Round 1: Collingwood v Brisbane: Replays can’t live up to the real thing

Round 1: Collingwood v Brisbane: Replays can’t live up to the real thing

The last six days have been a whirlwind. From the World Cup Final victory by the gritty Aussie cricketers to Saturday night’s game against Brisbane, the sporting mindset of many Australian’s switched quicker than daylight savings as the traditional Carlton/ Richmond match rolled out just days after world cricket’s greatest stage had wrapped up. Here is how my sporting week after that wonderful Sunday rolled out:
Monday: Watched replays of the World Cup Final (especially Mitchell Starc’s gem that clean bowled New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum).
Tuesday: Made my Super Coach team and started to consider the family tipping competition.
Wednesday: Started the annual watch of great Collingwood games (the 2010 Grand Final Replay was the first cab off the rank).
Thursday: In between Carlton and Richmond’s primal exchanges came the 2009 Semi Final victory over Adelaide.
Friday: Preliminary Final day, as the 2010 smashing of Geelong was followed up by the 2011 nail biter over the rising Hawks.
Saturday: Reviewing last year, as highlights of games against Carlton, Port Adelaide, West Coast and GWS culminated in the full three quarter viewing of last year’s Anzac Day match. All primed for the footy now.

‘As 7:00 rolled around I dominated the Mortell household remote, as I flopped onto the couch and switched on Channel 7 after my sisters decided that it was best not to watch the game, as when Dad came down for the viewing then all hell would break loose. I start off watching the match by myself as Dad has forgotten that the match starts twenty minutes earlier than last year, with the parents retrieving dinner while Nathan Brown becomes a launching mat for McStay’s classy mark and first goal. The pressure overwhelms Collingwood’s youngsters, as Tom Langdon and Steele Sidebottom are the only clean players who can pick up the ball on their first attempt. Suddenly the tide shifts, as the rest of the players realise that they need to dig in and aid the two gritty Pies, with Sidey kicking our first with a ripper of a set shot before the ‘Blair witch’ waddles into an open space and slots our second. Dad arrives with dinner as the tough little number eleven puts us in front. From then on Pendlebury and Swan join the party, with Grundy winning ruck taps left, right and centre. Jesse White then shows the promise that made Collingwood fans chat excitedly for the first few rounds last year until he petered out into a laconic mood for the rest of the season, with an early goal hopefully showing that he’ll put in a more concerted effort this time around. Just as I start to feel like we are on top and I can eat my dinner in peace the man that would give spelling bee contestants a heart attack steps up and kicks a goal, with the burly Brisbane number 23 (Leuenberger) brings the margin back to a goal at the first change.

With a little bit of doubt being sewed into my mind after that last goal, Collingwood proves that they are up for the challenge, with Cloke, Fasolo and Varcoe slamming on quick goals to give us a four goal break. Zorko’s goal doesn’t stop the surprising yet wonderful Collingwood tide as our marvellous pressure, headed by Goldsack the tackling machine, reaps rewards with Cloke and then Sidebottom putting on two more goals on either side of the main interval. The tiny inferno at the Gabba during the break could have been some Brisbane supporters trying to fire up their team, but the Pies are the ones that come out red hot, with Crisp, Elliot, Blair and White adding on some more scoreboard pressure in between Adcock’s much needed reviver. Speedy little mosquito Josh Green joins forces with Christensen and Taylor to give the Lions a sniff of prey, as the Rising Star winner from last year looks like an eager nine year old with his pulled up socks and miniature frame. But boy can he play footy, as he starts to pick up the slack after a poor start.

The ‘Colliwobbles’ tag seems relevant yet again as Rich snaps a remarkable goal inside the first thirty seconds of the last quarter, which brings the margin right back after the Pies looked home and hosed in the humid and sticky Brisbane conditions halfway through the third quarter. The run through the middle that was exhibited during the Pies shocker game against the Lions late last year comes to the fore again, with Green, Christensen and Rich again piling on some more quick goals. The brilliant pressure from the Pies that stunted the explosive Lions run can’t be kept up for the full four quarters, as Dad’s passion for the game starting to come through, with offensive jibes at the umpires being intermixed with disappointed remarks at Pies players whenever they make a mistake, whether it be a huge or miniscule one. Luckily enough, just when it seems that a brilliant performance by Daniel Rich might put his Lions in the lead, the Collingwood cream rises, with Swan collecting nine hard fought contested possessions in the last stanza along with Pendlebury’s silky class. Sidebottom stands strong with a dodgy thumb as Varcoe and Langdon stop the leaks from flooding the Pies defence. Relief crashes down from above (no, I’m not talking about the rain) as the final siren goes, with two goals being the difference in a tight contest. Taylor Adams played brilliantly in stopping the dangerous Beams as Brown and Frost barely let through a goal after McStay’s first leap. Dad is still shaking his head as he hears the song and looks on his iPad at the score in the Bulldogs/ West Coast game, as I guess that not all supporters are satisfied with simply getting a win. That doesn’t concern me though, as I watch the post-game proceedings with a grin like a Cheshire cat, with the inflating hope only being brought down by Sidey’s thumb injury. Oh well, at least I have another replay to watch when the same time comes around next season. Maybe we will be able to scrap a few wins through this season. Up the Pies!


1. Daniel Rich (Brisbane) – Fantastic effort by the man coming back from an ACL injury.
2. Tom Langdon (Collingwood) – Was fantastic all night and held us together during the first and last quarters.
3. Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) – Despite his thumb injury he still mastered the Lions midfield and showed his classy skills on both sides of his body when everybody else appeared to have butter lacquered all over their hands.


Collingwood: 3.3  7.6  12.11  12.14 (86)
Brisbane: 2.3  3.5  7.6  11.8 (74)

Collingwood: Cloke 2, Sidebottom 2, Blair 2, White 2, Fasolo, Varcoe, Crisp, Elliott
Brisbane: Green 2, Christensen 2, Rich 2, McStay, Leuenberger, Zorko, Taylor, Adcock

Collingwood: Sidebottom, Langdon, Blair, Adams, Grundy
Brisbane: Rich, C. Beams, Zorko, Green, Christensen

Official Crowd: 31,240.



  1. Phil Hill says

    More paragraphs

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