Round 5 – Collingwood v Essendon: A Day To Be Thankful

It is a day to be thankful. Thankful for those that served this country in times that were very different to now. To think about those that have served recently, and those currently serving. Thankful that our nation, while not perfect, is a safe place of freedom. Thankful it’s a Collingwood home game, with our seats waiting.


It’s 7 year old Josh’s first ANZAC Day game. He’s beyond excited. It’s 2 hours before game time. From our city car park, the walk, like the weather, is perfect. Merging in with the masses heading to the game, in black and white and black and red, on Birrarung Marr before the big game, adds to the anticipation. Feeling part of something big.


As we settle into the Ponsford Stand, Mike Brady, in a rare non-September footy appearance, is singing on the stage just behind us. The members is already packed right up to the top row for this one day in April. Some veterans are driven around the boundary, applauded every part of the journey. Ian Moss takes to the stage, belting out “Telephone Booth”, new song “If Another Day” and “Tuckers Daughter”. The best Chisel vocalist has a new, self-titled album out and it’s fantastic. Do yourself a favour.





The playing of The Last Post always puts a lump in my throat. The respect of an eerily silent crowd of 90,000. Having both the New Zealand and Australian national anthems played on this day is fitting. The roar at the conclusion of Advance Australia Fair sends a chill down your spine. There’s a lot of black and red in this crowd. But not where I’m sitting. Very thankful for that.



The ANZAC Day shared banner



There’s not even an opening bounce as Essendon give away a pre-game free. Grundy bangs the ball forward and Essendon rush a point. Shortly after Ben Reid marks and misses a straightforward shot. Essendon take the ball forward, Joe Daniher marks next to the behind post, plays on and goals, a reply to our missed chances we’ve become accustomed to the past four years. But Collingwood quickly reply, Hoskin-Elliott cuts off a Goddard pass and runs in to goal. Goal for goal as Stringer kicks two for the Bombers while De Goey and Sidebottom both kick goals off the ground. Sidebottom snaps a second, giving the Pies a 7 point quarter time lead.


By half time the lead is 17 points, should’ve been more given Collingwood’s second term dominance. Playing with a dare and run attitude much different to the tight structure of the past few years. Thoughts of a 3rd quarter Essendon comeback were put on hold as a Treloar led Magpie effort stunted any Essendon attack, though unable to capitalise properly on our opportunities, a still gettable lead of 30 points at the last change.


Two early last quarter goals to the Pies seal the game. Mason Cox takes some good grabs. The cheersquad chant “USA, USA” as he lines up for goal in a fun moment. The Bombers score some late consolation goals to make the final margin 49 points.


It was Treloar’s best game this season. Explosive, damaging. But I’d have given the ANZAC Medal to Scott Pendlebury. Set up the win with a magnificent first half. Several clearances, immaculate ball use, controlled the game. Mike Sheahan’s call that Pendles is no longer an ‘A Grader’ looks more ridiculous by the week. Sidebottom continued his great form. Grundy was a bit quieter possession wise but sublime with his tap work in the ruck. Aish and Schranberg are really starting to blossom. While we really have a gun in Jaiden Stephenson. Pace, skill, footy smarts. A steal at pick 6.


The mood is joyous walking out of the Ponsford. Joffa and the cheersquad are outside, chanting. This feels good. Feels like Collingwood are building. For that, I am thankful.



Scenes of joy outside the Ponsford Stand



Josh has had a wonderful first ANZAC Day at the footy. He leaves with a win, a hoarse voice, a Jaiden Stephenson badge and hopefully great memories. He sleeps the last half hour of the trip home. No doubt dreaming of Jamie Elliott’s return.


Go Pies.


