Floreat Pica – Collingwood v Carlton

I have waited until the weekend has nearly passed before writing this report. A number of factors have contributed; primary is that Collingwood lost to Carlton. The motivation to actively review the game and then write about it is significantly reduced by the disappointment with the result. I am pretty sure I am not the only person who records a game but then deletes it unwatched if the outcome has been unfavourable. Who wants to relive failure?

However, knowing the commitment I had made to be this week’s reporter for the Floreat Pica Society, I sat down Sunday evening and had another look at the game. I had witnessed the event first-hand on Friday night. Somewhat surprisingly, while disappointed, I didn’t suffer the normal Friday-night-loss-Saturday-morning-depression cycle. Throughout the game, as Collingwood trailed, I had expected them to surge and overcome. That they didn’t could be explained and could be forgiven. Post-game, when the first text message from a Carlton-supporting friend came through; no words – just the gibberish of a child calling for their father – my response to him was that it had been a Collingwood plan to lose to ensure Carlton retained Ratten and thereby condemn themselves to ongoing underperformance. Later, as I reviewed a twitter conversation of a few Carlton-supporting acquaintances, it reinforced to me that there is only one premiership awarded. It is not in April. It is not in July. It is the last game of the year. Everything that comes before is only a preliminary. You are entitled to celebrate, but it is only one game. Some perspective – please.

So back to the game. Collingwood dominated possession early and scored the first goal through Cloke. It had arisen from Maxwell beating Duigan in a one-on-one, as he would do many times throughout the evening. Collingwood didn’t get enough return from the early efforts and Carlton scored their first goal from their first forward foray. After Swan had been buried on the wing and somehow had a holding-the-ball free paid against him (extraordinary how the umpire can pay the free and the recipient jumps up with ball already in hand), and Hampson left the game permanently after a knee injury, Duigan’s first goal put the Blues in front for the first time. They didn’t relinquish the advantage for the rest of the game. Also in the first quarter Jackson Paine seemed to injure his back. He played on and kicked a couple of goals but his eventual substitution mid third quarter seemed to be ill-timed.

Simon Buckley played reasonably well early but as is often the case, his poor decision making and even poorer execution can let him down. More importantly, as was demonstrated in the second quarter when he centred the ball prematurely and ineffectively, can let the team down. A late hit by Mitch Robinson on Travis Cloke for some inexplicable reason did not result in a kick upfield. Yarran was beginning to cause problems with his run and carry. Collingwood lacked sure-handedness and with the Carlton pressure, hesitations and fumbles attracted trouble. Collingwood trailed 11 to 19 at quarter time.

Duigan’s second goal came within forty seconds of the second quarter commencement. Marley Williams, who seemed to be struggling with a hip injury during the first quarter injured his shoulder early in the second. He too played on but battled before leaving the game late in the third quarter. Midway through the quarter the Pies had kicked 1 goal 6. While Walker kicked one out of his bottom, Fasolo could only score a behind from a similar effort. A Duigan stuff-up on the wing eventually resulted in a mark and goal to Jackson Paine. Dawes missed an extremely gettable set-shot. The man is having a frustrating time, and the frustration is causing more problems. He seems to have got himself in the umpires’ bad books. Can’t get a free-kick. Is arguing. And gave away an unnecessary up-field kick, thereby negating what would have been a favourable turnover. I am not sure if the solution is a stint in the reserves, but unless he can get himself out of the hole he has dug for himself, Collingwood is going to suffer.

Thomas goaled. Betts marked and played on. Shaw tackled him but for some reason Betts was allowed to go back and take his kick which he duly converted. Another Betts goal from the Buckley stuff-up had Carlton up 45 to 26. A free to Goldsack in the goal square left Carlton up by 13 points at half time.

Daisy Thomas injured his ankle early in the third quarter when his foot connected with an opponent’s foot. He left the game but was able to return. After Sidebottom’s goal came from a quick transition and a fumbled mark, Swan got pinged for a holding-the-ball up the other end. I am still trying to work Swannie out. He is such an enormous talent but doesn’t seem to take the game as seriously as we would want (as we supporters do!). The attitude tends to manifest in a lack of respect for opposition. When Swannie leaves football (which he has forecast will be the end of 2014), you know he is not going to suffer the way some players do when such an important facet of their lives is over. I think he will be happy to disappear into the next phase of his life.

