An Evening to Forget

Collingwood vs  Carlton. MCG 13: 4:2012

It started as an excellent evening.  I drove to Fitzroy and found a legal park close to Victoria St so I could walk through the Gardens to the “G.”  I had arranged to meet my daughter in Gertrude St for a meal before the Game and we found a Spanish tapas bar that had some excellent food at reasonable prices. Then we walked to the MCG on a beautiful balmy April night and found our seats in the Ponsford stand ten minutes before the bounce of the ball.  Then the game commenced and the rest of the night isn’t worth talking about.


Oh…You want a report of the match….I was trying to repress the grim details.


Basically it begins and ends in the ruck. Kreuzer won the first tap from Jolly and Carlton cleared from the centre. That was the pattern for the whole night. Sometimes Hampson won instead of Kreuzer and sometimes Wood lost instead of Jolly but Collingwood basically lost the game at the centre bounce. The radio and newspaper commentators gave best on ground to Murphy or Judd but I personally thought Kreuzer was far and away Carlton’s best and the man most responsible for the disaster that befell Collingwood. Others responsible would include Darren Jolly who played his worst game since coming to Collingwood and Cameron Wood who is not an AFL standard player. Wood is one trick pony (tap ruckman) and on Friday he couldn’t even perform his one trick.


From the bounce Carlton’s midfield carried the ball forward. Collingwood reject Heath Scotland was particularly damaging in the first quarter. He obviously was not distracted by his forthcoming trial for assault.  In front of goal Eddie Betts kicked Carlton’s first three goals, all of them on Harry O’Brien whom he beat all night.  This is the second time in three weeks that Bucks has left Harry on a smaller faster player with disastrous results.


Collingwood lifted a little later in the quarter and scored a few goals but still finished the quarter four goals behind. Apart from the catastrophe in the ruck the most dramatic feature of the game was Pendlebury’s total eclipse. He has two possessions in the first quarter and was being beaten by Carrazzo. Carrazzo  is what Jack Dyer used to call a good ordinary player. He is no Judd, Swan or Pendlebury, but he was absolutely killing Pendlebury, who told ABC listeners in an after game interview that he was not injured. He was just beaten.


Then, just before the end of the quarter, Luke Ball went down with what appeared to be a knee injury and was helped off the ground by two trainers. At the quarter time break, substitute Ben Sinclair removed his green jacket and joined the huddle. The red jacket however was not given to Ball but to Ben Reid who apparently had done a quad.  So Collingwood, already missing Brown and Tarrant from the selected team now lost its best tall defender.  After running around the boundary early in the quarter Luke Ball came back on the field. He lasted about ten minutes before doing his knee again. This time it was an ACL injury and Luke joins Krakouer and Macaffer  amongst the missing for the rest of the season. At that point Collingwood might have written off the game even we had been playing well, but actually the game had been lost from the first bounce.


Carlton actually faltered early in the second quarter as a raised level of intensity from Daisy, Swanny, Beams and Heater moved the ball into the Pies’ forward line. Fasolo kicked a goal and so did Dawes. It was Dawes first goal for the match…and the season. He still wasn’t holding marks. But even when the Pies were scoring and the Blues weren’t the Blues still looked in control because of their ruck dominance and Murphy’s good play in the midfield. Then around the twenty minute mark Carlton kicked a couple of goals and a bagful of points and ended the second quarter as far ahead as they had been at quarter time.


There is no point in going into detail about the second half. Carlton scored nine goals to Collingwood’s three (two of which were scored by Sidebottom but he did very little else for the match). Swanny continued to get a lot of possessions but was far less effective in his disposal than usual. A couple of his turnovers were worthy of Ben Sinclair except that Sinclair is a kid learning the game and Dane Swan is the reigning Brownlow medallist. Collingwood players looked really tired by the last quarter. This could be attributed to the limited number of rotations with two injured players…except that they also looked in the last quarter against Richmond when they had the standard three interchange players.  I wonder if Buckley is overtraining the boys although I wouldn’t give tiredness as an excuse or even an explanation for Friday’s debacle.


