Round 2, 2012- Collingwood v Richmond

by John Carr

Having decided early in the week to sit this game out in terms of attendance, (three tiddlywinks, a wife working weekends…something’s got to give) I booked myself a night in front of the box to watch my Richmond tackle the Pies. Sounds simple enough? What on earth was I thinking?

Making dumplings with the girls seemed a grand idea at midday. However, as game time rapidly approached, it became clear I had grossly underestimated dumpling preparation and cooking time. And as a late addition to the evening, my Richmond supporting sister and her family decided to join us in front of the box, to cheer on our beloved yet fragile club.

Suddenly, with the game just minutes away, the house contained five kids in need of bed, the pre-game television coverage, and me frantically frying up a plethora of dumplings! With dinner scoffed, I had no time for the usual pre match nerves I usually experience. Instead I was desperately reading bedtime stories at a break neck pace so that I could see the ball bounced. My wife, tired after a days work took care of the little fella, and I made it to the couch with seconds to spare!

The game started with a flurry of activity, mostly fruitless. Richmond’s backline continued to implement their precise kicking game on the way out of defence. The Carringbush on the other hand displayed a new found preparedness to bring the ball through the corridor. Both were executed with varied degrees of success. To be frank, it was a scrappy affair as both teams tried to outdo each other with points kicked and crucial turnovers committed.

However the Pies grabbed the early ascendancy with the first two majors while Richmond missed goals from everywhere, goal square included. Even Bachar Houli, renowned for his foot skills, managed a worm burner that would have brought a tear to the eye of John Doretich. It took the unlikely scenario of Brad Miller threading a set shot from the boundary line to bring up Richmond’s first goal, and with a Tyrone Vickery point kicked post siren, the scores went into the book as Collingwood 2.8 to Richmond 1.6, a combined total of 3 goals 14 behinds. Enough said.

I jumped up to make a quick round of hot drinks, not sure what to make of the match so far. All I knew was that I needed to curb my armchair support or risk waking my dear nephew, who’d amazingly put himself to sleep on a bean bag in the lounge. Internalising both enthusiasm and rage, a visual show of fist pumps, gritted teeth and feigned cursing ensued, both my sister and I. The match continued in much the same fashion for quarter two, although the point-fest slowed down somewhat. Richmond appeared to be matching Collingwood around the field yet on the scoreboard, the match was slowly slipping away. Cloke momentarily broke free from Alex Rance’s tight hold to goal twice, once as Rance was forced to cover another free player, and the other a direct result from a Rance error. Good players make the most of limited opportunities.

Now no match between these old foes is complete without a dust up. From Joe Murdoch punching Gordon ‘Nuts’ Coventry’s boils on the back of his neck, to fights between rival gangs of the neighbouring suburbs and the on-air feud between Dyer and Louie… Richmond and Collingwood don’t get along.

Footy traditionalist Jake King single-handedly decided to reinstated this rivalry a number of years back and this was no exception, with both teams bluing on the way to their respective half time breaks. Most players were involved, and yes, Jake was in there, heading straight for Pie ruckman Darren Jolly. Fellow Tiger fan ‘Andy’ joked on twitter that Jake should have “’picked on someone his own size!”

But back to reality. The kids were all sleeping bar our little man, so I decided to take him off my exhausted wife’s hands believing that half time would be long enough to rock him off to sleep. How wrong I was. Back and forth the darkened hallway I marched, my little man refusing to nod-off despite his overwhelming tiredness. As the third quarter began, all I could rely upon was my sisters barracking, which can be clearly heard from the next room. She was eerily quiet. This could not be good.

Little man finally down, I re-entered the ‘fray’, having missed just five minutes of the third term. My sisters ashen face told the story. As did the score on the television. The half time argy-bargy had apparently stung the Pies into action, Dale Thomas the main culprit. After a quiet first half, Daisy had inspired the Pies with two of their five goals, all inside the first five minutes to effectively end the game. The margin now dangerously ballooning into an embarrassing week of negative headlines! To his credit, Thomas has transformed himself from flashy footballer into a workhorse, yet is still capable of the flashy. That is a dangerous combination.

With the flow of goals patched up, the Tiges began the slow and rather hapless task of recovering the deficit. Cotchin combined beautifully with Deledio in the middle of the ground for the Tigers first for the quarter however it did little to lift our spirits. With all children finally asleep, we decided to crack out the ice cream as the game once again descended into a childlike turnover party. Richmond and Collingwood alike knew the result was all but in the book.

It became apparent that ‘if you take out the first 10 minutes of the third quarter’ then it would’ve been a close contest. But you can’t. Collingwood had done all they needed to do, but there was some fight left in the Tiger. Two early goals in the final term to Brad Miller, I guess Riewoldt was the decoy, had the margin below 30 points and the commentators begin to wonder about the result.

An angry Ivan Maric, mullet flapping in the evening breeze, brought the Tiger crowd to their feet, both at the MCG and in my living room, with his chase down of Magpie midget Ben Sinclair. A sense of urgency had crept into the match. Minutes later, Deledio kick his second with a tremendous bomb from outside 50, the margin whittled to just 23 points.

This is where I momentarily reignited my emotional investment in the match. I leapt from my seat, punching the footrest in some form of aggressive encouragement. This was short lived as Darren Jolley strolled in for the simplest and most demoralising of goals moments later. We’d fought and scrapped for our majors. Collingwood made it look like a training drill. Catch up football, it can break your heart.

Richmond fought the game out rather than letting it blow out. Miller closed out the evenings scoring with his third for the term and fourth for the evening. It had been an odd game, an odd evening. Dishes had steadily piled up in the kitchen. The whiff of dumplings still filled the house, though they’d been long dealt with. The children slept and Easter morning was just around the corner. A few chocolates needed scattering around the house for the following morning’s festivities. I can’t wait until the next time we beat Collingwood, I really can’t wait.

Collingwood 12.13.85

Richmond 8.16.64

Crowd: 57,268

About John Carr

First and foremost, I'm a Richmondite- 5th generation and dyed in the wool. I love the club, but also have a love for the game itself, and love to explore the cultural and social aspects of Australian Rules football. I am married with 4 kids, and also have a love of music, and run a small recording studio


  1. I can picture it all so clearly! I’m glad the Tiges fought it out though, as it promised to be a massacre for a while there. There’s always next week…….

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