AFL Round 20 – Sydney v Collingwood: Young Magpies impress on and off field


Gavin and Luke Reynolds before Gavin’s first game of AFL football live – against the Giants recently.


The Saturday night July/August Sydney v Collingwood game at the Sydney Olympic Stadium is quietly growing a tradition as one of the marquee home and away matches of any given AFL season. The Pies have a great record in these games and against Sydney in general over the past few years, but that record has been clouded by the 2012 Preliminary Final loss at this venue and the flogging we were handed by the Swans at the MCG earlier in the season. Despite our comprehensive win over Essendon last week, I’m not overly confident. The night before, as I am submitting my tips to the 3 tipping comps I’m in, I briefly consider tipping Sydney. I think they will win the flag. After that 10 seconds of madness subsides, I do what I always do. Pick Collingwood.

As 7.30PM comes around I am joined on the couch by my 5 year old son Gavin. He will regularly watch 10-15 minutes of a Collingwood game on TV with me before losing interest. He is much more interested in Spider-Man, Optimus Prime and riding his bike. Not so his 3 year old brother Joshua, who bleeds black & white and would eat a cricket ball if I asked him to. But Joshua has gone to bed early, quickly followed by Mrs R and our baby Emily.

The Swans kick the first four goals and I’m mentally preparing myself for a flogging. Gavin is quiet, but watching the TV intently. I am trying not to swear and am succeeding but don’t know if that will continue. Kurt Tippett has two of them, both from frees against Brown. Tippett has obviously spent the bulk of his 11 week suspension in the gym, he is massive and looks like Kal-El. Or does the Sydney guernsey make you look bigger than the Crows one does? Cloke and Elliot goal  and at least we are back in the game. 10 points down at quarter time.

Sidebottom goals to start the second term and when shortly after Brody Grundy kicks his first AFL goal the Pies are within 2 points. Gavin has watched the entire game to this point, a record TV watching performance of a Collingwood game by him. I’m expecting him to fall asleep anytime soon. The great man Pendlebury snaps a goal and we are in front. I get a high five from my oldest child, even though he is more a Swanny man. Harry O’Brien goals and looks to the heavens in celebration. The pies number 8 is playing a great game and hopefully slaying his demons. Tippett takes a pack mark just before the siren and goals. Nathan Brown, outsized, clearly needs some Kryptonite. Half time and the Pies are 3 points up.

The third term starts and Tippett outmarks Brown. Kicks his fourth and the Swans are back in front. Two minutes later Brown has become Lex Luthor and has given The Man of Tomorrow another free and his fifth goal. Reid and Josh Thomas goal for the the black and white. Quickly followed by another Elliot goal. We are 11 points up. Rhys Shaw goals for Sydney. I quite liked Rhys as a Collingwood player until Grumpy Mick got rid of him. Still do, but his goal was met with muted enthusiasm in  our home. Thomas kicks another goal. Cloke and Tippett goal followed by a late Ben Reid goal that sees the Magpies 18 points up at the last break. Gavin is still awake, and has watched every moment. Maybe his interest has been spiked by me taking him to his first live AFL game a fortnight ago, against the Giants at the MCG. He had a great evening and actively watched at least half of the game.

Early final quarter goals to Sidebottom and Elliot give the Pies a handy break. Gavin is still awake and impressed when I tell him Steele Sidebottom has a brother who plays cricket for the Victoria Bushrangers. Cloke misses two easy shots that could have made the result more definitive. Kennedy kicks a late goal for the home team as the Magpies run out 29 point winners. A great win that gives the Black and White army some sort of hope coming into September, as far away as a top four finish still seems.

Our midfield, only minus Daisy, is back to its best. Beams adds so much to this team. Young talls Keefe and Grundy have been superb, respectively allowing Reid to play up forward and covering for Jolly. Us Pies fans must be patient with Grundy and Witts, for all their excitement ruckmen take time to mature.  Believe in the Buckley way. There’s good times ahead.

