Round 7 – Geelong v Collingwood: Foggy Days


Geelong v Collingwood

Optus Stadium, Perth


Each day I get to drive forty kilometres to work down the Western Highway through country vistas and farm land. Massive gums stretch out over grassy hills, often green and lush, especially at this time of the year. Lambs gambol about in the flocks dotted throughout. Most of the time, it’s a relaxing and pleasant drive. Winter though, can be tough. Leaving and returning in the dark, often with fog blanketing the road and surrounding paddocks. I’m always on the lookout for a rogue roo or even a deer. But there is predictability to it; to the seasons changing and to the driving. There is comfort in the knowing.


Yesterday the temperature gauge only hit 2 degrees on the way to school, and there was another thick fog, which stripped away most of my visibility. It got me thinking about the place that we find ourselves at the moment. A constant state of not knowing. Right now, especially as a Victorian, it’s feeling difficult to see a way forward. I’m lucky to not be living in Melbourne under lockdown, but some of my family are, which is difficult. There is the sadness at not being able to visit each other and missing some of life’s important moments. Sitting alongside that grief the fear for them at the epicentre of our current wave.


It’s tough at the moment. Everyday the world feels off kilter and I’m never quite sure what day it is. Then, against all belief, the footy rolls around again to give us a little snapshot of the almost ordinary, even if our state is deprived of it. Watching the boys in the stripes and the hoops run onto Optus Stadium last night was bizarre. Two teams in quarantine in the strangest season the AFL has ever seen. What felt even stranger was seeing some of the seats with real people, decked out in their supporter gear, ready to cheer on the boys.


Any win against Geelong brings a smile to the face of a Pies supporter, but watching the after-game coverage where Brodie Grundy and Jordan Roughead talked about playing for their Victorian supporters, brought a tear to my eye along with my grin. Geelong supporters no doubt had their own tears when their Captain headed off the ground and put on the jacket with a hamstring issue in the first quarter. Despite their loss, the game hung in the balance for a large part of the night, taking until the last couple of minutes of the game for Collingwood to seal the win.


The Pies haven’t lost a first quarter this season and last night was no different. Better than that, Nathan Buckley seemed happy with the four quarter pressure that the boys brought to the contest. Watching it from the couch though, the night undoubtedly belonged to Jordan De Goey. After kicking the opening goal to the boos of the crowd after a contentious mark, his smile and celebration clearly demonstrated his joy at being back on the field. He was back in every sense.


After some quiet games this season, he was leaping, marking and kicking goals – clocking up five for the game. In the final quarter, when the game was hanging in the balance, he managed to kick it off the ground as the ball bounced up at just the right angle. I’m betting every Collingwood supporter in the lock-down state was screaming! But he wasn’t finished yet. A centimetre perfect Grundy tap down to Jack Crisp, who put it on the boot into the forward fifty resulted in another De Goey contested mark. He slotted it through for what we thought was the sealer, but that was only his fourth. He had one more goal left in him and it was a sweet night for him and Pies supporters.


There was excited talk in my house after the game. This might be it. There are so many unknowns in life at the moment, but we started seeing a way forward for the Pies. We knew that we’d be sitting well in the 8 this week and that Jordy was back in form. A good night. But, much like my morning drives shrouded in mist, sometimes you can’t see quite far enough in front of you.  Today I’m greeted with the news today that De Goey is heading into surgery for an operation on an injured finger, which he played with last night. I feel deflated. He’ll miss the next 6 – 8 weeks and in a condensed season, that could be every game.


Now I’m back to the murky unknown. Both as a Pies supporter and as a Victorian with numbers continuing to increase. The only thing that I do know is that footy will remain for the foreseeable future, even if they’re not playing on hallowed MCG turf. For now, that has to be enough.


GEELONG               1.1     1.3     3.5     5.5     (35)
COLLINGWOOD     2.2     4.3     5.7     8.9     (57)


Geelong: Clark, Guthrie, Rohan, Simpson, Tuohy
Collingwood: De Goey 5, Adams, Daicos, Hoskin-Elliott


Geelong: Dangerfield, Guthrie, Ablett, Menegola, Tuohy
Collingwood: De Goey, Treloar, Moore, Pendlebury, Maynard, Adams


Geelong: Selwood (right hamstring), Clark (right shoulder)
Collingwood: Cox (managed) replaced in selected side by Noble


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Nicole Kelly

Is a teacher, mother, writer and all-round lover of words!


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Enjoyed your piece Nicole, undoubtably uncertain times we live in but you expressed the feeling so well.

  2. Nicole Kelly says

    Thanks Colin. Appreciate it!

  3. Shane Reid says

    I love the way you have described the uncertainty of life in Victoria at the moment Nicole. I agree with you, ‘comfort in the knowing’ just highlights how much the uncertainty at the moment is leading to ‘discomfort.’ Your Pies are playing well though, that has been one constant this year!

  4. Very enjoyable read Nicole. The first half anyway. The bit about the Pies beating the Cats didn’t sit so well!

    The description of the unknown; of what’s ahead was very apt.

  5. Nicole Kelly says

    Thanks Shane. Let’s hope things become a little more certain pretty quickly.

    Dips – I’d like you say sorry ’bout that but, you know how it is. Thanks for reading!

  6. Frank Taylor says

    Nice one Nichole,
    you really capture the Season and general life experience as we stumble forward through this year.
    Who knows…….

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Nicole, it was bizarre alright to see this game in Perth. Bizarre to see a crowd. Collingwood look better with a crowd.
    Can well relate to the perils of country driving. But give me that over a city commute any day.
    A win over Geelong always brings a smile to the face of this Pies supporter!

  8. Hi Nicole
    Enjoyed reading your piece. Your first couple of sentences drew me in with the description of the landscape around you. Footy aside, there has been a magic in the atmosphere beyond the city that doesn’t reflect the doom we are currently going through.
    Enjoying the fact we still have footy and something to look forward to each weekend.
    Carn the Tiges

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