AFLW Round 4 – Melbourne v Collingwood: Melting and melding

5.40pm (CST) Saturday 24th February 2018

TIO Traiger Park


I think I need our Almanac weather gurus and the AFLW leadership, to explain to me how the heat policy was bought in for the humid, wet conditions of the Brisbane Lions v Fremantle game at 3.35pm in Queensland and not for the 37-degree game at 5.40 in Alice Springs on Saturday afternoon and evening.


From my comfy chair in Melbourne, I could feel the heat eminating from the TV screen, sweat dripping down from the players onto my carpet. There were fans and ice-jackets and very hot women. There were no spectators on the far side of the ground, where there was no shade.  Sensible people chose the stands.  Even so, 37 degrees at the footy?  We do ask a lot of these women players, to have their season in such weather.


The play at the beginning was scrappy, with Jasmine Garner and Christina Bernadi both missing everything.  I don’t now how they were even walking. Mo Hope is at some play, but I sit and wonder if the game has gone past her, though she has had a few early touches.


Kate Hore, another ex-St Kilda Sharks player, goals truly for Melbourne (from magnificent passing of Paxman, Pearce and Cranston) as Fox Footy have finally turned up Peta Searle’s microphone and we can hear her experience and wisdom. We see Daisy Pearce resting on the bench and on the phone to the coaches. She looks cooked as she is draped in wet towels. There is ice, drinks and cool towels.


I am watching great improvement in Collingwood, as Chloe Molloy is sweeping everything back from defence. The hot Pies have picked up in their first three games, and using short passes to keep possession (before completely spraying the ball again).


Elise O’Dea adds another goal for Melbourne and the siren blasts and everyone gets a moments reprieve. I spend quarter time writing down all the Darebin Falcon players who are on Melbourne’s list and wonder if they’ll make the difference. (O’Dea, Pearce, Hickey, Patterson, Paxton) and note that there are no Falcons players in Collingwood.  The Falcons have a winning culture and they seem to be bringing this to Melbourne.


The second quarter sees Collingwood continue to pressure and improve, and there is more accuracy in passing and better build ups of movement.  This sees Bernardi kick a wonderful goal from a mark, before she does more pressure work to tap it to Moana Hope who goals.  Suddenly, it’s all tied up and the game is on.


The pressure from Collingwood gets the ball to Hope again and she is her old, St Kilda Shark self, sneaking the goals around her body and slipping away from Melbourne’s melted defenders. The Pies are ahead by a goal at half time and we observers are seeing the unexpected. So much for my meandering about the Darebin Falcons and how Hope may be past it.  Time for some self correction.


In a pressured beginning to the 3rd, Richelle Cranston sprays to the left and Collingwood are suddenly goaling through a great pass from Hope to Sarah D’Arcy.  Wow. What the hell is happening in Alice Springs?!  The Pies look cool not roasted. Caitlan Edwards gets a 50 and kicks truly. Well hello, me thinks from the comfort of my chair.  This is truly unexpected.  Melbourne look like they’ve been hit by a truck.


Meg Hutchins keeps coming and gets her first ever goal for the Pies in the AFLW. Finally, Alyssa Misfud claws one back from a free, 40 metres out. The Pies keep pushing and there are two more points, while Melbourne manage one point more.


Collingwood are so measured and steady.  Wow.  Wow-wow. They are 3 goals ahead at three quarter time.  Maybe 37 degrees isn’t the weather but how hot the Pies are.


I am in awe as Steph Chiocci, good all day for her team, steam-rolls another great goal. Melbourne looked baked, physically and metaphorically. Amelia Bardon gets a free and goals. It is all Collingwood and the temperature at the oval is still 37 degrees. How are the players actually doing all this?


Melissa Kuys goals again for Collingwood and this becomes a massacre. In a game Melbourne technically should be winning, were tipped to win easily, they have been rolled. As have their finals hopes, it seems.


The stat’s that really stand out for me in this game are what was scored from turnovers: Melbourne 1.3 and Collingwood 7.3. Collingwood win by just under 6 goals, and the Melbourne players look, understandably, totally depleted and depressed. I notice Daisy Pearce as she shakes all the hands of the Pie women. She looks devastated. Choicci says in an interview, “We’ve here because we can play footy. We’ll let the external people do the talking.  We’ll do the working.” I love this captain. I can’t believe I’ve been sitting here barracking for Collingwood. The AFLW has had this affect. Surprises and something different.


On TV, we watch the 5 Collingwood debutantes be bathed in the sticky drinks as they sing their song loud, and proud. What a way to begin your footy journey. The Demons have melted while the Pies have melded.


It is another season to behold.


Melbourne                        2.2         2.2         3.4               3.6         (24)

Collingwood                      0.0         3.2         6.4               9.4         (58)

Goals: Melbourne: O’Dea, Hore Misford.

Collingwood: Hope 2, Edwards 2, Bernardi, Kuys, Chiocci, Hutchins, Barden.

Best:  Melbourne: O’Dea, Paxman, Downey

Collingwood: Lambert, Chiocci, J Garner, Bonicci, Bernardi, Hope.

Crowd: 2000

Umpires: Gailbraith, Crosby, Broadbent







About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Hi Yvette,
    it was definitely Melbourne’s game to lose all right. The heat looked so intense.
    I wonder if they’ll bring in a new rule where you can play in the ice vests?

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Yes it looked like Mo Hope was reluctant to remove it. Are they talking about Melbourne still having a chance. Percentage will kill at this stage.

  3. Jackie Lynch says

    I would not be in Daisy’s eyeline this week. She has her first poor game for the Demons and her team mates can’t take up the slack? The Captain would be so dirty on herself, but it’s not fair to expect her to star week in week out when she’s being tagged so heavily.

    On the other hand, great to see Mo getting the chocolates. And, as a Dogs fan, a huge tip of the lid to Collingwood.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Are you sure you were barracking for the Pies Yvette? Major leap of faith for a Sainter ! The players were fantastic in the conditions. Looking forward to seeing the Saints Women in action soon. Cheers

  5. Seriously can’t understand the heat rule. If it’s not invoked at 37, what kind of weather are they saving it for?

    Great report, thanks.

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