Round 2 – Collingwood v GWS: Nothing Else Matters


“So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart”

‘Nothing Else Matters’, Metallica, 1992


The ending is an all too familiar tale for a Pies fan. A gutsy, determined, never say die effort by Collingwood. Moments of brilliance among plenty of horrible disposal by foot and hand. A couple more wounded soldiers to add to a lengthy injury list. Another dejected walk out of the MCG. It’s 2017 all over again. Or maybe it’s 2016.


The start of the day was promising. A magnificent Melbourne Autumn day. Being able to wear shorts and a polo shirt to the footy is an experience to be treasured. Soon enough it will be beanie, scarf and jacket conditions.


Oldest son Gavin lost interest in Australian Rules towards the end of last season. Even in playing. He was coming along nicely as a player too. Much tougher, more skilled player than his old man. We don’t know what the trigger was. An incident at school footy? The umpiring on Queens Birthday last season when Collingwood was crucified? BT’s commentary? It’s just cricket and soccer for him now. That’s ok. While we will miss his prescence at games, the upside is his departure opened up some room in the family membership salary cap. Allowing middle child Josh and myself the luxury of reserved seats, at least for home games.


After dropping Gavin and Mrs R off at Scienceworks, Josh and I, accompanied by 4yo Emily, who gets in for free and will share our two seats, join our new comrades in the Ponsford Stand. Three rows from the fence in the forward pocket. Surrounded by diehard Magpie fans. Where else would you rather be?


The view from our new Ponsford Stand seats


The lady behind us breaks the news that Ben Reid is a late withdrawal. A sign that the footy gods aren’t on our side today, as just minutes before I’d purchased a player badge for Josh. He’d chosen Ben Reid. I’m staggered they replace him with Tim Broomhead and not a key position player in Sam McLarty, leaving us very much undersized.


The ‘new look’ Collingwood pre-game entertainment failed to inspire. The new pre-game announcer was cringe-worthy at best. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica was played in the lead up to the bounce in an attempt to emulate what Liverpool have with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and Port Adelaide have with “Never Tear Us Apart”. Good song, the lyrics certainly work. Didn’t see any scarves raised. These things need to evolve. Would sound incredible in a packed MCG with the fans singing along. Though I’d have preferred an Australian song. Maybe “Keep On Running” by The Living End?


Collingwood start brightly. As Tom Phillips kicks our second goal, a nudge from Heath Shaw sees Tim Broomhead’s leg wrap around the goal post. A badly broken leg. GWS’s Tom Scully also was stretchered off in the first term with a fractured ankle, the quarter stretching out to 36 minutes due to the delays.


Losing Darcy Moore to a hamstring injury exacerbated our lack of big men, but whatever was lacking in skill by the Magpies was made up by the hard running and pressure put on by the team. Left to shoulder the load on his own, Brodie Grundy was immense in the ruck. Pendlebury gave plenty of drive in the second half. Tom Phillips was everywhere all day, his best game in black & white. Jeremy Howe again was superb in defence, one attempted mark would have easily been the greatest mark of all time had he managed to hang on to it. Sidebottom, despite a few errors, kept driving us forward, Aish stood up in the second half while Sam Murray is exciting to watch with his blistering speed and raking left foot kicks.


But no matter how Collingwood pressured, tackled and pressed, the Giants class and precision in their kicking kept their nose in front, proving the difference. Coniglio is the complete package, full of class and ready to be one of the competition’s elite mid-fielders. We had no match for their talls, Pendles having to ruck and Schranberg having to stand the Giants giant forwards.


Meet up with Mrs R and Gavin outside the ‘G, we all then headed over the road to AAMI Park to see the Victory also take on a Western Sydney team in the Wanderers. Their lead in pre-game song, “Stand By Me” sung by the entire crowd, all with scarves raised. A fast, entertaining game played in a stadium that has an incredible, bottled in atmosphere . We got to hear the Victory club song “Victory the Brave” at the conclusion of the 3-1 win. As we were leaving, “The Horses” by Daryl Braithwaite was sung loudly by those still in the stadium and by those on the concourse. The Victory have evolved their own rituals. Let’s hope the ritual of winning evolves again soon for Collingwood. The other rituals will sort themselves out after that.

“Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters”


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, Phillips, Howe, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Scharanberg, Aish
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio, Ward, Shiel, Whitfield, Tomlinson, Finlayson


Umpires: Stevic, Deboy, Gavine

Malarkey Medal Votes:

3. Brodie Grundy (Coll)
2. Tom Phillips (Coll)
1. Stephen Coniglio (GWS)



Melbourne Victory 3 (Leroy George 30′, Besart Berisha 45+7′ pen, Thomas Deng 51′)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Alvaro Cejudo 45+1′)


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Any chance of the Dan Screw making a pre-game comeback Luke? Metallica is such a dumb choice.

    Less than 31k to your first home game would be a worry too.

    It could be a long season at this rate. Hope your kids are up for it.

