Round 2 – Collingwood v Adelaide: Comes As No Surprise

Adelaide’s most recent game in Melbourne was against Collingwood and here we were again a few months later. Our record against them is the worst of all head-to-head pairings, so this was chance to see that gap narrowed (but it will still take until about 2025 to break even).

The Docklands was a curious venue for the Pies’ opening Melbourne fixture in 2015 and a meagre gathering of 33,731 rolled in for the oddly timed start.

The black and whites certainly hadn’t gone overboard with the MDE proceedings. Out from last year was the risible Dan Screw. In its place this year will be a pairing of Magpie legends to assist with the raising of the banner. Peter McKenna and Tuddy traded barbs during the on ground interview and there seemed to be a hint of malice in the aging mop-top’s assessment of the relative merits of Barry Price’s and Des’ contributions to his goal tally.

I parked myself high in the Coventry end pocket, surrounded by opposition fans, but the atmosphere was no more fraught than in the Metro carriages that conveyed most of us there.

I’d earlier sought out Pie man Luke Reynolds but he wasn’t able to attend. He hoped for a good game, I hoped for a win, regardless of the spectacle. It is too early in the season for altruism.

One aspect of the MDE that seems to have taken hold at all grounds is the violently strobing LED advertising signage. From ground level, it appeared that the participants had been inserted into a live action version of Tron or a remake of Psych Out. For XTC-loving Woodsman Jeff Dowsing, it was Senses Working Overtime but not in a good way.

How this is supposed to benefit anyone except the advertisers is beyond me. At least the visual assault has less impact in the cheap seats.

The first ten minutes had both sides feeling each other out warily, boxing style. To further that analogy, Eddie Betts landed the first scoring punch, a deft checkside. Brodie Smith slotted one “off a step” and the score finally represented Adelaide’s command over the ball.

As it was in Round 1, the Crows had the triple whammy of a fierce swarm at the opposition ball carriers, precise field kicking and the ability to lose opponents almost at will.

The second quarter was more of the same, but the Pies decision making and finishing wouldn’t have frightened too many barn doors. Four Crow goals in eight minutes, the highlight being a Tex snap after a mark, atoning for some earlier waywardness.

Tom Lynch continued to make St Kilda (or is that Ross Lyon) eat his words, but I’m not sure he’ll kick 10 against GWS again. At last I’m getting some value for the school fees that I paid into his alma mater, even if somewhat indirectly.

The Crows often had Sloane or Dangerfield coming into the centre bounces from the back of the square, a fruitful tactic that Collingwood did nothing about.

I’m not a huge stats man, but I noticed at half-time that we had the top seven individual mark takers, such was the Adelaide control of the Sherrin.

Grundy v Jacobs was another tight duel, but clearances were the issue and Jacobs did more around the ground.

For the Pies, Pendles got plenty of it, but it generally went straight back over his head. Oxley would have been a happy man after racking up big numbers and he showed me some discipline. At least this pairing put in during the first half, unlike many others in vertical stripes who only bobbed up once the heat was off in the final term (*cough* Fasolo *cough*).

My local Magpie, Jack Frost stuck to his guns, even if his pre-game video stint as “The Weatherman” fell a bit flat.

I remain bewildered by the adulation given to Travis Cloke. The Crows were happy for him to be getting his rare kicks 80m from goal and he never looked a threat.

After last week’s third term lapse (and the GWS comeback earlier in the day), I sat forward in my seat, expecting the worst. That lasted about two minutes with the skipper leading the way. It was almost as if the Pies had done no preparation, another victim of the Walsh Ambush as Adelaide did as it pleased.

Our defenders provided stacks of Andrew-McLeod-off-the-half-bank-flank-rebound. Talia just keeps winning and the man with the perfect Adelaide name, Matthew Jaensch provided the overlap.

The 56 point lead was whittled down in the last quarter and the Magpie fans around me were most supportive and encouraging. Seriously, they didn’t turn on their own much at all and there were lots of reasons for doing so in the earlier quarters. But like Joffa’s pyrites jacket, this term was of little consequence in measuring how well their team would fare this year, as the Crows had put the cue into the rack.

Brodie Smith knocked up getting the ball until he was knocked out accidentally. I missed the incident and the replay, but gee he was there for a long time and the Neil Sachse article in the Record heightened my concern. We were all glad when he was seen vertical after the game, but I hope he is given time to recover properly.

My earlier wish for an ugly win was granted.

And the Footy Almanac tradition of Dad’s Stew after the first home (for me) game continued.

COLLINGWOOD 0.2 2.4 3.7 9.9 (63)
ADELAIDE 3.6 7.11 11.15 12.18 (90)

Adelaide: Dangerfield, Lynch, Walker 2, Smith, Cameron, Betts, Cameron, Van Berlo, Jenkins 1
Collingwood: Blair 3, White 2, Fasolo, Cloke, Swan, Broomhead 1

Best Players:
Adelaide: Smith, Jacobs, Dangerfield, Douglas, Sloane, Lynch
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Oxley, Grundy, Frost
Crowd: 33,731

Malarkey Medal Votes: Smith (Adelaide) 3; Jacobs (Adelaide) 2; Pendlebury (Collingwood) 1

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Dave Brown says

    It alarmed me that that game went exactly as expected. The Crows looked stronger on paper and as a result won comfortably. Lynch is such an important part (I won’t say pin) of our forward movement that I’m now blaming Viney and Georgiou for Sando’s sacking.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Swish,
    nicely written up. Could actually see it with you, which is good writing. We play the Pies next Friday, do the Saints have a chance too?


  3. Good day out for you Swish. It seemed to be that reasonably rare event: the match in which the Crows are in control and not seriously threatened for the duration. One to be enjoyed in a relaxed fashion.

    I kept wondering when Collingwood might transform from poorly disciplined and skilled into a decent, fluently-attacking side, but it only happened, arguably with our permission, late in the contest.

    Trust you enjoyed the stew. Thanks for the report.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Swish I particularly like the Lynch school fees line , a crows away game happening as predicted re a comfortable win is almost unheard of !

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Dave, that last bit took me a while to work out.

    Thanks Yvette, I haven’t seen much of your boys, but if they can curb the Pies mids and score more than 12 goals, then yes.

    Stew went down a treat Mickey, thanks.

    ‘Book, please send me your mailing list so that I can get as many comments as you.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Swish, I was cursing not being able to attend on Saturday. It wasn’t all that long into the game I was quite happy to be watching it on TV instead.
    Adelaide’s use of the ball was brilliant. Collingwood’s was appalling.
    Had forgotten Fasolo was playing until the last quarter…

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