Round 8 – North Melbourne v Collingwood – Floreat Pica Society report by Jim Kesselschmidt

North Melbourne v Collingwood 

 

Venue:

Docklands Stadium

Day:

Saturday

Date:

7 May 2021

Time:

16:35 hours

Crowd:

22, 329

 

Seats:

Level 3, Aisle 9, Row E, Seat 48, type of ticket: ‘junior upgrade’ (Thank you-ticket master when I’m a legends member) Thank you to Peter Butler who purchases the tickets for three of us: Dave Nadel, Peter Butler and me and who negotiates the cumbersome requirements.

 

Mission:

To watch Collingwood play the weakest team in the AFL when Collingwood have lost 6 matches and won 1 so far this season when playing a lot like the weakest team.

 

Caution:

This team may self-destruct if care and due diligence is not taken.

 

Obstacles:

Ticketmaster, off field issues, the board, the football department including list management, racism in the AFL and Collingwood seem the only team to have conducted an internal report, injuries to 3 of Collingwood’s top 5, corona-virus, imbalance of older and younger players, knowing Collingwood won’t make the top 4 and highly unlikely (if not impossible) to make the top 8.  The coach, the coaching department; ‘same old same old’ in terms of a lack of centre clearances and lack of connection / coherence with the forward line. Grundy playing much of the year as a ruck rover and not a ruckman as he is employed to do; Grundy quite often not meeting his duty statement as a ruckman which includes: aerial presence both forward and back, tapping out to distinct disadvantage, aimlessly kick the ball out of defence to the opposition when under pressure rather than given it to a smaller more nimble player and punching the ball from behind when a tall opposition player is about to mark the ball in front.

 

A brief history

 

Collingwood and North Melbourne have played each other on 162 occasions for 2 draws and 52 losses to Collingwood meaning that Collingwood have won on 108 occasions.

Collingwood was formed in 1892 the then VFA and joined with 7 other teams to form the VFL in 1897

North Melbourne remain un-formed and joined the VFL after 29 years in the VFA and three unsuccessful attempts to join the VFL in 1925 along with Footscray (semi-formed) and Hawthorn (over-formed).

 

Intangibles:

 

Shinboner spirit is meant denote ‘struggling against the odds’, indeed it was allusion to the abattoir workforce of a part of North Melbourne when North Melbourne were alleged to have formed. When Dave Nadel volunteered me to write the report on the game for the Floreat Pica Society I’d actually purchased a kg of shinboned beef for a curry in the slow cooker.  The meat after being browned and cooked for about 6 hours simply falls apart. Now far be it from me to use a cooking metaphor but North Melbourne (not unlike Collingwood this year) simply melted under the heat of the second quarter and like the curry beef pieces, were quite soft.

 

Points of interest before the game

 

Father-son. Noble the coach v Noble the player. Noble senior got the gig at North this year and good luck to him. His son is a ripper and one of my favourites. He plays with shinboner spirit but also with daring, flair and a disposal efficiency him makes him relatively unique at Collingwood. Just need some anabolic steroids.

 

Moore. One has an All-Australian centre half back, key part of a defence previously well regarded along side the likes of Howe and Roughead. Howe gets injured so what to do? Play Moore in attack and play an inexperienced international rookie in his place. There are stupid decisions and stupider decisions.  One doesn’t have to be an associate professor of hindsight to see this was a dumb as the as a cunning plan by Baldrick. Enough to make a grown man cry and when I find a grown man who barracks for Collingwood he’ll be sure to cry.

 

Stephenson A top 10 draft pick, Kevin Sheehan rated him as the best draft pick in his year. Wins the best first year player because of his pace, skills and goals. Hard to match up on. Exciting. 2019: the idiot placed a bet not just on team but on him kicking goals. Goose. Suspended and stuffs up his year and also Collingwood’s.  2020: Covid lockdown & behavioural issues which we don’t seem to know the extent of but sufficient to warrant Collingwood to get rid of him. The selling of Alaska by the Russians to the US seems like a terrific trade in comparison (to the SFA that the pies got in return). How’s he going to play?

