Round 13 – Collingwood v North Melbourne: 30 candles and 30 points


In two years, I turn thirty.


I feel like I’ve somewhat grown up a bit over the past 3 years.


Although I may never look a day over eighteen, I feel like my soul is transitioning to old lady phase faster than I’d like.


I enjoy scented candles and infusers a lot. I have a ‘Dusk’ Loyalty card in my wallet and can be found indulging in some serious candle sniffing in store until I eventually lose my sense of smell. I love a lighting up a candle an hour before I jump into bed, it relaxes me. This month’s candle ‘A Tahaa Affair’ has kept my room smelling like vanilla caramel every night. It was sent to me as a surprise gift by my brother who obviously misses having his favourite (and only) sister home for visits (thanks a lot Covid).


My last visit to the optometrist had me paying extra to get my lenses thinned out because my eyesight had developed drastically more towards the blind as a bat category.


These days I take Iron and Vitamin D tablets.


I constantly complain about back pain.


I’d pick a night in watching movies in bed over going clubbing any day.


The thought of trying to keep up with my husband’s 20 and 23 year old siblings on a night out makes my feet and back cry.


Kids these days, they don’t want to come home till 5am and I’m there struggling to keep myself awake past 2am in the dark, sweaty, crowded club holding my high heels in a plastic bag and hoping I can make it to the food-court in my flats for a breakfast cheeseburger. I’m legit that Debbie downer when someone says let’s go out this weekend. By the time I finish getting ready I’m too tired to leave the house.


I only have like two proper, decent, genuine close friends left in my life.


I have no tolerance for screaming children who run wild in restaurants.


The footy however, I’m always up for. All week I’d be counting down till game day. The air at the MCG, that should be a candle scent.


We’d drive into the city, music pumping, windows down; sometimes we’d go earlier for pre-drinks and a feed before we hit the MCG. We’d have a laugh with our friends in the cheer squad, I’d tell Maynard and Jordy how much I love their faces and we’d call it a night.


That’s all changed now since we’re stuck at home, and the players are all playing interstate and living in the hubs. With an hour to go until the first bounce against North Melbourne my nerves start stirring within.


Our season is hanging in the balance and some supporters are acting like the French, they want Buckley’s head. (Not me though, I love Bucks).


Seeing as I’m trying this new thing, called ‘calmness’ in my soon to be old-age, I decide that I’m not going to flinch and react to mistakes, nope I’m going to be super positive and not stress out.


It is only when we mistakenly kick the ball out of defence straight into the arms of a North Melbourne forward, (for the second time) that I forget the calmness and kick-off.


Everyone knows the strong bond these players have but for some reason it was not showing in the first half at all. It was immensely frustrating because it looked like everyone was doing their own thing, nobody was hanging around for support when a player was put into a pressure situation, nobody was really leading for the ball, it was very un-Collingwood.


North were mostly getting goals from us literally kicking it to them in a set shot position. There was a lot of fumbling and dropping and tripping. I almost felt like they were picking up my stress level through the screen.


They crossed to Bucks in the box at the point when his mouth seemed to be spieling off some ‘f – words’ and I then I got so stressed I almost decided to light up one of my candles.


We were all waiting for the Cox factor to kick in. Everyone was saying how this was a ‘career defining game’, but I just wanted him to go out and do well. At first, he didn’t seem present much which was disappointing because we counted on him making an impact early but when he got his hands on it and was setting up for a short at goal… I wanted him to do well so badly I couldn’t even look. I threw the weighted fluffy blanket over my head and to my relief the applause in the lounge room around me confirmed he’d kicked the goal. He played a lot better as the match went on, he was making more effort in the contests, so I was happy with that. Let’s not forget that special tackle when he got taken on at the last minute, it was a real laugh seeing him take the lead and go in for the kill, can’t wait to watch it on repeat.


We’ve missed the grizzly likes of Levi Greenwood; he was a well needed addition to the team.


Sir Darcy Moore was impeccable in the backline in the second half as always and Taylor Adams’ game further proved his contention for Collingwood Captaincy.


Trey Ruscoe who is slowly but surely becoming a ‘Danni Favourite’ also impressive, I’m tellin’ ya that kid is gonna be something!


I simply cannot end this report without mentioning ‘Bruzzy The Bull’ Brayden Maynard.


My whole life I’ve been a Collingwood supporter that has dearly loved and admired forwards. About two years ago I decided to get a number printed on my jumper. My last jumper numbers both belonged to two forwards and I’ve mostly only fan-girled over forwards (minus the brilliance that is Nick Maxwell) but two years ago I took a liking to Brayden and I went and got number 37 printed on my jumper.


