Floreat Pica Society- West Coast Game

By John Ramsdale

I hate this ground-see Bulldogs report, 6/6/2010. On paper this looked like a straightforward game and we should have approached it with great confidence. Tim had marked this down as a win in his half –year summary. However, based on previous experience going into games that were classified as certain wins there were a few questions.

  1. We do have a record of dropping games against lower sides and the media love bringing this up; “Brisbane have only won one of their last ten games.” Guess who?
  2. Could Leon finally turn it around and play a confidence boosting game and give Haiku Bob some more Leon ammunition this week?
  3. Could we escape injuries from the notorious Ethiad surface?
  4. Could we score more goals than behinds?
  5. Could Nick Natanui play a blinder in a severely losing side and secure the Rising Star Award, as this was the only hope I had of resurrecting anything from my Time Capsule?
  6. The Age had a full page article on Leon and 8 of our players from WA. Would this be a curse on these players?
  7. Who would win the Murray Wrenstead medal?
  8. I had watched the first half of the Brazil -Netherlands World Cup game the night before. Brazil played like Geelong and should have been miles in front at half time. The Netherlands’ pattern of play looked very familiar; kick it around the boundary and muck around with it in the forward line. They appear to have been coached by Mick’s orange clad Dutch cousin Michaelus Van Malthouse. Yet the underdog got up and won in the second half.  An omen?

First Quarter

The betting organization was more optimistic than I was with Collingwood paying $1.08 and West Coast $12.50. West Coast ran out, another anonymous group of players. I recognised four of them. Sidebottom out appeared to be a big loss, but it gave a chance to our first, first-gamer for the year, Jarryd Blair. West Coast began well with Josh Kennedy, son of Old Paradian, Jamie (1980), leading and marking well in front of Presti. Then followed the strangest run-up since John Lever when he ran in to bowl from the MCG boundary in the 1977 Centenary Test. Fortunately he missed. From then on it was all Collingwood. Blair was in the action early. Goals came from Tarkyn Lockyer, Chris Dawes, Darren Jolly, Scott Pendelbury, Dane Beams and Dane Swann. Collingwood looked very smooth and polished and the Eagles were outclassed and pressured, frequently turning it over to Collingwood’s advantage. The backline continued their good form from last week with Heath Shaw taking courageous marks and Ben Reid and Allan Toovey looking a lot more settled and confident by the week. Jolly was dominating in the ruck and around the ground and the usual suspects, Luke Ball, Beams, Swan and Pendelbury were getting plenty of the ball. The others were desperately trying to bring Leon into the game and the crowd were willing him to do well. Leon was a little ambitious at one stage trying to outmark Natanui. At the end of the quarter it looked like a matter of how far Collingwood as the Eagles looked uninterested and confused. They appeared to be worse at playing Ethiad than we did. The Piesimist had given his traditional “Whoo Whoo” of victory at the 18 minute mark after Pendelbury’s goal. A record! If the premiership wasn’t yet looking like a cakewalk, this game certainly was.

Quarter 2: The Comeback

Goals within the first ten minutes from Jolly, who was having a day out, and Dawes who was also moving well, looked to have sealed the game and it was matter of how far.  Just like Kevin Rudd however, it looked like pride may have been coming before a fall. West Coast started to look a lot better in defence and through Priddis they were winning it out of the centre. They were running a lot better and their efficiency had improved. They were unrecognisable from the first quarter Eagles. Le Cras dribbled through what would once have been called a Daicos goal at the 13 minute mark and this was followed by another within a minute. Some doubts started to creep in around us. Is it only Collingwood supporters that think “Surely we could lose it from here?” West Coast outscored us in this quarter and went into half time looking more positive and full of run. Collingwood had received a wake –up call.

Quarter 3

West Coast came out attacking and had their first goal within five minutes. The uneasy feeling was starting to grow. This revival soon came to an end and the game came to life. Thomas “mopping” up well delivered to Cloke to Lockyer who goaled. You could feel the relief, as this was the most positive piece of play for a while. Another seven goals followed in nineteen minutes. Jolly was involved in many of these with his tackling, handballs and hit outs. The highlight was undoubtedly the 90 second, three goal purple patch from Alan Didak.   Jolly, Brown and Blair were involved in getting the ball out to him and he did the rest in spectacular fashion. This certainly woke the crowd up. We will see if this receives the same amount of media attention as the Buddy goals. Jolly’s fourth goal after the siren meant that after a slow start Collingwood had produced a nine goal to one quarter. Spirits had risen.

Quarter 4

This was a much more restrained affair, a bit like the nil all draw that Tony described in his report of the Swans game last week. Eight shots produced only two goals, to Dawes and Ball, but Collingwood had done enough to secure their win. Ten minutes in, they started the kick it around backwards, in a keepings-off routine which brought boos from the crowd who wanted more goals. It was a good win, but it was against a team who will probably finish last. There were many positives to come out of it: the improvements in the games of Dawes, Reid, Wellingham and Toovey, Jolly’s ruck work, the consistency of Ball, Thomas, Swan, Shaw. Beams and Pendelbury and the promising debut of Blair. Leon couldn’t buy a goal from the goal square at the moment. Travis Cloke and Leigh Brown are more reliable in shooting than he is at the moment. He will bring the roof down when he finally scores. He is however, moving a lot more freely than he was and tackling and applying pressure.

Steve, we copped the annoying supporter this week. We sat in front of the human vuvuzela. She droned on incessantly all night. Screaming in time on with a 79 point lead in the last quarter for Collingwood to get in and have a go and not let them in. Another reason that I am glad we only have to visit this ground twice a year. At least we won both of them this year.

