Round 2 – Collingwood v Richmond: You have to larf

Comedy Festival

It’s April Fools Day and I wake to hear one of the world’s great comedians, Ronnie Corbett, has passed.

Like one of Corbett’s signature jokes, Collingwood begins the first quarter with intent but the detours and sidetracks evoke the biggest guffaws.   The punchline appears more distant as the second quarter heads down more tangents.   The Pies miss targets all over the ground, the Tiges save their profligacy for the goals.    The Magpie Army has no sound, the team no shape, no form.  Reid’s return and the fortuitous five point margin notwithstanding, at the interval there’s no more to smile about than last week.   Two American girls standing beside me at the Ponsford end dissect the game and seem oblivious to the show’s stench – though I reckon a crap AFL match trumps even a good game of NFL.

Wannabe wits mining the Magpies’ misfortunes form a disorderly queue.  Footy scribe and Richmond diehard Tony Greenberg proffers that Collingwood supporters have a smell you can photograph.  Boom tish!

Born the same year as  Darren Millane died, the way Martin plays it’s as if the spirit of the ‘Raging Bull’ has manifested in him.  His early second half goal was vintage Pants, busting past several hapless defenders.  Thankfully the third term proves almost watchable when Collingwood threatens to resemble an AFL team.  Fasolo, Langdon (!) and Grundy convert in quick succession, however Richmond regroup and Collingwood regress once again.

By the last change the game has reached another stalemate.   Who dares wins.  Who dares watch?

Having started the game in promising fashion, comic relief Travis Cloke snaps a goal with his right boot.  Such an April Fools joke after midday supposedly bares recriminations.   Moments later his missing a gimme (just) from the same spot on his left was no surprise.

There’s a grey area where sport and real-life dramas overlap.  An anti-Muslim banner hung in the Gods’ section was no laughing matter, nor was Alex Fasolo’s fall to earth from a great height, on his head, six days prior in Sydney.  Tonight Fas is making the most of his lucky escape, unburdened by the suffocating pressure evidently affecting most others.  Where a sore Pendlebury incomprehensibly overran a ball to gift the Tigers a goal, Fasolo scoops up the sharpest of half volleys and in one motion snaps a thirst quenching ripper over his shoulder.

Alas, Riewoldt responds quickly after an easy yet spectacular grab over an obliging stepladder in Langdon.  Suddenly Collingwood has an invigorated Jack to contend with.  Last week I spontaneously combusted on the couch witnessing one of the worst Collingwood performances in memory.   My son even made me a get- well card at half time.  Seriously.  This week my tipping point is reached when the Tigers claw their way to the ascendancy after a spate of unforgivable backline blunders.  Send in the clowns…

It’s time-on and 17 points in arrears the exit is beckoning.   I’d rather listen to Nickelback’s Rockstar than hear that Yellow and Black! song.  Richmond only need one more to draw the curtain but Collingwood’s comedy capers have become an infectious disease to tease and torment the Tigers’ tortured hordes.

The Fasolo man slams down another but the Tiger fans feel comfortable enough to up the heckling ante on Adam Treloar.  By his last quarter performance the midfield gun renders the aggrieved booing unintentionally amusing.

The umpire hands Fasolo his sixth straight and I get this funny Brucey Mac feeling the Pies would somehow extract the last laugh.  A couple of promising forward entries are turned back before Vlastuin directs a handball at the boundary with the subtlety of Mel Brooks.  From where Billy Picken hoofed the ball to Twiggy Dunne to tie the ’77 Grand Final, a composed Darcy Moore hopes for a similar result.  There’s no miracle grab but the ball falls in Grundy’s lap for a quick snap with four seconds to go.  Cue delirium and hilarity in equal measure.

You don’t get to enjoy too many high-five-hug-a-stranger wins and I’m not going to let Marley’s kicking, Brodie’s marking, Frost’s loose checking, Caff’s disappearing and Gault’s everything bring me down.

Instead I think of a dubious footy journo, the haters, the wits, the twits.