 

DeGoey In the mass hysteria known as AFL sports reporting, the return of DeGoey post a nasty concussion was less than successful. Indeed, the team without concussion were less than successful. Sport journalists were once considered a fine profession. However, in the era of getting a scoop, the social media age, general intrusiveness and the 24-hour news cycle seems to make most sport journalists have the ethics of an alley cat and appear bone lazy. Many ought to read Martin Flanagan, Alf Brown and Gideon Haigh to see how unsuited they are to their chosen careers. (Thank you, Monty Wooley, from ‘The Man who came to Dinner’ 1942, Screenplay by Julius and Phillip Epstein) but I digress.  The media beat up shines a light on the senior group telling JDG he needs to pull us finger out.

 

Ned Guy Was Ned the fall guy for the woes at Collingwood or was he the author of his own (and Collingwood’s) demise? Or was it a bit of this and a bit of that? FWIW, my view is that the previous Football Manager of Collingwood, North Melbourne and Collingwood again Geoff Walsh resigned a lot earlier without too much fanfare; if blame is to be directed and apportioned then surely the Football Manager should ‘cop his whack’ to quote a former president of Collingwood. For Collingwood there have been a lot of poor trades, overvaluing of players reflected in back ended contracts and simply being paid too much too soon but the Beams deal seems to be a marker of ‘caveat emptor’ and a marker of ‘they saw us coming’.

 

 

 

The match

 

First quarter

 

Both Nobles stuff up badly. I point out to Dave Nadel just before the first bounce that remarkably if not gobsmackingly, Noble the coach put an inexperienced Bonar on a match winner DeGoey at full forward and if he persists with this move Collingwood will win the match. Noble the coach keeps Bonar on him way to long and alas….

 

Noble the player handballs through Norths goals 15 metres out (not in the 10-yard square) a silly error but just the beginning of the match and he won’t do that again.

 

Stepehnson plays well for North and they apply far more pressure than Collingwood with the tackle count being 14-6 in North’s favour close to the end of that quarter. Moore plays very well amassing marks and surging forward; playing the AA in the backline ‘who knew’?

 

The quarter is error ridden and some howlers by north in their backline allows Pendlebury to kick his first for the season.

 

The umps (there are 4 of them) miss Cunnington’s arm all over Murphy’s shoulder as though trying to decapitate him form the base of the neck. Play is allowed to continue and Zuhaar while slipping mis- kicks the ball to Power who happened to be in front. You can’t coach for these errors and North get a lucky goal.

 

DeGoey did very well carving North up but North did well to get numbers back and effectively crowd Collingwood’s forward 50. Zeibell was mopping up deep in defence and was helping young Bonar.

 

Better players for the Pies included: Moore, De Goey, Noble, Maynard, Grundy and Pendlebury

 

Collingwood 3.2 20

North Melbourne 2.214

 

Second quarter

 

Collingwood

 

The second quarter arrived not unexpectedly after the first. I looked up redundant in the dictionary and it said: ‘see redundant’ (thank you Robin Williams).

 

Collingwood and DeGoey simply blast North Melbourne away kicking 5.4 to 1.4. DeGoey kicked four first half goals, kicking half of Collingwood’s score by the end of the second quarter. North Melbourne were error laden as were the pies , but they simply had more errors than Collingwood. The biggest howler however was made by the umpires. The worst decision in many a year was awarded against Zohar of North Melbourne when he simply mistimed the ball drop & kicked the football perpendicular to the intended target; the goal. The umps paid deliberate. Appalling. Another bad error was awarded to Zuhaar when he simply fell over Sidebottom’s lower leg with a reactive and unthinking umpire awarding a trip. Fortunately for Collingwood he missed.

 

Collingwood were a bit cleaner than North Melbourne and capitalised on their opportunities. Two goals to Mihocek, two goals to Pendlebury and another goal (and so ne misses) to De Goey gave the Pies a 5 goal margin by half time.

 

Better players for Collingwood included: Moore, DeGoey, Noble, Maynard, Grundy and Daicos who was making his presence felt. Young Poulter looked like he is going to be a half decent player.

 

Collingwood 8.6.54

North Melbourne 3.6.24

 

Third quarter

 

If you thought Collingwood was going to run away with it think again. I did think the Pies were likely to run away with it but this is Collingwood of 2021 and I also underestimated North Melbourne who only last week did well in patches.

