AFL Round 17: Ugly win to the Pies

by Damian Watson

By Damian Watson

To say it has been a busy week for me is certainly an understatement. I kicked off the working week, or in my case the learning week, at school reporting on the school production while on camera. Now let me tell you reporting on theatre (of which I am not a big fan) is a fair way out of my comfort zone especially when you’re interviewing in an impromptu manner and you are forced to think of the questions on the spot. Fortunately I fared pretty well despite a few technical difficulties and accidentally pronouncing the producer/principal’s name slightly wrong.

Come Friday night I am preparing for another great piece of theatre in the Rivalry Round clash between the two heavyweights themselves Carlton and Collingwood.

Unfortunately my football coach called a Friday training session in preparation for our Elimination Final which is held on Sunday. All week we have been training in torrid conditions that would make Russia appear as a getaway island and while I was seething at the fact that I wouldn’t be joining the 85 000 attending an important clash at the MCG, I look back now in hindsight and am glad that I would be viewing from the comfort of my house.

As I clean myself up after training and settle onto the couch for Friday Night Football on Channel Seven I ponder over the significance of this clash for both sides. My in-form Blues are coming in as underdogs but have prevailed in their last three meetings with the Pies and a victory tonight could re-vitalize their Top 4 chances. At the other end of the spectrum Collingwood are looking to return to form after a shock loss to Hawthorn the previous week and also give them a great chance of earning a Top 4 spot.

As the ball is bounced to mark the start of the annual Richard Pratt Cup (I wonder if that trophy was manufactured using recycled products from his company Visy.) I notice Chris Judd is fired up getting involved in a few scuffles; hopefully this would be a sign of things to come from the champ. However Collingwood start to dominate possession and link up cleverly but their inaccurate kicking early leaves me relieved, that is until half-way through the term. Second-gamer Jaxon Barham, who is starting to look distinctively like his famous father Ricky drew first blood, many others followed as the Pies piled on the goals in the first term. Carlton on the other hand are playing their worst game for the year by the length of the Flemington strait fumbling around and continually failing to hit targets at will and I began to scream at the Plasma as we made a meal of our chances. Many people claim ‘Fortune favours the brave’ and that was undoubtedly the case on this night as Pie midfielders Lockyer, Pendlebury, Thomas and Swan all attacked the footy with their heart on their sleeve. A goal of the year contender from Leon Davis symbolized the fortune they had possessed as his dribble goal sparked a combination of roars and shocked faces from the big crowd.

The Blues didn’t look like they wanted the footy with their disposal efficiency letting them down and as a result the gods weren’t too kind to the Carlton team. The shots at goal in the forward line were slightly off target with a couple of posters thrown in and Fev injured his angle from a mean goal umpire and I knew from the agonized look on his face that his influence on the game would be limited. Crumber Eddie Betts became the only goal scorer for the Blues in the opening half hour as we trailed by 23 points.

Another visible difference between the two teams is the amount of pressure placed on one another. The Pies placed immense pressure on the Carlton defence and were tackling brilliantly. The Blues on the other hand gave the Pies a whole paddock of space as they cleared the defensive area. I believed earlier in the week that Collingwood would not have a defence with the loss of Nathan Brown and the rumors that Presti would be playing with broken ribs, but the defence performed almost perfectly with Presti keeping Fev in check and Nick Maxwell who would have to be one of the more courageous players in the competition is continuing his good form working as a player who drops back into the hole. Another defender Heath Shaw continually ran the ball out of defence picking up plenty of touches earning himself a Best on Ground Performance. The Blues struggled to wrap up the fancy Pies and Ryan Houlihan’s effort on Leon Davis early in the second term to allow another miracle goal summed up a dark night for the Blues. Carlton’s only major for the term once again came from Eddie Betts who nailed his second goal from a set shot to give the Blues a sniff.

The next 45 minutes consisted only of ugly end to end football and neither side looked like scoring which left a significant goal drought. For the majority of that time, including the half time break I am left pondering what better things I could do. This included surfing the net, perhaps reading a book; watching the rain pour down in England as the Aussies try to force a draw against an English county side, even the theater would be more entertaining than the ugly brand of football.

