Round 6 – Collingwood v Richmond: Just like the good old days

 

Collingwood v Richmond

3:20PM, Sunday April 29

MCG

 

The lead-up to this game evoked memories of growing up in the 1970s and 1980s when Richmond and Collingwood were mortal enemies – and mighty clubs.

 

Among my earliest footy memories are that truly daunting trip to Victoria Park, where you were lucky to get out alive.

 

For those unsure where the word ‘feral’ originated, it has been scientifically traced to the terraces of Vic Park and Moorabbin’s Animal Cage, which housed the most rabid St Kilda fans and was arguably worse.

 

Footy at these grounds was full-on. After a Victoria Park game when we were about 13, my friend and I clambered into the post-game red rattler when a Magpie lout reached in through the window and grabbed her by the throat as the train started moving; then on the way to a Tigers-Pies MCG game, a Collingwood fan from our school hurled my bag out the train window. A few weeks later, police called to say it had been found in a stolen car. When the cops returned it, the crooks had scribbled obscenities throughout my Richmond autograph book.

 

Those were the days!

 

The worst Collingwood-Richmond memory, however, was self-inflicted. It came at the MCG in 1978 when the Tigers were 55-points up 10 minutes into the second quarter, and I stupidly crowed to those same class mates who’d thrown my bag from the train.

 

Sure enough, the Magpies conjured up one of the club’s biggest comebacks and won by 14 points. I’ve never done that again.

 

Two years later I got my revenge when Richmond smashed the Pies by 81 points in the 1980 Grand Final in front of 113,461 diehards. It was the days before corporates took over, so the G was packed with grassroots fans who despised their opposition with a passion.

 

Oh, how these two teams love to hate each other! Sadly, in recent years the rivalry between these inner suburban neighbours has sagged somewhat, with at least one of them languishing outside the eight at any given time.

 

The lowlight for Richmond fans was in 2016, when Collingwood kicked the last three goals to snatch a one point victory in the dying seconds. Just thinking about that brings on PTSD.

 

Fast forward to Round 6, 2018, and the Tigers and Pies are both up and about – Richmond with four wins and Collingwood with three. It set the scene for a good, old fashioned blockbuster.

 

The game was hyped to within an inch of its life, with the Herald Sun dubbing it a “clash for the ages” and predicting a 90,000 strong crowd. This didn’t quite eventuate, with just over 72,000 turning up to the Collingwood home game.

 

But the atmosphere was still electric, and the match did live up to expectations for three quarters.

 

The Pies threw everything at their old foes, taking it right up to the reigning premiers (STILL can’t get used to saying that). After four frustrating points, Jayden Short kicked Richmond’s first major, followed by goals to Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury and Mason Cox, who out-marked everyone.

 

Collingwood would have led at quarter time if it wasn’t for Lynden Dunn taking out Richmond livewire Jack Higgins after he’d snapped a goal, resulting in a second kick and a two-goal play.

 

The Pies built on a solid first quarter with three goals to one in the second, including one on the siren by Will Hoskin-Elliott that gave his team a four-point lead at half time. Richmond fans were decidedly nervous as the Pies looked like they might get the job done.

 

After some relief when Dan Butler and Jack Riewoldt goaled early in the third, Collingwood kicked the next two before Josh Caddy snagged a couple to put the Tigers 11 points up at three quarter time.

 

It had been a tight, old fashioned arm wrestle with some frustration as two electronic reviews saw goals taken away from Riewoldt and Caddy. The crowd also endured what seemed like fifty 50-metre penalties.

 

If we are to turn back the clock on anything in footy, it should be to dump the dreaded 50, which often results in a cheap shot on goal for someone stepping two metres in the wrong direction. It’s crazy.

 

But I digress.

 

Now the good bit, for Richmond fans at least.

 

The sleeping Tiger finally awoke in the last quarter, piling on seven goals to three. The game was pretty much summed up when Adam Treloar kicked a huge bomb on the run from outside 50, only to seen Dustin Martin goal on the run at the other end to ice the game.

 

The Pies had challenged, but the top-of-the-ladder Tigers knew how to respond.

 

Despite the final 43-point margin, Collingwood was far from disgraced, and, unlike the old days when any loss was a knife to the heart, Magpie fans left somewhat satisfied and hopeful of further improvement. Win-win.

 

 

COLLINGWOOD          2.2       5.7       7.9       10.10 (70)
RICHMOND             3.4       4.9       8.14     16.17 (113)

GOALS
Collingwood Reid 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Cox 2, Pendlebury, De Goey, Treloar, Stephenson
Richmond: Caddy 4, Riewoldt 3, Butler 3, Higgins 2, Castagna 2, Short, Martin

BEST
Collingwood: Treloar, Phillips, Grundy, Crisp, Pendlebury, Sidebottom.
Richmond: Nankervis, Cotchin, Grimes, Caddy, Houli, Martin, Prestia.

OUR VOTES T. Nankervis (Richmond) 3, T. Cotchin (Richmond) 2, A. Treloar (Collingwood) 1.

CROWD: 72,157

 

 

Comments

  1. Cheryl there were some great clashes between these teams. The 1969 & 1973 preliminary finals where you beat the Pies on the way to being premiers.

    In 1971 they beat you in both home and away games, then you knocked them out the first week of the finals.

    The enormous turn out for the 1977 Anzac Day clash @ the ‘G’, Tommy Hafey coaching against Richmond for the first time.

    You mention the 1978 clash where youse blew a big lead. I’ve got a a memory your team did that again in 1987; i may need to check that .

    Glen!

  2. Cheryl Critchley says:

    You’re probably right about 1987 Glen – we won the wooden spoon that year so I’ve probably blocked it out :-). I started attending games regularly in 1977 so thanks for the reminder on those other games. I’m sure there have been heaps of great clashes over the years, going even further back to the days of Jack Dyer and Lou Richards (and even earlier).

  3. Stainless says:

    A great trip down memory lane, Cheryl. Victoria Park was certainly a fearsome venue but oh so satisfying to win at.
    Spot on Glen. I was at the game in 1987 at Waverley where Richmond coughed up a lead of over 50 points just before 3/4 time. Gut wrenching – and it wasn’t as though Collingwood were any good. We won the spoon that year but still managed to beat the Magpies in the return match later that season. I’m sure it’s memories like that one that are causing my involuntary outbursts of “I love this team” as I watch the 2018 Tigers!

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Great stuff Cheryl. Game certainly felt like a final. Who’d have thought that we’d arrive here after that early game in 2016? Just goes to show how quickly things can turn around.
    Enjoy your success (You too Stainless!). You have a handy team at the moment. Back to Back?

  5. Cheryl Critchley says:

    How ironic that the Tigers won the flag on the 30th anniversary of that disastrous 1987 season! It shows that there is hope for all of us :-)

  6. Joe De Petro says:

    Richmond v Collingwood games are always special, Cheryl.

  7. Cheryl Critchley says:

    They sure are Joe :-)

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