Pies slaughter Roos

by John Sandy


Collingwood v North, ten past one on a Sunday is not your traditional start time. With that I decided to do something a bit different so my 6 year old, Wil, and I spent the morning at the Vic market and State Library before having kick in Birrarung Marr before strolling on to ‘The G’. Having usually approached the ground from the north or east this was a refreshing change. No walk past the Hilton or Punt Rd oval but still numerous supporters with their own story.

As we pass the cricket nets near the Ponsford Stand the rain begins to fall which is a bit disappointing as I thought today might be a great opportunity to sit ‘down the front’ as we sat close to the back row of the Southern Stand last week. We manage to jag seats in M26 undercover and are soon joined by Michael and Xavier Duke, fellow magpie fans.

Steele Sidebottom plays his 50th game and memories of his short career come to mind; his coming of age in the 2009 semi v Adelaide, his 5 goals against North last year and of course his near BOG in last year’s GF reply. It is rare in modern football to see a player skilled on both sides of his body, Sidebottom is one of them. In what is unusual for Collingwood this year they field a debutant, Keefe, plus 2 others, Rounds and Fasolo, with only 1 and 2 games behind them. Hopefully, in 2 years’ time we will be taking about one of these players as we are now taking about Sidebottom.

As the game began Shaw and O’Brien provided great run out of defence. Dale Thomas had a great first term taking a speccie and kicking 2 goals. North were a bit wasteful kicking 1 goal 5 with Collingwood kicking 4 goals 3 and taking a 16 point lead at the first break. I had hinted to Wil that we might be able to find a seat down the front if the rain stopped but this was looking unlikely.

Davis kicked a great goal in the opening minute. One of the highlights of the second term was provided by North’s evergreen Brent Harvey who gave young Luke Rounds a lesson with a little bit of body work as the ball went over their heads towards goals giving him a bit of space to stroll in for an easy goal. Another came when Leigh Adams out marked Dane Swan in a body on body contest, I’m not sure if I have ever seen this before! This was the only moment of the game that he was beaten as he got his weekly dose of leather poisoning. Pendles also racked up his usual host of possessions; it never ceases to amaze me how often he manages to take the right option. The quarter belonged Collingwood’s small forwards with Blair and Sidebottom kicking 2 each. The pies took a 46 point advantage into the main break and the contest looked all but over.

One feature of the game that at times left supporters of both sides bemused was the number of free kicks paid at ruck contests. I suggested that the umpires were flipping a coin at each ball up whilst Michael likened it to netball centre passes where the teams alternate possession. Late in the third term Dale Thomas was subbed off and went straight into the rooms, hopefully this isn’t anything major. Collingwood continued their dominance with a 6 goal to 1 quarter and took an 81 point lead into the final change.

In the opening minute Brown kicked the first of his three for the quarter. The slippery conditions didn’t stop the pies doing as they pleased, Cloke demonstrating that he is the premier big forward in the game taking numerous contested marks. Whilst Harvey snagged 2 goals Rounds held him and they probably had about the same amount of the ball. Reid again showed that he could well be an All Australian time and again out marking the in-form Petrie. Collingwood’s defensive group were fantastic holding North goalless in the last. Up forward Sidebottom finished with 4 goals whilst Brown, Blair and Thomas kicked 3 each.

The Pies ran out winners by 117 points and move to top spot on the ladder. Next week sees Collingwood take on Carlton who sit 4th on the ladder.


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