Round 2 – Collingwood v GWS: Another classic positive loss

Sometimes it sucks being a footy supporter.


Especially if you are a Collingwood one.


You see, you don’t receive much sympathy for your plight. Not even if you have a significant lack of tall forwards. Or if you play out a half of footy against the competition’s premier team with only two players on the bench. Or if this results in a brave effort that ultimately falls just short of victory.


After last week’s insipid effort against the rejuvenated Hawks, I travelled to the MCG with limited hope, contributed to by the meagre efforts of Metro on the Hurstbridge line ‘upgrade’. But with Cox and Smith out, maybe a shift in positions could benefit the likes of Darcy Moore and Ben Reid. Until Reid was a late withdrawal. No chance.


A minute in and a Scully goal didn’t boost any prospects. The Giants had the chance to be even more ruthless than the Hawks. Yet somehow, we settled. Grundy capped off his early dominance in the ruck with a booming set shot goal to get the ball rolling. Then Phillips squeezed a bouncing goal over the top. But it came at a cost- young Broomhead, who had replaced Reid, had wrapped his leg around the goal post and fractured both bones in it, causing a massive shudder around the MCG before a rousing ovation for the writhing player. Sometimes footy sucks.


By the end of a contested first quarter another casualty had occurred in the form of Tom Scully and his ankle, giving the medical people an intensive half hour. Thankfully this was the last of any stretcher requirements, but not the end of the injuries.


Darcy Moore continued his strong start into the second quarter, as he crashed into packs and completed exhausting leads time after time. Yet the talent of the Giants was on display through the likes of Coniglio, who followed on from his impressive round one showing with an amazing snap from the pocket that bobbled through. Five minutes later this miracle effort was forgotten by an unpaid Crisp mark, resulting in the Giants fleeting forward and Himmelberg finishing off from the goal square amidst drowning boos and typical Collingwood abuse.


Three goals down with still fifteen minutes before the main break, the Pies began to look a class below GWS. But a weaving goal to Thomas, followed by a classy Treloar curler from the pocket, brought the Magpie crowd’s focus off of the umpires and onto the grit of their players. Of course, this didn’t stop the send-off given to the green-clad figures at the half time siren, as the Pies had worked back to within five points.


The surprise at not being over five goals behind took over during the half-time conversation, with an early Varcoe third-term major causing even more shock amongst the vast stands of the MCG. We were in front. What was going on?


Another goal to Treloar, crafted by a clever kick over the top by youngster Stephenson, rose the volume levels, as a contest was really on the cards now.


But of course, the smooth running Giants bit back, as their amazingly straight kicking at goal allowed Langdon and then Kelly to push GWS back into the lead. With Grundy and De Boar exchanging late blows, Crocker’s last minute clever body work ensured that this match would be going down to the wire.


With the belief high in the Pies supporters’ hearts, Aish played a perfect five minutes of footy to gift Crisp a major and then to work hard for his own, pushing us clear. But the poise of Coniglio, along with the missing void of Moore after his half time hamstring injury, slowly began to erode the resistance provided by Collingwood.


By the time Whitfield and Cameron slotted late goals, the Giants had done enough. They may have not have performed at anywhere near their best, but they had sufficient poise and class to fight past a valiant and determined Collingwood team that was a complete contrast from the fumbling and inefficient round one outfit.


Frustration was high at the MCG after the final siren, but it was a hopeful type of frustration. We had done so well, fought so well, so why didn’t we get the victory?


That’s why footy can sometimes suck, yet it always remains as a wonderful spectacle for the passionate supporter.


COLLINGWOOD                                       3.2 5.3 9.7 12.7 (79)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY            4.1 6.2 10.2 15.5 (95)


Collingwood: Grundy 2, Treloar 2, Aish, Varcoe, Phillips, Thomas, Crisp, Moore, Hoskin-Elliott, Crocker
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio 3, Cameron 3, Langdon 2, Scully, Tomlinson, Whitfield, Kelly, De Boer, Himmelberg, Lloyd.


Collingwood: Grundy, Howe, Treloar, Phillips, Pendlebury, Crocker
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio, Ward, Cameron, Shiel, Whitfield, Tomlinson, Langdon

Official crowd: 30,941 at the MCG



  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Sean, was disappointed McLarty wasn’t included when Reid pulled out. We were lacking in the big man stakes even before Moore’s injury. Admired our boys effort but still so disappointing to come away with a loss.

  2. Luke, can only agree with that one. We missed a tall forward, especially in the last quarter. Very frustrating, just hope we can beat the old enemy on Friday!

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