Round 8 – Brisbane v Collingwood: Collingwood back on song!

It’s been a tough start to season 2016 and what looked like an almost certain “W” when the draw was released looks a likely “L” with the Brions as hot favourites.  As happens when the Pies struggle, I look for any distraction possible to keep my mind off our woeful form, or as it was called the last time we were in this predicament back in 2005, our Woewoeful form.  So this week, it’s been Eurovision which has helped to distract me.  And I must say, I’m very disappointed that the AFL has scheduled our fixture to clash with SBS’s delayed telecast of the second semi final tonight.


I haven’t been as excited about an Aussie on the international stage since Tatiana the pole-vaulter and Aussie Joe Bugner as I have about Aussie Dami Im in tonight’s semi final. Sure, I saw on the Friday morning news that she made it through to the final but there’s nothing like seeing the full semi final with Sam and Julia in full flight in the commentary box.  So, it’s with heavy heart that I set the recorder for SBS and I turn the TV onto Fox Footy with trepidation.


The day started off well, with a win from the VFL Pies down at a windy Kardinia Park.  It was like the Eurovision wind machine was on turbo which made the conditions difficult for all players.  Aish seemed to play well, Witts got his hand on plenty of ruck taps and Cloke got a bit of it but was rustier than the Albanian contestant’s hair colour.


I like our ins. Well, as Meatloaf would sing, “two outta three aint bad”.  Even Bucks at his pre-match presser seemed to agree with Loafy – “Varcoe is a winner and a competitor; Tay is a winner and a competitor.”  What,,,, no mention of Sinkers?????  Rockliff is a big out for the Brions and McStay Mcwent out of their side as a late change as the final teams were announced.


The Brions enter the arena through the second most bizarre inflatable lion I’ve ever seen, which wouldn’t look out of place on the stage in Stockholm.  As the Pies run on, I notice that the Storm have won by a point over the Cowboys in a cracking game, just down the road – not that I’m looking for distractions. Did I mention the magnificent mid-week win by the Hammers over ManU at the farewell Boleyn game?  I digress.


The game starts like a Eurovision pyrotechnics show with the Pies on fire.  Treloar, Pendles, Sidey, Adams and Blair are getting leather poisoning and feeding a “hungary” forward line that’s playing in front – we kick our usual quota of points before our USA “pioneer” big Coxy gets the first goal from the goal square.   Cox, Moore and Jesse White, with his flowing locks trapped in a Man-Bun and looking like Justs from Latvia,,,,, are all busy up forward leading into space and marking strongly.  But we are not taking our chances with more points than a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance routine.  Young Barry Crocker is also looking dangerous up forward and kicks his first AFL goal with a classic modern day dribbler.  Our forward pressure has been relentless as we’ve kept the ball up our end for most of the quarter, but a dominant first quarter of play was not quite put on the scoreboard with our 4.9 to their zip.


Image LinkJusts White with those flowing locks.  Simply add scrunchy for instant man bun.


The second started much like the first, with a few more points to start us off, then a Howe hanger to a Cox hanger and he delivers with the first goal of the quarter again.   White and Cox are still working well as tall forwards with goals and the little guys Treloar, Blair, Cox, Crocker and Varcoe hit the scoreboard with opportunist goals.  De Goey joins the midfield party with plenty of ball and strutting around like Ireland’s Nicky Byrne, but with 3 points for the quarter his finishing was like a bad Irish joke.  A 65 point lead at half time should be 100 point lead with the dominance we’ve had and the inept performance of the Brions – their first half was a great rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.  But, the memory of last year’s Gabba game, where we had a similar lead in the 3rd quarter and they came back hard to get within a couple of kicks, still lingers in my doubting mind but surely we can’t throw this one.


Fittingly as the half time siren sounds, I swap over to SBS in perfect time as Dami is being introduced.  Her dress is sparkling as brightly as our midfield as she belts out her song, Sounds of Silence, which seems to a be a reference to the Brisbane supporters so far tonight.  Bulgaria follows shortly after and has obviously seen the half time scores as she performs and celebrates in a raunchy black and white outfit.