COLLINGWOOD 4.4 6.9 8.14 14.17 (101)
ESSENDON 3.3 4.4 4.9 7.10 (52)


Collingwood: Sidebottom 3, Treloar 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Stephenson 2, Cox 2, De Goey, Reid, Phillips
Essendon: Stringer 2, Daniher, Stewart, Heppell, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Hooker


Collingwood: Pendlebury, Treloar, Sidebottom, Grundy, De Goey, Aish, Varcoe, Scharenberg
Essendon: Hurley, Heppel, Z.Merrett, Zaharakis


Umpires: Deboy, Hosking, Chamberlain
Coote, Rayner, Mather, Tomkins
Dervan, Piperno


Official crowd: 91,440 at the MCG

Malarkey Medal Votes:

3. Scott Pendlebury (Coll)
2. Adam Treloar (Coll)
1. Steele Sidebottom (Coll)


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. The Pies are back Luke! No doubt. They looked far too quick for a sluggish Bombers. The game was a horrible spectacle for the neutral supporters, but great for the black and white army. Josh will always remember it.

  2. george smith says

    I would like to pay tribute to the Lanky Yank. Surely he is now the poor man’s Paul Salmon, or the average, middle class equivalent of mike Pyke or Leigh Brown. When sides are getting rid of second ruckmen, it is cheering to us old timers that when he isn’t needed in the ruck, you shove him up forward to take 5 marks for two goals. Memories of Peter Moore!

    Our foreign legion is small compared to the Swans, but we have now produced three handy players – Marty Clarke (County Down), Hertier Lumumba (Brazil) and now Mason Cox (Texas).

  3. I’ve changed my mind about your Pies and the Bombers perpetual right to Anzac Day at the MCG. It has developed its own atmosphere and traditions over time. Small clubs or interstate clubs just wouldn’t cut it. But the Dockers should be able to have their Len Hall game on Anzac Day starting after 4 in Perth with the time difference.
    Nothing you ever do for a child is ever forgotten. There is something about getting up early on Anzac Day – whether for the Dawn Service or the long drive to the big smoke. Its the closest thing to sacrifice most of us have in our comfortable lives.

  4. Top stuff Luke. I thought the first quarter was great, but fell away as a contest after that.

    I love the pre-bounce ceremony, not so much for the nationalism etc but for the pure aural theatre of voice, sound, music and silence. And, of course, the roar at the end of the anthem.

    As good as your mob were the Bombers were horrible once they had the fig and even worse inside their own fifty.

    Thanks fella.

  5. Well played, L and J Reynolds.
    Well played, I Moss.

    I had no trouble with the game as a spectacle.
    None at all.

  6. Dave Brown says

    Great job, Luke. As an infrequent viewer of Collingwood it seems Scharenberg has made a big step forward this year. Glad Aish seems to be finding his place in the team too. Show the same level of composure you’ve shown over the last couple of weeks and Collingwood is every chance this weekend against the MCG house band.

  7. DBalassone says

    Well said Luke. We certainly slapped their knee bones to the ground.

  8. Yassssssssssssss !!!!!

  9. Nice work Luke, having the young ‘un experience a footy debut like that is a double win.

    Confidence is a magical thing. Pies players coming to the fore now have found it and have it in eachother. There’s still plenty room for improvement but finally I can see a light.

    I think Mike Sheahan did Pendles a favour, in a roundabout way.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Super report and great memory for young Josh. Luke, I don’t know mate, but as George Costanza said: “I think it moved” after watching that game.
    Mossy one of the premier guitarists of Australian rock.
    De Goey is a key with his talent, poise awareness and delivery. He has helped take the pressure off Pendles, Steele and Treloar. A fit Elliott and the FFFFF…word wants to burst out of my black and white soul. Too soon?
    Will Moore and Fasolo get a game ?!
    Love your work and Go Pies !!

  11. another great write Luke………. still like GO CAT

  12. Jan Courtin says

    Happy for you Luke!

  13. Mossssssyyyyyy!!!!!

    Great memories for you there, Crackers.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful arvo.
    The Pies are looking ok – but, gee, isn’t amazing how many of their fans wanted Buckley sacked after Round 1? This AFL industry – led by a media gang which is far too self-important – often seems to be a piddling week-to-week focus group.

  14. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff,Luke sounds like a fantastic day I was at Unley oval watching our lady legs going down in a cliffhanger to the Panthers I have never been prouder of a NFC team geez the ladies had a crack
    ( go Aishy )

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks everyone for the comments. Phil, reckon a few of us had the Costanza experience.
    Keep the lid on it. For now. Go Pies.

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