Round 19 – Collingwood v West Coast: More Darce, less farce

Peter Moore was a freak.  The Nic Nat of a bygone era, only a better footballer.

As a ruckman he bounded round the ground like a gazelle playing two or three roles at once.  It’s little wonder the 198cm blond collected two Brownlows, back when ruckmen were still eligible.

Darcy Moore is freakish.

In flashes the young Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike has tantalised those of us clinging to fading memories.  Sure, he’s averaging almost a couple goals per game, but to be honest, more was expected of Moore by many this season.

Blessed with his father’s gifts, cursed by even greater expectations.

For perspective’s sake though, it wasn’t until Peter’s fourth season when he really clicked, jagging 76 goals in the Pies’ near-Cinderella ’77 campaign.  Darcy is just two seasons and 24 games into what the faithful pray will be a career worthy of copious popcorn consumption.  Maybe champagne.

Today my football expedition would begin at the scene of many a Moore triumph, Victoria Park.  Fellow Almanackers Phil ‘Lord Bogan’ Dimitriadis, master brewer Luke Reynolds and his stylish sister are already there to see the VFL side’s 9th straight victory (at least the ‘magoos’ will maintain interest into spring).

On the way out to Phil’s jalopy he points to his parents’ old digs which now form part of the outer wing backdrop, in lieu of the former RT Rush Stand.  Discombobulated by a route to the ‘G which entails half of Abbotsford, I find my bearings and I find an excellent vantage point.

Clearly moving better after a premature return from a broken collarbone, Moore, via a free, opened the game’s account after five minutes.  As he would for the rest of the evening, on his way to a PB 45 hitouts, Grundy (and the ‘Pies midfield) cashed in on the absence of Nic Nat.  Jack Darling was the difference though, a less wasteful West Coast holding sway.

Soaring with the timing and nimbleness of Nureyev, early in the second term Darcy really began making his mark(s).  Players like Moore serve to lift supporters and teammates, offering a glimpse of what’s possible.  To wit, Greenwood taking an unlikely hanger with all the grace of Boris Johnson.  I was pleased to see newbie Rupert Wills working his way into the game, even more so Aish sticking it to his detractors.  Meanwhile the Pendlebury-Adams-Treloar triumvirate greased the wheels of what was a finely tuned machine compared to the rickety bomb that leaked goals the previous week.

By the 18 minute mark of the second, Moore had scored three and taken five of six grabs contested before grabbing his hammie.  Put the popcorn down. This was so 2016.  Still, the ‘Pies soldiered on and Aish’s second for the quarter realised a 26 point turnaround.

Only a sublime Sidebottom goal punctuated an impotent third term by the Woods.  At least the effort to record 46 tackles indicated the will to win hadn’t waned (but to illustrate the vagaries of stats, the game tally of 116 tackles surpassed a previous club best of 108 – recorded in the 2011 Grand Final shemozzle).  Gaff and Shuey were particularly busy, and with Darling and Kennedy still proving a handful, the Eagles looked set to break their 21 year Magpie-MCG hoodoo.

Worst fears were realised shortly into the final stanza when Jamie Cripps threaded a ripper from the boundary to reclaim the lead.  To their credit, thousands of bold Eagles fans have turned up the volume and in a volume never possible at Vic Park.

Then the darndest thing happened.   An improved Crisp snapped one before the riddle wrapped in a conundrum, Jesse White, launched a perfect drop punt from long range.  On a roll, Treloar extracted another and then Maynard put his powerful leg to good use.  Last week he couldn’t even make connection with the ball!

Kennedy through his inaccuracy and LeCras through his invisibility made Collingwood’s defence breathe easier but there was life in the game yet.  A late one to Hill brought it back to a couple goals before big Rupe busted through brilliantly and found Sidebottom who iced the game.

Moore of the same next week would be tickety-boo.  But I more so hope the Round 19 Rising Star can be sound of body throughout 2017 and beyond.  With Elliott’s career in limbo we simply can’t afford another freak out.

 

 

COLLINGWOOD  2.5   7.7   8.11  13.13  (91)
WEST COAST          4.2   5.2      9.3      11.6  (72) 

GOALS
Collingwood: Moore 3, Aish 2, Sidebottom 2, Cloke, White, Greenwood, Crisp, Treloar, Maynard
West Coast: Darling 4, Kennedy 2, Cripps 2, Hill 2, Masten

BEST
Collingwood: Adams, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Aish, Smith, Moore
West Coast: Gaff, Darling, Hurn, Shuey, Priddis, Hutchings

Reports: Nil
Umpires: Donlon, Brown, Schmitt
Official crowd: 34,929 at the MCG

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About Jeff Dowsing

Washed up former Inside Sport and Sunday Age Sport freelancer. Now just giving my stuff away to good homes. Not to worry, still have my health and day job. Published & unpublished works fester on my blog Write Line Fever.

Comments

  1. You managed to make it sound interesting JD. Darcy Moore really impressed me and we would have been thrashed if he had stayed on. Still very skinny but has all the attributes of a champ when he fills out. His kicking technique looks basically sound, so I don’t think he will have Travis or Jesse H’s fundamental problems long term.
    Your mid field smashed us. Nic Nait’s ground work is missed as much as his taps.
    My theory is that McGovern will play CHF with Darling on a flank when NN gets back. Barrass will cover ok in defence. Still more holes than Swiss Cheese but Simpson has to switch things around, as doing the same is proven futility.
    Mark LeCras has been poor all year but his indecisiveness on Saturday was awful to watch. Slow by foot as you say, but also slow by mind these days. Sad to see from a class act. Gold watch awaits.

  2. LeCras has me baffled PB – at just 29 he seems to have fallen off the cliff. Perhaps there’s an injury or issue I’m not aware of. Not that long ago he was one of the best small forwards going round.

    Hard for opposition mids to deal with Nic Nait’s big frame getting in and under the packs as well. At least you have an ace up your sleeve for September, we dodged a bullet him not being quite ready yet.

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Nice write-up JD and good to catch up with you and Luke at the old ground. Moore’s first half was brilliant. Just hope he doesn’t become injury-prone. Best to rest him until 2017. Don’t want him to bulk up too much as his leap is the difference. Very happy with Aish’s effort and thought Smith looked much more assured as the game went on.

    As for the jalopy, I forgot to tell you that I call him Blair – He keeps getting re-signed despite just doing the bare minimum to stay on the road.
    PB, Your Weagles are flaky. Need Nic Nat back asap. Midfield looked lost without him.

  4. Dave Nadel says:

    Even thirty plus years ago you had to be more than just a knock ruckman to win a Brownlow. At his best, Peter Moore was a giant ruck-rover who also won hit outs. So was Jimmy Stynes. It seems to me that Brodie Grundy is developing a game to follow in the footsteps of Moore and Stynes. On the other hand I think young Darcy is more likely to develop into a Centre Half Forward. When Cloke retires at the end of next season Moore will be just the right age to step into the most important position on the field.

  5. Lol Phil. A Blair would also be the kind of car that holds up the express lane and cuts in front of semi trailers. U turns would be its forte.

    Smith has been a quiet achiever this year. Great to catch up, love the jalopy!

  6. Luke Reynolds says:

    Fantastic write up Jeff. Really enjoyed catching up on Saturday.
    The 40 minutes D.Moore played on Saturday was so exciting to watch. Given a good run with injury we have much to look forward to with him. There was talk among some supporters that he should have come back through the VFL after his injury, but the right call was made. The kid needs to just play. Wills and Smith other huge positives from the night.
    Really hope Elliot makes it back. His absence has hurt us more than many think. Go pies.

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