Ha, gotcha!



COLLINGWOOD      2.1      3.3      7.7        13.9.87
               2.2      3.8    7.12     12.14.86

Fasolo 6, Grundy 2, Moore, Aish, de Goey, Cloke, Langdon
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Short 3, Lambert 2, Vickery 2, Martin, Lloyd

Fasolo, Treloar, Ramsay, Pendlebury, Adams, Greenwood
Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Houli, Lambert, Short, Riewoldt

Umpires: Rosebury, Farmer, Foot

Attendance: 72,761 at MCG

About Jeff Dowsing

Washed up former Inside Sport and Sunday Age Sport freelancer. Now just giving my stuff away to good homes. Not to worry, still have my health and day job. Published & unpublished works fester on my blog Write Line Fever.


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff JD and very funny. Certainly something in the air at the G on Friday night. We pinched the 4 points and that is a relief and a confidence boost for the lads. However, I can’t fathom how our two head coaches are Brownlow Medalists noted for their disposal, yet our blokes continue to miss targets. Teams like the Swans punish you for that. Ordinary teams like Richmond let you off the hook. Treloar’s last quarter was telling. Cheers.

  2. Terrific write up JD. We went to the Jackson Browne concert at the Palais on Friday night. At intermission checked the scores and nodded that we had made the right decision. When the concert ended there was the sound of a second encore as 2,000 smart phones clicked on the final score and there was a collective “what the”?
    The last 5 minutes sounds like a Benny Hill closer. You paint the picture beautifully, so I’ll resist searching for the video.

  3. Well worded JD. We watched the match at the bowls club. The first half you’d consider a possible tribute to the two Ronnies, or maybe a misplaced entry to the comedy festival as neither find could use the ball or find the big sticks.

    Second half more intensity, both teams fighting to win. Scoreboard changes, increased ball skills, made it afar more intriguing contest. When Reiwoldt kicked truly to put Richmond 17 points up you’d say it was all over red rover.Not to be however. Was that the best game Fasolo has played, because his half a D was pivotal. in the result

    Top win by your Carringbush. Your best comeback victory over Richmond since early in 1987.


  4. Agree with Phil. How can professional athletes who have been playing the game since they were 5 have such ordinary skills? Unable to kick to a teammate, unable to kick a goal from 25 metre, no awareness of time,…..

  5. Jeff – a long list of piss weakedness over the weekend:

    Richmond – piss weak
    Geelong – piss weak
    Eagles – piss weak
    Freo – piss weak
    Melbourne – piss weak

  6. Agree Dips, it’s as if they all tried to outdo the Pies in R1.

    I think Richmond will wake up properly about R10, as they usually do. I didn’t see GWS/Geelong but the plaudits for beating a sub strength Hawks were a bit OOT. Eagles, well you’d expect them to come out with something to prove and they barely gave a yelp. And dopey Melbourne had the biggest heads up possible with Essendon’s pride march before the game.

    Thanks PB, Phil & Glen!

  7. DBalassone says

    Very funny Jeff. A comedy indeed. Love that you got that card at half-time. Tigers were lost at sea in last 5 minutes, but how bad were the Pies in the middle part of that quarter – Riewoldt and Vickery marked & kicked goals against witches hats.
    PB was lucky enough to catch the great Jackson Browne in Brisbane on Wednesday. Exquisite concert. Delighted to see the album ‘For Everyman’ get such a good run.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    What a win. High-five-hug-a-stranger wins are a beautiful thing. The 2011 preliminary final comes to mind.
    Losing to Richmond or Nickleback. Both horrible, horrible things. Go pies.

  9. Thanks Damo. I think Frost has paid the price for some of those mistakes being dropped this week. He has great athleticism but not much of a footy brain it seems. And given the set play nature of the I50 entries, no one filling the hole in front of Riewoldt and their other key forwards either would have been admonished in suburban footy.

    It’s been unreliably reported Luke that a Nickelback cover of We’re from Tigerland was used on David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay.

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