Round 13 – Collingwood V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Even first quarter but Collingwood takes the honours

Melbourne know not to underestimate Collingwood during their Round 13 clash at the MCG and their first quarter performance gave fans hope that they could put their previous game against Fremantle well and truly behind them.

Though the Pies opened the scoring with a running inside 50 kick from Will Hoskin-Elliott, Melbourne looked compose and ready to take on their rivals. The next goal also went Collingwood’s way when Finlay Macrae tapped one in from just outside the square.

Not the ideal start for the Demons, but they showed some desperation in defence to hold off the Pies. Melbourne was handling Collingwood’s pressure well and had opportunities in front of goal but just failed to nail the big shots.

That changed when Kysaiah Pickett crumbed the ball from a tap down, then ran on, finding enough space to snap the ball into the goal square and across the line. Unfortunately, in the cruel blow, the score review ruled that the ball was touched, and the result was overturned.

The Dees continued to pressure Collingwood, but right before the siren and against the run of play, Nathan Kreuger marked directly in front and converted for his first ever AFL goal.

Melbourne claw back momentum but lose it late in the term

After play resumed in the second quarter, Melbourne seemed to have lost a little of their desperation, allowing Lachie Schultz to take an uncontested mark deep in the pocket. The small forward made the most of his opportunity, giving his side a twenty one point advantage.

With five minor points to their name, Melbourne finally bagged a major when Jacob van Rooyen took a brilliant contested mark, then went back to make sure with his 50m set shot. It was a much needed goal for the Dees, especially with Christian Petracca injured and uncertain to return to the field of play.

On the upside, van Rooyen took another contested mark to the left of goal and this time kicked around the corner to secure his second goal. Tracca returned to the ground, but it may have proved to be an unwise decision, as he looked to be in discomfort and unable to fully participate in the game.

Melbourne had clawed their way back into contention, with the gap only seven points. However, chances were still going begging and when Harvey Harrison took an uncontested mark in front of goal, the forward made sure to extend the Pies’ advantage. Nathan Kreuger kicked his second after taking a mark in the pocket and it looked like the Dees early momentum was starting to fade, as Collingwood pulled further away. Then right on the siren Hoskin-Elliott marked to the right of goal and the Pies went into the main break up by twenty seven points.

The Pies win another quarter despite Melbourne’s best efforts

It was the perfect start for Melbourne when van Rooyen made it three from three with his 30m set shot in the opening minute.

It was a short lived revival however, as the ball fell into Billy Frampton’s hands while he ran alongside the square and he instinctively snapped it over the goal line. When Darcy Cameron kicked a difficult set shot from deep in the pocket and watched it sail through the uprights, you just knew it was not going to be Melbourne’s day.

After being denied by a dodgy review earlier in the game, Kozzie Pickett didn’t leave any room for doubt with his around the corner kick from boundary line.

Melbourne rallied again after the goal, but the execution was letting them down. There were multiple chances to hurt the Pies, but the ball just couldn’t find a path through the uprights.
Collingwood appeared to be having all the luck as once again a wayward ball landed fortuitously for the hosts. This time Nick Daicos was on the receiving end and his 50m set shot sailed through.

It was the same result when Harvey Harrison marked just inside the 50m arc, before going back to kick his second of the day.

No fairytale ending

Trailing by thirty four points, the outlook was depressingly bleak for the Dees. Still hope springs eternal but if they were going to make a statement, they had to make it quickly.
Umpires are often accused of being inconsistence but Daniel Turner’s kick to Jake Bowey deemed not fifteen was a tad unfair. Bowey was left in no man’s land as he was immediately attacked on three fronts. Harvey Harrison had just enough time to get a kick away and his 30m shot sailed through.

Now thirty nine points behind, nothing seemed to be working; even hat trick hero van Rooyen had lost his Midas touch by the fourth quarter, sending his 45m set shot to the left of the post.
If Melbourne couldn’t catch a break, Collingwood couldn’t miss. Patrick Lipinski’s snap from the arc sailed over the defence and bounce across the goal line, extending the lead out to forty six points.

Pickett collected his second with a classy dribble from a tight angle to the left of goal, scoring the Demons’ first of the term. Bailey Fritsch clawed back another six points when he controlled the tapped down ball before running around to snap from 30m.

Just as Melbourne looked like they just might win the quarter, up popped Nathan Kreuger. He took a contested mark, then converted to score his hat trick.

All in all a disappoint result that capped off a month of disappointing results. With Christian Petracca not returning in 2024 and Jake Lever still a few weeks away from recovery, Melbourne’s season is in the doldrums.

We face North Melbourne in Round 15, which would have been a certain four points only a few weeks ago, but everything is starting to click for the Roos, just as the Demons’ year is heading south. Still, we’ve been in worse places, and we have enough time to salvage our season.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!