Pies Cruise

by Tim O’Leary

Thankful: adv, act of being grateful for playing Melbourne round 2 and getting the four points.


The Collingwood banner exclaimed: “Dedication and Passion: The will to win”. What a pity the Melbourne players read that simple message and took it on board for the first quarter. They played a neat brand of football with excellent kicking skills, with fluid movement of the ball to their leading forwards who hadn’t experienced supply like this for a long time.


As the bloke next me said, we were playing on reputation and it was pretty average viewing, especially having seen big Trav’s first shot for goal look more like auskick than AFL!


The players who stood up in the first term were Tarkyn Lockyer and Marty Clarke who stood out among a rattled Collingwood while Josh was winning taps albeit often straight down to the Melbourne midfield.


The second and third terms were typical Malthouse footy with an effortful Collingwood grafting back the lead to go into the sheds with a psychological win. The third quarter saw Collingwood dominate on the scoreboard and Melbourne’s efforts went largely unrewarded.


The best youngster, however, was Dayne Beams, who came in as a late replacement for Dale Thomas, out with a virus. Moonbeams showed that rare quality of immediate adjustment to AFL footy – it was the poise and value in how he used his 18 disposals that counted – particularly his first goal at AFL level.


Fortunes were reversed in the last quarter when Melbourne played a rubbish brand of footy and were only saved from a massive blowout by our inaccurate kicking and a fade-out of intensity once the game was no longer in doubt.


Two ‘returns’ were also noticeable – one physically of Heath Shaw who was reported by the bald assassin, McClarin, in the third quarter for what I thought was a great physical effort, but he clearly was not going for the ball and under the new netball rules will likely miss a couple. The other ‘return’ was that of Dids, who returned to form having looked a bit lost in the last couple of games.


We won on the day because Dids fired , Dane Swan galvanised the midfield, Jack Anthony hurt them on the scoreboard and Josh had a rare triumph in the ruck. The standout one-percenter was by Leon when he ran 100 metres to tackle and won the free kick.


The four points and percentage boost are handy but we seemed to lack the self-belief, hunger and passion evident in how Carlton and the Swans played with in their respective matches – it’s early days and we’ll see if something clicks.


Votes for the Horsborough Medal:
3. Jack Anthony – lethal in front of goal when it counted.

2. Dane Swan – where there’s a waddle there’s a way.

1. Lockyer – solid when we were shaky

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