AFL Round 15 – Carlton v Collingwood: When a win brings joy

When the Collingwood team was announced on Thursday night, there would have been a number of people disappointed by the omission of Harry O’Brien. Probably the most disappointed would have been Eddie Betts. His bi-annual picnic would have to be postponed. In its stead, he would have the pleasure of the company of Heath Shaw. As Heath Shaw’s former teachers would attest, spending a lot of time having Heath Shaw determines how your work day proceeds and makes you want to re-consider your career choices.

When Carlton’s Waite went off with a knee injury two-thirds of the way through the first quarter, Collingwood was stuck with a spare tall defender. Ben Reid was sent forward. With a minute and a half to play ‘til quarter time, Carlton led seven goals to two. The next ninety seconds saw three Collingwood goals, two of them from Ben Reid following contested marks. Ben Reid was recruited as a forward, but his kicking in the early days was questionable at best. His time down-back has seen significant improvement. Two forward forays this year have been positive – seven of his twelve career goals have been kicked in 2013.

When Dane Swan is not happy, someone is going to pay. Word filtered out during the week that Swannie wasn’t entirely in agreement with Bucks’ decision to play him forward. Whether they resolved their differences, or Swannie simply decided for himself that time around the ball was time better spent, the outcome was a best-on-ground performance.

When Jason Cloke started his career at Collingwood, it was under Malthouse. After the 2003 Grand Final loss, Malthouse commented something along the lines of Jason being more effective in the 2002 Grand Final – a game he actually missed because of suspension. The legacy of Jason to Collingwood was Cameron (you can thank us later Carlton; for Mick McGuane too while you are at it), and Travis Cloke. When Travis opted to stay at Collingwood rather than to be lured to Carlton under Malthouse, perhaps the family remembered that too-clever remark. Travis kicked five and was the dominant forward in the game.

When a picture of Mick Malthouse came on the big screen late in the final quarter, it was met with the sound familiar to the ears of Jobe Watson. Collingwood remembers 2010 fondly, but when you leave, you leave, even if it is not by choice. Malthouse’s replacement Buckley had a good day in the coaching chair. I reckon Mick would prefer to have his old job back.

When Joffa donned the gold jacket at the fourteen-minute mark of the last quarter, it signaled the beginning of the celebrations. The Collingwood chant went up, amplified by the echo off the backs of the recently vacated seats. The crowd had thinned somewhat. Early trains beckoned.

When Darren Jolly is fit and ready for selection, his place is not guaranteed. Ben Hudson played an excellent game in the ruck, exemplified by his tap to Scott Pendlebury in the last quarter which ended with a Krakouer goal. Second ruckman (we are old-fashioned at Collingwood) Jarrod Witts also had a very serviceable game and kicked three goals. Quinten Lynch’s future place in the team is also contestable. When Lachie Keefe is available, Reid can spend even more time forward. When Dayne Beams is back, Steele Sidebottom will enjoy the freedom when not attracting the best tagger. When all this comes together, Collingwood will be back in the mix.

When the Footy Almanac adopted the All Nations Hotel in Richmond as the venue for Almanac functions, it did so in the knowledge that the Carlton football club also had connections to the club – those connections much more nefarious than the pure motivations of clean-living Almanackers. Carlton benefactor, the late Richard Pratt had spent time, in 2001, at the All Nations – his purpose was to negotiate a price-fixing arrangement for his company Visy with supposed competitor Amcor. When the MCG ground announcer asked that everyone stand and applaud for 32 seconds prior to the match, even though the symbolism was something to do with the number of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia each day, there was no way I was going to show any respect to that crooked name. I remained in my seat. But I stood and applauded, for much longer than 32 seconds, when Collingwood retained the whatshisnamecup.

CARLTON 7.0 8.1 9.3 12.5 (77)
COLLINGWOOD 5.3 11.7 15.14 17.16 (118)

Carlton: Garlett 2, Kreuzer 2, McLean, Casboult, Lucas, McInnes, Betts, Henderson, Cachia, Yarran
Collingwood: Cloke 5, Reid 4, Witts 2, Thomas, Pendlebury, Macaffer, Dwyer, Krakouer, Seedsman

Carlton: Judd, McLean, Walker, Carrazzo
Collingwood: Swan, Cloke, Pendlebury, Shaw, Reid, Ball, Thomas, N Buckley

Umpires: Nicholls, Chamberlain, Meredith

Official crowd: 78,224 at the MCG

Our Votes: 3 Swan (Coll) 2 Cloke (Coll) 1 Shaw (Coll)

About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.


