Round 15 – Collingwood v GWS: Floreat Pica Society – Report: No Standing

In what is possibly a world first, I am going to begin this Floreat Pica match report by talking about rugby league. NRL to be specific. I watched the second state of origin game broadcast from Perth. The first half. The Queenslanders were defending their line. And defending their line. The referee called “6 Again”, and so the tackle count reset to zero. The defence continued. Then another penalty called. And a player was sent to the sin bin. Allegedly for repeated transgressions. But had he been informed of these transgressions? May not have even known he had been the culprit. Because in calling “6 Again”, the referee is under no obligation to give a reason or indicate to a player that they are in the wrong. So Queensland play with one less defender, NSW score the inevitable try, and the match is turned.


Why this diversion into foreign sport territory? Well, this “6 Again” rule was introduced because one person – Peter V’Landys – thought it was a good idea. Not sure who he consulted, nor what research was conducted either prior, or subsequently, into its impact. He just thought it was a good idea so he brought it in.


AFL has the same issue. Steve Hocking in his role as General Manager of Football decided to introduce a rule regarding standing the mark. Once the umpire calls “stand”, the player on the mark has to fix his feet and not move until the umpire calls play on. It is ridiculous watching those players waiting in vain for the umpire’s timely call, pointing at the player with the ball taking advantage of their stationary opponent. On Sunday we had Steele Sidebottom nearly losing his balance, waving his arms about trying to avoid moving his feet. Jack Ginnivan was caught mid-stride so with his back to the mark, he looked like a child playing “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?” and the wolf has turned around, so Jack had to freeze for fear of being caught out by the wolf. Defending players are now backing away from the mark to give themselves freedom of movement. I just wonder how Daisy Thomas would have tolerated this situation. I remember Daisy as being the best “player on the mark” ever. He would be active – jumping up and down, moving side to side and swinging his arms about – in every effort to negatively impact the kicker’s performance. Daisy would have absolutely hated this rule.


The alleged aims of the new rule introduction have either been minimised or negated. Unless you include the excessive penalty of 50 metres for a transgression (or 100 metres in the case of a complaining Taylor Adams). The rule remains. It adds nothing to the game. It lessens it. Lower level competitions haven’t introduced it because “why would they?”. The architect of this violation, Steve Hocking, has moved on but this bastard child of his remains. Just get rid of it.


Collingwood defeated GWS by minus one goal plus seventeen behinds. It was a win, but a very unsatisfying win. GWS kicked 5 goals in the first three quarters – then 7 in the last. What could have been a percentage boosting win turned into a grim last couple of minutes holding onto a slender lead. With this win, Collingwood sits 7th on the ladder. You have to go down to twelfth-placed Port Adelaide to get to a team that has a worse percentage than Collingwood. We are going to have to win an extra game to compensate for this dismal percentage. So letting slip an opportunity to partly remedy the situation could be costly. That is why I describe it as unsatisfying. Throughout the game I monitored the points-to-goals ratio and for the duration it remained round about 2.0, and that was exactly how it ended up. 11 goals 22 behinds. One goal less than our opposition. 17 more behinds.


GWS kicked the first 2 goals of the game following our first 2 behinds. It wasn’t until Jamie Elliott’s 2 goals in the latter part of the first quarter that we drew level. After a GWS behind, Mihocek’s blast from beyond fifty cleared the pack and eluded Oliver Henry’s finger to give the Pies the lead which, thankfully, we never ceded.


The second quarter was all Collingwood’s in that GWS scored neither goal nor behind. But we only scored 2 goals. The first was to Mihocek, but credit has to go to Will Hoskin-Elliott for his timely boot inboard from the boundary contest that found Mihocek in the square. The second was to Sidebottom.


It was the missed opportunities that hurt. Gettable set shots. Untimely fumbles. Sidebottom had a Jeckel and Hyde game. His first half was impressive but his game was peppered with poor decision making and poor execution. A dinky kick forward to the opposition when a full boot would have found a team mate. A failed shepherd that allowed an outnumbered opponent to take possession and clear the ball to a GWS goal when an attack on the ball seemed a much better alternative. But the gettable set shots! Jack Ginnivan. Mason Cox (has kicked, I think, one goal seven or eight from set shots this year when this once was his bread and butter). Brodie Mihocek whenever on his wrong foot angle is almost no chance but will try anyway.


The third quarter again belonged to Collingwood. Tom Green got the first of the quarter for GWS but Ollie Henry replied. Another to the Giants but then Ginnivan actually hit his set shot. The photo on the front page of Monday’s ‘Age’ shows a look of arrogance. My observation live was the celebration was almost of relief that he had finally kicked straight. Josh Daicos’ third behind continued the trend until McCreery got on the end of a chain of handballs to boot the Pies further ahead. A mark and goal to Darcy Cameron had us go into three quarter time ahead by 4 goals 13.


And that is when the joy ended. A goal to GWS’ Riccardi in the first minute was followed by 2 more. The rain was falling steadily by this time, so when Cameron and Henry each kicked their second goals, you would have thought we were safe. But Collingwood’s inaccuracy continued and GWS crept closer. Their last goal, which drew them within 10 points, came with four minutes still to play. Plenty of time in theory. Fortunately in reality we held on. Bloody hell that was exhausting. Certainly not a win worth celebrating.


To the votes. In giving these, I have avoided any reference to statistics and match reports that have included best players. They may or may not represent reality. But they are my reality.


I give 3 votes to the 150 gamer Brayden Maynard. I think he likes playing GWS. I think he likes playing football generally.

2 votes to Darcy Cameron. Took a significant number of contested marks at both ends of the ground and in kicking 2 goals was a major contributor.

1 vote to Will Hoskin-Elliott. Four weeks ago I was asking how this player kept being picked each week. His last two or three games have provided the answer. I am sorry for doubting you Will.

No votes – Steve Hocking


COLLINGWOOD                                 3.4          5.9          9.17        11.22 (88)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY           2.4          2.4          5.4          12.5 (77)


Cameron 2, Elliott 2, Henry 2, Mihocek 2, Ginnivan, McCreery, Sidebottom
Greater Western Sydney: Hogan 4, Riccardi 2, Ash, Coniglio, Green, Greene, Kelly, Whitfield


Cameron, Adams, Lipinski, Sidebottom, Maynard, Noble
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio, Hogan, Kelly, Himmelberg, Whitfield, Cumming


Greater Western Sydney: Nil


Trey Ruscoe (unused)
Greater Western Sydney: Callum Brown (unused)


Crowd: 30,804 at the MCG



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