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Round 3 – Sydney v Collingwood: Light in the Dark

“It’s light in the dark
Where you laid your head
Don’t know but I bet you were trying to forget”
– ‘Light in the Dark’, Catherine Traicos and the Starry Night, 2013


We were meant to be entering a time of light. Ready to step up, out of the darkness of the past few seasons. The Round 1 loss to the reigning premiers did give hope. But the hallmarks of the dark times were still there. The poor delivery into the forward line. The appalling kicking for goal. We’d been there before. Ran Hawthorn and the Bulldogs very close late last season, but fell short, largely from the same reasons. Then we were worse against Richmond in Round 2. Another game we should have won. The spotlight was now well and truly back on N.C. Buckley. We were back in the dark.


It’s the last wave of Summer. Watching the game being played in Sydney in my Otways loungeroom with shorts and a Collingwood polo on, and a few Prickly Moses Summer Ales. It will be a burning fire and Stout while watching soon enough.


The Pies are magnificent in the first quarter. Tackling hard. Precision in our kicking. The Swans barely enter their forward 50. Alex Fasolo, one of the goal-kicking villans in the first two games, has 3 goals. Darcy Moore has led and marked well. But for all our dominance, the lead at quarter time is only 21 points. It should be more. Sydney will come back hard.


Sydney start the second term brightly. Hannebery and Franklin miss goals they’d regularly kick. Will Hayward latches on to the ball in the goal square and puts it through. Our lead is now only 12 points. Former Swan, the much maligned Jesse White, marks 50 out near the boundary. Of course he puts it right through the middle. If he could only do that from 20 metres out directly in front….


Hayward goals again for Sydney, before Fasolo snaps his 4th goal. Greenwood goals from a Fasolo pass, then Kieran Jack kicks two goals, reducing Collingwood’s lead to 9 points at half time.


What a recruit Travis Varcoe has been. While I still occasionally wake up in a cold sweat thinking about his goal to open the 2011 Grand Final in our opponent’s colours, Collingwood look a far better team with his pace and creativity. As showed by his goal to start the third quarter; much needed breathing space. Hannebery, amazingly criticised for giving up the drink as being the reason for his slow start to the season, is fully charged tonight, keeping Sydney in the game as he goals. Treloar arches his back, takes off and bangs one through, taking our lead back to 13 points. Tim Broomhead always shows some spark when he plays, and he has a burst where he could have kicked two goals but misses both. This is usually the stage of the game where we are made to pay for our mistakes…


Josh Kennedy goals for Sydney. Chris Mayne, on a lucrative 4 year deal, has been virtually unsighted all night. He marks 40m out. Doesn’t make the distance. %[email protected] I contemplate something heavier to deal with this game and Mayne. I have IPA’s and Shiraz ready to go. Wisely decide to stick to the Summer Ales. For now.


Sam Reid has had even less of it than C. Mayne. Kicks a nice goal from 50m after a free. This feels like the dark is taking over. Our lead is down to three points. Varcoe goals. Hayward, goals again for the Bloods; impressive young player. Greenwood and Fasolo miss. Jesse White, of course, marks strongly but misses from 40m straight in front. Sydney goal again. A Josh Kennedy point puts them up for the first time all night. This won’t end well now, I’m thinking.


“The hum in your ears
The weight on your hands
Still not enough for the masterplan”


My swearing is not acceptable, but understandable to those who have watched Collingwood in recent times. A Swans player crashes into Pendlebury’s leg. Every Pies supporter, including me, stops breathing for a few seconds. Thankfully, the great man is ok. That’s the last thing we need.


Will Hoskin-Elliot has a tight shot from 40m out, near the boundary. Another recruit. He barracked for the Pies growing up, these are the guys you want to see do well. He nails it.


The last few minutes are excruciating. Roaring at the TV. Bruce hasn’t had a great night, calling some goals early, especially from Buddy, that all missed. In a night, and early season, of darkness and light, Henry Schade has kept Buddy Franklin, in his milestone 250th game, in the shade.


“But something is wrong
Lights creeping through
Well hurry pull the shades on you”


Steele Sidebottom kicks a point to put the Pies 7 points up. Sydney goal again. We hang on, despite the ball entering Sydney’s forward 50.


A beautiful win. Much needed. Weekends are so much more enjoyable when you win on the Friday night. Pendlebury was outstanding. So many one percenters and stood up at the end of the final term when the game was on the line. Captain’s game. Sidebottom is superb, as always. Adams and Treloar still worry me with their disposal at times, but they get plenty of it. Really liking second year player Tom Phillips. Brayden Maynard plays one of best games in black & white running off half back, while Jeremy Howe is equally adept with his kicking as he is aerially. Like Ben Reid, we could do with two of him, one for each end.


For Sydney, Hannebery was wonderful, but the player who stood out for me was Aliir Aliir, strong, fast, good game awareness. The sky’s the limit for this very good young player.


Wins like this remind you of why you support this great club. My hopes of returning to times of light are lifted again. For this week. The dark is always around the corner. But unlike Buddy in his 250th, my support won’t be (Henry) S(c)haded.


“It’ll follow you round until you look in it’s eyes
You’ll follow her until the day you die”

Go Pies.


