The Pies were not at their best on Sunday against the Western Bulldogs. Bucks gave me a quick call before his press conference just to get the feeling from the fans in the know and he took my advice and went down the “we won ugly” path.
The fixture however should have read “Brodie Grundy vs Western Bulldogs”.
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He’s my celebrity crush now. I know I’m late to the party on the big fella, not because he’s not good but because it was always going to take something special to shift Nazinin Boniadi in a Bunnings uniform from pole position on that list. Now I find myself staring into space dreaming of the big hipster serving me a short black with a smile and a “here you go champ”.
That’s right, I’ll even let him “champ” me. Twenty-Five disposals, 50 hitouts, 8 marks and 2 goals including a perfect executed set shot from 50 metres at a very important time. That’s a fair body of work and he was clearly the difference.
The problem for the boys is they haven’t really hit their straps all season, only the win against Brisbane was one where Bucks would sit back with a grin. Against the Dogs our previously vice like grip keeping the ball in the forward line turned into a trampoline as the Bulldogs bounced shallow inside 50s like a superball and converted them into goals at the other end. Daniel, McCrae and Johanissen providing deep entries at will and this was enhanced by the selection committee stacking a tall forward line with Cox and Reidy. It was interesting to see Reid being used as the second ruck when you’ve got a seven footer in the side.
The injury list is something of a concern. Howe missing with an ankle now compounds the loss of Tom Langdon so now we are missing two of our first picked backmen. There are ready made replacements in the twos in Tyson Goldsack and Isaac Quaynor. We’d love to see Quaynor get a gig as he is the future but Moneybags is a favourite son and we’d love to see him on the big stage before he rides off into the sunset. We could also find that Ben Reid is being played as a swingman who can give cover back if needed. Elliot and Adams are the only others expected back who would find their way back into the ones quickly.
So the question is how bad are we going? It’s a good sign to be playing badly and sitting second but there are big challenges coming up. You’d hope the Pies can get past North Melbourne and Hawthorn in their current form but then there are big challenges – a trip to Perth to take on the Eagles and then up to Sydney to take on GWS. We will need to win more than one quarter against those guys if we are going to bring home a W. While I’m at it, I’m tired of all these people bitching about Collingwood playing all their games at the MCG and never having to travel. That’s two interstate trips in a row and clearly a deliberate attempt to derail Collingwood’s season to date. You can bet Mark Robinson is involved somewhere. FQ Mark Robinson.
Anyway, until next time Floreat Pica
AFL 2019 ROUND 14
WESTERN BULLDOGS 4.3 5.7 7.11 10.13 (73)
COLLINGWOOD 4.1 5.2 10.4 13.4 (82)
Western Bulldogs: Schache 3, Lloyd 2, Dickson 2, Suckling, Lipinski, Daniel
Collingwood: Reid 3, De Goey 2, Phillips 2, Grundy 2, Cox 2, Brown, Mihocek
Western Bulldogs: Daniel, Macrae, Bontempelli, Dunkley, Schache, Suckling
Collingwood: Grundy, Treloar, Crisp, De Goey, Sidebottom, Reid
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Collingwood: Howe (calf)
Umpires: Margetts, Stephens, Gavine, Meredith
Official crowd: 39,836 at Marvel Stadium