Round 14 – Collingwood v Hawthorn: Pies fall just short again as footy mourns Phil Walsh

Written by Frank Taylor for the Floreat Pica Society

Well, what can you say.

This match was sadly, very sadly overshadowed by the tragic events early that morning over in Adelaide. As it hit the headlines in the morning I kept flashing to Len Hannah’s great ‘Player of the Round’ piece earlier this year about Phil Walsh.

Thanks Len.

Made it all the more personal to me.

Sadly prescient.

At short notice the AFL seemed to have made the right call re matches, a minute’s silence and Buckley’s and Clarkson’s teams’ homage suitably and honourably appropriate.

Very, very, very sad.

The game.

Caught up with old friends and (some) relatively new partners during the week and consequently invited a Sydneysider (read Thugby affectionardo – Manly Sea Eagles), Brian, along to the match which, I assured him “Would be a Cracker”!

Well, it was.

A real clash of style and polish. (I’m gunna use all the clichés).

Hawthorn, the reigning Premier, back-to-back, throwing off the hangover and positioning themselves for a third on the trot.

Balanced, settled, slick, instinctive, deep self belief, well lead and well oiled – a joy to watch from a footy-only perspective.

An older, more mature side, really noticeable up close. Their ability to break one, two and three tackles with sheer strength was awesome at times.

Collingwood, overperforming by all expectations, turning heads and being noticed.

Buckley is building a class side. I counted only 6 players who played in 2010/11, one started as sub. Lots of young blokes with talent. Real talent that is, and endeavour.

The 1st quarter opened up with the Hawks getting the early lead with The Pies clawing it back to be 3 points down at quarter time. The telling stat was that 3 out of the Hawk’s 4 goals came from set shots and 1 from general play. Was 1 in 3 for the Pies, and we also had two more shots on goal.

The second was a mirror of the first, with the Hawks getting out again and The Pies getting close again at the main break with 4 points the margin. Total shots on goal were the same at 14 apiece.

Notably we didn’t allow any easy scores in time-on.

The third, premiership quarter was the breaker. The Pies came to play and really turned it on. Made a real game of it. The Hawks won it though – 6 shots for 4.2, including  a telling, telling goal on the siren, again, to The Pies – 11 shots for 2.9.

The Hawks by 9.

The last quarter The Pies chucked everything at the Hawks to kick three in a row to be up by nine mid-term. However the current Premiers rallied, pulled out more class and polish and ran out winners by 10.

3.4 to 3.3 for the term.


Why we were in it.

Buckley’s faith in some is well founded and showing dividends.

To watch The Pie’s developing on-field skill level from Maxy’s premature retirement last year, to now, has been fantastic. General ball movement and disposal has gone up dramatically to a level expected for a genuine final’s side, from a very low and disappointing base. Not as good as Hawthorn’s as Doug ruefully observed later in the game, but good and getting better all the same.

Team spirit, the sidebysiders spirit (thanks Dave Wilson) is fantastic and getting better.

Taylor Adam’s game is going from strength to strength and Marley Williams’s skill level and trademark endeavour have rewarded Buckley’s faith when many (myself included) had doubts. They both bring real mongrel to the game and I like that, we need it.

The backline is firing. Good, solid and dependable. Langdon, Frost, Brown and Williams form the core with good support up field from players like Varcoe and Oxley. 1st gamer Maynard was prominent early.

Pendlebury, Swan, Sidebottom, Adams, Crisp, Broomhead all put in, and Blair when he came on in the last had initial real impact.

We are a hard tackling, accountable defensive side which will take it up to the best as the last two rounds have shown.

Darcy Moore played his 1st for The Club, for limited impact – although his contest was great, his disposal showed a touch of 1st game stage fright understandably in front of 76,000…….. Certainly showed a future.

Where did we lose it?

31 shots to 26 and losing says it all. Their forward target, Rioli kicks 5.0 for the night, Cloke kicks 1.4. ( It’s gotta be said that the one he kicked  – a big Don’t Argue and kick from the boundary 50 meters out was an absolute blinder and will live with me forever.)

White 2.2, their bloke Bruest, 3.1. Fasolo, did his job well, but 1.2 for the night. Crisp, De Goey, Swan etc all kicked VERY gettable points.

Jamie Elliot. 5 possessions for the game 0.0. Needs a rest. Has got to learn how to pace himself over the season.

The  Hawks had polish and took their chances.

Game over.

Thinking aloud I’m saying to myself get Cloke out of the forward line and put him on the ball. Have fun. Do a Richo where he went from being the name target at Richmond, and patchy forward to their best player for his last two years of his career playing on the wing. I also remember a player, a forward, called Tarrant, a great contested mark who was also ordinary in front of goal who also went to another club and became a star fullback.

Bucks, you gotta try it.


The Dermott Brereton Medallion Shield voting:

3 votes              Pendlebury. What more can I say. Bucklyesque in his game – just fantastic. Certainly playing with a niggle and gets 37 quality possessions. What more can I say.

2 votes             Jarrod Witts. Probably a surprise choice, but battled manfully all night and made a real contest in the ruck to even out the Hawks rucking division and give us a sniff in the clinches. 46 clearances to 33 for the Hawks for the night. He helped here. Two good weeks on a row. Still needs to improve his general play around the ground, but deserved the votes.

1 vote               I am struggling here as there were a lot of real red hot goers who all did extremely well. Langdon, Brown, Crisp, Williams, Adams to name just a few. Gave it to Frost for a great effort down back against quality opposition. Could have raffled it really.

Floreat Pica


PS Brian was in awe for a home and away AFL experience!


  1. E.regnans says

    Excellent, Cheese.

    The lads did well.
    But of course, honourable losses can stick in the craw.

    Very much enjoying every-single-thing about N Buckley (a.k.a. Situation normal).

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