COLLINGWOOD 4.4 7.4 9.8 11.14 (80)
SYDNEY 1.1 5.7 7.11 11.13 (79)
Collingwood: Fasolo 4, Varcoe 2, Crisp, White, Greenwood, Treloar, Hoskin-Elliott
Sydney: Hayward 3, Jack 2, Fox, Hannebery, Kennedy, S. Reid, Florent, Newman
Collingwood: Adams, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Fasolo, Treloar, Schade, Howe, Grundy, Crisp
Sydney: Hannebery, Aliir, Lloyd, Jones, Kennedy, Mills
Umpires: Stevic, Nicholls, Hay
Official crowd: 35,310 at the SCG

Malarkey Medal Votes:
3. Taylor Adams (Coll)
2. Scott Pendlebury (Coll)
1. Dan Hannebery (Syd)

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well played,Luke a great wrap of the game combined with your love of music.Will Hayward was in sapsa side coached by Tim Weatherald and myself wrapped to see the kid do well yes the pies goal kicking has cost them being 2 and 1 at the worst in such a even comp it is just so vital

  2. Barry McAdam says

    What a win, go Pies!
    Haven’t heard of Catherine Traicos before, great song will try and find her stuff any recommendations?

  3. Enjoyed this Luke. As a shorts and polo wearer myself, there’s nothing finer than footy in this clobber at the start of the season and then again at finals time.

    I got caught out Sunday though down at the beach in said attire when the wind and rain began, and feeling a tad fresh, I checked the apparent temperature on the BOM site. 7 degrees. Had to apply a warming Shiraz later at home.

    Still think Pendlebury is among the most aesthetically pleasing footballers. Love watching him.

  4. Dave Brown says

    Nice one, Luke. After the change came through on Saturday night here, I had a milk porter and it felt about right. Might be stout this weekend though. What beers do you have planned for the winter months? Collingwood are a good side and with some better kicking could be looking more of a finals side. Can’t imagine that forward line winning a premiership, though. Mayne and Wells mystify me (but then again so does much).

  5. Huge win by the Pies Luke. Watched this game all the way – it sucked me in. The Swans seem sluggish to me, like they have lead in their boots. I reckon the Pies’ midfield will win them a few games this year, just depends on how the forward line clicks and if the defence gets too leaky.

  6. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Indeed we could have been 9 goals down at certain stages in the match. Gee that finish was tough in the O’Reilly, Luke. In footless tights and cardigan.
    Weekends are so tricky when you lose on Friday night …
    Bravo to yours.

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Spot on Malcolm. Good goal kicking could have seen us at 3-0 instead of 1-2

    Do yourself a favour Barry. Highly recommend Catherine’s album “The Earth, The Sea, The Moon, The Sky” which has ‘Light in the Dark’ on it. And her wonderful album from last year, “Brave the Good Dark”.

    Cheers Mickey. Shorts and polo will be missed over the next 6 months. Watching Pendlebury week in, week out is a joy.

    Dave- brewing an American style Brown Ale tomorrow and a black IBA on Thursday. Dark beers are the best thing about winter.

    Dips- our forward line really worries me. Our mid field is as good as anyone’s.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    G’day Mathilde, yes we really didn’t capitalise on our great start. Wonderful game, wonderful nerve racking finish.
    A Friday night game can make or break your whole weekend!

  9. Dave Brown says

    Sound wonderful. We’ll be down that way during the July school holidays – I’ll be sure to drop in

  10. Most enjoyable game that I saw on the weekend. Against my better nature I have warmed to the Pies (don’t tell Steve Fahey). Maybe it’s meeting Luke and ERegnans and acknowledging their is humanity in the Victoria Park outer.
    I find Bucks an admirable, forthright, honest and decent character. Eddie staying in the background helps. The ferocious tackling left no doubt they were playing for each other and the coach. All you can ask.
    As for the team – they seem an odd mix. Lots of good smalls and Grundy. Where has the recruiting of key position players been the last 6 years? You seem to have a lot of skinny kids who need to spend a few years in the weights room. Like you are in Year 3 of a rebuild – what happened in the first 4 years of Bucks? Nothing much from a distance.
    And Chris Mayne has been the worst footballer in the AFL for 2 seasons. Slow, can’t run, not tall enough for a contested mark and a shocking kick. Chris Dawes without the talent and the smarts.
    Dunno what you do with Darcy Moore. Talented and good on a fine day on the MCG with space to move – but doesn’t look ready to play key position in big games or on tough opponents. 2 years away from being a serious player.
    Greenwood, Fasolo and Elliot as key forwards?? Attack of the Killer Bees – could do worse.
    Will follow up on CTraicos. Was her Dad a South African offie?

  11. Punxsu.... Pete says

    You’ve got a few blokes in that team that it’d have me on the bottle, Luke. Varcoe, Jess White, Mayne – they can all be maddening. Varcoe has been better with you, than the cats, though. It was a fantastic game friday. Could spark the season for the pies me thinks. Much enjoyed the read

  12. Steve Fahey says

    Great report Luke, well summed up and I’m with you re Allir, has all the makings of a great.

    Peter B, I now know !! And you are right re the mix, which will look better if we can get Elliott, De Goey and Wells into the team. Won’t give us more talls but a much better spread of scoring options and some classier delivery into the forward line.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Dave- cheers, look forward to your visit

    Peter B- nice to hear you’re warming to the Pies. C.Traicos is indeed the daughter of John Traicos, South African and Zimbabwean off-spinner.

    Peter Z- thanks. Hoping it does spark our season!

    Thanks Steve. Look forward to getting that trio in our team.

  14. Enjoyable read, Crackers. Admire your passion for the Pies.
    I reckon the key to the win was the way they jumped the Swans in the first ten minutes. Freo then did the same to the Bulldogs.

    And the Prickly Moses Summer Ale is an outstanding drop.

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Smokie. It’s no ChainSAW, but Summer Ale is pretty good.

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