Not another flag?

 

Collingwood v Carlton

School. It had been really getting me down. These past 10 weeks have been really…

Actually, no, I think you’ve all heard enough about the struggles of my Year 11 life. In fact, school’s been great, the workload is tough but I’m coping fine. The Easter holidays have now begun, but not before a rather strenuous ‘last day of term’. Who the hell gives their students a maths test on the last day of school? Tell me Peter Flynn, will I need algebra in my lifetime? Nonetheless, I sat through 48 minutes staring blankly at the test, before folding it up into my pocket and taking it home, I’ll work on it in my time-off. School finished at lunch-time basically, but we sat in the hall to watch some brave students, and teachers, get up on stage and sing a few songs. Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber songs were flying through the speakers, which made me eye off the clock even more as it reached 2:30. But what I was really waiting for was night time. The footy, back again. Round 3 is ready to commence, I can’t believe it’s this late into the season already, it’ll be the Grand Final in a few weeks!

And perhaps, just maybe, these two will feature on that Last Saturday In…umm, I mean First Saturday In October. Sure, it has been tough watching Collingwood take the league by the scruff of the neck, they look bloody unbeatable, even better than the dominant Brisbane and Geelong teams of the latest era, but what would be even worse is watching Carlton rise to proper prominence, not just another also-ran in the finals race, which they have been for the past two years. As they easily dismantled the Suns last weekend, they looked like an A-grade team. Sure, they would’ve gotten more competition against the bye, but their gameplan clicked perfectly, some players who needed to get some run into their legs and perform did that in spades, and any 20 goal win is good for team morale, regardless of who it is against.

After a large ceremony on the hallowed turf of the MCG, under the bright lights, the massive premiership flag was unfurled high above the arena. Emotion was definitely running high as the Pies burst through the banner to a buzzing sound of over 80,000 screaming fans. It was Carlton, the ‘other team playing’ that kicked the first goal though, with Shaun Hampson being gifted a free kick after Ben Reid held him in a contest. Hampson, lining up for the first major of the game for the third week in a row (is this a record Gigs?), must’ve been spurred on by a certain female figure in the crowd as he split the middle. Collingwood whizzed the ball around the Carlton defence though, putting plenty of pressure on the ball carrier. One example was when Jordan Russell had the ball at half-back. With no one to handball to, he dished it out to second-gamer Matt Watson, who was standing stationary, and it didn’t hit the target in the first place. Quick turnover, with Jarryd Blair on the end of a smart Sharrod Wellingham kick. Blair converted, before being gifted his second after a handball received from Dane Swan in the goalsquare. Darren Jolly floated forward, somehow getting away from Robbie Warnock, which allowed the former DemonSwan (it sounded cool like that) to take a rather uncontested mark 20m out. He goaled, then I realised my favourite show was on Channel 10. The Biggest Loser, which is nearing the end of the competition, was on between 7:30 and 8:30, and of course this clashed with Channel 7’s decision to broadcast the match live. I flicked over to 10, and watched about 5 minutes worth. I turned it back to Channel 7, and Carlton were in front. The things you miss when you tune out for just a few minutes! Alan Didak put Collingwood back in front with a good goal after receiving a handball from Dayne Beams, but Jeff Garlett made the slack Collingwood defenders pay, marking uncontested on the 50, sprinting forward and splitting the middle from 30m out to give Carlton the lead by a point at quarter time.

The former prisoner burst into life for the Magpies in the second quarter, Andy Krakouer snapping his first after receiving from Blair, then snapping another after crumbing a boundary throw-in. In between those two was a great mark to Jarrad Waite, who’s cousin won the Easter egg raffle at school today (Miss Waite, Maths teacher at NSC). Waite (Jarrad) kicked the goal, but Collingwood started to really get up the Carlton players. After Michael Jamison dropped an easy mark, going for it with only one-hand, Cloke sharked it and snapped a clever goal, before getting up close and personal with the Blues’ defender. Luke Ball found an inch of space in a tight congested pack at the top of the goalsquare to dribble through his first, before Blair was given a very lucky free kick, which will force Jeff Gieschen to come out next week and admit it was wrong. With Russell all-eyes for the floating ball, he saw Blair running at him, but kept his eyes fixed on the sherrin. Russell dug the stops into the ground, and Blair bounced off him. 30 seconds later, Blair had just kicked his third from a free kick. In a very toned-down observation, Carlton supporters were livid.

