Round 15 – Port Adelaide v Collingwood (Floreat Pica Society): The Starts Are Slow But the Oxley Is Patient

Slow starts. How often have the Pies given away an early lead in the last few years? Far too often. Port Adelaide were always going to come out full of vigour in honour of their fallen former assistant coach. And so they did. 4 goals to the Power before we even got going. So often it’s our captain who kick-starts things, and once again it was the great man Pendlebury, who weaved through heavy traffic and snapped the Pies first, and only, goal of the first term. 26 points down at quarter time.

The start of the second quarter is more like it. Witts, Crisp and White goal. By half time the margin is just 7 points. Swanny, in his 250th, is everywhere. As is Adams and Sidebottom. The team looks far better for having Brodie Grundy in it.

I don’t mind the odd Thursday night game. Quite happy for the Pies to play a couple. A long as they’re interstate. I reckon Swanny would be a Thursday night man. Frees up your weekend. The Brownlow medallist looked finished last year. He’s been fantastic this year. Slightly slower, disposal not quite as good under pressure. But still a gun midfielder. There’s a few games left yet for number 36.

Down came the rain for the second half. Absolutely poured. That wasn’t a concern for me sitting in front of the fire in South West Victoria. An early Port goal, followed by a Taylor Adams knee to the head of Justin Westhoff. A mid-season break beckons for T.Adams. The incident was replayed several times on the scoreboard soon after, ensuring boos for every time Adams got the ball for the rest of the game. Which was many times. But Port got back out to a 22 point lead. As Collingwood do, we fought back. Fasolo marked and goaled, followed by Varcoe punching the ball towards the goal, with Elliot finishing it off. Right in it, 11 points down at the last change, though not the ideal conditions to have a deficit.

How frustrating was the last quarter? Fumbling and mistakes all round. Goals to De Goey and a Daicos like snap from Adams from the boundary got us close but not close enough. Standing on the couch and screaming several times in the final few minutes made me glad I had no guests over to watch the game. We were in it right up until the final siren, with an almost (or was it?) mark to Cloke right on the bell. The conditions were extremely wet after all…

Three weeks in a row of gallant efforts against top sides for no points. The pleasure with the team’s performance diminishes slightly with each gallant effort. We have a young team of real goers, our first, second and third year players give cause for much optimism. The performances of the past three weeks have been very encouraging. We can match it with the best. But losing close games all the time wears out it’s novelty quickly. This loss will hurt our final ladder position.

Horsburgh Medal Votes:

3. Taylor Adams- just kept getting the ball. Wonderful goal in the final term. His disposal isn’t perfect, but has improved greatly on last season. His worst kick was the one to Westhoff’s head that will cost him a week or two. Tackling and pressure off the ball is wonderful. Loved it in the wet.

2. Scott Pendlebury- has the rare capacity to single handedly lift the team. Does this a few times most weeks. Clearly limited by some kind of injury, but still has the ability to find space and play the game at his pace. The odd error, but still our cleanest ball user on Thursday night.

1. Travis Varcoe- Sidebottom and Swan had claims for the 1 vote, but had to go with Varcoe. His pace and slick skills were very important in the second half. Has added some much needed flair and skill to the team. Not being a regular Geelong watcher, it seems unbelievable that the Cats would let him go. Think we are well ahead on the 3 way trade with Melbourne and Geelong that saw Varcoe become a Magpie.

Huge game this week against the Eagles, we need to win a game like this.

Leave a Comment