Round 9 – Collingwood v Geelong: I love Melbourne, I love footy

The walk to the footy. Not a common occurrence for someone who lives a two-hour drive away from the MCG. I’m walking from Swan St, Richmond. From a mate’s place. Collingwood and Geelong Cats jumpers and scarves everywhere in front of Swan St cafes and bars. Earlier I’d walked from a city motel to my mate’s place. In town for work. It’s Good Beer Week. I love Melbourne.

I meet BJ outside Richmond station. He worked for me in my previous job. A Geelong Cats fan. (When did Geelong become known as “Geelong Cats” in the fixture and on TV instead of just Geelong? It looks odd.) He likes to ring me when Collingwood lose. He’s been ringing a lot this season. I rarely answer the phone in the hours after a Pies loss….

We find some seats in the Olympic Stand. I’m tired. Good Beer Week started last Sunday. I represented Prickly Moses that day in the “bowl with the brewers” day at the Flemington/Kensington bowls club. The main event is the three-day “Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular”. Better known now as “GABS”. At the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. What an amazing piece of architecture that place is. The Friday night session is big. Pouring, talking and drinking craft beer. With bar owners, beer nerds, home brewers and other brewers. Tough gig.

I wasn’t confident at all heading into this game. My unavailability to work for the Saturday afternoon session was declared early. Had the feeling as the game started that I’d have been better off working.

Then came a memorable first quarter. Very used to Collingwood being slow starters in recent years. The men in black & white came out pumped. Seven goals to nil at the first break. Jesse White kicked the first. Much maligned. By me. As well as pretty much every Pies fan I know. He plays a superb first term. His last two games have been very, very good. Is a man bun all it takes to turn a career around?? The Pies fans around me roar with newfound appreciation of J.White.

The great man Steele Sidebottom is playing his 150th. How quickly that milestone has come around. He’s a star. In our top two. The next captain. He dominates early.

Instead of #sidebyside, today is #sidebysidey.

Of course the bookies’ flag favourites hit back. Three goals to two in both the second and third quarters. Our defence has stood up, a rarity in 2016. Only 27 points up at the last change, the feeling that Geelong Cats will run over the top of us is very real. BJ is confident his boys will get the job done.

All of a sudden, early in the last quarter, the Cats get to within nine points. Bartel and Lang are dominating. Hawkins looks unstoppable with the faster delivery. BJ gets cocky, gives me a solid hip and shoulder while screaming “Go Cats”!

The most pleasing aspect was that the Pies withstood the challenge from a very high quality team. Cox and Grundy really stood up in the ruck and contributed up forward in the last 15 minutes of the game. Cox’s run, bounce and goal late in the game sent myself and the black & white garbed fans in the stadium into delirium. Darcy Moore’s mark and goal was even better. Watched him closely. He’s already directing others in the forward line. Very much a future leader.

The horrible, horrible start to a season full of hope is slowly getting back on track. A tough gig against the Bulldogs awaits. Our skipper is still injured but near back to his best. Getting caught holding the ball and a poor handball the only blemishes in a wonderful captain’s game by Pendles. Sidey is just class, on either foot. What a high quality first 150. He’s got at least that much in him again.

BJ heads off back to city while I walk back amongst happy Magpie fans, heading to the North of the city. Another full house at the Royal Exhibition Building awaits in the world of IPAs, Imperial Stouts, Saisons, Bocks, Pilsners and Witbier. It’s busier than the Friday night. Great to be able to celebrate a fantastic win with fellow good beer lovers at GABS instead of drowning my sorrows. I love Melbourne.

I love footy. Go pies.

COLLINGWOOD 7.5 9.5 11.7 16.8 104
GEELONG 0.3 3.7 6.10 11.14 80

COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury 3, Fasolo 2, White 2, Cox 2, Grundy 2, Treloar, Crisp, Crocker, de Goey, Moore
GEELONG: Hawkins 4, Lang, Menzel, Caddy, Duncan, Stanley, Motlop, Smith

COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Howe, Crisp, Treloar, Adams, Varcoe, Greenwood
GEELONG : Lang, Bartel, Hawkins, Enright

UMPIRES: Dalgleish, Jeffrey, Ryan

CROWD: 59,864 at the MCG

MALARKEY MEDAL VOTES: 3. S. Pendlebury (Coll) 2. S. Sidebottom (Coll) 1. J. Howe (Coll)

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About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Why the bloody hell didn’t Collingwood sack Buckley when they had the chance?

