Round 21 – Collingwood v Richmond: Bangkok Correspondent, rather Despondent (Floreat Pica Society)

August 22nd, 2015.

Collingwood vs Richmond match report. Paul McKay.

Bangkok Correspondent, rather Despondent.

I will start off this brief report with the embarrassing admission that I went into this game with a faint glimmer of hope that we could either;
1. Go goal for goal with the Tigers and suffer another honourable loss, or
2. We could put all of the misery of the past few months behind us, and somehow conjure up a win and therefore reverse the 5 point loss from round seven.

Sadly, neither of these optimistic scenarios would unfold. The writer’s hope was based on the idea that we would find the mojo needed to turn a disappointing season around, and despite being out of finals contention, we could still find the ingredients to rise to the occasion, to take the scalps of potential finals participants in the few remaining rounds. Travis would come back to take some monstrous marks, most of which would be taken beyond the 50m line and close to the boundary line, thus giving him a chance. Elliott would get back his high marking & straight kicking form, from earlier this year, Sidey would start hitting targets, and Pendles would return to the sublime form that we expect of him. And the confidence from the seasoned players would rub off on our younger brigade and we would see many contributors on the scoreboard as a result.

Unfortunately the harsh realities started early, with Richmond going four goals up before we could conjure up a major. There you go, another slow start. Prior to that it was one of our most consistent recent contributors & rising star, Rushed Behind, the only one capable of troubling the scorekeeper.

Hope was further elevated with three successive goals mid way through Q1 with Greenwood, the skipper and Elliott doing the good work, yet these goals were quickly erased with three more Tiger goals before the first bell. We would not score another major until Swanee stepped up at the 5 minute mark of Q3. We would also score the first goal of Q4, with Travis finally getting on the board, but the Tigers by that time were running rings around us and went on to kick nine straight (yes, nine goals, zero behinds!) in Q4 against a team that really had zero in the confidence tank for much of the game. The much publicized stat for the Pies was our inside 50s, which ended up 58 to 49, with a 35% efficiency as opposed to the Tigers 65%. Watching Buckley’s presser was almost as painful as watching the game. He commented that the last 20 minutes turned out as it did because some players, thinking that they could snap the game from its disastrous trend, “departed from the plan”. None of the journalists present would ask the basic question; well Nathan, what was that plan anyway? But one of them did manage to find a positive, that Greenwood did a good job of tagging Trent Cotchin. Not being at the game to see the “behind the play” action, I would have to ask those brave FPSers who attended the game to comment on whether this was a valid point or not.

Let’s hope we can find some pride from somewhere in the last two games.

It has been an arduous task writing this report. I now come to the most difficult part, which is finding three players worthy of votes.

1 vote goes to our regular contributor, Rushed Behind. In the modern era of football where umpires ping you for even the slightest ounce of deliberateness for out of bounds or even for taking it over the goal line, this was an honourable effort.
2 votes to the skipper, again our highest possession getter, there he was in all the contests, trying to conjure up something out of nothing. However he could not escape the task of leading an embarrassed group of individuals off the ground. His eyes would be well below the horizon for the entire walk.
3 votes to the master, Dane Swan who not only racked up possessions, but was cool under pressure with his two goals.

I had the misfortune of watching the game with an old friend (a fanatical Tiger fan) from Melbourne who happened to be in Bangkok for a week. Toward the end, his only consoling comment was that he had to put up with 10 years of the same in the opposite direction. He asked whether we had taken any big scalps this year. Shaking myself from gazing out the window at nothing in particular, I could only reply; “nah, can’t think of any….”

Cats and the Bombers to go, in what has been a disappointing, forgettable season. We have the talent to beat these two teams. But do we have the plan?

And speaking of dead rubbers, I’m glad our cricket team has shown the way how to do it. An innings win in the final Test. As is the case with our beloved footy team, it’s a pity they could not produce the magic when it was most needed.

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