One highlight of the game was at the end of the game when the updated ladder was shown on the scoreboard. We were on top. It was reminiscent of the days at Victoria Park when we used to watch the scores from the other 5 games being updated. It was a meaningless position given that Geelong and St Kilda hadn’t played but sometimes you can be too rational.

Questions to arise from the game:

Who is the most famous No 47 to play for Collingwood or any team for that matter?

Who was the last Collingwood player who was as short as Number 47 (174cm, whatever that is in proper measurements?

Who was the last Collingwood ruckman to kick 4 goals in a game?

The Horsburgh Medal

This was very difficult given the nature of the game and the very good contributions of most players, but not however, as difficult as the Piesimist’s job in awarding the Danny Roach votes.

3.Darren Jolly. Easily his best game for Collingwood. He worked hard against a good ruckman in Cox, who looked well below his best and Natanui. His marking, running, tackling  and handballs created many opportunities for others. Probably our best import since James Clement.

2. Dane Beams ran all night and was very creative. He kicked two goals and probably should have had another two or three. Glad we signed him up again.

1.Dale Thomas: This could have gone to a number of players, but this is also a bit of a cumulative vote for his good work over the last few weeks. He has been consistent all year and provides plenty of drive from whatever they currently call the position that he plays.

Sincere apologies to Dane Swan, Scott Pendelbury, Allan Didak, Luke Ball…………

The Murray Wrenstead Medal goes to Darren Jolly.

Bring on St Kilda in two weeks, but the media will again this week talk about Collingwood dropping games they should win, this time against Port Adelaide. Let’s hope they are wrong.

Danny Roach votes

By The Piesimist
Docklands. Winter. Kevin Costner said: ‘Build it and they will come.’
We did, they didn’t. As we wandered over to a trendy pub to have a
chicken parma before the game JR and I both commented how, if it were
not for the footy crowd, we would be dodging tumbleweeds. But at least
we got a good parking spot easily – courtesy I think of the new MCC
Saturday night parking charges, which have to be the biggest gouge
since Judd at the end of last year.

I confess to having already cast my Danny Roaches – 3 to Jolly who
would be towelled by Cox and Natanui, 2 to Leon who would continue to
be ‘finals’ Leon, and 1 to Anthony who just does not have the class
when he has to battle. JR’s better half, normally the most gentle and
loving Earth Mother and Grandmother, spat out that the 3 should go to
Josh Fraser! She can be hard as flint when she has a mind to!

JR was non-committal. I thought he looked a bit tired. Floreat Picans
may not know it but JR is descended from an English saint – John Southworth. He was a Catholic priest martyred for his faith in the reign of Queen Elizabeth
(the first one, not the present one). JR has inherited a bit of that
proselytising spirit. He confessed that he had been putting in long
hours of missionary work on his new grandson, Ollie. You see, Ollie’s
side has a touch of impure blood – there is a mutant Sydney Swans gene
that has to be fought and defeated. JR had been fighting the good
fight, many hours of subversively passing on the Faith to Ollie – ‘Go
Pies, Ollie’, ‘Who’s going to be one of Thommo’s Team, Ollie?’ ‘Hate
Carlton, Ollie, hate them all your life’, I taught Heath Shaw, Ollie,
so we like him’, ‘A cakewalk means an easy win, Ollie’. And so on for
many hours. Keep up the good work, Blessed JR!

I was worried about this ‘easy’ game, and put on my customary Hanrahan
pessimist hat at the start of the game (‘We’ll all be rooned, said
Hanrahan’). I had taken it off half way through the first quarter – we
were playing the ghost of a great team past, with their Premiership
giants now hollow men only.

So I set about the task of Danny Roaching. By half time Jolly had
already proven me wrong, but I thought I had some new candidates – the
new boy Blair looked a bit lost, and I thought while Lockyer and
Johnson were being seen a lot, they were actually not doing a great
deal.

At the end of the game I was unsure. Blair had shown a fair bit by
then, and most of my early candidates had clearly been trying hard,
and had done a bit. So I needed to consult the stats today.

Well, that showed a bit, and threw up a few new candidates – Goldsack,
Reid and even Wellingham! All were below their usual effectiveness.
There was even – shock, horror and please don’t kill Bambi’s mum –
Presti!!

The stats also showed a past favourite, Big Bad Leroy Brown, but I
discounted that. I had watched him in the forward line and the ruck.
Though clearly ‘out-agiled’ by Natanui, he used his bulk and strength
beautifully against the elegant, sleek, lithe, athletic, shining,
beautifully proportioned, Roman-nosed, imperious, sideshow-Bob bobbed,
Greek God, black Carl Ditterich. (Oops, did that touch of homo
eroticism really come out then? Let’s not go there, Piesimist.) So I
was not going to include Brown.

So, to the final votes for the least effective player, based on what I
saw (always unreliable), their usual effectiveness compared with last
night’s effectiveness (always subjective), and the quality of their
direct opponents (always hard to judge these days), went to:

3 – Leon, a few flickers from the neon light, and I thought players
were trying to bring him in to it, but he is still out of sorts – but
at least is not petulant, and is still trying.
2 – Anthony, a one-trick pony who needs to be in a team that delivers
the ball quicker , more directly and better that we can (down the
middle, not around the boundary) for him to use that trick effectively.
1 – Wellingham, got some good ball, but made quite a few clangers.

Go Pies!

The Piesimist.

Comments

  1. Phantom says:

    Hot Pies!

    Get ’em while their fresh and hot.

    Hot Pies!

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