Round 2 – Collingwood v Richmond: Crossbreeding for glory and shame

Peter McCormack

Peter McCormack

 

The connections between Collingwood and Richmond have intersected throughout my life. I was born in September 1969, a week before the Tigers won the flag. Between 1970-74 my parents ran a milk bar in Victoria Street, Richmond.

In 1980 my birthday present was a ticket to a Grand Final that saw Richmond humiliate us by a then record margin. At least I got to see Peter Allen sing. The banner that day proclaimed: COLLINGWOOD DOMINATION: ENVY OF THE NATION. The Magpies now use the same slogan in the digital advertising spaces. While I like the sentiment, it does nothing but remind me of that constipated Melbourne day in 1980.

I played in a Herald Shield game for Northcote High in 1986 alongside John Mrakov who played for both clubs. I handballed to him from the centre and he streaked down the field to score a goal. We lost to our bitter rivals Thornbury High by 8 points and lost a chance to play at VFL park and be on TV. Mrakov got injured in the last quarter and our coach David Ackerly took him off as a precaution because his first priority was to keep him fit for the Collingwood Under-19s. He played his best footy in 1988 and was unlucky that the good form of Craig Stracevich denied him a chance to play at centre-half-forward. Three years later Mrakov and Terry Keays played their best games of footy as Richmond and Jeff Hogg toweled us by ten goals in what became known as the ‘Mother’s Day Masscare’. That was the day we realised that there would be no back-to-back flag in 1991.

Peter McCormack finished his career with Richmond. Tonight I find myself sitting right behind him and wonder if I should ask him to go and be our designated kicker from full-back as everyone else has no idea about how to do the job.

The symbolic significance is not lost. My older brother,Tim, had Peter McKenna’s number 6 on the woollen footy jumper he handed down to me in 1977. I wanted to turn it upside down to Carman’s number 9, but as it was sown on this wasn’t feasible. I carried number 6 into 1978 and 79 until I got my own jumper with Billy Picken’s number 25 on the back. Inadvertently, Peter McCormack was the first and I’m here in 2016 looking at the back of his head.

 

Macca was an honest full-back who had a good record against the top full-forwards of the time, particularly Michael Roach. A penetrating kick who could consistently drop punt the ball 60-70 metres, he played and held his own against the best the 80s had to offer: Quinlan,T.Daniher, Templeton, Moncrieff, Beasley,Blight, Taylor.

For a supposed rivalry, there has been quite a bit of cross-breeding between the clubs. Former Collingwood captain Danny Minogue coached Richmond to their first flag, over the Pies, in 1920. Mick Malthouse coached Collingwood’s most recent premiership in 2010. In 1990, Kevin Sheedy coached the hapless Essendon as we broke a 32 year drought. We both enjoyed having the legendary Tommy Hafey as coach and I have  assembled a decent 22 of those that represented both clubs. The amount of forward and big-man swapping was revealing. Not many great rovers or ruck-rovers in this team, but Raines and Walsh on the centre-line kicking to Cloke and Taylor at their best would be hard to beat.

Who have I left out? And why so much trading between the Tigers and the Pies?

 

B: M.Erwin – P.McCormack – K.Morris

 

HB: A.Pannam – C.Stewart – R.Oborne

 

C: P.Walsh – G.Raines – D.Minogue

 

HF: T.Keays – D.Cloke – A.Edwards

 

F: R.Brewer – B.Taylor – J.Mrakov

 

Ruck: G.Teasedale – W.Lovett – J.Annear

 

Inter: A.James – R.Heard – S.McKee – G.Betts

 

Coach: T.Hafey

 

 

About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.

Comments

  1. The fab Jamie Tape, RIP : (

  2. Very enjoyable read, Phil.
    You can add Noel Lovell and Jon Hummel (though he went to South Melbourne in between leaving Richmond and joining Collingwood) to your list.
    Peter McCormack actually played one game for Fitzroy (Round 11, 1986, ironically against the Magpies) after just four at Richmond.
    I recall Brian Taylor kicked five or six goals on him in the first quarter and his card was stamped “never to play for the Lions again”.

  3. Peter Mac was a tremendous kick but I’m not sure his perfect drop punts to the same drop zone down the guts would pass muster these days. Great memories Phil, a good percentage of those trades happened between ’83 and ’88. Nearly killed both clubs.

    Michael Lockman was another from that era. And Clinton King went to the Tiges nearer the new millennium.

    What’s the status of McCormack’s afro?

  4. Phil, jog my memory. Didn’t Peter Mac come down from Assumption as a gun full forward ?

    I forgot that Jamie Tape was dead.

    Glen!

  5. Keenly observed read, as always from you, phil. Like the bit about your parents owning a milk bar on Victoria st, on the Richmond side. You really should be one of us. Your joy on Friday night was my misery. The only consolation: Joffa didn’t get to parade his gold jacket until the last 30 sec of the night.
    (I love Joffa!)

  6. Thrillo10 says

    I’m guessing Neil Peart wasn’t selected due to his drumming commitments for Rush.