  2. Excellent write-up, Crackers, and you cover a number of themes.
    I would not worry too much about young Gavin not playing footy right now – a break from the game might get him interested again at some stage – or not. For various reasons, none of my three sons (23,21,19) are playing football at present and it kills me, but as long as they are happy and healthy…and
    BT would turn anyone off the game, really.
    This musical sing-along stuff…Australian rules has never had that culture of singing (apart from a theme song) and it is difficult to confect. An inspired song choice by Collingwood, but I reckon these things evolve organically rather than being foisted upon the crowd. Yes, Port Adelaide have managed it, but it was the coming together of a number of events (their resurgence, the new Adelaide Oval) that conspired to make this happen.
    As you rightly point out, soccer does the singing thing so much better.
    A big day out for the Reynolds family by the sounds of it; take it from me, the kids will remember all these outings when they are adults and be thankful for the experiences.
    Best wishes to Tim Broomhead – no-one wishes that sort of injury on anyone.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Well played Swish, will take Metallica over the ‘dance crew’ any day!!!
    Very much a Victoria Park crowd. Look forward to the day Etihad is sold off, Victoria Park and other venues are redeveloped into 30k capacity venues and games like this are played there. One can dream….

    Cheers Smokie.
    Not worried at all about Gavin not playing footy. Slightly disappointed the hours and dollars I’ve invested in him being a Pies fan are not showing a return at the moment after excellent early signs! Can’t see any other club except Port succeeding with a pre-game sing-a-long at this stage. Though every tradition starts somewhere.
    Shocking injury for Broomhead. So many injuries have meant he’s never had a decent run at it. Big challenge to come back yet again.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great report Luke. Another tough day and I feel for young Broomhead. Hope the kid will be okay.
    Bung Reid and Dicey Moore – Injury prone. Why is it that our most effective players are so injury prone?
    ‘Nothing Else Matters’ eh?
    For Bucks and this list ‘Unforgiven’ might be more apt:
    “What I’ve felt,
    What I’ve known
    Never shined through
    On what I’ve shown”
    30k crowd. Where were our 80K members?

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Phil.
    Ha yes, ‘Unforgiven’ definitely more apt.
    From what I’ve heard, sadly we are a long way off 80k members at the moment.

  6. another great read Luke

  7. ps Luke looking for THE REYNOLDS RAG

  8. georgesmith says

    “I don’t know about you blokes but I can’t bear bleep losing a game like that! Look, fantastic effort but what does a J.Springer fantastic effort mean? It doesn’t get us anything! We don’t get diddly squat! We don’t get a point… if I see one bloke walk out of here, getting a pat on the back from people out there for a good effort, I’ll spew up! Because it’s just not acceptable! ” Terry Wallace 1996

    Has Collingwood morphed into Footscray, and Footscray morphed into Collingwood (winning a flag and then completely stuffing up the following decade)?

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Lizzie. Happy for my words to stay confined to the Almanac.

    George, think you might be on to something. Sadly for both Collingwood and the Bulldogs.

  10. Thanks for the write-up Luke, I missed the game so it was great to read an honest account I could trust.

    You have to wonder WTF is going on when a club repeatedly loses games at selection. Replacing Cox & Reid with Broomhead and Blair (FFS) was always going to leave the side vulnerable, especially if Moore or Grundy went down. Sure enough… Then Bucks post match mentions the lack of talls up forward costing us at the end. Well, duh.

    So sick to death of the Groundhog Day honourable losses.

  11. John Butler says

    And so we come to round 3.

    Both 0-2. But it feels like the pot is closer to boiling point at Collingwood than Carlton. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing from a Carlton perspective. Our effort against the Suns reeked of being a little too satisfied with honorable losses.

    So Friday night it will be. Deeds will tell the tale.


  12. Grand report. You are the Lukettes are certainly sucking the marrow out of it. I heard the Metallica song on the radio call pre-match. Sounded like a funeral dirge? Prescient?
    Watched the last quarter on TV and your guys gave it all. Just strange recruiting, selection and injuries. Your problems seem more off-field than on.

  13. Earl O'Neill says

    Of all the wonderfully joyful, uplifting songs available, the 4&20s had to pick a depressing lament.

  14. Luke Reynolds says

    JD- So sick to death of the Groundhog Day honourable losses too. Was a bad look seeing Blair and Mayne in the emergencies. Hopefully that’s as far as they get.

    John- not looking forward to Friday night.

    PB- for all our faults, our team could never be accused of not having a go

    Earl- I wonder who got to pick the song on behalf of all the fans?

  15. Luke, I can’t possibly comment on the music you refer to. I seem to be the only Almanac person whose choice of the trebles and clefs are in the classical tradition, and obviously that type of music doesn’t interest most sporting fans. But as far as footy is concerned, I feel more confident in an assessment. You guys certainly took it up to the Giants – even though I felt GWS weren’t playing to their best. A win was certainly on the cards for your Pies, but they blew it in the end. Didn’t help of course with so many injuries.

    Keep enjoying it!

  16. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Luke bizarre by the pies at the selection table hurt big time,Moore getting injured was crucial,Grundy sensational and Aishy a step forward.A huge day for the Reynolds family

  17. Luke Reynolds says

    Jan- injuries didn’t help, but we had our chances. Will keep enjoying it!

    Rulebook- Aish was very good, hopefully this is the start of a big season for him.

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