I contemplated switching the TV channel, which definitely would’ve brought about an avalanche of Carlton goals. But why would I? I enjoy watching Carlton squirm and getting defeated. But I do love a good contest. So I was glad to see Mitch Robinson take the game on and drill a long goal on the run to start the second half, before Miss Waite’s cousin took another good mark, three deep in a contest. He reduced the margin to 14 points, but Chris Dawes, the man-mountain of the AFL, marked and booted his first. Bryce Gibbs split the middle with a terrific kick from 50m out on a very tight angle, but it was the midget Blair who stunned the crowd with a further two goals to finish the third quarter. First from the help of his teammates, who ran back with the ball as it was booted long into the Collingwood forward 50. What was a one-on-one contest between Blair and someone bigger than him was, in an instant, a five-on-one contest, which allowed the former rookie to run in and kick his fourth. The newly-subbed Andrew Collins was obviously finding it hard to adjust in the new navy blue colours, with his mistakes putting his side at major risk, Blair making them pay with his fifth goal. I couldn’t feel a contest anymore. 27 points, the reigning premiers’ way.

It was beyond five goals after Dawes showcased his determination, fighting for the ball not once, not twice, but three times, eventually winning it and snapping over his shoulder for his second. Garlett was in the right place at the right time, taking advantage of a free kick after Collingwood players flew recklessly into a large pack in the goalsquare. Garlett goaled, before Cloke gave us a preview of the new left foot of his, nailing a huge goal from the forward flank. Garlett again provided something special for Carlton fans, winning in a 1-2 situation, burning away and kicking a terrific third goal with the checkside punt. Leon Davis was finally stripped of the fluro green vest, and his first disposal came soon after, eventually ending up in the big hands of Dawes, who converted from the goalsquare. Eddie Betts, who I didn’t even know was playing, kicked a good goal, but too many Carlton players disappeared when the going got tough, namely Betts, Andrew Carrazzo and Gibbs. The siren sounded on the perfect evening for Collingwood, the hoisting of their 15th flag, and a convincing victory over their biggest rivals.

It is a scary thought, but this time next year, will we be seeing the mighty Magpies raise yet another flag?

Collingwood 4.2—9.7—12.8—15.12.102

Carlton 4.3—5.4—8.5—11.8.74

Goalkickers:

Collingwood-Blair 5, Dawes 3, Cloke 2, Krakouer 2, Jolly, Didak, Ball

Carlton-Garlett 3, Waite 2, Betts, Gibbs, Hampson, Simpson, Thornton, Robinson

Best:

Collingwood-Shaw, Blair, Sidebottom, Johnson, Ball, Beams, Swan

Carlton-Yarran, Curnow, Watson, Judd

Crowd:

88,181 at the MCG

Votes:

3: Heath Shaw (COLL)

2: Jarryd Blair (COLL)

1: Steele Sidebottom (COLL)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Comments

  1. Danielle says:

    Sacré BLAIR!!!!! :p ;)

  2. Steve Healy says:

    Easter egg raffle? Jeez those things are impossible to win! Sounds like Miss Waite has had more success than her cousin in her career so far.

    Damn, you noticed Hampson’s streak, I was about to bring that up on MSN haha.

    And you’re right, the Magpies WILL raise another flag next year -well a sail, and It’ll be on a boat to Tasmania. All for the relocation!

  3. Not liking the fact Collingwood are looking ‘bloody unbeatable.’ Good article!
    Haven’t been much on FB as of late but meant to let you know my sister (13) ordered a full on mascot style Tiger suit off eBay. Taking it for a spin at the ‘G next Friday, should be hilarious.

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