  1. I stated at the start of the year that I’d be barracking for Collingwood against Carlton, but you never really know until the game starts. With Harry the Amateur Shrink out it was even easier to watch Mick’s mo twitch. The fact that they still don’t quite look a Flag show probably helped.

  2. David Wilson says

    Ahh so that’s what that 32 seconds palava was all about. We were setting off from Base Camp as the muffled thunderous announcement was made, and were surprised to find people standing amid calls of “32 seconds” as we traversed the Olympic Stand summit run from the south east.
    Still, it beats Billy Ocean at quarter time. How hard do you reckon it would be to disable the ground public address system?

  3. John Butler says

    AF, just as we enjoyed round 3 last year, so the bragging rights belong to the Pies for now.
    Never much incentive for the losing crowd at these contests to linger if the result is obvious – there’s little mercy available in the terraces.
    You run a very deft line in graciously ungracious winning. :) Well played.

    PS: did you get that hat at a Sullivans wardrobe sell -off?

  4. Steve Fahey says

    Love your work Andrew

    It was great to switch on the 3AW pre-game yesterday and listen to the blowtorch being applied to someone else, especially the old foe.

    I was glad to see you bring up Mick’s comment re J Cloke in 2003. It barely rated a mention in last year’s Travis saga but clearly impacted on the Damir Cloke/Mick relationship.

    Agree re Jolly and Hudson. Hudson is at least the equal of the 2103 Jolly which unfortunately is a shadow of the 2010-11 Jolly. Hudson is the most aggressive ruckman we have had since a young Monkhorst and is clearly better than Jol when the ball hits the deck. Had a terrible start getting outmarked twice for goals but gives his all and fought back well. The question is how many games in a row one can expect a 34 year old ruckman to play. Reckon we might play Witts and Grundy against GWS if Jol is not ready by then.

    Great win by the twos, with Beamer and the Sack getting good game time. Keefe being named as best is a huge boost to Reid staying forward. Unfortunately the twos have a bye next week so Beamer may play as sub in the ones I reckon.

  5. Andrew Fithall says

    Thanks Steve. Some others who won’t make it back into the best 22 are Ben Johnson and Alan Didak with Marley Wiliams and Josh Thomas, amongst others, keeping them out.

    JB Thanks for asking. Bought the hat at City Hatters, under Flinders St station, many years ago. Doesn’t come out often. Oaks Day regular. And thank-you for the word nefarious. You used it on this site some years ago to describe some friends of mine. I wrote this article and before publishing saw that e.regnans had already used the word in his article. Maybe it is just a word that comes straight to kind when discussing Carlton.

    David – with you on the PA. and the idiot allowed to control the mic.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Absolutely brilliant stuff Andrew, loved every minute from your fantastic opening paragraph and onwards. It wasn’t Jason Cloke’s fault Grumpy Mick played one of our best defenders at Centre Half Forward in the 2003 decider. J.Cloke was harshly treated by Grumpy Mick as were a few other father sons in R.Shaw, C. Cloke and B.Shaw, who were all marked hard and in the case of B.Shaw, quickly discarded.

    Keefe will be as big an in as anyone. Really like Reid as a forward.

    I think Carlton have thanked us for C.Cloke and Mick McGuane’s fading finish with the gift of J.Russell.

  7. John Ramsdale says

    Thanks Andrew for an entertaining report on Friday night’s game, one which, following the previous performance I did not think we would win.
    However, as one of Heath Shaw’s Year 10 teachers, I feel that in the interests of fairness I have to put the case for the defence. The picture painted of him here is a bit harsh. While Heath has already admitted that he was no academic and did have some learning difficulties, he was certainly no trouble. He was fairly laid back in class; related well to his peers and the staff and was interested and involved in sport. He was not as demonstrative as he is today on the field, in fact he lived to some extent in the shadow of his older brother Rhys who was also “a good kid”.
    Martin Flanagan , whose only fault is that he doesn’t barrack for Collingwood, wrote an article in The Age in April entitled, “Who is Dane Swan?”, in it is a description of Swan from one of his teachers from his days at school. Much of this could also be applied to Heath Shaw.
    “I’m a pretty simple person,” he says. “I don’t have many tricks.” He certainly has no pretensions, but he is a more subtle character than he might appear. Teacher Pat Hearity knew Swan throughout his secondary education at St Bernard’s in Essendon. “He was very laid back,” she says. “He was alert, but a bomb could go off and it wouldn’t disturb him. He was never deceptive – what you saw was what you got.”
    Read more:
    Floreat Pica.

    John Ramsdale

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    This is worth another read before #751

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