AFL Round 10 – Collingwood v West Coast (Floreat Pica Society): Pies steal the show and the points

written for the Floreat Pica Society by Kevin Ramsdale

 

Larceny  – the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another from his or her possession with the intent to convert them to the taker’s own use.

Well it wasn’t exactly wrongful for the Pies to take the four points from the Eagles, but we did convert something that looked like it was rightfully theirs into ours with a strong last quarter effort after at times looking like this game was beyond us.
After a brilliant start (haven’t had one of those of for a while) and accurate kicking by the 3 minute mark we had two goals on the board, defensive pressure was extremely high and end to end running by both teams…to the point where Clokey was regularly in the back 50. Still amazes me what value lies in this ploy, I read recently where Bucks mentioned that forwards are running as hard as midfielders today given the defensive pressure applied in the modern game….smarter minds than me are at play here, but it seems of little value if the contest is won in the back 50 to look upfield with nothing to kick to, so you chip it around waiting for your forwards to get back into position, by which time so have the defenders. Everyone ends up buggered, and its a zero sum game. Again, smarter minds than me at play here.
After the worthy first few minutes, a combination of undisciplined play and poor skills on our behalf and relentless running by the Eagles has them back in front. Sidey is everywhere in the back 50, but worry about him taking the cute option and turning it over, only for Fasolo to do just that kicking out and the Eagles are out to an eight point lead. Jamie Elliott takes 95% of Mark of the Year right in front of where we are sitting, it was a Circ du Soleil- like vertical leap on to some blokes head….amazing feat to no avail. Goldsack is playing like a man possessed at the contest before the Little Fella impersonates Daics with a banana on the run from the pocket to keep the Pies in it. The Little Fella is followed by the Big Fella, with Witts showing amazing poise picking up a ground ball and slotting one himself…the Pies are out 24 vs. 20. I note the free kick count is 6 vs. 1 to the Eagles, with the guy behind me making it his focus for the rest of the evening. Langdon and Brown are crunched under a Nic Nat leap before Wellingham puts the Eagles up. Hard running by the 100 gamer Beams enables him to mark the end of a chain of play that he initiated to goal to regain the lead, before Swanny turns it over in the forward line, and West Coast transition the play end to end for a goal and the quarter time lead. Two goals from turnovers so far and our skills and running look a step behind the Eagles. After a 10 goal quarter Im concerned that we cant win a shoot out against these guys.