We stayed to the bitter end because that’s what loyal Pies do, but it was a shame to hear the Lily of Laguna after having avoided it for the previous five Carlton Collingwood matches.


The Michael Horsbrough Medal (If we had won I might have called it the Ray  Byrne)

This is one time I would rather have been doing the Danny Roach votes. There were between 15 and 18 contenders for Danny…although I pretty much agree with Ramon Dobbs’ votes.

3 Votes Heath Shaw

Heath was clearly our best player (although there were probably about 8 Carlton players ahead of him for best on ground) He was the best and most creative defender.  He was also a better linkman in the midfield than most of our midfielders. He even kicked a goal. If our actual midfield had contributed as much as Heater we would still have been beaten but we wouldn’t have been humiliated.


2 Votes Lachlan Keefe

At the start of the season, Keefe would have been our fourth choice for tall defender, behind Reid, Tarrant and Brown. At quarter time, when the injured Reid was subbed off, Lochy found himself as Collingwood’s sole tall defender. At different times in the remaining three quarters he found himself contesting against Waite, Hampson and Kreuzer and sometimes all three at once.  Under the circumstances I thought he played bravely and reasonably well in a very difficult situation. In his after game interview, Pendles described Keefe’s performance as the only good thing to come out the match. I agree with him.

1  Vote Marty Clarke

No one really deserved to be described as Collingwood’s third best player, but I thought that Marty tried hard and actually improved on his game from the first two rounds. I don’t understand why Bucks didn’t shift him onto Betts after Betts had kicked three on Harry. Harry is the better player but Marty is faster and closer in size to Betts.


  1. Tony Robb says

    May I suggest you go into a lot of detail about the second Hals The pies we poor at all levels and devoid of spirit The ghost of Mick will kill the club. Sorry the elephant in the room will not go away

  2. I notice Dave, there was no mention of Cloke. Watching the 2nd and 3rd quarters in a sports bar with a group waiting for an evening “Triple Bucks” boat cruise, (I had a great time, thanks for asking), I can’t remember seeing him contesting once. Later on watching a replay, and perhaps more soberly, I thought that Henderson stitched him up brilliantly.

    It seemed that once the succesful ‘structure’ was compromised, there was no plan B for Buckley.


  3. Dave Nadel says

    Cloke scored a goal but was otherwise irrelevant to the game. Obviously some of this is due to Henderson, who did play well, but I think Cloke’s lack of influence was more due to Collingwood’s midfield being beaten. Cloke’s greatest skills are his pack marking and his ability to present fast leads. These skills become irrelevant if the midfield is beaten and Collingwood players do not have the ball to kick to a lead or a contest.

    Equally, it doesn’t matter how your forward line is structured if the ball is not getting to the forward line. Buckley didn’t need a plan B, he needed a ruckman capable of winning knockouts and midfielders who were winning clearances. For most of the match he had neither.

  4. watt price tully says

    Has Carlton won the 2012 premiership?

    One win over Collingwood in the last many years and the Blues are the best team since sliced bread, since there were people with a social conscience in the Liberal party.

    Let us be clear & put this in perspective in a cool & typically Collingwood rational manner:

    1. The 2012 AFL premiership is played at the end of the season not in April.
    2. Carlton have played tremendously well so far this year.
    3. Collingwood have 10 players with ACL’s & another 12 with “hammy’s.
    4. Collingwood is merely lulling Carlton into a sense of security – unfortunately at this time it may well not be a false one
    5. Carlton’s players are fit & well while Collingwoods players acquired the bubonic plague (from the rats at carlton) & are simply decimated.
    6. As my late paternal grandfather never said: If you don’t have the cattle you’re on your way to eating tofu.

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