AFL Round 3 – Collingwood v Geelong: Concerned

Score a footy and Cats gear


A beautiful, warm Autumn day and we’re off to the footy for the first time this season. Thankfully no BT and Luke Darcy tonight. Oldest son Gavin and I have got a lift with Ian ‘Bidge’ Boyd and his wife Barb. I’ve been to many games over the years with them starting from my early teens, and would never have been to an AFL game at Victoria Park, let alone the several that I did, if it wasn’t for them. I’m forever grateful. Bidge, a Weerite beef farmer, is a multiple premiership winning, 400 plus game life member of the Pomborneit Cricket Club but these days is better known as a singer/songwriter on the Australian country music circuit. He has released three albums and has reached number one on country music charts in places as diverse as Norway, Slovakia and Sweden. But footy is the conversation topic on the way to Melbourne.

Gavin and I find our seats in the second row of the top tier of the Olympic Stand. Bidge and Barb make their way to the Great Southern Stand. Wherever you were sitting Collingwood’s first quarter was terrible. Poor disposal and decision making by the Pies. Geelong miss several shots they should have nailed and could well have buried us by quarter time. Only 19 points down at the main break but we haven’t kicked a goal. Goalless first quarters, a trend I’ve noticed since St Kilda’s goalless first term in the 2010 Grand Final replay, means that team pretty much never win.

Half time and scores are level. Jamie Elliot has taken mark of the year for the second year running. Sidebottom was superb and Macaffer is doing the job on Johnson. All Geelong players look the same when looking through black and white eyes, but Guthrie has stood out and Selwood is as classy as ever. The Cats are sharing their goals. Frost has Hawkins well under wrap.

Geelong are the better team in the 3rd term but again fail to put us away when kicking to the Punt Rd end. 3.5 to 2.2 for the quarter. Cloke is being swarmed by Cats and misses a couple of frees he really should have got. This upsets me and the rest of the Collingwood faithful in attendance. Our disposal continues to be terrible. By foot and by hand. How can full time professional footballers miss targets by hand? How can a soft drink for Gavin cost 5 bucks? What do you call out when Lumumba has the ball? By habit it’s still ‘Go Harry’.

Collingwood start the last quarter 9 points down. Despite a two goal burst from Elliot, the Pies always look being a goal or two behind Geelong, reminiscent of the 2007 Preliminary Final. And that’s how it ends, an 11 point loss. The effort and determination by our players is great. Our skills and disposal are woeful. Apart from when Pendles has the ball, and to a lesser extent Sidebottom, the kicking, handballing and decision making was poor. Elliot was the only player to give us any confidence when lining up for goal. Cloke continues to be monstered by multiple Cat’s defenders but then drops a chest mark inside 50. But how can Cloke be double teamed then when the ball goes up the other end Frost is one out with Hawkins? Where do those extra players go? Only just over 63,000 at the game, a much smaller crowd than this contest usually gets.

We are badly missing the pace, skill and good defence of Marley Williams and Paul Seedsman. And Williams’ future is clouded. Ben Reid is as important as any player on the Magpie list. We need him back ASAP.

The trip home is quiet. We diseccted the game on the way back to the car. We all just listen to the SEN after game coverage.

I finish writing this while watching my EPL team Newcastle United go down 4-0 to Manchester United. But this is just the start of a tough week. Colac is full of bloody Geelong supporters. More Geelong than Geelong. The guy I buy the newspapers from every day. Geelong. My Aunty. Geelong. My only employee. Geelong. A fair percentage of my cricket mates. Geelong. My Mum. Geelong. Once upon a time I could have found refuge in Melbourne’s Northern suburbs from all this. But apparently that area is rife with Geelong supporters these days too. Almanacker Geelong supporters. Well done. Enjoy it.

Geelong 3.5 6.7 9.12 12.15 (87) def.
Collingwood 0.4 6.7 8.9 11.10 (76)

Geelong: Hawkins 4, Varcoe, Horlin-Smith, Murdoch, Johnson, Guthrie, Mackie, Stokes, McIntosh
Collingwood: Elliot 5, White 2, Blair, Toovey, Goldsack, Sidebottom

Geelong: Selwood, McIntosh, Lonergan, Guthrie, Duncan
Collingwood: Elliot, Sidebottom, Macaffer, Maxwell, Pendlebury, Lumumba

Umpires: Donlan, Hay, McInerny

Crowd: 63,152 at the MCG

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Thanks Luke.

    I think we ended up saying Harry O L.

    For those who appreciate numerical symmetry, what a shame that Geelong’s final score wasn’t 12.14.86.


  2. Great read Luke. And I’ll be youtubing your mate for a listen

  3. I thought it was a typically tough Cats v Pies encounter. The Lonergan/Cloke battle was enthral ling. A great one on one battle between two strong men. We should celebrate those contests.

