Round 4 – GWS v Collingwood: Two big losses in one night (Floreat Pica Society)

Friday 26 June 2020


Giants’ Stadium


By Andrew Fithall


I write this as a representative of the Floreat Pica Society; a group of like-minded Collingwood supporters. It this therefore incumbent of me to do what any proper Collingwood supporter would do, and complain about the umpires. This is not a complaint about a decision that cost Collingwood a win. I don’t believe there were any of those. My complaint is more basic. If a rule is introduced by the league to protect a player, and that rule is enforced to the nth degree in other games, even when there is no danger to any player, how is it that a Collingwood player can have his entire season abruptly terminated by an opposition player’s transgression of said rule, and there is no penalty? Sure – a free-kick belatedly awarded will not restore Jeremy Howe’s ligaments. BUT THIS IS WHY THE RULE WAS INTRODUCED – to protect a player’s lower legs. Howe had his leg barrelled into by a GWS player who went in low to the contest and no free kick came from it. I cannot understand why not.


My second round of finger-pointing is a little bit closer to home; to a fellow Floreat Pican. Mid-week Damian Balassone had entertained and educated the FP membership with score analysis of the most recent nine Collingwood games, pointing out that no team had scored more than 65 points against the Pies in that stretch. You knew you were tempting fate Damian. What did GWS score on Friday night? 66 points. Just enough to cause a heartbreaking loss.


I watched the game at home with my Geelong-supporting wife and 23 year-old Collingwood-supporting daughter. Another daughter was home, but being a Geelong supporter, she wasn’t really interested. One son, who also lives at home, had gone to The Workers’ Club Hotel in Fitzroy to watch the game with mates.


The one change from the previous week’s win over St Kilda was Mason Cox back in the team at the expense of Darcy Cameron. He had been doing a reasonable job as a relief ruckman and round-the-ground contested marker, but to my knowledge had not been a goal threat.


Darcy Moore started the game well, taking a number of intercept marks and hitting good targets with his release kicks. When Taylor Adams found Stevo, our first set shot at goal resulted in a behind. The half-way point of the quarter was reached with neither side registering a goal. The first of the match was to GWS when Jeremy Cameron marked inside 50 and shot straight. Collingwood’s first came inside the last 90 seconds of the quarter and was by Stevo after a pass from De Goey. Similar to last week, Stevo also scored Collingwood’s second when some good work from Jamie Elliott found the mobile small forward on the lead. The Pies went into quarter time with a 14 to 9 lead.


Moore’s good work continued into the second quarter. I got in trouble from my daughter for calling Roughead’s actions stupid when an off-the-ball sling of an opposition player gifted GWS their second goal. I stand by my description.


A couple of misses from each team followed.


A digression if I may. The only way you know as a TV spectator that a set shot at goal has missed is when the goal umpire signals the behind. You get no help from the Channel 7 producer who opts for a behind-the goal camera angle that gives the viewer no useful perspective. And the commentators are of very little assistance – what a surprise! Has it always been like this? Maybe in the normal world you could get a better gauge from the crowd reaction. But with no crowd, there is no reaction. Someone has suggested that they are using fewer cameras and don’t have good on-goal angles. Whatever it is, I do wish they would do better so we can actually judge the result for ourselves.


Hoskin-Elliott missed a shot on the run and GWS goaled through Greene from a Cameron pass.  Brayden Maynard was not enjoying his 101st game. Maybe he was tired. After all, pre-game Bruce McAvaney had said Maynard had played 100 games last week. That would tire anyone out.


Soon after, young Daicos produced a goal out of almost nothing. He is developing nicely as a player. But then up the other end, a ruck contest in which Cox had no opponent somehow ended up with Toby Greene scoring his second. A free-kick not paid to Jamie Elliott (how could you not see his arms taken in the marking contest umpire?) did no damage as the ball found Crisp who goaled to level the scores. It was 28 apiece at half time.


Early in the third Maynard’s night worsened when he missed a spoil and Greene kicked his third. A poor clearance kick from Moore, which missed his target in Crisp, resulted in GWS’ second for the quarter. It was quickly followed by a defence to attack transition by the Giants, who had the first three goals of the third quarter. Two Collingwood players who had been virtually unsighted this far then bobbed up. Mihocek kicked his first, before a GWS goal response, and then Tom Phillips chimed in with a scrambling goal out of nowhere, before a (nother) dropped mark by Cox ended with Mihocek’s second courtesy of a mid-air volley. Collingwood had a late quarter let-off when Toby Greene marked in easy range but inexplicably handballed off to Cameron, who missed on the run. The goal ledger levelled when Phillips again goaled out of nowhere. GWS were up 54 to 53 at three quarter time.


A couple of early final quarter misses by the Pies, including one from Pendlebury when the free should have actually been paid to Tom Phillips, gave the Pies a narrow but brief one point lead.


Maynard’s game reached its nadir when he stubbed his toe attempting a clearance kick, and GWS took back the lead with a goal. A set-shot miss from Chris Mayne preceded the Jeremy Howe incident. Callum Brown also missed from a free-kick and Hoskin-Elliott hit the post with a 50 metre shot on the run. Inevitably the ball went up the other end and Cameron marked well against Moore and goaled to give GWS some breathing space. But when Maynard found Cox, who took a rare but welcome contested mark and kicked truly, the Pies were in with a shot.


However the final couple of minutes resembled the late minutes of the 2019 preliminary final far too closely – scrambled play, too many ball-ups, too much time wasting, the siren coming too soon. GWS prevailed 10-6 66 to 9-10 64.


Collingwood scored one goal five in the final quarter to the Giant’s two goals straight. And that is the story. Many opportunities but not the desired outcomes. Chances not taken. Too many misses. And a player down for the season.


The votes? A difficult task. I will do this without referencing any stats or consulting any other match reports.


One vote to Jeremy Howe. Another good game that was a part of a very good season – particularly since the COVID re-start. He will be greatly missed.


Two votes to Moore. He was solid in defence taking good marks and finding targets with his exit kicks. A blemish allowed Cameron to kick GWS’ winning goal.


Thee votes to the skipper Pendlebury. With Sidey almost blanketed, Pendles was damaging with his multiple possessions and disposals. He should have kicked that goal in the last quarter though.



GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY      1.3       4.4       8.6       10.6 (66)
COLLINGWOOD                           2.2       4.4       8.5       9.10 (64)


Greater Western Sydney: Greene 3, Cameron 2, Finlayson, Green, Perryman, Ward, Kelly
Collingwood: Stephenson 2, Mihocek 2, Phillips 2, Daicos, Crisp, Cox


Greater Western Sydney: Greene, Green, Whitfield, Haynes, Kelly, de Boer
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Moore, Howe, Maynard, Crisp, Wills



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About Andrew Fithall

Probably the most rational, level-headed Collingwood supporter in existence. Not a lot of competition mind you.

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