  7. DBalassone says

    Glad to see that the great Ross Brewer gets a jersey. Will never forget him tearing the Roys & Cats apart in the ’81 finals series.

  8. Good stuff, Phil.
    Your parents got out of the milk bar long before they went the way of the horse and cart?

  9. Mustn’t forget to add Robert Schaefer and Brad Smith to the pantheon of dud ruckmen Collingwood recruited from Richmond in the mid to late 1990’s. One game between them they played for CFC. Matthew Francis was another ruckman to cross from Punt Rd at the same time, though at least he managed 36 games in black & white.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Some terrific suggestions here folks.
    Peter W – J.Tape was an honest back pocket who had an excellent finals series in ’95. Gone too soon.

    Fitzroy Pete – Yes the solitary ignominious game at Vic Park taken apart by BT. Poor Macca and yet the Roys had the last laugh that year. Hummel and Lovell good gets. Lovell could have played more footy.

    JD – Thought of C.King, had forgotten about Lockman. Good nomination. Macca’s afro doesn’t quite have the spring it used to, but still a prominent head of hair for his age. Bit like his last game for Fitzroy. It’s there, but it’s not the same! Schaefer and Smith were erased from the memory. M.Francis tried hard but had many maladroit mates in the Shaw years.

    Glen! Macca did come from Assumption and the assumption was that he’d be our next full-forward. Guess we should never assume…

    Thrillo – Yes Neil Peart wasn’t a bad player at half-back. Certainly not the worst of the crossbreeds.

    Damo – Brewer was one of the first picked on the back of the ’81 finals series. Played some handy games for Richmond against us , too.

    Smokie – They stayed 2 years too long. By the time Richmond raised the cup in ’74 the business went bust and we headed off to Tassie to recoup our losses in ’76.
    Cheers

  11. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Dugald – How do you still keep the faith after that? So many Tigers were walking off dejectedly stating: “I can’t do this anymore!” Wonder how many times they’ve uttered those words in the last 34 years? My brother-in-law followed Richmond and he did his best to get me to cross over, like many of those on this list. As tempting as it was in the ’70s, I’m glad and relieved that I stuck with the Pies. Cheers

  12. E.regnans says

    Lord – this is surely the only team that would feature both J Mrakov and D Minogue.
    Jeepers.

    Emotion probably given too much sway in decision-making at both clubs over the years.
    What would Plato make of Collingwood or Richmond (or their shared history)?

  13. DBalassone says

    Andrew Krakouer?

    Btw, I think Glen! had a go at a similar team last year:

    https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/tigers-and-pies/

    Phil, I think we should start a break away website ‘The Ross Brewer Almanac’ specialising in late 70s/early 80s pies misery and how it subsequently shaped us. It would be a ripper!

  14. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Damo,
    How did I miss Andrew Krakouer ? One of my fave Collingwood players ever! I think I cognitively disassociated him with Richmond completely. And how did I miss Glen’s team? Promise I did not plagiarize exclamatory one!
    Ross Brewer Almanac – Could be a book of poems and short stories in that, Damian. Melbourne and Richmond fans could make a few contributions, too when it comes to being shaped by misery over the last 3 decades. Terrific idea!

  15. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    ER,
    Collingwood and Richmond would be interesting subjects for Plato and his idea of Simulacrum. In trying to copy each other they lost something of their original identity and almost their entire existence when they nearly went broke in the ’80s. The brains trusts at Vic Park and Punt Rd had obviously not read ‘The Sophist’ or ‘The Allegory of the Cave’. Could have saved themselves a heap of money and their supporters unnecessary heartache.

  16. Danielle says

    Fasyyyyboyyy!!!!!!

  17. Yes i did a team of Richmond V Collingwood players back in 2015, maybe Phil and i can merge our teams.

    Phil i totally concur with your comments about assumption. Remember to assume is to make an , and you know the rest.

    Phil do you rate this your best comeback victory against Richmond since the 87 encounter? True different deficits, different stage of the match, but in both encounters Richmond fans would have been very confident of victory.

    Glen!

  18. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Glen! Hard to beat the ’87 comeback as we were 51 points down late in the 3rd qtr. I remember turning off the radio in disgust and then turning it back on out of morbid curiosity to see if a miracle had occurred.

    Suddenly we were only 9 point down and then this happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_3TK0TsgRM
    Taylor on fire and Terry Keays on the siren. Enjoy Pie fans.

  19. DBalassone says

    Ah, memories. That was a great win in an otherwise long, hard season.
    How’s that dummy by Paul Rizonico. And those snaps by Atkins, Ryan and BT.
    I was behind the goals, but my dad was in the box on the wing with his workmates. I remember when we met back up again at the car, dad saying that Keays kick on the siren went 90 metres! I

  20. Luke Reynolds says

    Great stuff Phil.
    I remember Stephen Ryan playing a couple of reasonable games at Victoria Park in the forward pocket in 1994 after crossing from Richmond.

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