The ol rivals meet in different circumstances regarding their relative influence on the competition. Saints enter this game on a roll having slumbered deep into the early part of the season with the post premiership draw/defeat hangover.
The Pies enter having smashed Port Adelaide the week before in Chad Corne’s last game. We get late into town with only 5 minutes spare to slam down a quick pot at the Three Crowns before the trek to the E. Meant to be a sell out but theres a number of “buggar it” causalities amongst the reserved seat holders and we fail to crack the 50K barrier. We crawl – me literally due to crutches – to the third level where our members seats are 2 rows back from the top of the roof where the chip frier smoke and second hand gasper exhale resides trapped for most of the game. Etihad is wide open behind the goals so much that when 15,000 assemble there to suck down their fags at half time the middle of the ground resembles a reenactment of Ash Wednesday.
Umpiring was hard to fathom. Players from both sides were here to play, move the ball and take on their opponents. The umpires for most of the night got in the way of this spirit pulling up players for minor indescretions that did not impact on the rhythm of the game at that moment. Undermined the contest to some degree.
Game is all forward press and holding it in. Riewoldt marks and goals early but then is rarely sighted after. Leon and Krakeour turn it on with goals you would swap an ice cream for. Leon’s is off one step but outside fifty after he drifted up off half back to keep his man accountable. Saints threaten but dont intimidate. They kick a few late ones prompting some to suggest Collngwood were under threat – probably more buggared from flogging Port. All they have to do is win these sloggers to shape up for September. Fans apparently chant accusations against Milne who bobs up very late to kick the goal that establishes him as the most prolific goal scorer at this stadium. Post siren its ugly up in the stands as proud Pies fans benevolently send off their rival supporters with a variety of abuse and reminders about both the one day in September….and October from last year.
Colllingwood 14 5 89 d St Kilda 10 10 70
We decide against Hawthorn V Port the following day – vindicated as Hawks thump em by over 160 points.