Round 4 – Collingwood v Melbourne: Axl, Jesse & the Round 4 Crisis

Two lineup changes, announced not too far apart on Sunday morning, gave me very mixed emotions. One was not forecast and came out of the blue. The other had been rumoured for weeks.

COLLINGWOOD: IN- J. White OUT- T. Goldsack
AC/DC: IN- A.Rose OUT: B. Johnson

Bloody Jesse White. Not named in the 25 man squad on Friday. A $5000 fine for bringing in a player outside the squad. He already owes the club money on past performance, what’s another 5k?

Bloody Axl Rose. Sure, a fantastic vocal range. But joining AC/DC? Are they even AC/DC anymore? Was the same said about Brian Johnson when he joined in 1980?

Our day starts at 3/4 time of the reserves, finding a spot on the eastern wing on the fence of Collingwood’s Swan St training venue for the VFL game against the Casey Scorpions. The VFL Pies down by just three points at the final change. We were treated to a nine goal final quarter by Casey, Collingwood kicking just the one goal. At least my boys got to have a kick on the oval after the game.

Excellent crowd in attendance, so convenient being over the road from the ‘G, just hope future VFL games at Victoria Park aren’t under threat given the fantastic facelift and wonderful historical feel of that venue.

Over to the ‘G, we venture to the top of the Ponsford Stand and find some great seats at the front in the reserved section after being informed by a Pies fan that those seats are rarely used. The day is looking up.

A Ben Sinclair snap on the run levels the scores after Watts kicks the first of the game for the Dees. It’s the only time we get close to being back in black for the day. The ball spends so much time in our forward fifty in the opening quarter for little result, while it feels like every time Melbourne get the ball to their forward line they goal. Is this the best Watts has ever played?

The Demons smash us in the second. Smash us out of the centre. Make our defence look thunderstruck for the second week in a row. A couple of late Pies goals to finish the half is all that stops a few around us from leaving at the main break.

The last half saw the Pies make a few runs, but some goals missed that should have been kicked, a ballbreaker from Tom Langdon kicking across the face of goal straight to an opponent, and some of the worst disposal, by foot and hand, seen on an AFL ground this year conspired to make the jailbreak unsuccessful. Jesse White was Jesse White. Fumbled, turned the ball over, little impact. I fear for Jarryd Blair. Wonderful servant, premiership hero, think his time has come. Could go on forever with the critisism of the riff raff.

Pendles is clearly struggling with injury, but was the flick of the switch that almost single handedly got us back into the game in the second quarter. Cloke and Reid tried hard but had their own injury worries. Treloar is a gun. The jury still very much out on Aish, but he was ok. Sidebottom made a very good return. Grundy needs some back up.

The large red and blue contingent in the Members got louder as the game closed out. Jeremy Howe copped a whole lotta booing throughout the game, but especially the end. Former Pies Lumumba and Kennedy were quite good for Melbourne. As was Viney, what a high voltage, tough player he is. Harmes, Watts, Gawn and Wagner were also impressive, as well as future Fremantle star Hogan.

With a stiff upper lip we venture past the happy Dees fans onto a crowded MCG playing surface for kick to kick. The concept is good in theory, but doesn’t work super well with 15000 people, and nearly as many footballs, on the oval.

The Princes Highway feels like a highway to hell after such a deflating loss. Has our season been shot down in flames already? The next game is rock or bust. Or it will be dog eat dog. Time to shake the foundations, get rid of White and a few others and give big Mason Cox a run.

As for Axl? Clearly recruited for one last tilt at premiership glory. Whatever happens, the multiple premiership winning teams lead by B. Scott and B. Johnson will be an impossible act to follow.

COLLINGWOOD 1.2 6.5 8.10 9.13 (67)
MELBOURNE 6.2 11.2 14.4 16.6 (102)
COLLINGWOOD: Sidebottom 2, Cloke 2, Fasolo, Treloar, Sinclair, Moore, Varcoe
MELBOURNE: Watts 4, Pederson 2, Tyson 2, Hogan 2, Brayshaw, Kennedy, Kent, Viney, Gawn, Frost
COLLINGWOOD: Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Treloar
MELBOURNE: Viney, Gawn, Wagner, Tyson, Watts
UMPIRES: O’Gorman, Meredith, Ryan
Coote, Burrows, Lefevere, Haala
Roffey, Wilson
CROWD: 47,558 at the MCG
MALARKEY MEDAL VOTES: 3. Viney (Melb) 2. Gawn (Melb) 1. Sidebottom (Coll)

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Axl is a great vocalist, but not with AC/DC. Like R. Ponting, they’ve gone one summer too many.

    So far in 2016, your black and white army is back in black.

    Thanks Luke.

  2. Dave Brown says

    Good stuff, Luke (your piece, that is, not the Magpies nor Mr White), perhaps try to fit some ACDC references in next time though…

    You were possibly on the end of Watts’s best performance – I think we are finally seeing him emerge this year. Kick and catch seems far too hectic with that many people on the ground. I usually manage to cop one on the bonce with a fraction of that many on the ground at SANFL games

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Oh Luke, Love the connections with AC/DC Axl and Jesse. The only thing worse than Jesse as a forward is Jesse as a defender. Maybe he’ll start in the midfield this week hoping for an ANZAC miracle.