Just as I think of my 233rd way of another entertaining activity that would be better than viewing this style of football, young recruit Greg Bentley broke the drought late in the third term with a ripping long range goal and for the first time for the night I believed we had a chance. My optimism could only continue for another minute as first year player Dayne Beams slotted through his first in the shadows of Three Quarter Time. The only positive during the term from a Carlton point of view was the sight of Aaron Joseph taking risks and giving plenty of effort and in my opinion could become the next Tony Liberatore with his talent and ability to frustrate the opposition.

As the Final Term commenced Carlton’s top 4 chances faded away as the Pies booted 6 for the term. Excitement machine Alan Didak who celebrated his 150th game had been kept quiet by Andrew Carazzo for most of the game but briefly shone in the final term kicking a brilliant running goal to seal a forgettable game. Young Pie Alan Toovey rubbed salt into the wound adding another major as the Collingwood team eventually ran out 9 goal winners. The only Carlton goal for the quarter came from Brendan Fevola whose rainmaking snap sailed high through the big sticks for Carlton’s fourth and final goal for the night.

As the final siren sounded I switched the TV off, not bothering to hear more criticism on what both sides dished up on the night. Instead I went to sleep leaving a busy week behind me and wondering how I would be able to type a detailed report on such a disgraceful game.

Carlton 1.5    2.9    3.13    4.16 (40)
Collingwood 5.4    7.6    8.8    14.10 (94)

Carlton: Betts 2 Bentley Fevola
Collingwood: Davis 3 Beams 2 Anthony Barham Cloke Dawes Didak Lockyer Swan Thomas Toovey

Crowd: 84,938 at the MCG

My Votes:  3. H.Shaw         2.L.Davis              1. D .Swan

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. Danielle says

    Damian, even until now i cannot believe that my boys managed to win.
    Fev had A SHOCKER!!! and i was floating on cloud nine!!
    the umpire that stepped on Fev’s foot is now my all time favourite goal umpire!! do you know who he is because i want to send him flowers!!!
    Goodluck for next week..oh wait you play North next week i take the goodluck back..SORRY!! goodluck for round 19!!
    :P Danni

  2. Danielle says

    P.S there is NOTHING UGLY about my boys!!
    RANDOM FACT: i just had a Snickers bar for breakfast!!

  3. Josh Barnstable says

    You got ugly right Damian. The Blues were definately ugly and so too were the Pies in the middle two quarters but the first and last quarters were brilliant footy. And i’m crossing my fingers that Carlton continue with another bad performance next week against my North. I’m going down to see it and hopefully my record for games i’ve been too this year will stand at 2-2 W-L. :)

  4. Josh Barnstable says

    And since Danielle added a random comment, i will too:: I had leftover pizza for breakfast :D

  5. Danielle says

    HAHA good work Josh, yesterday i had fish and chips for breakfast!
    im feeling a bit weird in the stomach LOL im used to it though i can usually eat like 3 Fredo Frogs at school!!
    When i get my chocolate cravings it gets pretty BAD lmao.
    ps LMAOO At your dad and the apple incident!! i was laughing for ages!!
    :) DANNI

  6. Josh Barnstable says

    Well luckily the security saw my dad as an old innocent bloke who was just trying to peel his apples so they let us off. Never saw that knife again though…

  7. Damian Watson says

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    I found the apple incident hilarious as well. I am suprised of the amount of lee way the security gives people at stadiums here in Australia. Whenever I go to the footy people just stroll past the security who are checking the bags!

    By the way Danielle did you hear the comments made by Tim Lane on Saturday at the MCG?
    “Kelli Underwood called the winning kick after the siren, Chelsea Roffey signalled the winning behind, what is this world coming to!”

    Certainly a great day for women in footy.

  8. Danielle says

    yeah, she not that great.
    Im sure everyone would love me commenatating cos i say things like:
    Riewoldts shorts are gonna rip!!
    PLUS because his daughter (sam lane) is my idol he WOULD NEVER complain about me!!

  9. Josh Barnstable says

    Well i’m waiting for Kelli to get out of the commentary box and for you to get in there Danielle. I know it may seem harsh but i seem to tire of Kelli’s voice very quickly.