  2. It only took every blind Freddie and the President to persuade stubborn Bucks to abandon his zone defence. Ultimately I reckon it’ll prove to be 3 weeks too late.

    Nice write up Crackers, I hope you gave BJ the rounds at the final siren. It’s not Mason Cox keeping Trav out it’s a reborn Jesse.

    So where can I buy your Prickly Moses stout?

  3. Neil Anderson says

    From hating football to loving football, I know what you mean in reverse.
    I f someone asks you if you are going to Melbourne for work or pleasure do you answer both? A magpie-loving male’s perfect weekend combination.
    Not happy about all that confidence the Pies have found before they play the Bulldogs next week, but should be a good contest.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    That’s a beauty Luke
    “Is a man bun all it takes to turn a career around??” Gem of a line. I hope they didn’t test Jesse after the game. Keeping Cloke out. The midfield finally clicked. Adams and Varcoe made a huge difference. Crisp was back to his best. We looked fit and full of run. False dawn or genuinely new hope for 2016? Next 3 games will reveal a lot. If we can get to the bye at 6-6 I wouldn’t be too unhappy. Go Pies !!

  5. Rick Kane says

    Luke, I speak on behalf of every reader when I ask why you haven’t put a review of best beers up on the site yet. Get to it man!

    Good on the Pies for reminding the Cats that it’s a long season (boy, have the Hawks been reminded). Great hashtag, something so unCollingwood.

    Anyway, what IPAs would you recommend?


  6. David Conallin says

    Way back in 1978 a Sporting Globe journalist (remember” the pink paper with the powerful punch”) wrote among other thing ” it most be tough being a Collingwood supporter going along each week expecting the worst, knowing that it may not happen until the end of the year, but happen it will” I had cut the out and stuck to my filing cabinet as a reminder never to forget 1970 ( I was there and still haven’t watched a replay!) So I’m ready for the Collingwood haters when we fall over.

  7. Paul Spinks says

    I agree, Luke – ‘Geelong’ or ‘Cats’ but never the twain should meet. Think the club did it to be more inclusive of fans that don’t live in Geelong – or something.
    The Pies and Cats have a recent history of upsetting each others apple carts, so I wasn’t that surprised you did a number on us this time.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Dips- the turnaround all due to the master coach!

    Jeff- so happy to see the end of our zone defence. BJ copped plenty back at the end of the game!

    Neil- absolutely both! Should be a cracking game against your Bulldogs on Sunday.

    Phil- agreed on all points. Hopefully genuinely new hope for 2016.

    Rick, will get onto it!
    Some IPA’s I’d recommend- of course ours, which is called The Raconteur. We also have one called Chardonnay IPA, which you may have guessed is a Chardonnay infused IPA. Brewcult’s “Hop Zone” is as good as any going around, and they also have an American style IPA called “Thanks Captain Obvious”. Mornington Brewery have a great IPA. Bridge Road Brewers “Bling” is excellent. While I’m sure Hawthorn Brewery IPA would have appeal for you!

    David- the haters are everywhere!

    Paul- it just doesn’t look right.
    So many interesting results between our teams in recent years.

  9. Dave Brown says

    Love the sense of optimism that has returned to your season, Luke. I’m a fan of a good witbier myself and even in [insert big chain store name] the pickings are fairly slim

  10. Malcolm Ashwooc says

    Good stuff Luke geez hard week the pies have been the bewildering side with a list which is so much better than it has performed ( and killed me re footy tipping) ironically Sat morning I happened to be with a pies recruiter who wasn’t keen to talk footy either some one once said a weeks a long time in footy

  11. Living the dream Luke. Living the dream.

  12. What a way to round off the beer week, Luke.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Dave- Witbier very much not in trend at the moment. It will come back.

    Malcolm- spot on. A week is a very long time in footy.

    Cheers PB and Smokie. Worse ways to spend your work hours than at Good Beer Week!

  14. Luke- SpecTAPular. I like what they’ve done there. It was quite SpecTAPular at the North Fitzroy Arms a few weeks’ back!

    Good luck to your Pies. Trav this week?

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