Image Link: Bulgaria’s Poli Genova sees the scores at half time – “The scores are 83 to 18??  That’s almost a crime”


The second half petered out into a pretty ordinary spectacle. We went goal for goal in the 3rd as the dewy conditions started to take effect.  The mids in Treloar, Pendles, Sidey and Adams continued on their merry way.  Adams drilled a great goal from the boundary to kick start us and Justsy White and Cox again held sway up forward with 3 goals between them. The last quarter was junk time but we managed to extend our lead with Crocker showing promise up forward, De Goey finally kicking a goal and Grundy with a rare contested mark up forward and a goal.  He’s a strange cat is big Grundy – I thought he had a very good game with a strong effort in the ruck, some good contested marks but a couple of all too regular brain fades.  His Gubby Allan kick across goal was always gunna end in tears and he still gives away too many free kicks, but there was a lot to like about most of his game.


The backline stood up well for the first time this season, probably due to us winning the lions share of midfield clearances.  The line of Smith, Oxley and Howe stood out like a beacon and were slick, skilled and sharp, resembling Denmark’s Lighthouse X not only in looks but with a polished performance (yes, polished, not Polish, they were damn awful!).  Howe who was recruited as a high half forward played really really high (higher than Lithuanian Donny Montell’s voice), so high that he was in the backline!  But he showed some class back there with skilful disposal into our forward 50 which we’ve been sadly lacking.  Frost was much improved on his early season form, spoiling well and actually using the ball reasonably well when he got it.


Image Link:– Oxley, Smith and Howe combine across the half back line.


For the Brions, Zorko played a solo hand, obviously inspired by his Yugoslavian heritage and the performances of Slovenia, Serbia and FYR Macedonia on the way to his bag of 4 goals.  All in all a huge win for the Pies, but it’s hard to know what to take from it given that Brisbane were worse than the Israel act, Hovi Star’s haircut.  Let’s hope it gives us some confidence and the midfield can start to give us first use of the ball against good sides for the rest of the season.


Image Link: If Brisbane’s performance tonight was a Eurovision contestant’s haircut.


The report can’t go without mention of the state of our umpiring.  Some of the “ball”, deliberate and hands in the back decisions, not to mention the goal review original decision, were as bizarre as sight of the naked guy singing to a wolf at at the start of the Belarus act!  Bizarre, and almost impossible to comprehend.


Image Link: Even these guys were baffled with some of the umpiring decisions.


Roll on next week to see if we can match the same intensity, effort and skill against a quality side as opposed to a team of witches hats.



3- Cyprus – great rock song in the style of the Killers

2- Bulgaria – that black and white outfit combined with a catchy tune is a winner, almost.

1-Australia – it’d be unAustralian not to give Dami a vote.

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About Ramon Dobb

A footy and cricket fanatic. A lifelong passionate one eyed Mighty Magpie fanatic. My writing is unashamedly written with one black & white eye open only - so please don't take offence, it's nothing personal, it's just the black & white way! Also a lifelong player and member of Washington Park Cricket Club, the Mighty Sharks. My 15 minutes of fame includes regular contributions to Hot Pies, the 1999-2004 Fanzine, and regular contributor to the Coodabeen Champions weekly competition from their heady 3RRR days. Go Pies and Floreat Pica.


  1. I was grateful the game was on Foxtel (I don’t have Foxtel), lest the compulsion to watch it ruined my Saturday night. Injuries haven’t helped Brisbane either but surely they’re at their lowest ebb in their history.

    As for Eurovision I smelled a bit of a rat the way the presenters announced the public vote had been checked and the right result had been achieved… No way was Eurovision being held in Australia next year.

    3. Armenia
    2. Bulgaria
    1. Australia

    At least Russia didn’t get up, woeful song.

  2. Great report Ramon. Watched the game on radio (sans foxtel at this home). Back on song indeed! Wunnerful read.

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