Round 18 – Collingwood v North Melbourne: Smug Pies

Collingwood v North Melbourne

1:50PM, Saturday July 21





Saturday afternoon footy. What else?


The traditional timeslot, yet it is somewhat an irregularity these days. So much so that I must rush from my own Under 19s game to the car, back home, through the shower and to the train station quicker than the raise in morale of Collingwood supporters once latching onto a string of victories. And I am one of them. With September now more than a mere pipedream, hope and positivity as returned to the MCG when the black and white descend on it.



Yet there’s a touch of doubt. Last week’s loss to West Coast was problematic; insightful to the flaws that may prevent the black and white army from once more tasting surprise Premiership success. While the threat of prominent tall forwards made us all sweat, it was really the lack of fight and pace in the midfield that led to an overwhelming loss to the impressive Eagles. With Ben Brown and Majak Daw providing the same issues to our undersized defence, which lost the tallest member of Darcy Moore just minutes before the first bounce, the midfield had to respond in a telling way.



Within twenty minutes, the mood was different. Daicos was an inspired late inclusion, roaming the ‘G with youthful legs and a sparkle that accompanied quality decision-making. Mihocek used his bulky frame and tree-trunk thighs to power his way to multiple contested marks and numerous early goals. Grundy out-spread the wiry Goldstein from the middle, while Adams and Sier gathered and disposed accurately. This was an impressive outfit.



By quarter time a sizeable gap had been formed between the blue and the black. North Melbourne sat disgruntled; displeased with what their seemingly classy midfield and stable defence had dished up. The Pies were chuffed and baying for more blood in order to gain vengeance. The top four position Collingwood dearly lusted for was back on track at the moment.



By half time the game had been blown open. The improvement of Collingwood has mainly been because of their increased pace and ball use. This was epitomised as Stephenson took on the game, Murray did the same (with a tad more recklessness) and the likes of Crisp, Hoskin-Elliott and Maynard looked back on song and dashing all over the beautiful green grass of football’s home. While Higgins had accumulated the most touches, he didn’t look as dominant and dynamic as usual. Instead, the gritty toughness of Cunnington had played a lone hand for the Roos, who had struggled to isolate the height of Brown and Daw amongst the underrated efforts by Howe and Scharenberg.



Despite North’s best efforts there was no coming back from the initial burst by the Pies, who continued to glide across the ground and open up the game. By the last quarter the intensity was zapped out, and the crowd either enjoyed or dreaded the last half an hour that turned into a slightly less brutal display of free-moving football. By the time the siren rang out over the afternoon winter day the Pies had cruised to an 11 goal victory that returned them to the winners list and demoted North out of the top eight.



Kangaroos fans trudged out of the ‘G, head bowed and spirits lowered as their buoyant youth had failed to turn up at a high stakes game at the home of football – a worrying trait that no team wants to carry for very long.



For the Pies: A critical game. And a clear result. A Carlton Draught enjoyed in the Olympic Stand and an enjoyable display of a fast game plan that excites hopes over next week’s blockbuster sell out against the unconquerable Tigers.



How good is it to be a Pie? Jeez that’s a temperamental saying.



COLLINGWOOD               7.2   13.3   15.5   20.10 (130)
NORTH MELBOURNE    2.3   5.6     7.7     9.10  (64)



Collingwood: De Goey 4, Mihocek 4, Hoskin-Elliott 3, Stephenson 3, Grundy, Adams, Phillips, Greenwood, Cox, Thomas
North Melbourne: Daw 3, Ziebell 2, Brown 2, Goldstein, Hrovat


Collingwood: De Goey, Howe, Grundy, Hoskin-Elliott, Mihocek, Adams, Daicos
North Melbourne: Cunnington, Clarke, Higgins, Anderson
Crowd: 50,393




  1. Every week I freak out over Jordy being ridiculous
    And then every week he keeps getting more ridiculous.

    Even during the warm up his concentration level is on point. Nothing I scream even gets him to look over.

    And what about that poor pigeon!

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