AFL Round 7: Frenzied Saints just too good

by Darren Smith

Shelley, Kain and I waited patiently for the Mt Evelyn boys to arrive. We were to rendezvous at the Hotel Spencer and walk to the game.

I was forewarned that Dip, Mick and Dave could be quite loud at the footy. I took it to mean offensive. I was a sole Saint in a flock of Magpies.

After several pre-dinners to settle the nerves, the unit was whole.

After more pre-dinners, I received a call from my new boss for the first time. I have little recollection of what he or I said.

Mick reminisced (briefly) of his return to footy for Wandin (briefly); doing an ankle within three minutes of action. He said it was tough. He had forgotten how to get the ball and said he was two seconds behind everyone else. This was simile number one for the night.

I ordered the pie from the pretentious menu. As far as Pies go, it was disappointing. Simile number two.

We missed the first bounce, the first minute and the first goal.

For a quarter and a bit, it was fast and frenetic. It would have been extremely difficult to convince an observer that players actually had set positions and roles to play.

It was like watching Mario Milano and crew in the cage in the old days at Festival Hall. Everyone new there was no escape, so they were there to have a crack.

The Collingwood faithful were full of belief, the Saints not yet settled and the contest was hot.

Unfortunately for most of the crowd, the Collingwood cracks became chasms and by half time it was settled. The Evelyn boys were very quiet and perfect guests.

From the outside looking in, Collingwood need to make some tough calls. Malthouse, Fraser, Lockyer, Rocca and Brown do not appear to be what they once were.

Dale Thomas is too good for his game last night. Maxwell at times seems distracted by the captaincy. Presti needs other rocks around him. O’Brien is not a rock.

Their kids had a go, but in a nice historical reversal of fortune, were bunnies in the headlights. They simply missed the comfort of smaller options at the pointy end and the security of older heads around them.

St.Kilda meanwhile just keep on keeping on. I was hoping to keep Collingwood’s score below the 3.11 benchmark that we kicked at Victoria Park in 1979, but that was just being greedy.

I’m happy to go to the footy any night of the week if I get to see a result like this.

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