Round 22 – Collingwood v Gold Coast: Witch’s hats (Floreat Pica Society)


Last Saturday Collingwood Football Club went to Docklands Stadium and played a group of witch’s hats and beat them for three out of four quarters.


To be fair to Gold Coast, the Suns have an even longer injury list than the Pies and are probably missing more of their unreplaceable players. There were certainly blokes in red and yellow on Saturday night that I would not expect to see playing many AFL matches. For example the ruckman, Keegan Brooksby, who was given an absolute bath by Brodie Grundy, was playing his tenth game for the Suns and is listed in the Footy Record’s player performance statistics as a defender.  Gold Coast traded two ruckmen at the end of last season and has its two remaining rucks out injured which is presumably why they sent an inexperienced defender out against Brodie.


Collingwood looked magnificent in the first quarter. Seven different players kicked goals. The players moved the ball with speed and accuracy to the forward line possibly because they were not really being challenged. At quarter time the Pies had kicked 7.3 to the Suns two solitary points. By halftime Collingwood had improved their score to 12.8. Ryan Davis finally got Gold Coast on the scoreboard with a goal early in the second quarter but it proved to be their only goal for the quarter as the Suns kicked four more points.


If you ignored the quality of the opposition the first half performance would give you hope for next year. The midfield was dominant, Treloar and Pendlebury were in total command, Crisp seemed to be everywhere, Sidebottom was fairly classy, Josh Smith, who ended up with 35 disposals – second only to Treloar, was playing his best game so far and De Goey was showing his 2015 form.


The defence was also playing well. In the absence of Ablett and O’Meara Tom Lynch is supposed to be Gold Coast’s best player, Jeremy Howe restricted him to two possessions in the first half and those possessions were two points from set shots. Howe has become Collingwood’s best defender this year. My only criticism is that he tends to go for a mark in situations where a smart defender might punch the ball away. But on Saturday Collingwood was so far ahead that marking in defence was appropriate and Jeremy took 18 marks.


Nathan Brown beat “Two Metre Peter” (Wright) quite comfortably although I wonder if he will be able to do that in a couple of years as Wright seems to me to be a player very much on the way up. The other Collingwood defender who deserves a mention is Brayden Maynard who has improved steadily over the season and who I thought gave the team real drive from defence. Marley came into the team because Goldsack was a late withdrawal and I thought he did a few nice things. He would want to be a lot more consistent to hold his place next year if Langdon, Sinclair, Ramsay and Scharenberg are available.


On the forward line the two first year players, Rupert Wills and Tom Phillips did well, the other first year player, Crocker kicked a goal but really didn’t do much else. Then there was Jesse White. He had kicked three goals by half time. My regular footy companions, Peter and Jim told me that I would be unable to avoid giving Horsbrough votes to Jesse.


Well actually I was. Only Paul Harkin knows at this point who got my Horsbrough votes but it wasn’t the player who spent the second half kicking points and dropping marks.


In the third quarter Gold Coast lifted its game slightly. They scored three goals (one kicked by Lynch who was still being beaten by Howe) to Collingwood’s four. However the pivotal moment for the Pies was at the fifteen minute mark of the third quarter when Levi Greenwood kicked the team’s sixteenth goal. The team then went on to kick twelve consecutive points. Apart from Touk Miller, Aaron Hall and maybe Jack Martin the Suns continued to provide virtually no opposition, so an unchallenged Collingwood went a quarter and a half without kicking a goal!!!


In the end we won by 71 points but thanks to the incompetent performance in the final half of the game I didn’t leave feeling inspired. In fact this would have to be the first time after a big Collingwood victory that I went home feeling flat. There have to be some major changes at Collingwood before next season.


Floreat Pica




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