FP Report: Round 2 vs North

By Paul (Stork) O’Connell

Other than last week, I can’t recall walking to a game feeling so supremely confident of winning. It turned out to be like Round 1 except this time we won by an additional 2 goals to take our percentage well above 200. Sitting next to Steve our fearless FP chairman, I listened to his many astute observations, whilst trying to ignore his pronouncements about best players so I could cast my votes without his expert bias. A text from Mark on the way to the ground advised that Krakouer was to be green vested, and Steve duly had the explanation about him missing 3 years at the top level and having to face up to the Blues after a 6 day break.

No surprise that there were no changes given last week’s performance. Unless there’s an injury, someone will be unlucky when the Skipper comes back – probably Buckley or Macaffer I suppose. Not to mention Leon, the Sack and some of the youngsters waiting in the wings who will need to be blooded sooner rather than later.

The game began again with the roof open under cloudy skies. When the sun came out later on, we had the bizzare situation of bright sunlight to go with the bright ground lights. Our ball getters led by Pendlebury were hungry early and there was constant supply up forward resulting in the first 2 goals to our big power forwards. Classy late goals to Sidebottom and Didak stretched the lead to 25 pts at quarter time. Dawes was outstanding in the first quarter and did not lack opportunities. His presentation at the marking contest and early accurate kicking stood out. Swan strangely started at full forward and took a while to get into the game, but of course there was no need to worry. We continued on in the 2nd quarter and Jolly’s late goal, reminiscent of his early GF1 goal stretched our lead to 41 pts.

North missed some relatively easy shots but that was no excuse and they were never in the game. I’m not sure about their ability. They have been around the mark for several years, seem to have some good young players, but are clearly lacking forwards. Edwards was ordinary and you can’t help thinking they would appreciate L Brown and Hale in their team. But that’s there problem and as you may know from my previous match reports I pay little attention to the opposition.

We continued our good work after half time and and at one stage I thought a 20 goal plus win was on the cards. Our ability to turn the ball over (our way) and waltz in for easy goals is exhilarating to watch. The poise and silky hands of Blair, Beams and Sidebottom belie the fact that none of them has played 50 games. The focus is often on the midfield and forwards but our backs were fantastic. Harry was unstoppable with his constant run and great delivery, Reid just keeps getting better and Toovey showed more flair, his strong contested overhead mark showing how confident he has become. Suddenly Swan was everywhere and it seemd the most interesting contest was whether he or Pendles would lead the stats.

Like others I owe Ben Reid a very belated apology as I wrote him off long ago. But I would say now he is the most improved player I have ever seen, even more than Swan and S Morwood. Some of his spoiling work was wonderful and his field kicking is a far cry from his jittery goal kicking attempts a few years ago. You may recall he broke his foot a few years ago (I think attempting to kick). I remember laughing at Paul Fahey’s comment at hoping the doctor would reconstruct his foot in a way that would enable him to kick properly. Well it happened.

The pressure we put on the North defenders was extreme. So often you just knew we would kick a goal as they struggled to clear from their backline.

The match highlight for me was Blair’s piggy-back/jockey tackle where he just went along for the ride. His body strength and ball use are awesome for such a little guy and 5 goals in 2 games is a great start to his 2nd year.

Negatives? Our rucks gave away several frees and we turned the ball over a bit which saw them quickly having shots at goal. But when you lead by about 20, 40, 60, 80 at each break there is not much to complain about.

Having 2 very, very good power forwards (aged 24 and 22) puts us in an enviable position, both now and in the future. They are rarely beaten in the air and when the ball comes to ground it is usually to our advantage as we have the finishers to capitalise.

Votes are as follows:

3 to Pendlebury

2 to Swan

1 to Dawes

So the Fabulous Phil Carman Medal goes to Scott Pendlebury.

Apologies to Harry, Beams, Daisy, Sidey, Blair, Reid and several others. It is hard to go past 2 guys who have about 40 disposals and also get so much contested ball. It was great to see Cloke kick 5 straight (ok one out on the full).

Trivia questions…

1) Getting back to Krakouer, can you name another player who missed 3 seasons and then played for the Pies? I can only think of one. Hint – he also played in the WAFL before resuming with the Pies.

2) Steve pondered whether we had ever won the first 2 games of the season by 10 goals or more. I thought it might have happened in the early 70’s as I recall us starting the year a couple of times by belting the Dogs. We did in fact win by 10 goals+ in ’70 and ’71 in round 1 v the Dogs, but in each case played the Tigers in round 2 and won by 30 something points. Maybe it happened in the glorious 20’s or 30’s……? But scores and margins were lower then so perhaps not.

Looking forward to obliterating the Blues on Friday night. No better way to start a weekend!


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    Thanks Paul.

    A couple of thoughts arising from the weekend:

    Gold Coast’s performance on the weekend will have increased the likelihood that Daisy will stay at Collingwood in 2012. Who would want be part of that sort of experience in Western Sydney – you don’t even have the side benefit of living on the Gold Coast? I had previously thought that he would go because we couldn’t fit him in the salary cap once Pendles and Swan have settled their contracts. Maybe the FPA negotiations will also create some space for a better pay rise for Daisy.

    Secondly – I have joined a very small group of people who are seeking to amend the “Floreat Pica” motto. It has been pointed out by writer, twitcher and Collingwood supporter Sean Dooley that Pica actually refers to the European Magpie. For the motto, and therefore for this esteemed society to better reference the Australian Magpie, it would be Floreat Cracticus. Then again, I am not sure I want to be part of the FC Society.

    Looking foward to this Friday, but will be absent. Enjoy the pre-game music to be provided by a Collingwood supporting supergroup incorporating Ash Naylor, Pete Luscombe and Vika and Linda Bull.

  2. John Butler says

    AF, certain Carlton cynics might suggest FC Society would be a good fit. :)

    You will be missed Fiday night.

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