Round 3 – Collingwood v St Kilda: Watching powerless away game away

Saturday 20 June 2020
4:35 pm


Performing well with accurate ball use and attacking footy in Round 2 against the Western Bulldogs brought me expectations that the Saints would beat Collingwood who played a defensive game against Richmond. And Hawthorn winning over Richmond on Thursday added my expectation and hope positively.


But what I watched was opposite to the expectation and instead very disappointing. Handpasses or kicks were inefficient. Our inside 50 was shut down by much pressures Collingwood put us on. The opponents found the space no matter if it was small or large, they shot accurate goals. We had errors in ball uses and let them turn overs. Watching the game was painful.


Bulldogs had homework last week and now it’s St Kilda’s turn. My boys need to train how to exit packs at goal square. And how to handpass correctly and to kick targets. We didn’t find the right target in the midfield or forward pocket. And players have to run hard and back other boys when they are in trouble. Leading in the hot spot is essential.


Jack Billings didn’t fire up. Brad Hill even didn’t kick efficiently. Dan Hannerbery handpassed incorrectly. Zak Jones couldn’t find the space to accelerate. Dan Butler couldn’t move further at the forward line. Sorry for picking negative performances but I was very disappointed with seeing different boys in my new venue to watch footy. Simply I can’t believe where good boys were gone while I implemented the unique Australian sport in Amagasaki (the west neighbouring city of Osaka).


Now let me tell you why I was so willing to bring the Saints match into the A-town.


Watching the re-opening match on Thursday a week before, Collingwood started kicking goals early at first quarter, I started worrying as they would be our opponents in the next round. Then I had an idea to trick Collingwood by watching the Round 3 game at the new and fresh venue of Amagasaki as I had already had a plan to go there on the game day. Even though their returning round ended with a draw, there was no reason to change my mind, and I would not change even if Saints won over the Bulldogs on Sunday night.


I had been unsure if we would win over the Doggies due to training in small groups with limited activities. And boys would have lost senses of games, therefore it was hard to predict. But the mighty Saints won by 39 points that was unexpected. And nevertheless my plan to watch the Collingwood versus St Kilda in Amagasaki went ahead with a high expectation witnessing the win.


Such thoughts would be irrelevant to on-field performances and I can’t change others, but I wanted something to change positively for boys and the club I love.


Opposed to many predictions, I thought Hawthorn would win over Richmond at Round 3, because Hawks played attacked forty although lost to Geelong at Round 2, while Richmond had an intense and defensive game at Round 2. I picked the right club for Thursday night footy.


But Friday night footy between Bulldogs and GWS was extraordinary from the beginning. Nick Haynes was sent to face Marcus Bontempelli for the coin toss. The top Dog was confused as he understands that Stephen Coniglio is the GWS captain. Then Bont was a big target for flares. Bulldogs and Giants have been modern big rivals since Ryan Griffin had crossed from Whitten Oval in 2014. Tensions were high at Marvel Stadium on Friday night and they had a big brawl at the end of third quarter. Tom Liberatore was awarded a free kick outside the brawl and scored a goal after the siren. Bulldogs won the game by 19 points unexpectedly.


What happened the previous night should not affect how we performed, but I sensed something wrong happened since the previous night, while I had a headache and worried a lot, like Luke Beveridge shows in the coach’s box when his side is struggling, on Saturday evening in Amagasaki.


Before meeting up with a friend on Saturday in Amagasaki before the MCG match, I tuned in to the North Melbourne vs Sydney Swans game and saw Ben Brown kicking two goals at first quarter. From previous week’s performances, I picked the Kangaroos to win, but the Bloods won. The result opposed to my prediction.


While I was watching the unpredictable losing game with a big margin, I heard about the tighter COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria and postponed game of Essendon vs Melbourne. Once again I do understand these news have no power to control my game, but it is extraordinary and I sensed that something wrong happened.


Final siren sounded and I left Amagasaki with disappointment. I was very shocked and sad, but realised that what all I could do was focusing on my Dingoes training on Sunday and the MRV Match next week. Nick Riewoldt promoted the fundraising game on Fox Footy as a commentator and mentioned that the MRV Match would be different this year.


On the way home to Kyoto, I lost all energy to professional footy, so enjoyed the scenery on the train to Osaka and then listened to Vietnam Swans podcast that my good footy mate Bill Crang is on.


Despite the loss, I am willing to bring more St Kilda games to Amagasaki and next time I will watch a home game. It was the first game for the middle sized city and like in my footy career at the Dingoes, I feel I will watch a winning game next time there.


Meanwhile on the train from Amagasaki to Osaka, I sensed myself being very unique. Last week my another footy mate described me being crazy dancing and singing. I have a strong passion on watching footy and playing the great sport. And when I transfer the train, I had only two minutes to go up and down the bridge to change the platform so ran and jumped as if I was taking a mark. Other people might be surprised and/or scared but I demonstrated my unique character at the railway station…


COLLINGWOOD 5.3 10.4 11.7 12.9 (81)
ST KILDA 2.1 4.2 5.6 5.7 (37)


Collingwood: Stephenson 2, Elliott 2, Mihocek 2, T. Brown 2, Adams 2, Sidebottom, De Goey
St Kilda: Butler 2, Marshall, King, Marsh


Collingwood: Sidebottom, Grundy, Crisp, Pendlebury, Adams, Maynard
St Kilda: Gresham, Butler, Hill, Jones, Carlisle


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Yoshi,
    I love your enthusiasm and running and jumping on the train. I am happy to hear that even with such a disappointing game, you feel joy in being physical. I didn’t feel that our Saints boys were as physically or mentally present during this game. Collingwood worked us out early. We were outcoached and outplayed. Richmond will be searching for a win too, so it will again be hard fought. I hope we play better footy. The disappointment is in their effort…they seemed to have used all their energy last week. Let’s hope we bounce back next week. Take care Yoshi

  2. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks a lot for your comment. I was really upset and shocked when I was heading to a train station in Amagasaki, but then I realised that I should focus on positives. Therefore I started focusing on Sunday’s Dingoes training and the MRV match. However I was still sad on the train. And I had to transfer the train at the next station. But luckily I had energy and wanted to take a physical activity to feel better and to demonstrate my passions of footy so I was running and jumping on the platform.

    St Kilda have a reality check now. Even our boys spent all energy on the previous match against the Bulldogs, young men can bring it back and focus on the special match against Tigers. I hope Ratts can lead players to the positive and boys answer.

    Take care too and go the mighty Saints!


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