    Big Gunners fan but Axl as lead singer of AC/DC is akin to bringing back Mick Malthouse as our coach. With you on the Mason Cox inclusion. Grundy tried hard, but was monstered by Gawn. Def needs back up. We look so unfit and devoid of running or overlap. Reputations are on the line now and the natives are sharpening their shivs and dipping their torches in metho. A bad loss to Essendon and it will be a case of “If you want blood, you got it”.
    Great write up.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Luke bewildering from the pre season in that just how much the ball use has fallen way ironic re Jesse White when he had that one good year for the swans when the crows were bagged for not taking him now he wouldn’t get a game for the scum side agree with,Dave above re Watts

  5. Neil Anderson says

    Really enjoyed your write-up Luke. I may be old but I got most of the AC/DC references thanks to many hours with my son, searching through the Heavy Metal section of JB HI-FI stores.
    I could only come up with one AC/DC reference with my Dogs versus Fremantle report,, which was jailbreak. I remember the video well with Bon Scott at his evil, leering best.
    It sounds like the Swan St venue is a bit like watching country footy as you would appreciate, especially with the kids having a kick afterwards. I was speaking to a local about his trip to Launceston to see the Hawks versus Saints match and he said it was like country footy, as they walked around chatting with the players over the fence during the warm-up.
    I will report to your former teacher Mrs A that you have handed in your assignment on time and well-referenced, despite being written under difficult circumstances.

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    They should have brought back Dave Evans, the first AC/DC vocalist to appear on Countdown. Collingwood, that is.

  7. Barry McAdam says

    I stopped following when Bon died. Who is this Axl guy, can he kick straight? Jesse White wouldn’t get a game with North Hobart.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Mickey, saw AC/DC during the Summer. Should have been a glorious farewell as it’s turned out.

    Dave-will try to get some in next time….we escaped without copping one on the bonce during the after match kick to kick, by luck only, the odds on getting hit would be extremely high

    Thanks Phil. Malthouse/Rose analogy spot on!

    Malcolm, was quietly excited after seeing our crisp ball use in the pre season. Our ball use is surely competition worst at the moment.

    G’day Neil, very country like venue on Swan St. Enjoyed it. Mrs A was a hard marker, please emphisise how difficult the circumstances were!

    Swish, pretty sure D.Evans thinks D.Evans is up for it!

    Barry, all Axl has to worry about in AC/DC IS kicking straight…

  9. I had the look of a baby trying a lemon wedge for the first time when i found out about White being a late change.
    Hopefully it cant get any worse….right?

  10. Execution, planning, creativity, L Reynolds.
    Beautifully worked.

    Good to see Treloar and Aish nipping about.

    Invasion games can have a bit of strategy to them, of course (set plays in basketball, grid iron, water polo, soccer), and Australian football has some too.
    Looking forward to the Collingwood strategies clicking.
    Not the best start, but the race has a way to go.

  11. Well played Luke, sadly Acca Dacca and the Pies are both in disarray.

    Interestingly Axl’s great uncle Bob similarly stepped into the breach 30 years ago as an interim measure. Fortunately Ben Johnson is confident his grandfather Brian (pitch deafness) will be off the long term injury list soon.

    It was also good to hear Pendles give his lazy teammates a bake a couple days ago.

    “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna f***en stroll” he was unreliable quoted as saying.

  12. DBalassone says

    Let’s be honest Luke, we got the jack and it’s spreading like wildfire.

    Glad you gave Cloke a tick. Can’t believe the criticism levelled at him as per usual (though I shouldn’t be surprised I guess). Is trying his guts out and has been okay up the ground the last few weeks. Our problems are structural, drawing board, strategic. Treloar has been good and I reckon Aish turned the corner on Sunday too.

    Great work LR.

  13. Andrew Starkie says

    Luke, finally found Prickly Moses in a little, independent bottleshop in Fairfield. Bought a six-pack of Otway Light. Good taste; a bit original. keep up the good work.

    Pies in trouble mate. Hope they keep their nerve regarding coach.

  14. Andrew Starkie says

    Oh yeah, ACDC should call it quits.

  15. Big trouble Luke. If you lose this week surely time for Bucks OR Eddie to go

  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Danni-surely it can’t get any worse. I hope…..

    ER- the race has a long way to go. Look forward to our turnaround. Soon.

    Jeff-well played!! Uncle Bob. Brilliant. Saw Brian Johnson’s grandson walking out of the ground on Sunday. He looked as glum as I did.

    Thanks Damian. The critics are out for Cloke, but I reckon he’s been having a crack and is far from our worst. He deserves a change in fortune. And better delivery.

    Andrew- glad you found and enjoyed some Prickly Moses. Totally agree with your views on both our coach and AC/DC.

    Raj- I fear it could get very ugly if we lose this week.

  17. Thunderstruck! A fine piece of writing. Watched the game on television and I cannot understand how commentators were talking you up as top four on season’s eve. Sure, you beat my mob, but Richmond double as implosion specialists. Do you miss Swanny that much?
    And yeah, I love going back to Vic Park, it’s great the way they’ve reinterpreted. Only ever saw one game there. Collingwood v Adelaide. You won by a point. The Crows won the premiership. Hope your boys get up on Monday, will get ugly if they don’t.

  18. Barry McAdam says

    JD, bloody funny!!!

  19. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Dugald. I didnt have us in the top four, but definitely in the 8. That seems a long way away at the moment.

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