The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 3 – Collingwood v Richmond

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!





Collingwood v Richmond

7:40pm, Friday April 13



by Matt O’Connor



MY COLLINGWOOD RIVALRY WITH RICHMOND started at Ripponlea Primary School in 1974, when my grade-two teacher asked us to stand up if we liked Elvis. I wasn’t entirely sure who Elvis was, and fancying myself as something of a rebel, I stayed in my seat when I realised that almost all of my classmates had leapt to their feet.


Next we were asked to declare our football allegiances. The Tigers had just gone back-to-back, so it was no surprise when the Elvis neophytes opted for Richmond en masse. The spotlight returned to me. I panicked and chose Collingwood.


There is a certain irony in selecting the Pies in an effort to be non- conformist. In any event, history has vindicated my snap decisions. Elvis made his ignominious departure in 1977, and the Tigers have hardly set the world on fire since 1980.


The manufactured rivalry round pitted the Woods against the Yellow and Black. Presumably Melbourne, Carlton and Essendon were otherwise engaged. The perfect start to a Friday-night appointment at the MCG in autumn is a few nerve settlers at the Napier Hotel in Fitzroy, and my Collingwood contingent gathered to discuss Cloke, Raines, Tuck and the Shaws. It could have been 1980 all over again. Publican Guy served the beer as the sun set behind the Brunswick Street shops. At these moments, Melbourne is unbeatable.


A quick trot through the gardens got us to the floodlit citadel with a few minutes to spare. A mate rang me just as I arrived. “Clement’s out,” he said. “Bullshit,” I responded. But a quick scan of the Pies’ warm-up confirmed the awful truth. Shane Wakelin in; Clement out. At this moment, I did what any self- respecting Pie fan would do. I gave up.


Clement hadn’t missed a game since 2003, and had become the artistic director and general of our improving backline. I didn’t think we could cover his absence, especially as we were blooding three first-gamers, Brad Dick, Shannon Cox and Alan Toovey.


When the Tigers jumped out of the box my fears seemed justified. Nathan Foley, Kane Johnson and Chris Hyde mopped up around the packs, providing Jay Schulz and Matty Richardson with a steady supply. Schulz was particularly impressive, leading strongly and kicking straight for two early majors on Wakelin.


Richo was Richo, and evermore shall be so. He worked hard to create three early scoring opportunities, but converted only one. It was Richmond by 20 points at the first break, but it should have been more.


Dick popped up to kick a goal, off the ground, early in the second stanza, but Richmond’s midfield pressure kept the ball in the danger zone often enough to create confusion in the Collingwood back half. The Shaw brothers stuffed up consecutive kick-outs, Rhyce’s resulting in a patented Richo point, Heath’s incurring the maximum penalty when Andrew Krakouer ran into an open goal. Leon Davis bent one through from the Southern Stand TAB to reduce the margin to 16 points, until Richo nailed one from outside the fifty.


Collingwood took only eight minutes to all but bridge the half-time gap, with Anthony Rocca finally breaking the Joel Bowden shackles, Tarkyn Lockyer in everything across the middle of the ground and Josh Fraser gaining the ascendancy in the ruck. From then on, the two sides traded goals, until Scott Pendlebury coolly slotted a left-footer to put the Pies in front. A quick reply from Schulz after some good work from Shane Tuck sent the sides into the last break locked together.


It was quickly apparent in the last quarter that the Tigers had run out of gas. Rocca got things rolling with a pinpoint pass to Paul Medhurst, who converted the set shot. Some Pies fans are having difficulty embracing the ex-Docker, but say what you like about him, he leads well and is a beautiful kick for goal.


Two Rocca goals in two minutes followed to stretch the lead to 18 points. Richo got one back, but a rampant Scott Burns found Medhurst on the lead, and you can guess the result.


Richmond summoned the energy for one last fling, a Krakouer snap reducing the lead to 14 points. Schulz then took a brave mark 30 metres out directly in front, but with blood pouring from his head, he handed the ball to Richo and headed for the bench. Robert Walls has said more than once that Richo would kick 15 one day. He must have meant behinds. Tiger fans did their best Elvis impression and left the building when the set shot sailed wide.


Walking back through the park, I offered my nine-year-old the remnants of my Coke bottle. “No thanks,” he said, “I’m neither thirsty nor hungry. Just happy.” I knew how he felt. The weekend looms lovely when you bank four hard-earned points on a Friday night.



COLLINGWOOD       2.3    4.6    11.10    17.13 (115)

RICHMOND                5.5    7.10  11.10    13.12 (90)



Collingwood: Medhurst 4, Rocca, Toovey 3, Dick, Davis, Pendlebury 2, Swan

Richmond: Schulz, Richardson, Krakouer 3, Tivendale 2, Pettifer, Johnson



Collingwood: Lockyer, Rocca, Burns, Swan, O’Bree, O’Brien

Richmond: Schulz, Foley, Deledio, Tuck, Tambling
Crowd: 70,569




For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of the Footy Almanac, they can be purchased HERE.




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  1. Frank Taylor says

    Lovin’ it.

  2. Steven Todorovic says

    Mark, whilst the Tigers may not have set the world on fire since 1980, may I politely point out to you and all the other Pies fans out there, that they have in fact won 3 Premierships since the time you panicked in 1974 and selected the Pies to follow. Whist following the Pies since 1974, they have delivered you and other Pies fans the ordinary total of only 2 Premiership Cups. In fact, I would think the hurt and torment from losing 9 of 11 grand finals since 1974 would be the footy equivalent of being sent to purgatory.

    I’m a little older than you. Have followed the Tigers since 1966 as an eight year old. In that time they have delivered with a flag on 7 occasions. And that’s 7 flags from 9 GF appearances. When the Tigers get to the big dance, they usually deliver. The Pies in that time are 2 flags from an astonishing 13 GF appearances. How do you Pie fans keep buttering up?

    I’m very glad I made the choice to be a Tiger in 1966. Despite the 37 year premiership drought, their 7 flags sits only behind the Hawks with 12 and the Blues with 8. So please, no need for sympathy for Tiger fans, we’ve done very well over the long haul.

  3. As well as the flags both sides have won in this time, what’s the wooden spoon tally for these old rivals in this period?

    Collingwood has won two, including their first ever in 1976. I’m too lazy to check Richmond’s tally in this period. They got a wooden spoon in 1987,and off the top of my head it wasn’t the only one during this time.


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