AFL Round 20 – West Coast v Collingwood: Floreat Aquila (Prosper Big Birds)

Horsburgh Medal Votes:

3. The bloke in the Collingwood T Shirt and shorts who jumps the fence at the City End at the 20 minute mark of the last quarter, and runs nearly the length of the ground before 8 Security Guards catch up with him on the forward flank at the Subiaco End.  Goes the Nuremburg Defence at the Magistrates Court on Monday morning “Bucks said we needed some run through the midfield and I was just following orders (unlike the rest of the lazy sods)”.

2. Burly bloke in the Black and White  dreadlocks wig who takes 6 security guards; 4 cops and 5 blokes in suits with earpieces; down with him in a desperate struggle for 10 minutes early in the last quarter.  Screaming “free Nelson Mandela; George Davis and Travis Cloke.  They have all been held in solitary confinement in the Collingwood forward line for the last 2 hours”.  He singlehandedly occupied more Eagles defenders than the entire Collingwood attack managed for the game.

Collingwood fan

1. His mate with the broken nose who gave up the struggle a few minutes earlier, and suggested that they both go quietly.  The rest of the Collingwood side had worked this out at half time.

Collingwood Fan 2

Collingwood are a midfield in search of a football side.  Pendlebury and Sidebottom were scary good in the second quarter.  Beams and Elliott worked hard all day.  There were no forwards, defenders or rucks.  Go figure.  I’ve never seen a Collingwood side perform so badly when it mattered, with their finals chance on the line today.

I thought my Eagles could win today, but it would be a couple of goals either way.  We dominated the first quarter.  Won the clearances (where was their much vaunted midfield?)  Collingwood were slow, scragged and gave away frees.  Who would MaCaffer (the poor man’s Crowley) tag today?  Surely one of Priddis or Shuey – our main ballgetters every week.  Priddis got 42 disposals.  Shuey 31.  MaCaffer 13.  Certainly stopped himself.  We led by 28 points at the first break.  When would Collingwood turn up?

They soon did.  From midway through the second quarter, Pendlebury and Sidebottom dominated the clearances.  At half time our lead had been reduced to 17 points and I was worried.  Our run had stopped and we were starting to look top heavy.

The first 15 minutes of the third quarter put the game to rest with 5 unanswered Eagles goals.  You could raffle the 3 votes in this game between a half dozen Eagles, but I gave them to Andrew Gaff for his running and sharp disposal in this period.  He set up 3 of the goals when the result was on the line.  He used to jog to space.  Now he sprints hard and hits targets with his passes.

At ¾ time we led by 48 points and the game was over.  The Pies didn’t even give a yelp in the last quarter, and we doubled their scoring shots to win by 60 points.  The last 15 minutes was protracted junk time, leavened only by the aforementioned comic interludes from the Collingwood Mensa Squad.

Some thoughts:

Nathan Buckley: No tags on the Eagles playmakers?  Plays one 21yo ruckman against the tallest timber in the comp.  Hmm – Mick was right.

H.Lumumba:  Tucks ball under arm and takes off.  Earth to Mars – opponents have worked this out.  Consistently tackled and stripped of the ball.

Marley Williams: Murray Newman is looking for a friend.  Prodigious kick.  Generally out of bounds.

Players fortunate to have played in a Premiership team: Sam Butler (WCE – 32 disposals);  Toovey (5)+Goldsack(12)+MaCaffer(13) or Reid(13) = not quite one Sam Butler.

Cloke v Naitanui: Overpaid, overrated big waste of space.  Discuss.  NicNait – 8 disposals; 3 marks; 20 hit outs; 2 goals.  Cloke – 10 disposals; 7 marks (4 marks inside 50 – defensive 50 but); 1 goal.  You don’t get much for a million bucks these days.

Jeremy McGovern: Remember the name.  Took 12 marks as a key defender.  Mostly contested, and is a penetrating kick who is growing in confidence all the time.

Eric Mackenzie:  All Australian.  Best key defender in the comp.

Xavier Ellis – Knows how to find ways to get injured.  Accidentally KO’d in mid-air when running backward into a marking contest.  Was out cold before hitting the ground without breaking his fall and appeared to dislocate a shoulder.  Ouch.

West Coast Eagles – beat Essendon next week and we can play finals.

Collingwood – beat Brisbane next week and they can challenge Richmond for 9th.

The best thing to come out of the last 2 weeks is the authority that it gives Adam Simpson as coach.  He has the team running hard off half back.  Attacking through the corridor.  Short hit-up kicks to leads instead of long bombs.  A breath of fresh air in a football club that had grown stale.

Kudos to Club President Allan Cransberg who chose Simpson and cleared out the old boys club at the Eagles.

Floreat Aquila.


WEST COAST                     6.5          9.7         15.10    19.12 (126)

COLLINGWOOD              2.1           7.2         8.4       10.6 (66)


West Coast: J Darling 4, S Lycett 4, J Kennedy 3, N Naitanui 2, D Cox, J Cripps, J Hill, L Shuey, M Brown, M Priddis.

Collingwood: B Kennedy 2, B Reid, D Beams, J Elliott, J White, S Dwyer, S Sidebottom, T Broomhead, T Cloke.


West Coast:  A Gaff, M Priddis, L Shuey, E Mackenzie, J McGovern, S Butler, D Cox.

Collingwood: S Pendlebury, D Beams, S Sidebottom, J Elliott.

Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Sam Hay, Luke Farmer.

Official Crowd: 36,458 at Patersons Stadium.

Votes: 3 – A Gaff (WCE);  2 – M Priddis (WCE); 1 – L Shuey (WCE)


  1. Bob Speechley says

    Entertaining read as usual Peter. Unfortunately most Magpie supporters stuck in Melbourne would have missed those highlights from the “extras” because their TV sets had been “decommissioned” before 3/4 time. Your comments about Hertier and Ruckmen are spot on but, although I’m not a Collingwood supporter, I think Cloke gets a raw deal from the Men who used to be in White and Marley Williams at least gets a kick or two but has no-one to kick it to! Magpie die- hards will now be looking forward to Pendles Brownlow!

  2. Ahh, PB.
    Handy life skill to take delight from mediocrity.
    Grand report, though.
    Insightful commentary on both football matters and social matters.
    Reckon we can plan other activities for (at least) the last 3 weeks of September.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Well played Peter. Staggered at the non selection of Grundy for this game against the 3 eagle ruckmen. Jesse White not up to being either a second ruck or 2nd tall forward. Or 3rd tall forward.
    Spot on about MacKenzie being the best tall defender in the comp.
    Floreat aquila indeed. The pica certainly isn’t prospering.

  4. Sean Gorman says

    Makes for an interesting game when Gaff is BOG. Nice job PB but can the Toasticals make the 8?

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