Round 15 – Carlton v Collingwood: Beating Carlton more important than Election Result

The nation is in shock. The decision makers have left us wondering just where this country is heading. How the hell could those decision makers not pay Brodie Grundy’s mark? They’ve cost him a car, or whatever the prize is for Mark of The Year these days. Really makes you question the whole democratic system…


Earlier in the day, I find myself at the Gardenvale Primary School polling booth. We’re here to support my brother-in-law, Mrs R’s oldest brother Matthew, in his bid to become the federal member for the seat of Goldstein. He’s up against it as the Labor candidate, given it’s possibly one of the safest Liberal seats in Australia.


Labor candidate for Goldstein Matthew Coote

Labor candidate for Goldstein Matthew Coote


Mrs R and Mother of Mrs R (MOMR) are there for the long haul, handing out how to vote cards, wearing red t-shirts etc. I’m there as an interested observer for about 45 minutes with the youngest brother Adam, who is having a bye week from his AFL boundary umpiring duties. We’re looking after my two boys and Matthew’s two boys, who are all of very similar age. Their focus is more towards what might happen at the MCG later on.


I don’t know if I’d ever been to Gardenvale before. Probably not. In the short time I was there we saw Stewart Loewe walk in to vote. No how to vote card for him, a man who knew what he was doing. Looked in good enough shape to still be taking the best defender in the St Kilda forward line. Then I saw comedian and former ABC 774 Afternoons host Richard Stubbs walk in. In his 9 or so years on 774 I became a “regular texter” to the show. Used to love 1-3pm in my previous occupation, working on my own, listening to Stubbsy, trying to think of something funny to text in. Nervously, I introduced myself as he made his way out after voting. “G’day Richard. I’m Luke from Colac.” Was relieved when he instantly knew who I was. Thrilled he spared his time to chat to me.


Luke from Colac meets Richard Stubbs

Luke from Colac meets Richard Stubbs


Adam and I then took the four boys to Elsternwick Park. Adam orchestrated a footy game between the boys, while I watched with interest as two games of cricket were being played side by side on the two ovals. Winter cricket. Warmed my heart to see competition cricket being played on July 2nd in Melbourne!


Cricket in Melbourne in July. Never seen anything more beautiful...

Cricket in Melbourne in July. Never seen anything more beautiful…


We make it to the VFL game at the Holden Centre late in the first term. The Pies are well up on the Northern Blues. I’m taken back to my youth. The mid to late ’80s. The couple of VFL games plus the Saturday night replay was never enough. Keen to take in all the footy I could, the VFA on the ABC became a weekly habit. Loved it. There was still good crowds. The exotic teams and their colours and mascots. The Zebras, the Dolphins, the Seagulls, the Scorpions, the Mustangs. The fights. The broken down VFL players who became VFA stars. I quickly adopted a team. My readings of the Melways as a 7 year old, while working out where Collingwood were playing that day, gave the realisation that Preston was ‘just up the road’ from Victoria Park. The fact that Jamie Shaw was kicking mountains of goals for the Bullants and was wrongly assumed by me to be a brother of Collingwood skipper Tony, added to my newfound love of the Preston FC. They were my team. Never attended a game, but read their teams in the Friday paper with nearly as much interest as the Collingwood teams. Sadly, known now as the Northern Blues, wearing Carlton guernseys and playing most of their games at Princes Park, they are dead to me.


An attempt by L.Reynolds to capture the atmosphere of a VFL game. Photography at it's worst...

An attempt by L.Reynolds to capture the atmosphere of a VFL game. Photography at it’s worst…


After a dominant first half by the VFL Pies, the Blueants dominated the second half and almost pinched the game. Jesse White once again showed what a fabulous VFL player he is, Jarrod Witts looked very ordinary until a couple of important marks in defence late in the game, while Broomhead and Oxley showed enough class to suggest an AFL return won’t be far away. Very good crowd in by the end of the game, fantastic atmosphere under lights at the Holden Centre Oval.


Collingwood 7.1 11.2 12.6 15.9 (99)
Northern Blues 0.5 3.4 9.8 13.8 (86)


Collingwood: Ferguson 3, White 2, Borthwick 2, Howe 2, Hellier, Gault, Golds, Wills, Pendlebury, Wyatt
Northern Blues: L. Jones 2, Jaksch 2, Boekhorst 2, Kerbatieh 2, Wilson, Wood, Buckley, T. Jones, Barrett


Collingwood: White, Broomhead, Smith, Oxley, Moloney, Ferguson, Gray
Northern Blues: Graham, Wood, Totevski, Whiley, Buckley, Gowers


So I head over to the ‘G trying to control four boys on my own, two are aged 8, one is 7 and one is 6. $40 worth of pies and drinks later, we make it up to the top level of the Ponsford Stand. I’m looking for fellow Almanacker Dave Brown, he proves very easy to find, a solitary red and blue Norwood jacket stands out amongst a crowd of 56,000 others wearing either navy blue or beautiful black & white.


