Preliminary Final – Collingwood v GWS: Floreat Pica Society Report by Frank Taylor



Last match report for 2019


Preliminary Final,

Collingwood v Greater Western Sydney,

Saturday, 21st September, 2019, 4.35pm thereabouts.





Well, it has been a strange week or two in Melbourne in September. The solid win against The Cats and the mountain of copy given over to the Lions/Giants game and the fallout from that match…..




The baby of the League. Actually, the spoilt baby of the league. The AFL has – rightly in my book – identified that The Game needed to have a serious presence, nay team, in the heartland of rugby league.


To that end they have thrown everything at it. Kevin Sheedy, a very, very generous draft pick regime and bucket loads of dough. And they have remained focused. Unlike the Gold Coast, they haven’t gone for the quick-fix, marquee players but have pursued a long-term vision of player and team development with sensible and considered player trades and draft pick swaps.


To build a fair dinkum, premiership side, a la, Melbourne Storm.


Watching the Lions/Giants game last week I was seriously impressed with the GWS backline. (Note to all: I am totally Collingwood focused. I have no idea about “fantasy” teams and players and all of the statistic stuff. I get it but I am not interested. I really don’t have any idea about any other side in the league, and except for a few champion players and periphery issues I don’t look at other sides until we go to play them.  Or, a player gets drafted to us.).  For the first time I really took notice of them – their backline that is. Won them the game. They were good, real good. Lachlan Keefe is good. Very good. I was very,very disappointed that we traded him after his and Thomas’s young-men indiscretions. I saw his first game against North, probably 2013 or 2014. He looked like a young Peter Moore. Playing on the backline, he didn’t get a lot of possessions in our thrashing of North, but he knew where to be. Instinctively he knew where to be. (I saw the same in a skinny kid called Nick Maxwell’s first game.)


In GWS’s short, reasonably successful history, there has been a couple of hiccups come finals time. Ist was 2017, Preliminary Final against the Doggies and their only older marquee player, Stevie Johnson, was rubbed out for a stupid Stevie J indisgression for a week.


Cost them the flag.


This year, Toby Greene.


The very name brings a comment from every football supporter everywhere. He missed Saturday’s game and Collingwood was not good enough to capitalise.


A pity, a real pity…….


I have just read an article in The Age’s, Good Weekend on Gillon McLachlan. The story lead with a quote, namely:


“Cultural leadership is one of the most difficult parts of the job.”


Well Gill, score the AFL a massive fail.


I have one stand-out image in my mind from the Lions/Giants game – Bontempelli getting off the ground with both eyes red-raw. Now, eye-gougers are known, and branded forever by their actions. And particularly if they are great players. To me, a certain great, premiership player, who captained two clubs will always be a “chicken wing”, “pressure point” and eye-gouging suspect person to me. Not a real bloke.


I am not alone here.


Eye-gouging is not a manly pastime.


This person – Toby Greene – has form.


Why was he given initially a fine? Katherine Murphy noted on the following Monday of the Lions/Giant’s game that a rugby league tribunal had recently given an 8 week suspension for facial contact even when the offended player stated that they hadn’t even felt the contact.


I’ll tell you why and state the obvious – money. A return on investment. GWS and the Sydney MARKET.


Like Barry Hall’s non-suspension before the Granny, it is money, not morality, driven.


What really angers me is how many MEN have defended him. Senior MEN from positions of power and influence. Their coach. Game commentators. Media personalities. Team mates. “He’s done his time, paid his penalty…….”




No wonder there is confusion amongst some men in society today about the role of men.


That we even have a debate about the penalty for eye-gouging says it all.


This bloke should have been given 22 weeks minimum as a repeat offender regardless of his footballing ability.


Deeds count.


I say it again: Eye-gouging is not a manly act.  Eye-gouging is a gutless, coward’s act.


I heard Gillon on ABC radio Thursday morning before the appeal and he was non-committal. Trying not to offend anyone……. “Cultural leadership is one of the most difficult parts of the job.”


Gillon McLachlan, like the Adam Goodes Affair, you and the AFL have failed.


Cuturally and morally – you have failed us – again.


The game.


