around me, but the main spread were those of the black and white faithful. I told a Demons supporter that the Magpies will choke again like last week and blame it on the umpires.
Melbourne proved to be the better team early on. They ran hard, their forward line was free-flowing and they were spotting up targets inside their forward 50. Brad Miller missed his first shot on goal, but he then converted a second, both from marks in the 50. Brad Green made it 0.0 0 to 2.1 13 with another goal. I was excited, too much for my own good. Collingwood answered with two quick goals but Melbourne stood strong. Goals from Johnson, Morton and Green were kicked and Melbourne held a 13 point buffer at the first break. 5.2 from Melbourne was a great return, and all the goals were from marks inside 50. I had spent the whole of the first quarter questioning umpire decisions, rubbing in Collingwood mistakes and encouraging Demon players.
The hype by me only withstood until midway through the second quarter when the Demons were still up by two goals and still controlling the game. It all turned around with a horrible kick in from second-gamer Kyle Cheney. The kick landed in the arms of Alan Didak and he lined up and kicked a goal, which was followed up by another goal from him. Paul Medhurst marked and goaled and Collingwood were up by seven points at the long break. Signs looked ominous for Melbourne. I got out of my seat and bought a pie.
Things started horribly. Matthew Warnock got caught holding the ball in the first thirty seconds and Nathan Brown kicked the goal. Anthony kicked a good one and the margin was growing rapidly. Fraser kicked the pies sixth in a row and by this time I was shaking my head. Melbourne were just too slow. Brad Green provided Melbourne’s only highlight of the second half with a goal from the boundary, his third. Stefan Martin couldn’t keep up with Jack Anthony. It was frustrating to watch. Collingwood were up by 33 points at three quarter time, Melbourne’s only other goal kicked in the quarter was from a 50 metre penalty to Cameron Bruce. Dayne Beams kicked a goal in his first game, after coming in late for Dale Thomas, making him the second Da(y)ne to have their arm covered in tattoos to play for Collingwood.
The last quarter was a training drill for Collingwood, without using their chances effectively. The final margin was 53 points, but it could’ve been a lot more. Collingwood kicked 3.8 for the quarter, including two identical ones in a row from Travis Cloke, and the Demons’ only score was a lucky goal from Brock McLean, who had had very little influence for the second week in a row, which is inexcusable when you are one of your team’s prime movers. The siren went and the 43,176 went their separate ways, but I stayed for a little longer. I thought about the next game against Port Adelaide.
Collingwood 3.1 8.3 14.7 17.15 (117)
Melbourne 5.2 7.2 9.4 10.4 (64)
Collingwood: Anthony 4, Didak 3, Cloke 2, Lockyer 2, Beams, Swan, Davis, Fraser, Brown, Medhurst.
Melbourne: Green 3, Johnson, McLean, Petterd, Miller, Morton, Bate, Bruce.
Collingwood: Didak, Fraser, Anthony, Swan, Lockyer, Pendlebury, Davis, Beams.
Melbourne: Davey, Green, Bruce, Moloney, Jones, Morton.
Umpires: Donlon, McLaren, H. Ryan.
Crowd: 43,176 at the MCG.
Votes: 3. A. Didak (Coll) 2. Fraser (Coll) 1. Anthony (Coll)