A few misses by Carlton seemed to keep Collingwood alive. Paine goaled and was rewarded with the presentation of a red vest. It was shortly after this that Williams injured his shoulder. He left the ground and on his return his arm hung down almost uselessly. I am not sure what assessment method the medicos used to ascertain that he was okay to return to the field. Whatever it was, it needs reviewing. A Cloke miss meant that Collingwood didn’t take the lead. Soon after, Wellingham took out Simpson. He will take several weeks break from the game. A clever goal from Yarran late in the quarter had Carlton 11 points up at three quarter time.

Early in the last quarter Fasolo dithered over a kick, was smothered and the transition resulted in a Duigan goal. Ben Reid was mistakenly called to play on as he shaped to handball. Carlton controlled the game. When Betts marked in front of an inattentive Goldsack, his goal took the margin out to 25 points. A Yarran run through the middle again ended with a Betts goal. Wellingham, his mind back on the game, scored the final major of the match. The final siren sounded with Collingwood 8-14-62 down to Carlton 12-13-85.

So why wasn’t I that disappointed? We played poorly and still stayed in the game. Carlton are a bunch of head cases. They consistently disappoint their supporters in other games and then get themselves up for Collingwood games. That attitude means they won’t be anywhere come September. And we needed to have a slump. It may not be over. There will be other losses before season’s end. We showed last year that we could not maintain the high-level performance and staggered into the finals. Players such as Dane Swan take their own mental breaks. And there is so much potential improvement in our forward line. I see Jackson Paine being a significant contributor. And the back-line is still to be settled – it will look so much better with Nathan Brown in the line-up. Ben Reid is still improving after injury. And there is Pendles. We have much to look forward to.

3 – Daisy Thomas
2 – Dane Swan
1 – Nick Maxwell

A few people will dispute this one-vote to Maxie, but I thought he had a good game. Many might have had supposed opponent Duigan as amongst Carlton’s best, but I thought Maxie beat him one-on-one whenever they came up against each other. He created a number of attacks and defended well. Just as not all Betts’ goals were when he was opposed by Harry, neither was Maxwell Duigan’s only opponent.

Go Pies
Floreat Pica

About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.


  1. My response will be posted at any moment.

    Now is not the time for perspective… or to be commending the game of Nick Maxwell.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    Double disappointment for me Litza. Firstly we lose the game and then I have to go a week without reading your vitriol. It will be interesting to see how you do “nice”.

  3. Danielle says

    Arghhhhhh -.-

  4. It is not completely without vitriol, Andrew.

    Two words – Sharrod Wellingham.

  5. Jeff Dowsing says

    A couple selections cost the Pies imo. We missed Brown’s tightness in defence and Paine, Dawes & Cloke in the forward line does not work. It merely encouraged long bombs that were generally negated easily and swept out by the likes of Yarran.

    And no hard tag on Judd – I’d have given Tooves a crack. Take Judd out of the equation with Murphy out and we’d have the all important midfield battle going our way.

    I thought a potential turning point was Dawes missed opportunity in the 2nd qtr. Momentum had shifted but instead Blooze scored twice down the other end.

    One of those nights, never was meant to be.

  6. John Harms says

    I think I watched a different game.

    Which affirms that age-old theory that there is a Collingwood-Human divide.

  7. Andrew Fithall says

    JTH – I wil let you borrow my Floreat Pica glasses one day. They certainly aid in being able to view Collingwood games from a certain perspective. And they are infallible.

  8. Infallible or Inflatable?? All depends on your perspective

  9. No JTH, only affirms the Collingwood-Harms divide.

    Given you were watching in the pub as a one-night Carlton convert (shame on you, by the way), you may have missed some of the more positive Pie moments (like you “missed” Pendlebury in the 2011 GF).

    Although, I’m happy to admit there weren’t too many – and that the esteemed Mr Fithall found more than I did through his Floreat Pican eye-glasses! I actually thought Fasolo was in our best two or three.

    Roll on Saturday night. Any takers for a pre-game Almanac gathering, at, say, the All Nations Hotel?

  10. Andrew Fithall says

    Happy for a pre-game catch-up Saturday evening. Cricketers’ Bar at the Windsor? All Nations?

  11. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Very sensible and objective report Mr Fithall. For some reason my right eye shuts completely when we play the Blues.

  12. AF – you are completely correct; the Blues are a bunch of head cases.

    Talking of head cases, Dawes needs to get his straight.

    I watched this game in Hobart (on a flat screen TV!!). As an impartial viewer it was horrible.

  13. ………….I should have added, almost as horrible as the Gold Coast V Geelong game. What a stinker!

  14. John Butler says

    Good to see you’re taking it all in good spirit AF. :)

    Da da da da da…….

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