Round 21 – Port Adelaide v Collingwood: Solid effort, falling short (for the Floreat Pica Society)


Match Report Collingwood v Port Adelaide August 21


by John Ramsdale


The Piesimist and I who Iive in  Fox-deprived households at the last minute decided to go to  the Harp pub in Kew to watch the game. One of the few Collingwood  games that I have managed to get to this year was the home game against Port, which was possibly our worst game for the year. I still had visions of Robbie Gray ripping us to pieces and without Brodie Grundy I wondered what Paddy Ryder would do to us.


Port Adelaide began well and the backline was under pressure straight away, led by Tyson Goldsack, who at least this week was not being called Goldstein, as he was by the Channel 7 commentators last week. Strong marks to Dixon and Ryder followed by an early goal made it look as if we were in for another long afternoon. However, after that Collingwood started to get back into the game with more pressure, tackling and possessions and looked a lot better. A lot better that is, until it was time to dispose of the ball. Then came the familiar backwards and sidewards  glances and over use of handball. The day before I had watched Montmorency in the Collingwood colours play a similarly frustrating style. Our one goal came at the 23 minute mark with an uncharacteristic movement of the ball. down the length of the ground. Will Hoskin-Elliott, who had been playing very well, to Alex Fasolo to Jaimie Elliott resulted in a great goal. We were only one point down. Then the “forgotten Gray” managed to goal with 18 seconds to go. How often do we do that? Let teams score right at the end of a quarter? I can ask rhetorical questions too.


The quarter was not a great spectacle. You could not question the players’ endeavour but there seemed to be a reluctance or lack of confidence to kick the ball into the forward line. Not much new there. Jack Crisp, Steele Sidebottom, Tim Hoskin-Elliott and most of the backline had done well.


The second quarter was again a contrast in styles, but this time Port Adelaide were playing a lot better, moving the ball confidently and smoothly and they were finding targets. The Piesimist described the difference in style of play as “quick and slick versus prop and stop.” Mason Cox was getting his hand to the ball and was holding his own against Ryder. Unfortunately, Chad Wingard also worked this out was able to pick up a numbers of Cox’s hit outs and clear the ball for Port. They managed to score goals easily and it looked like it was going to be a blow-out. Then against the run of play we had one of our two purple patches for the afternoon. Ben Reid at the 23 minute mark from a free kicked a goal. Our first for the term and then Darcy Moore marked and goaled . We were only 16 points down. Then guess what? With only 20 seconds to go, Robbie Gray, who by his standards had been pretty quiet, kicked a goal. Port up by 22 and there had been glimpses of hope. It could have been worse.


Port extended their lead early in the 3rd quarter after a kick out from full back to a pack of four Collingwood players and on Port Adelaide player resulted in the latter winning the ball. Nathan Buckley in the box looked puzzled. Port went ahead by 33 points and were looking very comfortable when our second purple patch occurred and this was even more purple. Two goals from Ben Reid who was looking far more comfortable in his role as a forward and a very good goal from the boundary by Will Hoskin-Elliott who was still playing well despite being injured and a great snap by Steele Sidebottom meant the difference was only 8 points. Unfortunately, a late goal by Dixon put a dent in the Collingwood charge, but there were some worried looking faces in the Port Adelaide camp. Could there be a West Coast game type come back? Only 15 points down. The back line were again under pressure but Linden Dunn, Tom Langdon, Jeremy Howe who must be glad that they have decided not to play him as a forward, Jack Crisp and Brayden Maynard who must hope that the old saying that there is only a week between a bad haircut and a good haircut is right did a good job at times.


A very early goal to Impey was nearly followed immediately by the Gray brothers but very good defending from Tom Langdon among others prevented this and then Ben Reid kicked his fourth. Is this the most by a Collingwood player in a game this year? The rest of the quarter was a struggle where Collingwood only managed one more goal, to Jarryd Blair. Port Adelaide ran out winners by 28 points. Guess when they kicked their last goal? In time on.


At times it looked like the margin would be bigger, but to Collingwood’s credit they hung in there and you could not question their effort or determination, just at times their execution. Better players included Jack Crisp, Will Hoskin Elliott (early), Tom Langdon, Taylor Adams, Ben Reid, Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom and Ben Reid. Geelong will be very worried this week as they have to meet their nemesis this week at the MCG. Go Pies.

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