Round 10 – Sydney v Collingwood: “How good are Collingwood?” Floreat Pica Society report


by John Ramsdale


“How good are Collingwood?”


“How good are Collingwood?” Had he been at the game, that is the rhetorical question that our newly elected PM could have asked after Collingwood won its third come-from-behind win in a row on Friday night.


My daughter, son-in-law and two grand kids organised a trip to Sydney to catch up with their Sydney- based family and friends to coincide with the Collingwood Swans game. So, I tagged along. Eventually, we had a group of 14, some of whom had never attended an AFL game before.  It was a ridiculously warm evening for football, more suited to a Big Bash cricket game. Given the amount and level of music, noise and distractions at the ground the organisers also thought it was a different game. It was strange going to a game where the Collingwood supporters were in the minority, Red and White dominated the crowd, making it look like a Where’s Wally convention.


I was worried about this game, not an unusual emotion. The Swans had two very good players in Kennedy and Buddy coming back and Collingwood were missing some good players; and while the team had played some very good quarters recently, there were some inconsistencies. My gloom increased when I read an article in that morning’s paper about Collingwood’s poor record at the SCG.


The Swans began the game looking a lot sharper than Collingwood and appeared to handle the slippery conditions better. Their entries into the forward line looked more threatening and the Collingwood backline was under a lot of pressure. Before the game I asked my grand-son who would win the battle of the Reids. Both were good marks but at times could be inaccurate with their kicking and Sam had been struggling for form. I suggested that Ben would have a better game. Four minutes in, Sam had the first of his six for the night. Another one of my great predictions.


Four minutes later the Swans’ crowd went ballistic when Buddy kicked a long goal. Collingwood entries into the forward line either resulted in behinds or intercepted marks by the Swans’ defence, especially Allir Allir. It was a reminder of how much Darcy Moore was missed in the Collingwood backline. The only goal for the quarter came at the 25minute mark through Daniel Wells who had been very active on the forward line. At the end of the quarter Collingwood were only 9 points down and it felt like the Swans should have been a lot further in front as they appeared to be the better team.


It was suggested on this site a few years ago that if a feature article appeared in one of the newspapers about a particular player, then inevitably, that player would have a poor game the following week. Last week, there was an article about Collingwood being the first quarter misers, keeping the opposition to low scores and scoring well themselves. Not this week. I hope no journalist comes up with the idea about writing an article about Collingwood’s come-from-behind epic last quarter efforts.


The second quarter began a lot more positively with two quick goals, a great Daicos-like snap from the pocket by Scott Pendlebury and another from Daniel Wells following a kick-off- the- ground pass from Callum Brown. “This is a game of two quarters” commented the young lady next to me who was attending her first AFL game. And it was. Collingwood had more forward entries but were inaccurate and this was helping the Swans stay in touch. Brodie Grundy was again dominating the ruck and around the ground. He reminded me of a game at Victoria Park by Graham Teasdale playing for South Melbourne in the year that he won the Brownlow. He was unstoppable. Teasdale later joined Collingwood but was well past his best as he was badly affected by injuries. Another late-to-Collingwood and well-past his-best champion, Daniel Wells was having a big influence in the forward line. Levi Greenwood, Jack Crisp and Jordan Roughead were doing well in defence. Half-time saw Collingwood up by 9 points and it could have been more had their accuracy been better.


It soon became clear that this was becoming a game of three quarters. The Swans came back strongly with more goals to Reid and Buddy. The partisan crowd who had become very subdued in the second quarter re-discovered their voice and became very vocal. Even a Jeremy Howe screamer was met with a subdued reaction.  A long shot from Callum Brown, who seems to be gaining more confidence, and a scrambled snap out of a pack by Brodie Mihocek, who had been uncharacteristically inaccurate earlier were the only Collingwood goals for the quarter. Daniel Wells’ run of bad luck with injury unfortunately continued, and he limped off with an injured knee during this quarter. Three-quarter time saw the Swans up by 8 points and they appeared to have the momentum.


The team was re-arranged with Will Hoskin-Elliot at full forward. The Swans were hanging on to their lead without adding to it but were looking positive and Collingwood were finding it hard to make headway. Channelling a former PM I commented that this looked like “the loss we had to have”. Even the Swans supporters in our group mocked me for my lack of faith. Fortunately, my gloomy prediction as with most of the other ones for the night, was wrong. A clever scissor-kick goal in the goal square by a quick-thinking Chris Mayne put Collingwood within 3 points and this was quickly followed by a Callum Brown goal on the run, which put Collingwood in front for the first time in a while. Brown had received the ball from a great tap from Brodie Grundy and he then ran a long way before he kicked the ball. I was expecting the whistle to go as it looked like he had run too far. Ben Reid finally got his goal, bringing the family tally to 7. The Swans kept fighting with a goal to young Blakey who looks like a good player, to bring them to within 2 points. Then Chris Mayne marked and missed his shot but was awarded a 50metre penalty after Dayne Rampe well and truly ran over the mark. The siren went. Collingwood up by 8 points. The Houdini team had done it again.


How good are Collingwood? Pretty good, considering who they have to come back.


Votes for the Rhyce Shaw Medal

3  Brodie Grundy. At one stage I was tempted to give him all 6.2.

2  Scott Pendlebury: His second quarter goal got the team’s momentum going. Then he did what he always does.

1   Daniel Wells: I know he only played just over a half, but he was a touch of class on a forward line that was struggling early and his 3 goals kept Collingwood in the game. There are precedents for awarding votes on half a game, see last week’s DR votes for Tom Langdon and Erin Phillips in the AFLW Grand Final.


Apologies to Levi Greenwood, Jack Crisp, Adam Treloar


SYDNEY                    3.1     5.1     10.2     11.7 (73)
COLLINGWOOD      1.4    5.10    7.12    11.14 (80)


Sydney: Reid 6, Franklin 2, Fox, Papley, Blakey
Collingwood: Wells 3, Brown 2, Mayne 2, Pendlebury, Stephenson, Mihocek, Reid


Sydney: Reid, Clarke, Lloyd, Rampe, Parker, Mills
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Grundy, Crisp, Treloar, Greenwood, Mayne


Sydney: George Hewett (head knock), Josh Kennedy (knee)
Collingwood: Daniel Wells (knee)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Margetts, O’Gorman, Nicholls


Official crowd: 34,649 at the SCG



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  1. george smith says

    As Guru Bob said about 1990: KTLOI – keep the lid on it. We are not West Coast or Richmond, we cannot skite until the job is done.

  2. At the moment George, the ‘Pies look the goods playing a very compelling brand of footy. They never throw in the towel and are prepared to play a “steamroller” style when necessary. For all that, things could well change at the business end of the season.

    Certainly Richmond and West Coast are a dander but don’t write off Geelong. Anyway, as long as Collingwood misses out again, I will be happy.

  3. george smith says

    Never write off the mighty Moggies. Their barnstorming run through the 10 rounds reminds me of Richmond 1980.

    I think we can take them, but it will take a 2010+ effort. Besides, nobody knows. They do not play Weagles, Magpies or GWS until the finals…

  4. Rulebook says

    Enjoyable read,John Grundy sensational I admit my,Norwood bias thought,Aishy was good also long long way to go

  5. With Fisho. The answer to the question at the title line is, hopefully not good enough.

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