Round 4: Collingwood v Western Bulldogs (Floreat Pica Society)


My debut match report for the Floreat Pica Society follows, this began on Prelim Final night last year (amongst my fondest football memories) when I arrived on the Southern Stand terrace with 3 kids. We sat behind a classic gentleman, Frank Taylor, his daughter and a man introduced to me as Mugga. Whilst Frank was charming Mugga seemed determined not to be type cast.


As I danced my way up and down the aisle in the second quarter carrying Harry the 8 year old above my head, Frank caught my eye and invited me into this esteemed society. I said yes. As I could carry my 8 year old above my head I obviously passed the entry requirements, so it would have been rude to say no.


I have scanned the emails, read the match reports and must now pay my way. The following is my best effort to give a run down of the game and provide thoughts on where this team will go in 2019.


I would normally catch a train but this is a dicey call with metro running busses for some reason I still cannot fathom. To be safe we drove in early, ensured we got ourselves a park and had a counter meal at the Cricketers Arms. It was a fantastic pre-game before walking over to the G.


It was a beautiful night, the Pies needed a win, the crowd was building nicely and Dayne Beams was replaced by Callum Brown. Browny is building his game but he is not Dayne Beams. The more the Pies play together the better they will be and losing Beamsy was not ideal.




The first quarter starter with Grundy, Pendles, Adams and Steele in the middle. Most successful teams have 3 marking and intercept defenders (Moore, Howell & Langdon) with 3 effective forwards (Cox, Elliott & De Goey / Stevo etc). We have a defence, we have a forward line but it has not yet clicked. I set myself to watch the midfield at stoppages to see whether they were an area for improvement…


Bontempeli got hands on it first before Pendles pinged him for dropping the ball. The play spread across the oval as the game looked for a theme. It was very sad to see Chris Mayne go down in the first couple of minutes as he is a very handy player and deserved a fitting tribute with his 200thgame. You get the feeling that adversity has been a shadow that he can never outrun. By rights he should get a moment in the sun but fate may not be kind.


Our first and only major for the term came about from the Dogs turning the footy over in the middle of the ground where Brody Mihocek gathered and went long to De Goey who outsmarted the outsized Caleb Daniel and slotting the set shot. Unfortunately, the Dogs learnt from their turnover and started to choke the game through short passing and reducing the contest to damn near unwatchable.  It became a territorial maze that somewhat dazzled our boys who struggled to play through it. A first quarter note was the great work of Jordan Roughead who set himself to mark the footy with 4 intercept marks in the opening stanza with some nice spoils as well.


Pies 1-2-8 Dogs 0-3-3




Our defence continued with Darcy Moore spoiling and setting up from the back line. Steele’s hard running was on show with his linking up with Tom Phillips etc. Jordan De Goey’s fitness does not yet let him go into the middle for a full game. This keeps Jaidyn Stephenson on a wing – Stevo is still learning the caper and unsure of his positioning through the busy middle of the ground. His field kicking is high end but we miss him deep forward. Whilst the opportunity for him to learn through the middle of the ground is handy, we look better as a side when he is parked under big Coxy.


When Coxy was infringed at CHF, he handballed to Crispy who hit up Trav Varco. TV wouldn’t have enjoyed being dropped and made every effort to impact as many contests now he is back in the team. Varcs making every effort makes us a better side, his dynamic play helped us on Friday night.


James Aish continued to build his 1 percenters as he tackles, spoils and stands under the high footy. I watched his game to see where he fits. He wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea and hovers amongst the D.R but I reckon he is a handy backman. He had 4 tackles which was only beaten by the onball brigade. He has a place but must stand up every week.


The Dogs picked up a goal thru a Pies turn over with Mclean putting one through from 50 metres out.


The midfield troubled me at half-time. Although we dominated the ruck, we don’t win clearances from centre bounces. To half-time we used Grundy, Pendles, Treloar, Steele and Adams at centre bounces. Our midfield was lacking hardness, essential to winning big games.


Tom Phillips received a 50 metre penalty where a generous umpire put him within range. Flipper put it through from 50 and the Pies looked set to open the Dogs up. We then squandered an opportunity before a turnover gifted the Bulldogs a goal thru Lloyd.


Shortly after, Josh Thomas put one thru getting on the end of Steele’s effort at CHF where he intercepted a bouncing ball by smashing past the defender before hitting up JT from 40 metres out with a classy floating pass.


