AFL Round 19 – Collingwood v Port Adelaide: Pies v Former Pies

Before the AFL I used to barrack for the Port Adelaide in the SANFL. It wasn’t a major commitment. My major commitment was to Collingwood, but like most Pies’ supporters I felt sympathetic to the South Australian Magpies, looked up their results in the Monday papers and was pleased when they won. Besides there was a steady exchange of players between the two Magpie teams in the 70s and 80s. We gave them Gary Tredrea, Stephen Clifford, Russell Johnston and Paul Rizonico amongst others and in return received Mark Williams and Greg Phillips.

Then came 1990 and Bruce Weber and his attempted deal with the AFL Commissioners to bring Port into the AFL behind the backs of the other SANFL clubs and Alan McAlister’s outrage that Port was attempting to join as The Magpies in Black and White jumpers. While I agreed that there could only be one team called The Magpies in the AFL and they lived at Lulie Street, I was sympathetic to the rest of Weber’s manoeuvre. For a lot of Pies’ fans, any sympathies for Port ended in 1990 or at 1997 when they first started playing in the AFL, but I still find myself barracking for the Power when they are not playing Collingwood.

On Sunday however my total focus was on a Collingwood victory. Both sides had a lot at stake. Port was fighting to return to the top four, Collingwood to return to the eight. Both teams had been playing poorly and losing games after a starting the season well, in Port Adelaide’s case after starting brilliantly. Collingwood was missing half its defence with Toovey and Brown injured and Maxwell retired. Langdon who has played extremely well in his first season but was starting to lose form had been dropped but then reselected when another promising defender, Paul Seedsman, had to pull out due to injury. From the midfield we were missing Swan and Ball due to injury and Kennedy due to strange selection policies. Kennedy starred for Collingwood’s VFL team on Saturday and is one of the few genuinely fast players on the current Magpie list.

The game began with a Port Adelaide goal – the first of four that Hamish Hartlett was to score. Collingwood gradually worked its way on top with goals to Cloke and Beams (but both first scored points that should have been goals). In the second quarter the Pies put a little distance between themselves and the Power including a nice passage of play that ended in a goal by Tim Broomhead whose form has been one of the few cheering aspects of the last few weeks. However Port finished the quarter more strongly than the Pies and would have gone in ahead at half-time if they had been able to kick straight. Their full forward Jay Schulz is probably the straightest kick in the whole competition, but he was being beaten by Collingwood’s Jack Frost.

In the third quarter the lead changed several times. Supertagger Brent Macaffer was holding Travis Boak but Ollie Wines and Hamish Hartlett were running amok and Hartlett kicked all three of Port Adelaide’s goals for the quarter. Collingwood’s three were kicked by midfielders (Dwyer, Broomhead and Sidebottom). The Pies only had two effective forwards, Cloke and Elliott, Reid is still recovering from his long period injured and was eventually subbed out after barely touching the ball, White continued to demonstrate why Sydney were so keen to trade him. Another former Sydney player, Tony Armstrong, had a very impressive first game for the Woods.

Both sides kicked two goals in the last quarter. This might suggest that the quarter was even and exciting, which it was but because both sides were making errors rather than playing well. Collingwood’s one goal victory probably does represent the difference between the two teams and undoubtedly both played better than they had in the last few weeks, but neither of them looks as if they could get within cooee of the top four sides if the pressure was on. Both clubs do however have some promising young players and may well be top four next year.

Collingwood 2.3 6.6 9.7 11.10 (76)
Port Adelaide 1.0 5.7 8.8 10.10 (70)

Collingwood Cloke 3, Sidebottom 2, Broomhead 2, Beams, Blair, Elliott, Dwyer
Port Adelaide Hartlett 4, Monfries,Moore, W2ingard, Schulz, Gray, Boak

Collingwood Beams, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Cloke, Frost, Broomhead, Dwyer
Port Adelaide Wines, Hartlett, Broadbent, Lobbe, O’Shea

Umpires: Jeffrey, Nicholls, Margetts

Malarkey votes: Beams (C) 3, Sidebottom (C) 2, Wines (PA) 1,


  1. Dave- as a young fella I used to love watching Bomber Clifford play. He was smart and a thumping kick. He kicked a memorable goal in one grand final at Footy Park (1979?) from inside the centre square. It was a ripper. Apparently the length of his kick grew exponentially during the celebrations.

    He was a cheeky fella off the ground too, and when he appeared on the local Sunday footy show, always had something to say. He once explained why their ruckman Russell Johnson was nicknamed “Donkey.” This, he suggested, became obvious in the showers.

    Thanks Dave.

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Plenty of memories there Dave – Port Magpies are a lot like Collingwood, except they knew how to win flags.

    You could also have mentioned Bruce Abernethy & Jack Cahill at Collingwood.

    Useless fact – Jack Frost’s dad David played his 100th SANFL game at Alberton Oval

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    I’m with you Dave in being a Port sympathiser pre-1997. The only SANFL game we’d get was the Grand Final and Port seemed to win it quite often when I was young. Like you I still find myself barracking for Port when they play anyone else, but more results like last season’s semi final may change that!

    I am at a loss over the non-selection of Kennedy. And his continued selection as the sub prior to that.

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