Two on a couch


by The Piesimist


We were three on the couch, ready to watch the game.


‘Looks like Lou, Bobby and Jack’ I said, recalling long-past Thursday culture.


‘No, looks more like Larry, Curley and Mo’, said JR.


Suzy just looked at us with that mixture of pity, disgust and despair that the young affect so easily towards their elders.

So the two of us donned our Waldorf and Sattler personae instead and proceed to prognosticate.

‘It’s worry, coming off the bye.’


‘And all that newspaper publicity during the week – for Krakoeur, Daisy and Swanny. That’s a definite mos.’


‘And we haven’t lost against this mob for 9 games, so we have to be getting closer to one.’


‘And this is the anniversary of their last win.’


‘And we have seen them fail to win 12 grand finals.’


Forgive that last irrelevant comment – from a trio who have over 130 years of watching Collingwood between them it’s impossible for that scar not to inflame every now and again.


So, in a not overly positive frame of mind, but still deep down expecting to win, we watched. And the fears nearly came true. The papers always give good accounts of the game, so this is a largely impressionistic rather than analytical one.


First Quarter


It was red nose day at the ‘We stole the Olympics from Melbourne stadium’. I thought I could even see John Elliot in the crowd wearing one – oh, hang on, that’s his own nose.


We started well, great tackling pressure up forward keeping the ball in, though when Sydney grabbed it they seemed to have loose men up the line, and were counter-attacking very effectively.


McVeigh was starring for them – looks like Leon may be in the Danny Roaches tonight.


Our Reid impressed – he was getting the ball, and always seems very cool under pressure, getting kicks and long handballs right on the mark.


Cloke going well, Dawes out of it. It seems that these days only one or the other fires, not both together. Dawes is in a worrying patch of just not holding his marks.


Rhys Shaw and Thomas having a great battle – their seems real fierceness there, something personal?


Krakoeur not getting much, but he tackles hard and keeps the ball in the forward line.


Pendles quiet – I thought got about 2, but the stats men say 5.


At quarter time we have a 7 point lead, should be more.


Second Quarter


Wood continues to try hard and do a few good things. I know, I know, he is not a ruckman, but he tries, his second efforts are often very good, and his opponents, while getting a hand to the ball, are not generally putting it to advantage. Perhaps that is more due to our good mids than to Wood’s efforts. But having gone to the footy for 10 years with a ‘He’s no champion’ critic of Josh (Sue, you know who you are!), I try to look for the good points in such duds.


Bad Leroy is in the team today, mucking a few things up, doing a few good things, but mostly running around ineffectually.


Krakoeur keeps trying, Goldsack showing a bit, Toovey blanketing his man, Thomas could have broken it open in the last part of the quarter, is too conscious of beating Rhys, I think. Plus JR thinks he saw his kicking coaches at training: Billy Picken, Kevin Rose and James Manson! Dawes starting to take some marks, Tarrant effective, and Shaw – not only does he beat his opponent, but he provides great attacking drive as well. Have just seen him beat two opponents, and drive the ball forward as well. Ball is amazing, just keeps getting the hard ball.


At the end of the second quarter it looks like we have broken them, even with a lot of ‘coasters’ – Sidebottom, Didak, Harry, Wellingham, Brown, Goldsack, Blair.


We are winning ugly!


Third Quarter


Some highlights of this quarter: Wood’s blind turn, Shaw attacking the ball, Ball attacking the ball, Dawes a good mark, Blair keeping the ball in (well, according to the boundary umpire, and his dog barked agreement), Harry seems to be getting a bit of his mojo back – until Goodes starts to assert an influence, and Pendlebury makes one of his rare mistakes by kicking back to a Swan for an easy goal. Last 15 minutes – Sydney 5 goals. Let’s hope for our legendary last quarter domination.


Fourth Quarter


A dogged, dour game. We are not dominating them. Tarrant now really stands up – he is not my favourite player, I hated his attitude in his previous Magpie life and even at the start of this year, but I cannot fault his determination and skill today.


Finally, a Cloke goal that gives us breathing space, and the game is over.


No sense of excitement – just a feeling that maybe we got out of jail, and maybe we are due for a fall next week. Hope Hawthorn’s injuries continue. Does anybody drive a bus and know where Franklin lives?


The Graham Teasdale Brown velvet suit award

Apologies to Tarrant and Reid but I gave (accepting personal responsibility here):


3 votes: Cloke – The difference between the teams. It’s really great to see a fine young man playing so well.


2 votes: Ball – Pendles had as many possessions, Swan more and as many clearances, but I thought Ball earned his more and was more effective with them.


1 vote: Nearly gave it to Tarrant or Reid or Toovey, but on reflection I think Shaw both took his opponents out, and at the same time provided terrific attack.


I look forward to my daughter’s vitriolic judgement of the duds.


The Piesimist

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