Some sloppy checking inside our defensive 50 saw a goal by some Bulldog kid with classic mullet. Some Darcy Moore work saved another goal. Somehow Brodie Mihocek was reported before the quarter came to an end. The first half was forgettable save for the speccy by Hayden Crozier – it was a ripper and homage is paid.


Pies 4-6-30 Dogs 2-7-19



The 3rdquarter opened with the Dog’s high flyer Aaron Naughton kicking one from straight in front. Whilst competitive, Collingwood were not really worrying the Dogs.


In an effort to win the ball from centre bounces, Collingwood introduced Callum Brown into the middle. Things didn’t really change though as the Dogs continued to perform well despite Brodie Grundy absolutely dominating the hit outs and around the ground. Special mention to Tom Langdon for his intercept mark when the Bont was looking to hit up a leading Schache. It was a classic effort that fed into De Goey running down the Mullet on the forward flank. Collingwood missed some opportunities up forward, opening the door for Josh Dinkley to hook the ball over his shoulder for a goal to level the scores. Tory Dickson put them 6 points up before Mason Cox spoilt a ball to Jamie Elliott allowing him to put one through on the run from 30 metres out.


Then the Pies coaching box made a winning move.


If you are going to go without a tagger, and I will leave that decision up to Bucks, your midfield must be harder than the opposition. We have not been. Taylor Adams is the only true hard nut in our midfield. Pendles, Treloar, Steele and Beams (when he returns) are fantastic players but they are not crash and bash inside mids. We are playing a hard onballer short.


Jordan De Goey was inserted at the centre bounce giving us grunt at the coal face. Combined with Taylor Adams he provided the hardness that we had lacked and the complexion of the game changed. This released Jaiden Stephenson forward where he is at his most damaging. De Goey is a beast at the centre bounce. He hunts first hand on the ball and shakes up the status quo. The Dogs got the next 2 goals but Collingwood’s engine room had a harder edge. Simply put, DeGoey was at every centre bounce for the rest of the game with the Dogs winning only one clearance.


Late in the 3rdquarter, the Pies forced the ball forward where Cox, Varcoe and Stevo teamed up for a nice goal around the corner.


 Pies 6-9-45 Dogs 7-8-50


The boys scrapped the ball forward where Stevo handballed the ball to Tom Phillips who put one though from the goal line. The game finally opened up with the Pies lifting their intensity but good field kicking by the Dogs resulted in a goal to Lloyd. Big Mason Coxwas afforded some space in front of goal and marked strongly before putting it through with the Pies winning back the lead. The game continued to ebb and flow before Josh Thomas dribbled the sealer before his classic one hand up one hand down celebration. You felt the Pies were home and when Jaiden Stephenson got under some more of Mason Cox hard work, the Dogs were done. The Dogs got one back but it was Elliott who roved to Coxy before icing the game.

Talking points:


Mason Cox had a hand in 5 of 6 goals after half-time. He either kicked the goal, put it in the direction of a forward or competed in a marking contest where the ball came to ground. He is integral to our team.


We have too many nice onballers and need to play harder. We need more grunt in the midfield. Brayden Sier finally returned to the 2nds and got through ok and will be handy when his fitness builds. Jordan De Goey needs to keep building his fitness to help with grunt through the midfield. We are not capitalising on Brodie Grundy’s dominance.


Josh Thomas and Tom Phillips returned to form which was a good sign.


Collingwood has a new player in every line (Moore, Beams & Elliott). We are winning ugly which is a good sign. As the season goes on, the team will respond better and better and be a force later in the year.


Our backline is strong, we can kill the contest and intercept mark as well as anybody.


Horsbrough votes:

3 votes – Brodie Grundy: 58 hit outs (17 to advantage), 23 disposals, 4 marks. He is a force!

2 votes – Taylor Adams: 28 possessions, 12 contested. Lived under the packs, winning the hard ball, a critical player who will get better as his injured hand heals.

1 vote – Steele Sidebottom: 25 possessions, and bought his team-mates into the game, body lined the ball several times to ensure we won the loose ball.

My apologies to Tom Phillips, good game but both goals were handed to him.






  1. george smith says

    Just a thingy on the goal that wasn’t a goal. According to the oracles and scribes, if the ball hit the post, in this case grazed it, then a free kick would have been awarded to Mihochek anyway – result most likely a goal.

    The second iffy goal, the icing on the cake, was most definitely over the line when the bloke touched it.

    Thirdly, when the umpire got in the way, resulting in a Collingwood goal, I recall the antics of Deller, Robinson, Stevic and McClaren over the years. It was without doubt the most useful thing a Pharisee has ever done for Collingwood!

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