Gavin got through the whole game. Couldn’t be prouder. Went to bed as soon as the song was sung by the players. Like our young ruckmen, he is a work in progress. But rapt with the developments made on this Saturday night. He’s keen to get to the MCG again. I’m up alone now and it’s Test cricket for the rest of the night. Only wish I could be as optimistic about the youth in the Australian Test team as I am about the Collingwood youngsters.

SYDNEY                                  4.4    5.9    9.10    10.11     71        lost to

COLLINGWOOD                 2.4    6.6    12.10   14.16    100


SYDNEY: Tippett 6, Bolton, Shaw, Kennedy, K.Jack

COLLINGWOOD: Elliot 3, Reid 2, Sidebottom 2, J.Thomas 2, Cloke 2, Grundy, O’Brien, Pendlebury


SYDNEY: Tippett, McVeigh, O’Keefe, Bolton, K.Jack

COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury, Beams, Swan, Elliot, J.Thomas, Sidebottom, Ball, O’Brien

UMPIRES: Stevic, Dalgleish, Nicholls

CROWD: 42,627


3. Scott Pendlebury (Coll)

2. Dayne Beams (Coll)

1. Kurt Tippett (Syd)


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. “Not so his 3 year old brother Joshua, who bleeds black & white and would eat a cricket ball if asked to. ” Ha ha!

    Hell of win by the pies. If they can keep this vaunted mid-field on the park, they’ll go far.

    Fine looking youngster, your Gavin … let’s hope he develops an appetite for scuffed up kookaburra’s like his brother

  2. Lord Bogan says

    Great stuff Luke,

    young Gavin will be on board in time. He and Joshua have plenty to look forward to watching the Pies over the next few years.

  3. Well played Luke.
    I, too, am impressed that Steele Sidebottom has a brother that plays cricket for the Victoria Bushrangers. Education; it’s a wonderful thing.

  4. Dave Nadel says

    Nice way to watch a good victory, Luke. Do you wonder if Steele is jealous of cricketing brother Ryan for his relatively common name?

  5. Nice report Luke.

    My Luke was torn between Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (scary Johnny Depp channelling Michael Jackson version) and the game playing at the other end of our house (watched by slightly scary me channelling Bucks).

    At half time / bedtime he said he would dream a Magpie win. He’s good like that.

  6. Good report Luke. The finals are certainly no longer a 3 or 4 team contest.
    I rang the Department of Child Protection, but apparently this particular form of child abuse is quite common in Victoria. I am sure that with lots of therapy and support he can still grow into a fine young man.

  7. debsworkmate says

    What a gem Luke thoroughly enjoyed reading every minute of it and so pround of Gavin!

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks all.

    Good stuff Peter. I think the Department of Child Protection are far busier with the poor Essendon supporter’s kids.

    Jeff, your Luke is coming along nicely by the sound of it.

    Dave I’m sure Steele is jealous of his brother having a common name. Can’t have been easy to grow up with that name. What a player though. Pity Ryan is a fast bowler and not a much needed batsman.

    Spot on David, education is a great thing. I much prefer the term ‘education’ than the term ‘brainwashing’ which I have been accused of. By non Collingwood supporters.

    Thanks Phil. The future is bright for the Pies.

    Cheers T Bone. If we can keep our best on the park we can compete with anyone. Will be tough outside of the top four though, unless we can miraculously sneak in somehow. Gavin’s interest in scuffed up Kookaburras does increase once Summer hits.

  9. Andrew Starkie says

    luke, was that your text read out on 774 Monday morning? Never miss Monday sports rap.

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Yes it was my text Andrew! Love the sports segment with Gerard on a Monday morning.

  11. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good summary Luke how Grundy fell so low in the draft is beyond me he was rucking at Senior SANFL level and very well mind you as a 17 yr old and no Collingwood were amazed that he was still there incompetent by many clubs in particular GWS and Richmond . Beams is vial for the pies and I think Adams is a great pick up .
    In a very even comp a couple o key inj will prove pivotal . Thanks Luke

  12. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Malcolm. What a pick up Grundy is. Will be a very even comp.

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