Rampant Pies Dispatch of the Inexperienced Blues

Is there a bigger rivalry in Australian Sport?

Although this has been claimed frequently in the press, I’ll repeat that no matter where these sides are situated on the ladder, a clash between these two combatants always guarantees a large attendance. On this occasion Carlton and Collingwood are both in superb form. The rejuvenated Blues knocked off the reigning premiers in a splendid performance last week while the Pies are as hot as a Caribbean summer following their humiliation of Essendon on the big stage in front of 90 000 on Anzac Day.

There is only one more frustrating viewing point than a seat in the final row of the top tier in the Great Southern Stand, witnessing the delayed coverage on Channel 7. As I claim a seat on the couch the full house at the MCG erupts in the wake of the opening bounce.

The elite midfielders on either side have indicated their presence on the match, the champion Chris Judd is the pick of the bunch racking up six disposals in as many minutes. Scott Pendlebury, who has underscored his maturity in recent weeks provides first blood for the Pies. One third of the three amigos in Chris Yarran (my second personal favourite) boots the quick reply, judging the fall of the ball to perfection and snapping the Blues first major. It is effectively a goal for goal contest for the remainder of the term but the signs are relatively ominous. The Blues are lacking that extra composure and are over-possessing as they travel forward. Meanwhile the Tattoo Brothers in Dayne Beams and Dane Swan are imposing themselves in the midfield with slick and precise disposal. Despite the fact Bryce Gibbs is roaming effectively across Half Back, the Magpies hold a six point lead heading into the first change.

Judging by our recent record, the Blues are second quarter specialists, however as the ‘Split Enz’ band claimed, “History Never Repeats” and that was certainly the case on this occasion. The Pies registered 7 goals for the term to lead by 46 points at one stage. Midfielder Luke Ball is producing a rare cameo in the forward line (not quite of the caliber of Simon Beaumont in 1999) managing to boot his first three majors in Black and White colours. The confidence of the Magpies as a whole is clearly evident. Collingwood’s slick polish transition of the footy is a stark contrast to the frequent clangers the Blues are conceding. Players such as Didak, Dawes and Medhurst are beginning to provide input deep in the forward line while Travis Cloke is proving a handful for the Blueboys, leading up the ground to provide a target. Just as the margin threatens to blow out significantly, the Blues begin to surge. Chris Judd and Marc Murphy are superb, the former in particular from a clearance perspective as the intensity and tackling rate begins to rise. Although I proceed to head into hysterics every time Setanta O’hAilpin is within the vicinity of the football, he is proving to be an effective target this afternoon booting five by the Full Time siren. Chris Dawes provides some respite on the brink of the major break as his set shot sails through the big sticks increasing the margin to 28 points. The word ‘manageable’ is the perfect way to describe the margin in the context of this match as I grab onto the clinging hope that the Blues can create a streak of majors in the third term.

My prayers are answered in the third term as the Blues slam home four consecutive goals and all of a sudden it is a three point ballgame. The form of the three amigos is continuing as well as the underrated midfielders in Kade Simpson and Denis Armfield who are adding their acceleration and precision. Youngsters Marcus White and Kade Lucas are showing glimpses of their peak ability the latter contributing to the scoreboard by threading through a freakish goal from an acute angle. During the onslaught my neighbour enters the room asking “Do you want to know what happened?”, I respond with a loud “No!” however the tone of her voice suggests a Carlton loss. I choose to ignore it. In the meantime the young Collingwood midfielders are making a huge impact with their work ethic, run and carry. Players like Sidebottom and Wellingham are placing scoreboard pressure on the opposition and manage to find space in a confined situation. The Pies create their own barrage as a Harry O’Brien goal on Three Quarter Time is frustrating as the margin extends to 27 points, practically no gain for the term.

The opening major of the final term to the little dynamo in Eddie Betts introduces some hope for the Carlton contingent. Those hopes diminish as Travis Cloke eventually seals the match, squeezing home a set shot. The following 20 minutes are spent waiting patiently for the clock to tick down and for the siren to blare. The Collingwood goals continue to pile up as a Travis Cloke bomb from outside the arc adds the candles to a Black and White cake in the dying seconds. In a high scoring encounter the Magpies prevail by the flattering margin of 53 points.

Despite the magnitude of the loss I am still proud of the Bluebaggers for their effort although their structure needs improvement and their direct football should be sustained for a longer period of time. It is fair to claim that the Magpies are at the peak of their powers and anything short than a Premiership by the end of the Malthouse era would be disappointing for all concerned at Collingwood. Their list has matured right across the board and the talent contained within the side is capable of outplaying any opposition team.

Carlton   3.2  7.2  13.5  16.6 (102)
Collingwood   4.2  11.6  17.8  24.11 (155)

O’hAilpin 5, Betts 3, Murphy 3, Yarran 2, White, Houlihan, Garlett
Collingwood: Ball 3, Dawes 3, Medhurst 3, Didak 2, Sidebottom 2, Beams 2, Wellingham 2, Cloke 2, Pendlebury, Thomas, Swan, O’Brien, Jolly
My Votes: 3 C.Judd (Carl)    2 D.Swan (Coll)     1. M.Murphy (Carl)

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. Tony Robb says

    Should you happen to bump into Ratts please give him the following clues. He is tall has dark hair and his name start with a W. How the hell did Cartlon go into that game without Waite. Henderson is hopeless and provides nothing at this stage of his career. The mid field does not get back to help in defence. Yes mr Judd and Murphy, you’re allowed to go into the defensive 50 and Mark put you head over the footie. You were embarrassing the amount of times you pulled out of contests. McClean? Spare us please. Dud at Melbourne, bigger dud with Carlton. Hell even Simmo had a bigger dig than Brockie Boy and he would be the biggest seagull in the Club. And if they have any more handballs next week they should be relocated to Europe. Talk about making life easy for the Pentridge Boys

  2. Damian Watson says

    Thanks Tony,

    I agree with your opinion on Brock McLean, he has made a minmal contribution kin the midfield particularly in recent weeks. Henderson has butterfingers and his transistion to defence was unsuccessful, however I subscribe to the theory that he is a work in progress.

    It is always difficult to head into a match without two key defenders and the Pies capatalised on that.

    However I think you are being too critical on the midfield, players such as Judd and Murphy were pivotal in swinging the game back into Carlton’s favour albeit momentarily and their work ethic was terrific.
    Bryce Gibbs filled the hole at half back so I believe the midfield did add their input in defence.

  3. Danielle says

    Duckie, i was so scared early in the third that your boys were gonna take over the party.
    A FEV-LESS Carlton team does’t seem as “ewww” to me as it used to.
    O’hailpin is such a gun!

    great piece.

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