Round 6 – Collingwood v Essendon: The day the result of the game comes second.

By Caspar McLeod.


I was lucky enough to go to the Anzac Day clash between my beloved Bombers and Collingwood this year. I’ve been once more to one of these matches, the 2019 edition where a late Essendon comeback was not enough to overcome Collingwood’s first quarter domination.


I went to this game with a Collingwood supporting mate of mine I first met when we were little. I tried buying tickets earlier in the week, logged into the site 6 minutes after the tickets were released and they were gone. I thought that was going to be my only chance. Until the news came through the Victorian government was going to allow capacity to be at 85,000. I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity a second time.


My mate and I got caught on the staircase when the Anzac ceremony began. It is always such a humbling experience, hearing that Last Post play. My mind immediately went to Gallipoli, where my family and I back a few years ago walked amongst battlefields a century old. To those who read this who are fighting for this country or who have previously fought for this country, thank you for your service.


The game itself started off horribly. After Collingwood’s third goal in seemingly as many minutes, I got flashbacks to the 2019 game. I thought to myself that “this start is going to cost us”. Thankfully, it didn’t. Parish got us back into the game with a beautiful snap from about 45, and then his grunt work to win the next centre-clearance. AMT joined in on the act, and all of a sudden, we were dominating. But we kept missing. At one stage we were 2.4 and trailing. I was nervous again. “This inaccuracy is going to cost us”, I thought to myself.


At halftime, despite us threatening to break away, Collingwood kept on clawing their way back into the contest. We had six more scoring shots than them, though, at the major break and yet we led by only six behinds. My friend wasn’t happy with how Collingwood were playing, and I wasn’t happy with how we were kicking in front of the sticks.


Incredibly, despite us dominating general play, Collingwood snatched the lead back at the start of the last quarter. A goal within a minute of play starting, which was exactly how they started the first quarter. Thankfully we didn’t allow them to kick three in a row, otherwise that might have been too tough for us to overcome. Instead, AMT displayed his astounding football talent. Parish continued to have the ball on a string. He could have finished the game with 50 disposals, but 42 is still an impressive number. In the last quarter we prove too strong for the Pies as we record our first win on this day since 2017, and beat Collingwood for the second time in a row since 2017 too.


Interestingly enough, Essendon’s last five Anzac Day wins have each come four years apart: 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, and 2021. So, I guess that the next three Anzac Day’s won’t be so enjoyable from a football perspective for me, although you can pencil in an Essendon victory in 2025.


But this day is always about more than just footy. It’s about reflecting, giving thanks to those willing to sacrifice it all for the safety of others, and remembering. Today is truly the day when the result of the match comes second in terms of importance.



COLLINGWOOD    4.1     8.1      11.5        13.7 (85)
ESSENDON            4.4      8.7    11.10     16.13 (109) 


Collingwood: Cameron 3, McCreery 3, C.Brown, Moore, Grundy, Hoskin-Elliott, Crisp, Ruscoe, Mihocek
Essendon: McDonald-Tipungwuti 5, Wright 2, Parish 2, Snelling 2, Phillips, Smith, Laverde, Redman, Stringer 


Crisp, Cameron, Pendlebury, Grundy, Quaynor, Daicos
Essendon: Parish, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Merrett, Heppell, Wright, Laverde, McGrath 


Collingwood: Nil
Essendon: Francis (ankle)


Collingwood: T.Brown (unused)
Essendon: Zaharakis (replaced Francis)


Crowd: 78,113 at the MCG



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About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Fab read Caspar, and a great result. Nik Cox is a ripper and the future of our club. Must beat the Blues next week to maintain the momentum.

  2. Great read Caspar – fast and furious like the game itself. Love that you are so honest about your bias – although I fundamentally disagree with your team of choice, I support your right to support them!

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