    Neither team looks close to Hawks or Freo. But there is a long way to go.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great read as usual Luke listening to talkback after the game the trains ( lack of ) was getting a hammering is that affecting the siz of the crowds to a significant level ? Price of food and drink is appalling but as we all no headquarters does not listen to the average football fan .
    The standard of the game overall in relation to disposal errors is a disgrace considering they are full time footballers , may be I am being too picky but I and a lot of others are voting with our feet which should concern AFL power brokers but seems not too .
    Thanks Luke

  5. I have got used to calling HO “Lumumba”. It rolls off the tongue easily. But the first name “Herooterer???” has really got me beaten.
    He’ll always be “Patrice” inside my head. Such a melodic elegant name. Great man. RIP.

  6. The Pies should SACK Buckley now.
    The team is going backwards with him, Eddie made the biggest mistake getting rid of Mick.
    Actually the Pies should get Mark Thompson next year.
    In the meantime Eddie can suffer watching his team being a failure

  7. go cats how much talent you have Luke pity you follow the pies

  8. Hey Luke. Good report, thanks for the plug!!!
    One thing that really cheeses me off is press conferences where you can only hear the answers! Surely in this age of communications it wouldn’t be too hard to have a microphone to actually hear the questions that are being asked! Can you use your incredible power and knowledge of contacts to do something to rectify this please Luke. Go Pies!

  9. Thank God for the Cats supporter in the nest of magpies I was standing amongst Luke, he was the only one talking sense all night! Another enjoyable night at the G.

  10. Luke, Bidge, Can you fill us in on some of the tunes that have taken off in Slovakia and Norway and beyond. Do you do lunches? JTH

  11. E.regnans says

    Top work, Luke.
    What are you like musically, yourself?
    Good on you Bidge. Well done.

  12. Cookie, I notice you (correctly) didn’t include yourself as a sense-talker last night.

    And Laura, as Carlton are rapidly discovering, Mick is past his use by date.

    Pies weren’t good enough last night, but we weren’t far away.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks for all the comments.

    JTH- Bidge’s song “Among the Lakes and Craters” was number 1 in Norway, Slovakia and Sweden and number 3 in the Netherlands and Germany on the country music charts. I’ll get Bidge to comment on his other chart success and his lunch availability.


  14. daniel flesch says

    Agree whole-heartedly with the others praising your report , Luke. Also agree with your asertion Cloke was denied a couple of deserved frees . Is it because each of the three umpires we have now interpret similar instances differently ? Certainly see inconsistent deliberate / not deliberate out of bounds rulings every game …. And Bidge , while understanding your frustration , if the bland cliche-ridden answers coaches give in those press conferences are any guide , the questions aren’t worth hearing anyway .

  15. DBalassone says

    Agreed Luke that skill errors through the midfield cost us dearly. I thought we made similar errors against the Swans last week. Very concerning. Geelong had that extra bit of polish when required.
    Full credit to Lonergan, who knows how to channel his inner Mickey Gayfer, but I thought we hardly ever managed to kick it to Cloke in threatening positions – Geelong’s defensive effort up the ground has to be commended for this.
    Also playing Swan so deep is a complete waste of time for mine. He is a handy goalkicker when he plays as a midfielder gravitating forward, but is not clinical enough to play as a permanent forward. Can’t help thinking that we should have held on to either Didak or Krakouer as that small forward option. Magicians who can make something out of nothing.

  16. Luke, a fair and well balanced article. I particularly like the fact that you had Lonergan in your best whilst at the same time sharing your frustration at some of his tactics.

    A Pies supporter with a bit of objectivity. What is this world coming to?

  17. Peter Fuller says

    Congrats on a fine reflective report on the game. However, my main concern is with your dealing with the people you meet who haven’t absorbed the important lesson of (I believe) Vince Lombardi: “Win without crowing, lose without crying.”

    I think you need a multi-pronged strategy. Your employee is easy, razzing you about the result is surely a sackable offence. Provided you follow the rules about warnings for breaches of your insistence that there be no discussion of the game, I’m sure Fair Work Australia would treat sympathetically your giving him (?) notice to quit.
    Similarly, anyone who depends on you as a customer (e.g. newsagent) a warning and then stop buying from the outlet – or if necessary, do without the paper completely.
    Relatives and mates are more tricky, but I would suggest that you take either of the following stances
    a. Disarm the taunter by saying, well yes I acknowledge that you are a superior person to me because you happen to support Geelong. Was that a matter of birth, just as baby George is a different class to the rest of us because of who his parents are?
    b. Depending on the importance of the relationship, customer, close relative, either just freeze them until the memory fades or if you can cope with the isolation, say I’ll speak to you in October.
    I acknowledge that all of these measures might involve some cutting off your nose to spite your face, but I think your antagonists will quickly come to realise that they should treat you with civility (not patronising compassion) in the face of your trauma.
    Anyway it could be worse, you could barrack for the Blues!

  18. Anyone see the hit on Selwood?

  19. MOC, I was the only Geelong fan there!

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