Round 3 – Sydney v Collingwood: Light in the Dark
We were meant to be entering a time of light. Ready to step up, out of the darkness of the past few seasons. The Round 1 loss to the reigning premiers did give hope. But the hallmarks of the dark times were still there. The poor delivery into the forward line. The appalling kicking for goal. We’d been there before. Ran Hawthorn and the Bulldogs very close late last season, but fell short, largely from the same reasons. Then we were worse against Richmond in Round 2. Another game we should have won. The spotlight was now well and truly back on N.C. Buckley. We were back in the dark.
It’s the last wave of Summer. Watching the game being played in Sydney in my Otways loungeroom with shorts and a Collingwood polo on, and a few Prickly Moses Summer Ales. It will be a burning fire and Stout while watching soon enough.
The Pies are magnificent in the first quarter. Tackling hard. Precision in our kicking. The Swans barely enter their forward 50. Alex Fasolo, one of the goal-kicking villans in the first two games, has 3 goals. Darcy Moore has led and marked well. But for all our dominance, the lead at quarter time is only 21 points. It should be more. Sydney will come back hard.
Sydney start the second term brightly. Hannebery and Franklin miss goals they’d regularly kick. Will Hayward latches on to the ball in the goal square and puts it through. Our lead is now only 12 points. Former Swan, the much maligned Jesse White, marks 50 out near the boundary. Of course he puts it right through the middle. If he could only do that from 20 metres out directly in front….
Hayward goals again for Sydney, before Fasolo snaps his 4th goal. Greenwood goals from a Fasolo pass, then Kieran Jack kicks two goals, reducing Collingwood’s lead to 9 points at half time.
What a recruit Travis Varcoe has been. While I still occasionally wake up in a cold sweat thinking about his goal to open the 2011 Grand Final in our opponent’s colours, Collingwood look a far better team with his pace and creativity. As showed by his goal to start the third quarter; much needed breathing space. Hannebery, amazingly criticised for giving up the drink as being the reason for his slow start to the season, is fully charged tonight, keeping Sydney in the game as he goals. Treloar arches his back, takes off and bangs one through, taking our lead back to 13 points. Tim Broomhead always shows some spark when he plays, and he has a burst where he could have kicked two goals but misses both. This is usually the stage of the game where we are made to pay for our mistakes…
Josh Kennedy goals for Sydney. Chris Mayne, on a lucrative 4 year deal, has been virtually unsighted all night. He marks 40m out. Doesn’t make the distance. %$@k. I contemplate something heavier to deal with this game and Mayne. I have IPA’s and Shiraz ready to go. Wisely decide to stick to the Summer Ales. For now.
Sam Reid has had even less of it than C. Mayne. Kicks a nice goal from 50m after a free. This feels like the dark is taking over. Our lead is down to three points. Varcoe goals. Hayward, goals again for the Bloods; impressive young player. Greenwood and Fasolo miss. Jesse White, of course, marks strongly but misses from 40m straight in front. Sydney goal again. A Josh Kennedy point puts them up for the first time all night. This won’t end well now, I’m thinking.
“The hum in your ears
The weight on your hands
Still not enough for the masterplan”
My swearing is not acceptable, but understandable to those who have watched Collingwood in recent times. A Swans player crashes into Pendlebury’s leg. Every Pies supporter, including me, stops breathing for a few seconds. Thankfully, the great man is ok. That’s the last thing we need.
Will Hoskin-Elliot has a tight shot from 40m out, near the boundary. Another recruit. He barracked for the Pies growing up, these are the guys you want to see do well. He nails it.
The last few minutes are excruciating. Roaring at the TV. Bruce hasn’t had a great night, calling some goals early, especially from Buddy, that all missed. In a night, and early season, of darkness and light, Henry Schade has kept Buddy Franklin, in his milestone 250th game, in the shade.
“But something is wrong
Lights creeping through
Well hurry pull the shades on you”
Steele Sidebottom kicks a point to put the Pies 7 points up. Sydney goal again. We hang on, despite the ball entering Sydney’s forward 50.
A beautiful win. Much needed. Weekends are so much more enjoyable when you win on the Friday night. Pendlebury was outstanding. So many one percenters and stood up at the end of the final term when the game was on the line. Captain’s game. Sidebottom is superb, as always. Adams and Treloar still worry me with their disposal at times, but they get plenty of it. Really liking second year player Tom Phillips. Brayden Maynard plays one of best games in black & white running off half back, while Jeremy Howe is equally adept with his kicking as he is aerially. Like Ben Reid, we could do with two of him, one for each end.
For Sydney, Hannebery was wonderful, but the player who stood out for me was Aliir Aliir, strong, fast, good game awareness. The sky’s the limit for this very good young player.
Wins like this remind you of why you support this great club. My hopes of returning to times of light are lifted again. For this week. The dark is always around the corner. But unlike Buddy in his 250th, my support won’t be (Henry) S(c)haded.
“It’ll follow you round until you look in it’s eyes
You’ll follow her until the day you die”
COLLINGWOOD 4.4 7.4 9.8 11.14 (80)
SYDNEY 1.1 5.7 7.11 11.13 (79)
Collingwood: Fasolo 4, Varcoe 2, Crisp, White, Greenwood, Treloar, Hoskin-Elliott
Sydney: Hayward 3, Jack 2, Fox, Hannebery, Kennedy, S. Reid, Florent, Newman
Collingwood: Adams, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Fasolo, Treloar, Schade, Howe, Grundy, Crisp
Sydney: Hannebery, Aliir, Lloyd, Jones, Kennedy, Mills
Umpires: Stevic, Nicholls, Hay
Official crowd: 35,310 at the SCG
Malarkey Medal Votes:
3. Taylor Adams (Coll)
2. Scott Pendlebury (Coll)
1. Dan Hannebery (Syd)