The start of the second quarter and the unfortunate Nathan Brown is subbed off for Young. The Eagles open with a goal and Caff bends one back himself, Blair goals also after a failed set shot. By the 8 minute mark is 22 vs. 12 inside 50 and I’m still thinking we cant sustain nor win a shoot out with these guys. Maxy is the general in the back-half, with both Brown and Frost off the ground its a huge challenge for the balance of the backline as The Sack is moved back to have a crack at shoring things up. We need to close the contest down and take the run out of the Eagles. We are getting smashed in the hit outs (16 vs 6) and disposal efficiency is also down (76 vs. 66). Successive goals to the Eagles and they are up 52 vs 44, they are running everywhere, possession count is 175 vs. 129 and we are under siege, great second effort by The Sack results in Grundy hitting the post. West Coast get a cheap goal over the back of the pack and we head to Half time down 45 vs. 59. Forwards are no where to be seen…not surprising given they are spending most of their time in the defensive 50, with The Little Fella as the marking target. Summary of the first half lies in the in the stats, 219 disposals to 159, 73 marks to 35 and 17 hit-outs to 8. Thankfully we have been accurate in front of goal with 7.3 and only trail by 14 points….it feels like it could have been a lot more.
We are entertained at half time by the new Collingwood dance troop and Billy Ocean aptly singing ‘ When the Going gets tough’….before the third quarter starts with an opportunist goal to Ball followed by another from The Little Fella after a Maxy outpoints Cox in defence and the new skipper glides through the midfield to deliver it forward. Luke Ball is throwing himself battering ram style at every contest, his commitment is not honoured by terrible ball use from Sidey, Swan and Marley and the Eagles get a couple. Getting smashed in the middle and just hanging it them it seems….Eagles out to a 18 point lead, last six scores have gone to the Eagles and the floodgates are groaning under the pressure. My mate behind me reminds me that the free kick count is 15 vs. 7 the Eagles way and they lead the disposals by 75, a significant margin at this stage of the game. With no Frost and no Brown, maybe a shoot out is now our only option to win and defensively it is literally a huge task for the back six, who have done an outstanding job so far. Fasolo bends one back for a goal after a Ball free kick, followed by a roving goal off the pack to Sidey and we are back to a 6 point gap. Cox manages to hit both behind posts with the one shot at goal….never seen that before. At 3/4 time we trail 70 to 76, after a 4 goal to 2 2nd quarter, with inaccuracy costing the Eagles.
Start of the last and we come out of the blocks fastest, Goldsack is leading the tackle count (9) and a goal to Elliott followed by a beautiful running goal, almost in slow motion to the skipper puts us in front 84 to 76. Luke Ball is tough again and again and again at the contest. Sidey saps the momentum we have with a rubbish kick, amazingly we lead despite trailing the inside 50’s – 37 to 59. After two goals to the Eagles we trail 84 to 88 at the 11 minute mark. Luke Ball is tough again resulting an amazing snap on the left from near the 50 meter arc from Beams for a goal, successive misses from Swan and Cloke followed by an Elliott goal has us up 97 vs 88 at the 17 minute mark before Hurn gets one back for the Eagles. Pendles is in everything and White is having a run in the ruck and making an impact, before Grundy Marks and with the advantage of a 50 meter penalty (only comment from my mate to the umpire is that ‘ you cant make up for it now’) goals. A big tackle from Maxy has the tackle count out to 90 vs. 69, the only statistic we lead on all night (and the score at this stage), before Cloke slots one from in front and we are home. Some chipping around at the end runs the clock down and its a very hard fought victory 109 vs. 101. Accuracy for once was our friend.
Ultimately we found a way to win against the odds, down two key backman against a tall forward line, it was a tremendous  victory…the good outshone the ordinary. The skipper was superb when he had to be – in the second half, well supported by the 100 gamer Beams and the old skipper in Maxwell. Who played both the loose man early, then the 1 on 1 role when he had too. The media have highlighted his gesticulation to Fasolo, but I reckon it was warranted as he marshalled the troops in defence.
Tough night and season for Nathan Brown, just hope he can get that shoulder right as we need a lock down defender. Our vantage point for the evening was 5 rows from the front in the pocket, which provided an amazing insight into the game and a reminder just how fiercely contested our great game is played, how hard the players run and how quickly the ball is transitioned….even the slightest error is punished and the physicality of the game is immense. They are supreme athletes and incredibly talented and brave. As noted the way the likes of Ball, Beams, The Little Fella, Tooves throw themselves at the contest is remarkable.
The Murray Wrensted, John Annear, Sharrod Wellingham, Q-Stick, Andrew Williams, Brad Dick, Brent Tuckey (Scott Burns, Scott Watters, Mick Malthouse) Medal goes to
3. Pendles
2. Beams
1 Maxy
with apologies to Harry, The Sack and The Little Fella
Sidey – is he emerging as one of the most frustrating players at the club? Discuss
Clearly has an innate ability to get to a contest and in certain games runs very hard (ag ANZAC Day), but his decision making and option selection at times is baffling…cheap, cute kicks when something more deliberate and purposeful is required and as a result often puts his team mates under undue pressure

Comments

  1. Very good match summary and game analysis, Kevin. I didn’t know that the Floreat Pica Society had a Mensa Division.
    I agree with you totally about the amount of time and energy that forwards spend running into the back half, and how it then slows the transition into attack. All year I have been screaming that Kennedy and Cripps should have their legs broken if they leave the forward 50. As you say ‘greater minds than us’, but I reckon the first team to try it will pick up more on the attacking hurdy gurdy than they lose on the defensive roundabout. All this crap ends up being a zero sum game by the time every moron with a coaching certificate copies it; and the result is a blight on the game as a spectacle. Some dills just spent to long watching tapes of Inter Milan, or ice hockey or curling or something.
    As Mr Wrap said this morning – go and watch the Colts if you want to see a good game of footy.

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