Walking up to the G, I was struck by how the witches hats and particularly the car/people barriers that now surround the MCG were the same colour and hue of the smattering of GWS supporter’s match day clobber.


Was this a portent of things to come?


For the past fortnight or more, I was struck by how different the footy felt this finals series. Last year there was really no expectation. Bucks had been re-appointed after a dismal 3 or 4 years in the wilderness, injuries every week, yet by September there was a mounting self-belief that we could, very possibly, go all the way. Excitement, real, tangible excitement.


Yet this year, the expectations are what they had been all year, there was a certain lack of confidence, a lot of quiet contemplation, excitement coming after the game – if we won – and apprehension before…… and, unlike last year, an unsettled line-up going into the Prelim.


First quarter


Off to a good start with a goal to Elliot and Stepho, teaming well although not yet showing on the scoreboard.


Interesting stat at about the 20 minute mark – more time has been spent in GWS’s forward half than ours yet we seem to have all of the play….


25 minute mark and poor marking and they score their first major, 2.0 to 1.2.


Getting messy, a shot out on the full, dropped marks, players going the punch. Looking slippery but it really doesn’t look that wet….28 min mark thereabouts and GWS kick another minor, 2.0 to 1.3.


29min and 23 sec mark and the score remains the same. The Pies are not playing that good, particularly transitioning into the forward half. Reid has been the target but has spilt many marks – just can’t hold them. Rain early in the quarter certainly making things look slippery. Still anyone’s game.



Second quarter


2 mins in a beautiful bit of play from Jamie Elliot, to Reid in the goalsquare – a nice bit of experience, just held off his opponent one on one, took the mark and slotted it. 3.0 to1.3.


6 ½ min mark and they kick one. Doug has made the point that GWS don’t mind kicking it from 50. 9 mins in and it’s 2.4 to them and still 3.0 to us…. Two points in it. They seem to have most of the play and are certainly well on top in the clearance department. They look a bigger side than us, across the ground. 15 min mark and it’s high tension here, certainly a finals match, pretty messy. Rain starting to fall again, things getting greasy and shitty with Reid getting into the ruck giving Grundy a bit of a chop-out. Mind you being flogged in the clearances so far. Rupert Wills just doesn’t seem to have it – can’t follow up on his last match’s efforts and the rest of the on-ballers gone missing.


17 min mark and after a lot of scrambling Adams kicks our 1st point. 3.1 to 2.5. 4 shots to 7…


21 min mark and Pendlebury kicks a captain’s goal out of the pack, which on review is called a point – touched off the boot.


Bloody hell. 3.2 to 2.5. Really messy game so far. The Giants are getting A LOT of the ball and we just don’t seem to get any sort of efficiency anywhere at the moment. Another clearance to them after the throw in – GWS seem to have covered their missing players pretty well so far, I hate to think what the scoreboard would look like now with them in. There’s quite a few of our players who have completely gone missing – WHE, Mihocek spring to mind. They get ANOTHER clearance……


28 ½ min mark and GWS are doing all of the attacking. 28min 55sec and it’s ½ time. 3.2 to 2.5.


You gotta say the GWS certainly look slicker, they have come here to play more than we have, we just can’t seem to get and meaningful forward thrusts happening. Doug’s take is that no-one can take a mark. If we move the ball quickly we catch their talls out. Not happening. Being slaughtered in the clearances. Got a way to go this match and the signs aren’t good.





Doug and I catch up with a mate, John and his two mates, Jonno – Essendon supporter – and Luke – Carlton supporter (rider – his grandfather played for the Blues) down at the level 4 Olympic Stand bar.


Note that for the rest of the game we don’t go back to our seats….



Third quarter


5 mins in and Brett Daniels kicks a goal and they are in front 3.6 to 3.2. They are certainly playing better. Two more to Zac Williams and Taranto and they are starting to string it together.


12 mins in and Noble gives away a free and a dubious 50 and they kick a point, it’s 3.2 to 5.7


They kick another one – it’s 3.2 to 6.7. They’ve kicked the last 5. Things are getting away….. We are going to have to get a rattle on or we are sunk.


Their ruckman just pushed Grundy directly in the back took the ball and kicked a goal…..



