Apr 25, 2023 12:38 pm
A record ANZAC Day crowd of 95,179 saw Collingwood produce a stunning last term as they stormed back to get over the line against Essendon at the MCG.
This year’s blockbuster, between two in-form clubs, will long be remembered – a largely close affair that saw the Bombers get out to a 28-point three quarter time lead before the Magpies surged home in a Nick Daicos inspired, exciting finale.
The 20-year-old defender/midfielder (pictured above) (40 disposals and two goals) won the ANZAC Day Medal – awarded for skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play.
Captain Darcy Moore (pictured below) accepted the ANZAC Day Trophy and then addressed the crowd as he said “I want to give a massive thank you to the 95,000 fans who were here; a record-breaking crowd. No matter whether you wear the black and white stripes or the red sash, this game’s about so much more than the four points.”
He went on “I want to thank and mention all men and women who are serving our country in war and peacekeeping operations and it means a lot to our club that we can commemorate your work and your sacrifice today so thank you for your service.”
“There are over 600,000 veterans around this country who have returned from service so our thanks to you for your sacrifice and we hope doing what we do somehow honours your legacy and what you have done for our country.”
“It is a real honour for us to run out here and play our game in honour of you and your service. Thank you so much for your service.”
In the previous evening’s ANZAC Eve fixture, in front of another packed house, a rousing final quarter effort saw Melbourne run right over the top of Richmond.
Trailing at every change, the Demons were able to get the momentum behind them, when it mattered most, with young forward Jacob van Rooyen (pictured below), in only his fourth appearance, endearing himself to the fans by putting three through the big sticks.
Speaking in the presser, coach Simon Goodwin admitted that he was actually close to taking him off before his heroics. He said, “At one stage we were thinking about subbing him, so thank god we didn’t do that and he managed to turn it around.”
“He took one mark, that was enough. He was pretty much coming off at his next rotation, we were about to sub him out and he took a couple of clunks and we said, ‘Keep going son, you’re away now’.”
“We’ve been working with Jacob about staying in the now. It might not be your moment right now, but you’ll have one later on and he had a really good last quarter.”
Midfielder Jack Viney (30 disposals, 15 kicks, 15 handball, 6 marks and a goal) received the Frank Checker Hughes Medal for his standout performance.
St.Kilda remain at the top of the ladder, on percentage, after a strong second half enabled them to get the job done at the expense of Carlton, under the lid, at Marvel.
The Saints were boosted by the return of captain Jack Steele, from injury, and forward Tim Membrey. Dan Butler scored three goals while, at the other end, defenders Callum Wilkie and Josh Battle were excellent in nullifying the Blues attack.
Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron booted a career-high seven majors, including an outrageous ‘Goal of the Year’ contender, in their hard-fought victory over GWS.
It condemned the Giants to their eighth straight defeat at the Manuka Oval and, to complete a bad day, Callan Ward copped a one-match ban for a sling tackle on Lachie Neale that caused quite the debate amongst the media in the aftermath.
In an almost carbon copy of last year’s grannie, reigning premiers Geelong put the rest of the competition on notice as they hammered Sydney by a 93-point margin.
A very one-sided contest, just as it was last September, saw the Swans condemned to their worst defeat in 25 years and their second half score of just three behinds was the lowest they have registered since 1971 and before they moved up to NSW.
The Cats’ lethal partnership of Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins yielded ten goals while it was a special day for Sam Simpson, who booted the opener and started the rout, as he returned to the line-up following a spell of 603 days on the sidelines.
Speaking in the rooms to Channel 7, the 24-year-old (pictured above) said “Well, first and foremost it was great to get amongst the home crowd again, hear a bit of noise out there for us.”
“You have to stay in the moment a bit. I know that sounds clichéd. I sort of said to myself before, ‘If I kick a goal, I’m going to play it cool.’ Then I carried on like a pork chop. It does get the better of you at times, as you guys know.”
Asked if he had doubts as to whether he would play again, he responded “Yeah, if I’m being completely candid. There was a couple of bleak days, just wanted to get back to normal everyday life. I’m very glad to be back, that’s for sure.”
Jeremy Finlayson booted five majors as Port Adelaide got off to a slow start before going on to run out very comfortable winners versus an injury-hit West Coast.
Forward Connor Rozee (29 possessions, seven tackles and two snags) picked up his second consecutive Peter Badcoe VC Medal for a best-on-ground display.
There was certainly plenty of extra added spice, in the west, as Rory Lobb lined up for the Western Bulldogs against Fremantle, the club that he left last summer in rather messy circumstances; he was booed every time that he touched the ball.
It was on even before the first bounce as several Dockers players made their way towards him, which led to plenty of pushing and shoving as a melee then ensued.
However, it was the 30-year-old having the last laugh as he got on the scoresheet and helped the Doggies on their way to recording a convincing 49-point victory.
Darcy Fogarty held his nerve to nail a sublime last-minute goal, from out on the boundary, as Adelaide came from behind to get up over Hawthorn in a thriller.
It now makes it four-in-a-row for the Crows, who haven’t always fared well down in Tasmania, while it was heartbreak for a young Hawks outfit that came so close.
Up on the Gold Coast, the Suns bagged a much-needed win to ease the pressure on coach Stuart Dew who watched his side defeat fellow strugglers North Melbourne.
On a sour note, though, Suns co-captain Touk Miller suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee that is likely to keep him out for a fair portion of the season.
Although he ended up on the losing side, it was still a special evening for Kangaroos ruckman Todd Goldstein (pictured below with his children) who racked up his 300th appearance in a 15-year career.
Round 6 Results
Fremantle 10.9 (69)
Western Bulldogs 17.16 (118)
Port Adelaide 16.13 (109)
West Coast 10.9 (69)
GWS 13.9 (87)
Brisbane 16.12 (108)
Geelong 20.10 (130)
Sydney 5.7 (37)
Hawthorn 11.10 (76)
Adelaide 11.13 (79)
Carlton 8.12 (60)
St.Kilda 12.10 (82)
Gold Coast 14.13 (97)
North Melbourne 7.12 (54)
Melbourne 15.6 (96)
Richmond 11.12 (78)
Collingwood 13.12 (90)
Essendon 11.11 (77)
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