AFL Round 17 – Essendon v Collingwood: Cruisin’

I used to think I was a boat kind of person. After all, sitting back as the waves gently rock you seems like a perfectly enjoyable way to pass the time. However, venturing to Koh Rong may have changed my mind.

Sitting off the coast of Cambodia, the island is a largely untouched paradise. Long stretches of white sand, clear water and dense jungle are interrupted only by a small village and a few dozen bungalows and guesthouses. You can trek, kayak, snorkel, dive, laze on the beach, or just hang out drinking cocktails. It’s a tough life.

The travel gods wanted me to earn my visit though. I woke in Sihanoukville to steady rain. “Been like this for days mate!” remarked the Aussie (who else!?) working behind the bar. It was a touch different to  the 35 degree sun in Siem Reap. Still, I’d heard there was a 45-minute speeeboat to Koh Rong. “Even if the weather is bad, I won’t be out there long…” I thought to myself.

The second warning sign was waiting for the boat. We were delayed two hours as a result of rain legitimately going sideways. But, a fellow traveller soon leaned over. “Not to worry, the speedboat just arrived. Can’t be too shabby out there”.

Famous last words.

The ride over was an experience to say the least. Initially starting on a speedboat we found ourselves jumping across to the ‘slowboat’ – actually leaping from boat to boat – when some sort of fault was discovered. This fault was never revealed. I hate that fault. Our new vessel resembled in many ways a basic pirate ship and after we crammed on, like pirates of old we soon found ourselves heading into what I considered a borderline hurricane.

Winds ripped at tarps in a deafening manner, sea-spray breached the sides of the ship and drenched everyone and everything, the boat rocked and jumped in the waves. Those unlucky few who were seasick clung on tight as they stuck their heads over the side of the boat. We exchanged grim smiles with each other and joked about how far we reckoned we could swim when the boat sank.

I dare say Collingwood felt the same on Sunday against the Dons. This was supposed to be the game where they re-exert their influence and head one win closer to a finals berth.

Bucks clearly didn’t pass this message onto Jake Carlisle and his team-mates.

Instead, Collingwood were out-tackled, out-marked, and slightly embarassed.

Much like the storm that buffeted our boat, the Essendon ‘swingman’ wreaked a fair bit of havoc. I was able to follow the game via online updates (the Wi-Fi and power stayed on for the afternoon thankfully) and each time I glanced Carlisle had racked up another mark.

19 in total? 26 touches? 4 goals? Madness.

The good Brent Stanton turned up, Chappy once again showed the Cats they should have kept him, and we even kicked straight!

With a mojito in hand that tasted better with every Bombers goal, I sat on the balcony of my hostel listening to rain fall. I enjoyed this downpour slightly more though…

Essendon: 4.0.24, 8.1.49, 14.1.85, 16.7.103

Collingwood: 2.4.16,2.6.18, 4.9.33, 5.9.39


Essendon: Carlisle 4, Chapman, Ambrose 3, Z.Merrett 2, Stanton, Zaharakis, Hocking, Daniher

Collingwood: Beams 2, Young, Lumumba, Seedsman


Essendon: Carlisle, Stanton, Chapman, Ambrose

Collingwood: Sidebottom, Beams, Pendlebury

About Sam Laffy

Thirty-something year-old Essendon supporter. Winning the flag in 2000 when I was 12 was supposed to kick off a dynasty I could boast about for years. Still waiting for that 17th flag.....

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