Fourth quarter


Well, 4 mins and 30 secs in and they kick another 3.5 to 8.7 and they are killing us frankly. 5 mins in and they have another shot on goal – Jeremy Cameron – and kick a point…. and keeps us in it if we want it.


The rest of the quarter, I put my notes away.


Yelled and screamed and chanted and did my best to lose my voice.


The last 10 minutes, particularly the two minute “score review” on the last so-called rushed behind was just………


Final score, GWS 8.8 – 56 to Collingwood 7.10 – 52



The wash up.


Best summed up by a text I received from my mate Mark Mullins, aka Mugga, fellow Floreat Pician:


“Just reckon that we didn’t get any momentum in our season. Yeah, we won a lot of games after Round 2, but it was battling types of wins. Then we bottomed out completely, played some lower teams that did lead towards false hope. Everything fell our way towards the end of the season, and we weren’t able to bring home the bacon. Reid is finished, which is one injured player off our list, but by statistics Elliot won’t play at all next year as it is an even  number year. Stephenson will be better, but Sidebottom and Pendlebury only getting older. Hopefully De Goey doesn’t become our next permanently injured player, because he is a star.

Go The Pies forever.”


A bitter pill to swallow. Good luck Heath Shaw and Lachlan Keefe. The others I don’t want to mention further.


Go The Tiges for the Granny!


Floreat Pica




COLLINGWOOD     2.0     3.2     3.5     7.10     (52)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     1.3     2.5     7.7     8.8     (56)


Stephenson 2, Thomas 2, Reid, Elliott, Mayne
Greater Western Sydney:
Cameron 3, Finlayson 2, Taranto, Williams, Daniels


Collingwood: Crisp, Grundy, Pendlebury, Maynard, Wills, Howe, Treloar
Greater Western Sydney:
Williams, Taranto, Haynes, Perryman, Cameron, Kelly, Finlayson


Greater Western Sydney:
Davis (calf)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Stevic, Stephens, Meredith


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  1. george smith says

    Unlike 2003 and 1984, our mob did not leave in humiliation. However, the flaws of this season finally caught up with us. There was never a moment all year when you thought that we were cruising. There was no humbling of the opposition, as Hawthorn did to GWS in the snow.

    Every highlight seems to be a win by the skin of our teeth – Essendon, Sydney Footscray. While I was lucky to see these meritorious wins, and they will always be great memories, there was always the chance that they would run over the top of us.

    I’m scratching my head to think of a year when we got better after a grand final loss – maybe 1981.

    Good stuff – Nathan Buckley has won 4 finals, which puts him ahead of Bobby Rose in terms of finals won and oddly enough ahead of Leigh Mathews for finals wins for Collingwood. Something for the future.

    Collingwood has finished its most successful decade (2010-19) since the 1950s, with 1 premiership, 1 night premiership, 1 grand final draw and 2 grand final losses. Not too shabby, compared to the awful 70s and 80s…

    Not so good stuff – after 4 years in the wilderness the Magpies are back in the finals, but have never had the authority of Hawthorn, or the Moggies at their peak. Our mob doesn’t squash sides and doesn’t win close finals either. If they want to be champions, they have got to rectify this quick.

    The injuries that have blighted the last two campaigns have masked the structural problems at the club. We have enough midfielders, but we need them on the park. There are plenty of key forwards out there but can we afford one given our salary cap constraints?

    And finally, to all the wannabe Jack Dyers out there: Nobody put more merde on Collingwood than Truth Newspaper and Inside Football. And guess what, we’re still here and they’re not!

  2. My Eagles cashed in on the Lose Early to Avoid Disappointment Later sale. Memory (?) from last year’s GF Lunch says you come from a Richmond family. Hope you get to enjoy living vicariously this weekend. (Jeez half the Collingwood midfield must be wishing they’d stuck fat).

  3. Frank Taylor says

    I reckon you are on the money George.
    The more I consider it, Mugga pretty well nailed it, i.e. that, for a multitude of reasons – “….. we didn’t get any momentum in our season.”
    And, like your you mentioned, we need to just some how get like Hawthorn. They would’ve found a way to win in that last 10 minutes….
    Close Peter (you have a good memory)…. mostly Richmond family, but I’m welded to the Pies. And yes, I will be supporting the Tiges on Saturday. Ta.

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