Ever since he has made me the proudest jumper wearer in between a sea of many Elliott 5’s, De Goey 2’s and Pendlebury 10’s. He’s nicknamed the Bull for obvious reasons. He is vicious in attack, he hunts down his prey, he goes in horns first and his toughness may be like no other Magpie I’ve seen. The same way fans cheer when a big forward launches up for a big grab I’m on my feet cheering everyone of his brutal tackles. Mind you he proved this year he can take a big grab too, and I voted about 10 times a day to make sure he took home ‘The Mark of the Year’ nomination that week. He’s the loyal type, one of the first players to run in and start kicking off when one of his teammates are in a fight. His job is always to restrain the best opposition player on the ground and he never take’s their sh*t. He’s ruthless on the ground and he’s the life of the party vibe in the rooms during a post-game win. He makes sure the boys kick off for the song because he’s the larrikin of the club and I’m loving every minute of him.



We managed to settle down and get the job done in the end by 30 points. A smiling Nathan Buckley nodded at fans as he left the ground.


I hope we can figure out how to click that team-work switch faster next time.


Our next game is against Carlton, I’m not sure I have enough candles.


COLLINGWOOD              1.2     4.3     8.3    10.5 (65)
NORTH MELBOURNE     2.1    3.4     5.5      5.5 (35) 


Ruscoe 2, Thomas, Daicos, Cox, Appleby, Adams, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Hoskin-Elliott
North Melbourne: Dumont, Hosie, Scott, Simpkin, Xerri 


Pendlebury, Adams, Maynard, Moore, Sidebottom, Mayne, Daicos
North Melbourne: Anderson, Higgins, Simpkin, McDonald, Dumont




North Melbourne: Mahony (shoulder)



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About Danielle Hakim

A passionate 28 year old Collingwood supporter who fangirls like a 16 year old at heart. Chased down and yelled "I love you" at a startled Brodie Grundy in 2018 after the Semi-final loss. Danced down the stairs with a Collingwood scarf one time to a De Goey song and the video went viral.


  1. Nicole Kelly says

    Love it Dannielle! A lovely piece – what is it with candles and getting older?? Let me tell you it only gets worse.

    The second half was watchable with more moments that the boys clicked. I agree Cox’s second half was better – need to see a bit more confidence and agro from him. I was so excited for Appleby – I thought he was good enough to hold his place. He was the nicest guy ever at a signing day. And how good to get Greenwood back?!

    Collingwood – keeping the hope alive!

  2. Oh, Dannielle, you’re writing to the Almanac! The Almanac, consisting of mostly 50+ people (I could be wrong, mind you!) who, maybe, like me, wouldn’t mind being 30 again all over again!!

    And I assure you that the “old lady phase” doesn’t necessarily include candles and infuses! In fact, I’ve never liked them at any stage in my 76 years. I’ve never lost my sense of smell either!

    Love your passion for Collingwood and your stories, and believe me, one day not too far into the future, I’m sure you’ll be looking back at your 30-year old self, wondering where the hell did all those years go, and so quickly! Enjoy them!

    Congratulations on your wedding by the way.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Sir Darcy Moore! Reckon Bruzzy is up for a knighthood too the way he is playing. At very least an All-Australian spot.

    This makes me feel old, I remember writing a piece on here about watching the Pies on my 36th birthday. Enjoy your twenties (and thirties) Danni!

  4. Danielle Hakim says

    Thanks Nicole :)
    Haha after 30 i think i will request not to have the number candles and instead just ask for 1 single candle, you only get one wish anyway right?
    Apples 100% gives off that nice boy next door vibe, love having him at the Pies.

    Hey Jan! Thanks for the kind words :)
    i was 11 years older when i first started writing here so i feel a little entitled to say that i feel old haha.
    i guess the Candles obsession is just a Danni thing lol.
    You are right about time going quickly, way too quickly.

    Luke, i highly agree and surely my title as Duchess means that i can complete the ceremony myself.
    PS. Sorry for making you feel old :(

  5. Danielle Hakim says

    Apologies, i mean 11 years YOUNGER when i first started on here!
    See the old brain already malfunctioning lol

  6. Frank Taylor says

    LOVED your piece Danni.
    Bloody great. “Sir” Darcy Moore – a cracker! And Maynard, yes, it’s just fabulous to have a player like him. Every team needs one. I’ve been a huge fan since he started – opposition players hear and fear his tread. Takes no prisoners.
    Re the age thing, embrace it. You will never lose your passion for The Pies, regardless – it’ll just become deeper and fuller.
    Cripes – I can remember the 1960 Granny, and I was 6 years old……
    Floreat Pica

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