Round 22 – Adelaide v Collingwood: Another season-defining win against the Crows

Adelaide v Collingwood

4:05pm, Saturday August 17

Adelaide Oval



Footy fans often get nervous about their own team.


Sometimes confident in games where their side are underdogs, and wishing for this hope to be found valid. In other times, worried about the form their team presents and doubtful over their chances. Looking at the betting odds being in favour of the spasmodic Adelaide Crows, I was unsure as to how Collingwood would fare in their quest for a top four spot.


The opening quarter didn’t fill me with any reassurance. Adelaide really should’ve been ahead at the first break – they would’ve been if not for three shots hitting the post and numerous other opportunities being squandered. Collingwood managed to catch them on the rebound twice, leading to goals to Josh Thomas and Jamie Elliott. With the forward line makeshift, the pressure of Varcoe and Thomas had to aid the delivery of the ball to Elliott and Mihocek. Roughead started off strongly as a tall option who soon worked up the ground to clear the space behind him for his more versatile teammates.


Adelaide just couldn’t get their free-flowing running game going. They were forced to chip around in their back half and work slowly forward, where their eventual long kicks down the line didn’t benefit the tall targets they boasted. Walker originally looked dangerous, but was soon blanketed by Scharenberg. Fogarty promised lots again, and was the pick of the Crows’ forwards despite Magden covering him well.


The Crows couldn’t hit the scoreboard until the late stages of a stagnant first half, but soon fell further behind when a late Pies barrage had them down at the main break. The midfield battle was going Collingwood’s way – the double teaming of Grundy in the ruck employed by West Coast and other teams wasn’t working. Grundy’s hometown return was as dominant as one could expect, and his midfielders were using this superiority to great effect.


Looking to stamp their building form, Collingwood came out snarling in the third term. Basking in lovely late afternoon sunshine, three goals in three minutes squashed the Crows and allowed the Pies to give their most impressive performance for some time. The forward line synergy worked remarkably well for a front six missing many of their best members. Thomas played his best game for the season, harassing defenders and squeezing through three majors. Varcoe was as industrious as ever, his presence almost always causing a sparkle of magic somewhere. Mihocek worked hard for little reward, but took Talia away from the dangerous tattooed man sitting in the goal square.


In what was a needed day out, Elliott signalled his return to the form that could take Collingwood deep into September. With Stephenson and De Goey both waiting to come back in and join the team, Elliott provided a reminder that he was not a force to be forgotten – his leading patterns beat every defender put on him and allowed him to create goals both in the air and on the ground. His two goals in a minute showed just how dangerous he is when the ball hits the deck. Howe backed this up with another high-flying grab because it’s Jeremy Howe and it’s what he does.


Blowing away an Adelaide side that should be desperate for a finals spot, the last break saw Collingwood fans all smiling smugly. A more spirited Crows effort in the final quarter was necessary, but eventually overrun through some hard grunt work that gave Collingwood a late flurry of deserved goals. Elliott snagged five of his own to send an emphatic warning; the other forwards filled their boots and midfielders accumulated bountiful possessions. Unlike the poor closing effort the week before, Collingwood pushed harder for longer and got their just rewards. Looking at Elliott’s beaming face on the TV, Collingwood supporters would be starting to feel quietly confident about what the next few months may hold. There’s nerves, but for a just reason. The tattooed trump card was up and ready.




ADELAIDE                   0.5       2.6       3.8       6.12 (48)
COLLINGWOOD          2.2       5.5       11.8     17.12 (114)


 Fogarty 3, Douglas, Lynch, Betts
Collingwood: Elliott 5, Thomas 3, Adams 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Phillips 2, Varcoe 2, Maynard


Smith, Seedsman, Laird, B.Crouch
Collingwood: Elliott, Maynard, Grundy, Adams, Pendlebury, Howe, Treloar


Malarkey Medal Votes:

  1. J. Elliott (COL)
  2. B. Maynard (COL)
  3. B. Grundy (COL)


Crowd: 48,175



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