 

North Melbourne quickly kick the first 4 goals aided and abetted by some silly Collingwood mistakes but also through centre clearances with Tarryn Thomas leading the way. Grundy was being out rucked in the centre despite a good first half from him. He failed to fulfill a major part of his duty statement: imposing himself and losing the tap outs in the centre in the first half of this quarter. Stephenson goaled after Maynard had an arm around his neck defending a goal: just trying too hard to defend.

 

North worked harder and gained momentum. Momuntum can be tricky to defend especially with the advent of new rules (not a fan at all) and at this stadium. Well done North. They were fast and had 7:1 inside 50’s in the first half of the 3rd as well as 3:1 centre clearances and much more inside 50’s. They were applying pressure and winning the contested ball

 

A desperate Sidebottom smother saved the pies from 5 in a row by North. Mid to late 3rd term Keane shows he can play but he did miss a sitter as did Cameron not too long after. Cameron the tall ruckman crumbs the ball after good  forward pressure when centre 15 yards out and kicks a timely goal making it two in a row. He later kicks a goal,  a great contested mark making it two in a row to him. Collingwood applied more pressure late in the quarter and Grundy while being beaten did some nice things too. Grundy also gave away a free that was simply borne out of frustration and was quite undisciplined. The Pies goals also came from some north forced and unforced errors.

 

North wins this quarter albeit just: Collingwood kicked 4.4 this quarter to North Melbourne’s 5.1

 

 

Collingwood: 12.10. 82

North Melbourne: 8.7.55

 

Fourth quarter

 

Mistakes galore especially by North allow Collingwood to score some easy goals. Zuhaar takes out Roughhead after Roughhead disposes of the ball and while Zuhaar was full of momentum but he was late and charged him in my view; a head clash. Why wasn’t he reported?

Cameron kicked his third and De Goey kicks his 6th. In a lacklustre last quarter North Melbourne kick three goals to the Pies two.

I’ll keep it brief: North won the last half and played well in patches as did Collingwood. However, Collingwood were too strong and really didn’t look like losing. The win while there wasn’t absolutely convincing but it was a win.

Collingwood kicked 2 goals while North Melbourne kicked 3 goals 3 behinds

 

Summary

 

An error laden -game with North making far too many forced and unforced errors. Collingwood did too but had more experience. The match was lost by North when they thought it would be a good idea for Bonar a talented kid to have a learning experience by playing on DeGoey. They kept the poor kid on DeGoey for far too long. That was a right Noble stuff up at the selection table.

Collingwood showed some signs for the future: Among the non-usual suspects: Poulter looks good, Quaynor was good, Cameron was good and Keane showed a bit. Tyler Brown was reasonably good too.

Moore played a ripper taking 19 marks and was BOG for mine. DeGoey could have had 8.1 quite easily and did very well for 6.3 and Johnny Noble as ever, reliable, dependable and played a very good match.

 

The DR votes then: 3. Moore 2 DeGoey and 1 Noble (of Collingwood)

 

Prediction

 

Well, this is as obvious as playing an all-Australian Centre Half Back in the back line: Neither Collingwood nor North Melbourne will trouble too many top teams this year.

 

Post script

 

Under a bit of pressure both teams like my shin bone beef becomes soft, tender and falls away easily.

 

Recipe

Ingredients

I kg of beef shin

I large onion

4 garlic cloves

A good piece of ginger

Small tin or organic coconut cream

Ghee

1 red chilli (long)

1-2 tsp of cumin powder

2 tsp of coriander powder

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of mustard seeds

½ bunch of fresh coriander

Salt

 

Brown the beef shin pieces in the ghee then remove.

Blend the onion, garlic, spices, chilli and a bit of the fresh coriander into a paste (add a bit of ghee if necessary or a bit of olive oil or water to make the paste blend)

Add the spices to the browned juices (my slow cooker has a searing function) and cook for a few minutes on a low heat. Return the meat and coat the spices. Add the form part of the tinned coconut cream (you don’t need too much) then add salt for taste and slow cook for about 4-6 hours.

Serve with rice or whatever you prefer. Like both Collingwood and North Melbourne the Shinbone beef simply falls away.

 

Go Pies

Floreat Pica

 

 

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