  10. Danielle says

    Why thankyou Josh!
    im sure that the audience would find my comments funny, just imagine a live reation from me when Toovey stuffs something up! they would need that ‘BEEP’ sound cos im sure to swear!!
    PS for my piece for the North game on Friday im taking a religious angle, weird as it might sound i think its gonna work!
    DAnni :)

  11. Damian Watson says

    Danielle and Josh,
    Is this the game where you guys are combining this week?
    If so I’ll be looking forward to competing against you.
    LOL, Just Kidding

  12. Josh Barnstable says

    I wouldn’t even try doing a report this week Damo, it’ll be too painful for you. If you think the Collingwood game was ugly for the Blues, just wait till Friday Night. North will dominate! :)

  13. Danielle says

    yer we have changed it a bit.
    instead fo combining out report, which would be way to confusing. Josh is gonna write for the Pies game with my thoughts in mind and im writing for North with his thoughts in mind. i wonder what hes gonna come up with for Toovey and fashion wise issues!
    Goodluck competing!! :P

  14. Danielle says

    You tell him Josh! Lol
    North better win, i dont wanna have to write about a depressing game!!

  15. Damian Watson says


    We’ll wait and see! Carlton are still favourites and that shouldn’t change.

    By the way what is your opinion on Lachie Hansen playing as a forward, is he suited to that position? He showed promising signs on Saturday Night.

  16. Josh Barnstable says

    Do you like the Brisbane Lions Danielle? What are your thoughts on Rich, Brown, Black and the others? Just so i know what you think of them and i’ll put it in my report :)

  17. Josh Barnstable says

    North would do wonders even with Simon Prestigiacomo in their forward line. That’s how desperate we are of a big forward and Hansen doesn’t seem he will fill that position, but he is a handy player up forward and makes more impact there than down back.

    Are you happy with Brett Ratten keeping Nick Stevens out of the side? I know Scotland won’t be omitted any time soon after a 32-disposal game on the weekend so maybe Stevens will finish out his year in the VFL.

  18. Danielle says

    well ive meet Brown, for his referance its in my 16th bday entry, u noe about him scaring the hell out of me!!
    Rich- hes a future Brownlow winner
    Black- no feelings there.
    ummmm theres no one really goodlooking but Jonathan Brown has a bad-boy thing going on. What about you, anything i should know about who u dislike/like?

  19. Josh Barnstable says

    Well for North, i really like the hard work and one-percenters by Scott McMahon and also the midfield veterans like Simpson, Rawlings and Harvey make me smile when they rack up the touches. So i’ve got no grudges against any North players like you do with Toovey. And with Carlton:

    Fevola-he excites me, but if he fires against the Roos, i’ll dislike him for the rest of the year.
    Judd-one of my favourite players but i hear he is not playing
    Fisher-also one of my favourite players, a really good, hardworking goalsneak.
    Thornton-really goes under the radar, but not with me. I hate him, and he will be pivotal to a Carlton win.
    Joseph-probably the most hated rising star of the AFL, and it’s our job to think he’s an annoying pest.

    They are the 5 Carlton players that come to mind when i think of disliking/liking a Blues player. By the way are you going to the match on saturday night?

  20. Damian Watson says

    Well Josh, word on the street suggests that may be the case. It doesn’t seem like Stevens is performing admirably in the VFL not picking up too many touches so dropping him seems fair.

    Last week Ratten admitted that weight was an issue in the decision to drop him after that depressing game against Essendon, so it all depends on whether he can get himself fit and firing by seasons end.

    In my opinion he should be back by about Round 21-22 because he really is an important player in our side when he is in good form and he should lift.

  21. Danielle says

    No im not, wish i was though.
    ive got a REALLY strong feeling the asessment tasks are going to pile up because they all happen at the same time. hopefully im wrong because i would LOVE to watch a game of footy without having to multi-task homework in the add breaks!!

  22. Josh Barnstable says

    Ohh that’s no fun. Weekends aren’t for homework!! Jeez year 11 sounds hard. I might drop out now while i can haha.

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