Of course, the night is all about Jack Silvagni aka SOSOS. He gets an early kick, to the delirium of the Carlton faithful, who, with it being their home game, very much outnumber us. Our own father-son young gun, Darcy Moore, kicks our first after missing an earlier chance. Scott Pendlebury floats one just around the goal post to record our second. The boys, my youngest, Josh, 6, and his cousin Issac, 8, are roaring, cheering every good Magpie play, disputing any decision that goes against us. I wonder what D.Brown is making of these feral kids. Josh has recently lost a front tooth, he looks the part in the Ponsford with a gap in his smile and a long sleeve Collingwood guernsey.


It the sort of game where it feels we are in control and playing the better footy, yet deplorable skill errors going forward are costing us in taking full advantage on the scoreboard. Having a beer with Dave, the “Stadia edition” (ie. Watered down) Lazy Yaks are pretty reasonable. Though the queue caused me to miss the first 10 minutes of the second term. Luckily there was a TV above the bar.


It was during the third term that biggest travesty to happen in Australia on 02/07/16 occurred. Forget Malcolm, Bill and Pauline, the umpire who did not pay Grundy’s mark, a certainty for mark of the year, is the real villain. For punishment he should be made a member of the lower house in Canberra. Grundy would not be stopped, very shortly after he was on the end of a good piece of play and kicked a goal.


Carlton threaten, but we ran out 12 point winners. SOSOS has a chance to kick a goal after marking strongly 20 metres out, but opts to pass to Gibbs. Gibbs misses. As much as I dislike Carlton, would have liked to have seen SOSOS’S first goal. He’s very skinny, but moves well, knows what he’s doing, a natural footballer.


It was a very, very ordinary game, poor skills by both teams. Kade Simpson was superb for the Blues, I’m fully understanding the love for him from the Carlton supporters. I’ve been impressed by Cripps but he looked indecisive and reluctant to kick, possibly injured? For the Pies, Scott Pendlebury was a shining beacon in a sea of poorly skilled players. A class above. Tony Shaw’s recent article naming Pendles as the 4th best Collingwood player he’d seen fully resonates, if he retired now he’d be an all time great of the club. His game was a masterclass. Don’t get me started on his non selection in the 2015 All-Australian team. Grundy’s purple patch continues, he’s a very good ruckman for a 22 year old, some of the early season critisism of him was very much unwarranted. Reid is back to near his very best now he has strung some games together, and it was great to see Goldsack back in and playing well.


Dave Brown was fantastic company. He even seemed to favour Collingwood on the night, or was it just Norwood FC prodigy James Aish? I’m betting his kids are more polite at the footy.


Josh and the two cousins were asleep before Lara. Gavin, my oldest, stayed awake listening to the election coverage on the ABC with me until he dozed off 15 minutes before we got home. Matthew lost in Goldstein. At least he had a crack. Labor didn’t even run a candidate in that seat in the previous Federal election. His family is proud of his effort. Whatever happens in Canberra, beating Carlton was the most important outcome of July the 2nd. Go Pies.


CARLTON 3.3 4.6 4.8 6.9 (45)
COLLINGWOOD 3.5 5.5 7.8 8.9 (57)


Carlton: Gibbs 2, Lamb, White, Wright, Phillips
Collingwood: Grundy 2, Blair 2, Moore, Pendlebury, Greenwood, Aish


Carlton: Simpson, Curnow, Docherty, Phillips
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Grundy, Reid, Goldsack, Brown, Blair, Varcoe


Carlton: Weitering (ankle), Byrne (knee)
Collingwood: Nil


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Foot, Dalgleish, Pannell, Mitchell


Official crowd: 56,157 at the MCG


Malarkey Medal Votes: 3. S.Pendlebury (Coll) 2. B.Grundy (Coll) 1. B.Reid (Coll)

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Take the win and move on.

    Next week looks tough

  2. Dave Brown says:

    Great stuff. Ha, you’ll laugh when you read my report Luke. I have never seen four such well behaved and attentive to the football boys. Particularly considering it was at the end of a massive day for all involved. Taking my two to the footy is akin to several rings of a circus, to which Swish can attest. Yes, I was possibly following Collingwood – I put it down to the good company. Aish was merely the excuse I used. Cheers

  3. Great 2-for-the-price-of-1 match report Luke.

    I used to be a Bullants fan too until their near demise and subsequent Carlton takeover. Jamie Shaw with the old school tatts was a VFA legend, apparently he used to have a smoke at 3/4 time!

    Aish showed some positive signs on Saturday, put his body on the line a couple times and has that class you can’t teach in heavy traffic.

    As for cricket in winter, it’s very popular in the northern suburbs, particularly with the Indian & Sri Lankan demographic. As a bowler you’d love it, as a batsmen lofting the ball is just about the only way to score!

  4. DBalassone says:

    What a day Luke! Capped off by a genuine slugfest – always happy to beat the Blues, but glancing at the fixture, I reckon the next 8 weeks will be tough, very tough for the Woods. But in the despair there have been some positives this year 1) Treloar is a gun 2) Reid has been sublime at CHB 3) Howe has been great across half-back too 4) Grundy is growing in stature (messy, but effective) 5) I like what I saw of David Brown’s man Aish on Saturday night – great hands and uses the ball well under pressure.

