Bloody noses for Swans and me

On the 20th of June 2009, I was in the middle of the Shepparton East ground late in the day, running water in a high-scoring match between Waaia and Shepp East in the seniors. The heavens had opened, and the rain was pelting down. I loved it though. Waaia sadly lost by seven goals in the end, and that night I watched a not-so entertaining contest between Sydney and Collingwood at ANZ Stadium. Fast forward to the 26th of June, 2010, and once again I’m in the middle of the Shepp East ground, standing in the mud that the recent rain had created. Running water for the seniors, again, but this time Waaia lost by 121 points, a disappointing effort, something I wasn’t proud to have to watch. I didn’t really want to run water, earlier in the U/17’s match I got hit in the face in a Ruck contest, which saw me forced from the field a couple of minutes later with blood streaming from my nose and mouth, a bad smack to the nose and a bit of a split lip the result. I was still feeling the effects of it with a lingering headache as the final siren sounded at 5pm on the cold, wintery Saturday.

Catching a ride home with the trainer Kate, I went into the warmth of my house and watched a bit of Before the Game, waiting for the Sydney and Collingwood match to begin. Daniel Bradshaw and Tadhg Kennelly were out for the Swans, replaced by Gary Rohan and Lewis Jetta, although I wanted to see Patrick Veszpremi play.

The game started and Harry O’Brien ended a string of behinds after intercepting the ball and goaling on the run, before Chris Dawes marked and kicked a ripper goal from a tight angle to take the lead out to 15 points. Ryan O’Keefe marked and produced the goods with a neat kick, but Travis Cloke replied with a good mark in the goalsquare, perfectly using his body against his opponent. He goaled, but Ben McGlynn replied with a team-lifting goal after he tackled, dished the ball off, received it back and put it through on the run. The Pies went into the first break with a nine point lead, 3.6 to 2.3.

The second quarter began and Dawes got his second with a Jack Anthony-esque kick from 50m out, before Steele Sidebottom snapped a good goal from a pack. Brad Dick got on the end of some Dale Thomas magic, goaling on the run from 40m out and Collingwood led convincingly by 30 points. Brett Kirk kicked an unlikely goal from 45m out, and then McGlynn put it through on the run from a tight angle, igniting the Sydney fans but Sidebottom shut them up with a crumbing goal to end the first half, Collingwood up by 25 points, 7.11 to 4.4.

As the second half started, I turned the final page of ‘The Mission 2’, a book covering the story of Geelong’s mighty three year reign from 2007 to 2009. As I looked back up to the TV, Craig Bird snapped an impressive goal from the forward pocket, before Leigh Brown slotted his first on the run from the pocket. Cloke goaled, but O’Keefe kicked his second after some impressive dash from youngster Rohan, but a late goal from former Demon (and he played for Sydney) Darren Jolly saw the Pies go into the last break with a 24 point lead, 10.17 to 6.7. Once again, inaccurate kicking was marring the Collingwood scoreline.

The final quarter began and Rhyce Shaw, moved forward by Paul Roos, goaled on the run from 45m out, but Brown replied with a lunging mark and straight kick, perhaps keeping Josh Fraser out of the team for another week with those 30 seconds of desperation and ability. The Swans pressed though, Rohan kicking his first from a free kick, and then Jesse White provided something with a crumbing, high snap major, cutting the margin to just 20 points. The Magpies killed the contest though, with Dawes kicking his third and Alan Didak providing the highlight of the night. After getting the kick forward, he ran to his teammate, got the ball back via handball, and slotted the goal on the run from the boundary line, not quite a Buddy Franklin display but good enough to bring the non-existent roof down, Collingwood running out 25 point winners, 13.18.96 to 10.11.71.

As I wrote the final details of the game on my notepad, I noted that the recent Sydney v Collingwood ‘blockbusters’ haven’t returned a huge crowd and haven’t been an entertaining clash. Perhaps it’s time for a change? Geelong v Hawthorn as the lone match on a Saturday afternoon? North Melbourne v Essendon? My headache starts to grow in pain, I need sleep. I’m never playing Ruck again.

Sydney 2.3—4.4—6.7—10.11.71

Collingwood 3.6—7.11—10.17—13.18.96


Sydney-O’Keefe 3, McGlynn 2, White, Kirk, Shaw, Rohan, Bird

Collingwood-Dawes 3, Sidebottom 2, Brown 2, Cloke 2, Dick, Didak, Jolly, O’Brien


Sydney-Mattner, Kirk, Malceski, McGlynn, Jack, Kennedy

Collingwood-Jolly, Swan, O’Brien, Shaw, Thomas, Didak, Ball, Dawes


43,585 at ANZ Stadium


3: Darren Jolly (COLL)

2: Dane Swan (COLL)

1: Marty Mattner (S)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Danielle says

    Great report Joshy.
    It’s kinda creepy how we both picked up on comparing Dawes’ goal kicking to Jack’s.
    ..weird lol
    i still think Jack has been giving him and maybe even Leigh Brown some set shot lessons!
    Loved Leigh’s goal! :)


  2. Steve Healy says

    Good report Josh, however, weren’t you at Etihad Stadium on the 20th of June?

    I don’t think the game should be moved as it is already a permanent fixture and I don’t think the games have been too bad and it was good to see Lewis Jetta kick his 13th, 14th and 15th behinds for the season

  3. Who says I was at Etihad Stadium on the 20th of June?

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