The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 4 – Collingwood v Port Adelaide

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 Port Adelaide

2:10pm, Saturday April 21



by Gerard Whateley



WHEN THE DELUGE CAME SPIRITS BRIGHTENED. In this drought-stricken land no one would grumble about a wet backside at the footy these days. Besides, if the previous weekend was a time to reminisce about rivalries long since devalued, this day might just as well drip with nostalgia for wet weather football. Climate change and a tin-lid stadium have diluted the extremes of the winter game. An MCG drenching would be good for the sporting soul.


Commerce demanded a $5 fee for the plastic poncho and an army of fans splashed through the aisles looking like they’d just emerged from the drycleaners.


But it seemed a reasonable portent for Collingwood. A soft track would disguise the disparity in leg speed with their Port Adelaide opponents.


It wasn’t a day for the fancy – had it been lunchtime in the schoolyard, first picked would have been Scott Burns and Michael Wilson. Not so readily anticipated was second-gamer Alan Toovey as the man to tag Shaun Burgoyne or the relocation of Kane Cornes to half-forward to reverse-tag the influential Heath Shaw.


Collingwood had the better of the early exchanges. The Shaw brothers accumulated 17 possessions in as many minutes. Heath Shaw’s work included jumping the fence and heading down one of the tunnels under the Southern Stand to collect the footy. This was real nostalgia.


The Magpies shovelled and bullocked and slid the ball forward at every opportunity. Port Adelaide tried to be sure and careful in possession. In the game of territory and possession, Collingwood’s strategy was superior. The Pies just couldn’t convert their domination to a decent lead, never getting more than 10 points clear during the first half.


At times they brought it on themselves. James Clement’s 40-metre backwards grubber onto the boot of a closing Brett Ebert was costly.


After the break, Dane Swan kicked two quick goals and the Magpies held a 15-point lead. It seemed like the sort of advantage you could defend.


But Port coach Mark Williams dragged the game on to his terms. Chad Cornes took liberties loose in defence. He’d camp alone at full back and thwart attacking thrusts. He took the role as field marshal directing the wave and angle of each attack.


Brother Kane moved into the middle to aid and abet. And the Burgoynes dropped their shadows and had the soap on a rope.


From a throw-up, Brendon Lade fed Ryan Lonie, who put the footy down the throat of Josh Mahoney. He converted. The Magpie lead was just one point at three-quarter time.


The final term tracked a similar vein. For 12 goalless minutes bruises outnumbered possessions. The Ronnie Wearmouth clone Dale Thomas showed the value of a Gippsland upbringing. He excelled in the slip and slide. In one of those hold-your-breath moments, he dropped back fearlessly to defuse a Power surge. Minutes later he was nearly knocked out in a collision with Wilson.


He was one of the mounting casualties as the effort told. Paul Licuria was hobbled. Burns got up limping. The Magpies were tottering and the scores were level.


The Cornes brothers would combine for 26 disposals in the last quarter. But it was a tackle that defined the match. Chad mowed down Ben Johnson on the wing. The counter attack finished with Josh Mahoney, who broke the deadlock.


The final meaningful act came from Lade – whose distribution at the stoppages had proved a thing of beauty – as he left the ball at his boots for David Rodan to snap the game-breaker.


Collingwood got nothing from too many: Guy Richards, Travis Cloke, Shannon Cox, Leon Davis, Harry O’Brien and Brad Dick. Port Adelaide got enough from Steven Salopek, Jacob Surjan, Brad Symes, Nathan Krakouer, Greg Bentley and Tom Logan. The good of the many outlasted the gallantry of the few.


For the brothers in arms, the Cornes brothers had 60 possessions, the Shaws 49, the Burgoynes 38, while the Lonies and Wakelins each played a man short.


As Port marched back across the border as conquerors, the Magpies were left to be patched up. Reinforcements would be needed for Anzac Day.


And the farmers grinned as they checked their gauges.




COLLINGWOOD       3.5    7.9    9.10    9.12 (66)

PORT ADELAIDE     3.3    7.7     9.9    12.12 (84)



Port Adelaide: Ebert 3, S. Burgoyne, Mahoney, Wilson 2, White, C. Cornes, Rodan

Collingwood: Rocca, Pendlebury Swan 2, Johnson, Davis, Maxwell



Port Adelaide: C. Cornes, S. Burgoyne, Wilson, Lade, Mahoney, O’Brien

Collingwood: Thomas, R. Shaw, Swan, Burns


Crowd: 35,355




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.
    Go Pies

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