Round 3 – Collingwood v St Kilda – Pies get it done against depleted Saints

written for the Floreat Pica Society by Frank “Cheeseman” Taylor




Having been to the game at Docklands last week – where the final score massively flattered the defeated, I was in a “glass half empty” frame of mind all week. Tipping was hard – although I hadn’t seen or read any match reports on the Saint Kilda game, I’d heard that they had done ok playing away – I finally settled on a Pies’ win by 1 point. As I told my mates, this was based totally on sentiment. Indeed, listening to Libby Gore – a big, public Magpie fan – on 774 breakfast radio, when she tipped the Saints I nearly changed mine. She obviously had seen the previous week’s effort as well……


Travelling to the G, I met Doug in Northcote and as we were driving to the traditional parking spot off Langridge Street in Abbotsford, he looked up the latest roster and informed me that I was on the Danny Roach votes (for the three worst players) and he was doing the report. As I had put my hand up for the report initially, I offered to still do them, particularly as I had been gearing myself up all week, fishing around for an angle or attitude or something that I could take into this game. I decided that I had to look for the positives, whatever or wherever they could be found and just ignore, or downplay all the other stuff.

Take the “glass half full” approach – whatever happened.

So, we defaulted to the initial proposal, whereby Doug did the DR’s (lucky bastard – easy as) and with me doing the report……..


Travelling a bit late, we got to our seats – behind the goals, top level, Great Southern Stand, Punt Road end – just after the 1st bounce. Just in time for the expected “glass half empty” avalanche.

5 or 6 mins in, it’s Saints 3.1 to Pies 0.1

I look at Doug, Doug looks at me and there is not a lot said.

Looking around, I note that there is a lot of high numbers playing for the Woods tonight – 40, 43, 44 and 45.

Then slowly, slowly, things begin to subtlety change. The backline begins to tighten up. Nathan Brown was showing real poise and confidence, shades of 2010 and ’11 – it’s a good look. With no-one in front, Dwyer backs himself with a 60m grubby kick forward for a goal. Travis (Harry?) Varcoe shows real endeavour and adds class, judgement and steadiness that experience brings. Tackles begin to stick, contests and clearances are won and cautiously the Pies confidence begins to build.


At quarter time it is pretty well tied up – Saints 6.2, Pies 6.1. I note to Doug that both sides look a tad similar in that they both show endeavour and flashes of good play, but often undo this with skill errors and turnovers detracting. Doug notes to me that it looked a lot like one on one and I had to agree, even with a couple playing back on each side.


Half –time saw us 32 points up with a late goal to the Saints the only spoiler for the quarter.

Well, what’s gunna happen the 2nd half? I needn’t have worried. The Pies just continued to gain confidence, the Saints just lost their way.

More of the same – just what the doctor ordered.

Final scores Pies 21.14, 140 to Saints 10.6, 66.

The telling stat was that the Pies kicked 15.12 to 4.3 from quarter time.

A damn good thrashing, an old fashioned shellacking handed out, wonderful.

Re the report – the roles had swapped. How do you find 3,2,1 for the DR’s after a performance like that? Doug, you poor bastard.




The Saints had lost Riewoldt before the game, and it cost them dearly. They lacked on-field leaders –this worked to our advantage, big-time. That been said, we were good all the same.

The pleasing thing was it was a team effort from the Pies. Struggled to find a passenger.

A couple of brief mentions:

Dwyer made the most of his inclusion and didn’t stop all night. A terrier.

Grundy the same. His ruck skills are still developing and he’ll be better in a couple of seasons, gives away too many frees etc… but doesn’t stop trying. His run and chase mid last quarter for a turn over to us typified the effort.

Jesse White is real value, opposition teams have to match him up properly.

Nathan Brown, as mentioned earlier, looks like his former self bringing a bit of class to the backline before being subbed late in the 3rd.

Jack Crisp – the Pies have found a player. Was very impressed by both his endeavour and skill.

Marley brought his usual aggression to the game, played well without being a star – I feel he still needs to work on his skills as they let him down too often for me.

Tim Broomhead is a regular now, and can only get better.

Jackson Ramsay made a couple of blues but for a fifth gamer I can’t see him being dropped too soon. Masses of potential, has real talent, a good size and plays for the jumper. Impressed.

Big Trav, what can you say. Umpires hate him and he can’t kick the easy ones. Doesn’t stop, does all of the right things. As a supporter you couldn’t ask for more (except for those shots in front……..).

Patrick Karnezis came on for his 1st game for the Pies late in the 3rd and looked a bit rusty. Kicked the last for us and it was great to see the entire side come and congratulate him. Doug tells me that he grew up black and white and is wrapped to be at The Club.

Paul Seedsman played his usual solid game, another playing for the jumper.

Adam Oxley – I saw him last week for the 1st time and against the Crows he impressed, was one of the positives in that game. He didn’t let me down this week either. Another fifth gamer. He has a big, big future, gunna be great, really impressive.

Corey Gault, second gamer. Can’t see him being dropped next week either. Another impressive young bloke. A few fumbles but didn’t stop, can see skill and endeavour in there.

Jack Frost was solid and really cementing his place down back.

Travis Varcoe. If he keeps playing like Friday night, whoever recruited him deserves a medal. Cool, has space, has time, demands respect and brings leadership, something that we lacked last year when Maxy retired. A real bonus. The body language between him and Dane Swan was fascinating. Mutual repect. You could see that Swanny loves having him around.

The captain, Scott Pendlebury, another class act, another great game. Goes into the match as a maybe starter and racks up 29 possessions. Say no more. Arguably – very arguably – a vote winner.

Same with Blair, just didn’t stop – tackles hard and can kick. The senior member of the mosquito brigade and very hard to contain.


Overall a great team effort against an admittedly under strength Saint Kilda side.

Found endeavour and got some much needed rhythm into their game. A chance to gel.

Loved the way that the old timers passed to the jumper regardless of match experience. Something that has been missing for a while.

And, a really good lead up to the big game next Saturday against the pumped-up Bombers (pun intended).



The Luke Ball Medallion voting:


3          Swanny. Again. The engine room. Say no more.


2          Jamie Elliott.  Just puts his body on the line at every contest. Doug remarked to me sometime in the 2nd quarter – “This kid wants to die for Collingwood.” – and I had to agree. Brings that extra spark and unpredictability to the forward line. Every good side needs someone like Elliott. I was listening to Grandstand, Saturday pm and the commentators remarked that he is very hard to match up – a great mark, so you can’t put someone the same size as him as he’ll kill you in the air, and if you put someone tall on him, he’ll kill you at ground level. Just gives our side that something extra. (Just hope he doesn’t cop a head injury sometime…..)


1          Langdon. I love this guy, so I’m showing my bias. He is our Maxy/Clement replacement. Has football nous and judgement in his DNA and that is something that you can’t teach. Love his one percenters, all of the unseen stuff, as well as real skill and judgement. So good you don’t notice him, a bit like Pendles. His precise, pin-point pass in the last quarter through serious traffic showed real vision, a real class act. Summed up his game.



  1. E.regnans says

    Like it, Frank.
    2015 and the new kids it brings will be interesting.
    T Broomhead is improving, and yer Langdon and Seedsman.
    The next best thing to challenging for the flag is to see the youngsters come on.
    B Grundy a beauty.

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