  5. E.regnans says:

    Saturday effort:
    L Reynolds: 3 votes

  6. Rulebook says:

    Well played,Luke a full on day and disgraceful that,DB was the only correctly dressed spectator there is a connection between the pies and the redlegs I suspect a fair few of us have a soft spot for the pies and very much hoping,James makes it

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Huge effort Luke. I woulda popped over to your booth if I’d known earlier enough. Suspect that Coote, M (ALP) might have done OK in my booth.

  8. Peter_B says:

    Please stop writing these pieces Luke. Admirable Collingwood fans confuse me. The world is spinning enough already.
    Well played.

  9. Luke Reynolds says:

    Raj, next two weeks very tough. GWS in Sydney and the Crows in Adelaide. Don’t like our chances.

    Dave, they certainly are very attentive at the footy. Look forward to your report.

    Cheers Jeff. What a player Jamie Shaw was to watch.
    Mrs R rolled her eyes and muttered something very derogatory when I excitedly told her about winter cricket.

    Damian- agreed on all points. Will take any win over the Blues, the thought of losing to them twice in the same season is too horrific to think about.

    Cheers ER

    Rulebook, Aish should get a good run in the team now, hope he makes it.

    Swish, catch you at the next election, mightn’t be far away!

  10. Luke Reynolds says:

    Haha, thanks Peter!

  11. Yvette Wroby says:

    Loved the report and your long day Luke. Well done

  12. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Great stuff Luke,
    A report for the ‘True Believers’ (Are there any left?) A win for the history books by Collingwood and a Pyrrhic victory for democracy when a Xenophon and a Xenophobe are effectively running the nation. Always enjoy your Jesse White digs. He certainly wasn’t missed. Better signs by Clokey and liked how our backline held up. Goldsack and Grundy very good. Aish showed glimpses and Greenwood was better. Liked Varcoe’s game too.

  13. Neil Anderson says:

    Hi Luke,
    I’m always interested in the school buildings rather than the democracy taking place inside them, after working for many years in the Facilities Section of the Education Department.
    Gardenvale Primary/Central used to be one of those feeder schools for entry to schools such as Melbourne High School.
    Us old-timers really miss seeing a reserves match before the main game. The Bulldogs having their stand-alone Footscray VFL side playing out of the Whitten Oval has been a huge success for the Club as a whole.
    I used to enjoy Richard Stubbs as well and the afternoon program has become pretty bland after he left. I don’t suppose you asked him what he is doing these days?

  14. Luke Reynolds says:

    Thanks Yvette!

    Thanks Phil. Love your line about the X’s! Jesse is truly a magnificent VFL player. I think we should delist him at the end of the season and pay him good coin to just play VFL. Seriously, I have that view about Macaffer and Toovey, keep them on board, have a strong VFL team with hopefully a winning culture.

    G’day Neil, the atmosphere of the VFL game was wonderful, nice being able to wander over the road to the ‘G. Enjoyed it more than the Carlton game last year where it was a curtain raiser at the MCG, before we then had to endure a more than an hour wait before the seniors to allow them adequate warm up time on the field. I’m still an advocate for as many VFL games at Victoria Park as possible.
    Agreed on the current state of the afternoon show, thought it would be better. Stubbsy is back into stand-up gigs full on, said he is loving it. He was a really nice guy to talk to.

  15. Steve Fahey says:

    Well played Luke, a marathon effort, plaudits to you and your kids.

    I had thought mine was pretty good before I read yours. I drove to Wangaratta in the morning to see my 17 year-old nephew Jacob make his TAC debut for the Northern Knights, which was particularly special as the young bloke missed the last two seasons with two knee reconstructions. Well done, him.

    After the game I hopped in the car and drove back to Melb in time to see the Pies beat the Blues in a terrible game. TAC Cup game was a much more attractive game, Murray Bushrangers very impressive with their ball movement and clinical goal-kicking and Knights highly competitive except for first ten and last ten minutes of game. Worth watching this level if you get the chance, rules re numbers having to be in forward 50s add to the spectacle.

    Was also a big Preston FC and Spider Shaw fan. Cried at the 1971 GF (aged 9) when Dandy got a goal before the first bounce and we lost by a goal. Compounded by my brothers barracking for Dandy and my red and white balloons being deliberately popped by a smoking adult Dandy supporter. Classy.

  16. Luke- You’ve had yourself a day. Some years ago, Richard Stubbs was networked into Adelaide along with Tim Smith and Brigitte Duclos. I enjoyed their work. Richard seemed confident in the format, but somehow restrained, as if capable of more. And then Triple M returned to a local format and gave Andrew Jarman a mike.

    Good work.

  17. Luke Reynolds says:

    Steve, great effort by your nephew to come back from 2 recos. Will keep an eye out for him.

    Thanks Mickey. Stubbsy seemed right at home on the ABC. Nothing lasts forever.

  18. John Butler says:

    Fair day that one, Luke.

    I wouldn’t fret about the Grundy ‘mark’ too much. They’ll only put Luke Darcy in charge of the MOTY judging panel again and it will be another travesty anyway.


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