The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 6 – Adelaide v Collingwood: Pies 7 posters!

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!


Adelaide versus Collingwood

7.10pm, Saturday, May 5

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide




I was a guest in the House of God for this match. As part of a contingent from a local club, I enjoyed lamb chops and a glass of champagne in the SANFL presidents room before the bounce and then watched the game in padded seats at the top of the first tier in the presidents enclosure, adjacent to the coachesbox, with 50 or so other men and women in suits.


The experience was memorable, but this game was not.


Collingwood came to town, walking on water after their 16-point victory in the Anzac Day MCG match 10 days previously. Adelaide, already riddled with injuries and sore and bruised after a one-point deflator at Subiaco six days earlier, crept onto the field hoping for a power blackout early in the game. It was clear, early, that key players such as Brett Burton, Jason Torney and Scott Welsh were under-prepared. Or, given Neil Craigs training regime, possibly over-prepared.


The Pies hit the ground running with high possession counts in the first quarter from Rhyce Shaw, Dane Swan and Ben Johnson. Rhyce Shaw in particular, roaming across the entire planet from his half-back flank, brought many other players into the game, including his brother Heath Shaw and a promising tall wingman in the making, Chris Egan.


With eight shots at goal in that first quarter to Adelaides three, the job was always in front of the Crows.


Craigs problem, as has been the case all season, is that he lacks anything that even looks like a dominant forward structure. He protects his forwards by crowding the oppositions attack, hoping for a fast breakaway with precise skills to target his marking forwards. Ian Perrie, Welsh and Burton work hard but they spill more marks than they hold.


Once the ball hits ground level, Adelaide lacks crumbers. Or, rather, Adelaide has plenty of talented ground players, but Craig loads them into defence. Its not hard to work out how to beat Adelaide at the moment. As Adelaide floods, smart coaches are now instructing their players to go with the flood. The very smart ones are making sure that they are keeping their quickest groundsmen in the last line for the sprint back when the ball turns over.


Lacking that dominant forward, Adelaide is vulnerable on the ground, as Collingwood found out in this match. Adelaide had 42 inside fifties but only 17 shots at goal. In contrast, Collingwood had 50 inside fifties for 31 shots at goal.


The Pies deserved to win by much more than four goals. It should have been a thrashing, especially considering that Collingwood broke the record for hitting the post in any AFL game. Seven posters! We all know about the ifs and buts in football but, honestly, Craig was lucky to sneak out of that game with only a mild caning.


Adelaide crept back into this soft affair with a better second quarter through strong work from their olds Andrew McLeod, Simon Goodwin (in his 200th game) and the irrepressible Tyson Edwards. And Ben Rutten maintained his defensive reputation by keeping Anthony Rocca goalless. But, as Rhyce Shaw eased back slightly, Lockyer, Burns, Davis and Heath Shaw exploded in the second half.


In the third quarter, Mick Malthouse moved Chris Bryan into attack and he kicked two goals in two minutes with dead-eye delivery. Collingwood doubled their score in that quarter and split the game open in spite of hitting the post four times.


There was a memorable moment late in this quarter, but not, unfortunately, for the right reasons. Adelaide attacked and the ball spilled behind the pack, inches away from the sticks. Dale Thomas, the new boy wonder, swept through, collecting the football in his stride, and ran out of the goalsquare, across the face of goals towards the pocket. There was no one there and thus he did what he had to do. He bounced it and kept running. And still no option emerged. He bounced and ran, two, three, four times, to the wing. He stopped and propped because he had moved faster than his team lines. Four more bounces would have given him a shot at goal and the goal of the year but this young player, hamstrung by the modern way, kicked it backwards. And his teammate also kicked it backwards. And that teammate kicked it back into Adelaides goalsquare.


That beautiful run out of defence was self-negated in seconds. Honest citizens pay good money to watch real football. If we wanted to watch soccer, we wouldnt have been there.


The last quarter was a lame-duck affair. The players were tired and so was I.


I discovered three things from this match. Wearing a suit and tie to a game of football is not conducive to robust supporting. Second, Malthouse made a move that boosted his options in the forward line, shifting Bryan there once he realised that Adelaides forwards were not capable of kicking a winning score. Neil Craig could have done the same but, as we have seen often in the past couple of years, he makes substantial moves only if the game is already won. Craig does not know how to abandon his faith in the match plan and his players in order to steal a grubby victory. Third, a glass of aged Coonawarra red is the perfect drink to accompany a party pie and sauce at half-time in the presidents room.


Adelaide:  2.1 6.1 8.5 9.8 (62)

Collingwood:  3.5 5.8 10.15 11.20 (86)



Collingwood: Bryan 3; Cloke, Lockyer 2; Pendlebury, Fraser,
R. Shaw, Thomas.
Adelaide: Perrie 3; Douglas 2; Thompson, Vince, Welsh, Stevens.



Collingwood: R. Shaw, Lockyer, H. Shaw, Burns, Swan, Fraser

Adelaide: Edwards, McLeod, Goodwin, Knights, Thompson, Rutten.



Goodwin (Adelaide) 200 games.


Hinge (Adelaide).


McLaren, Chamberlain, Meredith.






R. Shaw, (Coll.) 3, Lockyer (Coll.) 2, Swan (Coll.) 1.


R. Shaw, (Coll.) 3, Swan (Coll.) 2, McLeod (A) 1.


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


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.



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