Round 15 – Brisbane v Collingwood: Well-scheduled work breaks worth nothing




It felt like a movie scene.


I’d already pulled the strings. Some would say it takes a clever mind and Zen-like patience to wait to have your work break six hours into your shift just so you can catch the first ten minutes of your footy team playing. Some would say it’s just sad. By the end of the night, I saw it as the mark of a person too involved about a team that isn’t worth it sometimes.


From what I caught of Collingwood in the break room of the local Bunnings (where prices really are the lowest, in case you didn’t know), I eagerly cheered on the black and white army from afar. While engaging in conversation, my eyes flitted up to the screen, hovering ominously in the corner, begging my full attention. I was doing what I can – I managed to catch Mihocek’s early contested mark and goal. A small smile crept onto my face, hidden behind my face mask. My internal self was fist-pumping, celebrating a strong start to a blockbuster clash.


Another reward of holding out for my break was that I only had one hour to work when I returned to the floor. After every aisle perused, I wondered what had happened. Had Stephenson gotten on the board yet? Was Grundy on top of Oscar McInerney? Had Maynard locked down Cameron? As it turned out, only the latter question was answered affirmatively. When I could, I would check the score, or be informed of it by a co-worker who only loosely knew I followed the Pies. The face mask did wonders when he informed me of Collingwood’s horror second term. A check over the stats told me the Pies had badly lost their way in the second term – only Jack Crisp looked to be doing any damage.


When the clock hit nine, I was out. Into the locker room. I felt like Superman’s darker and lazier half-brother when, instead of snapping into my cape, I whipped my apron off and morphed out of the building. I paced my way out, winding my way down to the car park while giving the appropriate farewells. By the time I reached my car I was at a jog.


It’s hard to turn your car on quickly when you focus on it. Usually, the key fits smoothly into the ignition. When you’re in a rush, your keychain interrupts, dangling in front of the key. You thrust the key in the wrong spot, hitting dusty plastic. You swear as you try to do everything too quickly and instead have to reach again to close the car door properly after you forgot to pull your bag inside the door properly the first time. I hope there were no cameras to catch that mess of an entry.


If I felt flustered and uncoordinated when turning on the car, I felt like a smooth customer when driving off. I did everything save the tire squeak. By the time I was out of the building and beginning the three minute trip home, I felt like a James Bond villain on the empty roads. I could almost hear the Arctic Monkeys music ringing in my ears as I cruised along home, nudging the speed limit ever so slightly.


All of this was rather worthless in the end. I burst through the door like a fiery cop trying to catch out an elusive criminal only to see the Pies were still on two goals halfway through the third term. I got the run down from numerous sources – Collingwood’s skills were sloppy, their delivery inside forward 50 was abhorrent. Brisbane weren’t much better, but they’d had a clean ten minutes which created the difference.


When I settled down into the seat, my boots still on, I got what they meant. Too many handballs, and a dewy Gabba surface meant there was no grip on the footy. Handballs skewed off palms, evading the clenched fist waiting to meet it like it could perfect it’s own Scott Pendlebury sidestep. Even Pendles wasn’t as smooth as usual. The Pies were off.


But just as I was ready to collapse in a heap, Callum Brown got a lucky free kick and curled through a left foot goal. That’s one thing about Brisbane – they are a good team, but they just don’t put you away. They left the jar open for the Pies, but they just weren’t composed enough to take the chance.


In the last term Collingwood dominated. Adams and Elliott bullied the Lions through the middle. Noble and Quaynor joined Crisp and Maynard in controlling the defence. Moore went forward to no avail, but Cox became a target. If Mihocek hadn’t of let the Sherrin slip through his chunky fingers (everything about him is muscle, so I assume even his fingers have some definition to them), it may have been a different story. Elliott cleaned up his mess with a great mark and goal, and shouldn’t been lining up for another shot minute later if Mihocek hadn’t of edged his opponent under the footy. Sometimes it’s the small things that change the game.


A late soccer goal from Cox lowered the margin, but it was never in doubt. Brisbane didn’t look good in the second half. Luckily, they were up against a team needing an injection of class. I went and got changed, putting my feet up and wondering. Wondering why I cared so much to rush home from work, and wondering just how Collingwood may go this year once the likes of De Goey and Howe wander back into the line-up.



BRISBANE                   0.2      5.3      6.5      6.6 (42)
COLLINGWOOD          1.1      2.3      3.3      5.4 (34)


Hipwood 2, Berry, Lyons, McCluggage, Rayner
Collingwood: Cox 2, Brown, Elliott, Mihocek


Lyons, Berry, McInerney, McCluggage, Gardiner, Neale
Collingwood: Elliott, Pendlebury, Noble, Maynard, Crisp, Adams, Daicos 


Fullarton (quad), Andrews (hamstring)
Collingwood: Phillips (hamstring)



Read more from Sean Mortell HERE



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