AFL Round 12 – Melbourne v Collingwood: Pugnacious Pies Defeat Defensive Dees

written by Paul O’Connell for the Floreat Pica Society

A bright, crisp morning gave hope for a high class performance and a percentage boosting win. Well we did gain some percentage but it was one of the poorer games to watch.
I was surprised to see a different Pies interchange in the Herald Sun this morning than what I had seen on one of the footy apps yesterday. The Herald Sun prevailed and Thomas and Seedsman were in, and Grundy and Adams were out. Well not quite, as Grundy came in for White. I was pleased to see Thomas retained after 29 disposals and 3 goals last week.
I know we drew with the Dees a few years ago, and have not lost to them for about 7 years, but I’m struggling to recall many memorable games between the Pies and the Dees over the years. One game that does stand out was our victory in round 5 of 1992 when Hecker and Tranter (coming off the bench) were on fire. We suspected their fame and form would be short lived and that proved to be the case as the next match was the last for each of them. Their combined careers resulted in only 14 games.
Seems I’m avoiding today’s game and yes I am as I’m struggling to find too many good things to say and think the game is probably best forgotten. Umm…we conceded only 3 goals, gave away only 5 free kicks, won by 33 pts, only got one injury (Fasolo with a foot problem again apparently).
The Dees were off to a flyer (well sort of) kicking 1/3 of their goals within the first half minute. Both teams made lots of errors and the Dees in particular were very defensive with their constant sideways and backwards game plan. Pendles quickly answered with a good long goal and the game was even for the best part of another quarter with no goals. In fact the 3 goals to 2 scoreline at half time would have been more appropriate for a soccer game. The Dees never really looked like kicking goals as our defenders generally had them covered the closer they got to goal. Langdon was very solid and Young and Seedsman started running the ball out of defense. We gradually started to do better in the middle with Pendles leading the way and our forward line looked (almost) threatening at times in the second half with Cloke at least starting to lead rather than stay put and wrestle.
Overall it was not much of a day for our forwards. Fasolo (before going off), Elliott (apart from his usual last quarter goal/s) and Blair (apart from some good defensive efforts) were hardly sighted. Cloke was ordinary early but I was pleased with the way he finished on the game. His 2 goals seemed like a lot in this low scoring game. The Sack took a great mark and kicked the goal but missed a couple of other chances.
Pendles was easily our best onballer. Beams was well held by Cross for most of the game but kicked 2 important  back to back goals and was better near the end. Ball contributed once he came on. Swan was ok at times but seemed out of the game for periods. I was surprised to see he had 25 touches. Thomas was not the same player as last week.
– Elliott’s first quarter attempt at mark of the century.
– Seedsman going on some searching runs, but not always disposing well at top pace.
– Goldsack all but but throwing an opponent into the fence at the Punt Rd end.
– As butchered a kick as Swan has ever done on the wing in the last quarter. But the resulting turnover easily thwarted by our sterling defence.
– Young’s run and pass to Cloke in the last quarter
– Frost’s closing speed and late fist spoils on several occasions
The Henry Coles Medal goes to Clinton Young. I’m still not sure if he is in the best 22 but he did well today. Found plenty of space, lots of ball carry and some good ball use at times.
Votes for the Horsburgh Medal….
3 Young
2 Pendles
1 Langdon (continues to have a good and consistent year)
Others who went ok were Frost, Keeffe, Lamumba, Grundy (playing like a ruck-rover), Swan & Dwyer.
Let’s hope for a better game against the Dogs next week.


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