AFL Round 17 – Gold Coast v Collingwood: Suns set on Pies’ season

It doesn’t get much bigger than watching two of the AFL’s traditional rivals at the home of football in prime time! But enough about the recent belting of Carlton by the Pies, I’m at Metricon Stadium for a Saturday twilight game against the Gold Coast Schoolies – I much prefer this nickname to Gerard Healy’s X rated version!


To date, the Pies’ season has been like the Superman ride at Movie World – some slow starts & big finishes, ups and downs and a few games where we seemed to be going around in circles – a real rollercoaster ride. So, given the stresses of the season, best mate Bluey and I decide to escape the Wet N Wild Melbourne weather for a long weekend of footy and R&R at Goldie. And right on cue, Goldie returns from his hip injury for the trip to Goldie, and on paper the Pies’ side is starting to look like its coming together at the right end of the season.


Truth be told, I don’t know a lot about the GC Schoolies side. They still seem to be full of young kids fresh out of school, with a few Red Frogs  in Ablett, Brown and Brennan providing experience and support. After losing to their bunnies, the Tiges, in Cairns last week, I’m not sure whether they’ll drop their Bundall or rebound with the ferocity of the famous Sling Shot ride in the heart of Surfers.


We have tickets to the official Collingwood function in the open air Skyline dining area, which was sooooo Gold Coast – I love the dress code of “Smart Attire – strictly no thongs or shorts”. Pies’ CEO plays the MC and interviewer in the pre-game with Rocket Eade and asks two pertinent questions – “What are the coaches doing about Trav’s goalkicking?” and “Are we going to tag Gary Ablett?”.


The game starts in familiar Collingwood fashion, with poor goalkicking and wasted chances. We are one goal, seven behinds late in the first quarter which is an all too familiar return for their efforts. Jamie Elliott breaks the frenzy of points after soaring higher than the Q1 building for another mark of the year nomination. And despite losing more air than Mr Gaspo on his heavy landing, he recovers to kick truly.


To rub salt into our poor goalkicking wounds, the Pies give away 50 metre penalties, fumble and butcher the ball to a new level of which Sam from the Brady Bunch would be proud. Swanny’s speculative left foot grubber was a roll of the dice that if executed properly would have opened up the fat side of the ground for a surge forward, but sadly like a mug punter at Jupitors, the gamble didn’t pay off and gifted the Schoolies another easy goal.


Perty’s pertinent questions were still ringing in our ears at half time as Ablett racked up damaging possessions at will and Trav had 4 points and a complete miss to his credit, despite his determined efforts. The Pies coaching visit to Umpire Central this week seemed to be paying dividends as the constant jumper Tugan and front on wrestles saw him receive some long overdue free kicks.


The Schoolies were playing “Cavill Avenue Footy”, fast paced and direct footy right to where the action is. With Ablett running amok, Brennan winning contests up forward and a few spirited Jaeger bombs for goal, the home side were looking slick and skilful.


I expected the Pies, with their Burly Heads and bodies, to have too much experience and strength for the young Schoolies and eventually overrun them in the second half. A soft 50 metre penalty to Day (tonight, he’s had two 50 metre penalties for goals) and a howler hands, and shove, in the back to Keeffe that was not paid against Brennan had Pies fans suspecting the umpire may need a Labrador. Both resulted in easy goals and kept the Schoolies in front in the third quarter.


Again in the last quarter, the Pies had chances but blew them. Swingman Reid’s bizarre decision to kick backwards to Beams instead of a close range shot and a couple more posters stifled any momentum. Elliott showed true grit and determination with an impressive snap goal. Beams’ goal and a Seedy long bomb gave the Pies a remote sniff of victory, but in the end they were just consolation highlights.


The game belonged to Ablett and his amazing consistency of effort and brilliance, it was his night to shine. When his young teammates needed someone to stand up and win the game, he was there to deliver. In the last quarter, as he waltzed out of a clearance dodging his Pies opponents, like they were dummies from the wax museum, and slammed home the goal of the night it was the sealer.


Forty nine quality possessions, two goals and high class consistent effort all night was outstanding, and reminded me of yesteryear when the Pies’ coach played to a similar level. Why he didn’t at least try a hard tag in the second half was worthy of a Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit – maybe the coach knew from personal experience that he was un-taggable.


Gazza’s possession count, run and carry saw him blitz the important new statistic of the most Meter Maids, I mean Metres Made, sorry,,,,, Metres Gained for the game. His leadership was outstanding and his young teammates responded by playing like Titans to deliver them a famous victory, one which could be the dawning of a future power.


As for the Pies, this disappointing loss, on top of the recent Port loss, means the sun has well and truly set on season 2013 and they are living in a Dreamworld if they have any thoughts of a top four position and a late season form reversal for a shot at the flag. And I wonder if it prompts the CEO to ask the same two pertinent questions in his official capacity in the office on Monday morning!


GOLD COAST         3.4   7.6   11.7   13.7     (85)                  

COLLINGWOOD     2.7   6.9   8.10   11.12   (78)          



Gold Coast: O’Meara 3, Brennan 3, Day 2, Ablett 2, Harbrow, Tape, Prestia

Collingwood: Cloke 2, Elliott 2, Swan 2, Dwyer, Sidebottom, Goldsack, Beams, Seedsman



Gold Coast: Ablett, Ablett, Ablett, O’Meara, Harbrow, Brennan.

Collingwood: Dwyer, Thomas, Noone Inparticular (we seemed to kick to him at all opportunities)


Official crowd: 19,721 at the Metricon Stadium

Our Votes: 3 Ablett (GC) 2 O’Meara (GC) 1 Dwyer (Coll)

About Ramon Dobb

A footy and cricket fanatic. A lifelong passionate one eyed Mighty Magpie fanatic. My writing is unashamedly written with one black & white eye open only - so please don't take offence, it's nothing personal, it's just the black & white way! Also a lifelong player and member of Washington Park Cricket Club, the Mighty Sharks. My 15 minutes of fame includes regular contributions to Hot Pies, the 1999-2004 Fanzine, and regular contributor to the Coodabeen Champions weekly competition from their heady 3RRR days. Go Pies and Floreat Pica.


  1. Dave Nadel says

    Very entertaining report Ramon, considering it was describing such a sad event.

    Obviously it was ultimately the Gary Ablett Show but the other memory that I will take away from this game is Jared Brennan’s three goals and generally good play. The only time I have ever seen the Pies play the Lions at the Gabba was in 2003. It was about Brennan’s fourth game and he totally destroyed Chris Tarrant and the Lions won easily. I have since seen Brennan play well against the Pies on a number of occasions. I am told (by Lions supporters) that Brennan was not a particularly reliable player throughout his career, but he always seems to turn in on against us. Seeing Gary Ablett play a brilliant game against your team is at least an exhibition of great football. Seeing Jared Brennan play his one good game a year against your team ten years after he first did it is just a pain in the bum.

  2. Ablett’s sealer in the last quarter was very reminiscent of the sealer he kicked for Geelong in the 2007 Prelim.

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