AFL Collingwood defeat Essendon: Results and news out of the Anzac Day blockbuster

Rookie coach Craig McRae’s decisive second-half moves helped launch Collingwood back into the top eight — and he’s talking tough as the Pies plan to stay there.

Never rule out an Anzac Day special.

Collingwood outlasted a resurgent and under-siege Essendon by 11 points in another MCG classic on the sacred day as Craig McRae’s Pies climbed back inside the top eight at the end of round 6.

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They traded turns in front nine times after the Bombers took their first lead in a third quarter they largely owned thanks to their dominance in the centre.

But two Magpies, young and old, proved the difference when the whips were cracking in the final term.

Taylor Adams with the flex after a massive goal in the Pies’ win. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Taylor Adams with the flex after a massive goal in the Pies’ win. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Teenage Magpie Jack Ginnivan booted the game’s first goal and a career-best five overall to put an exclamation mark on his emergence this season.

Ginnivan’s fifth came during a frenetic four-minute period in the fourth quarter where Collingwood snatched back the lead for good.

The 19-year-old was the deserved Anzac Day medallist.

Almost as important was Magpies captain Scott Pendlebury’s return to his centre-bounce roots in the last term to put out Essendon’s fireworks.

Coach Craig McRae declared he “won’t die wondering” as he vowed to continue spinning the Magpie magnets in a bid to keep the Pies’ spark alive.

“We’re not going to die wondering,” McRae said.

“We want to make some moves and try to generate something. Pendles went through the midfield for some centre bounces, Nick Daicos went back and showed some terrific maturity in the last quarter.

“We just want to be a team that has a go.

“We’ll get some wrong, we’ll get some right, but we’re not going to die wondering.”

Collingwod captain Scott Pendlebury and coach Craig McRae with the Anzac Day Trophy. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Collingwod captain Scott Pendlebury and coach Craig McRae with the Anzac Day Trophy. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

The Bombers never relented but that black-and-white burst left them too much work to do.

Brody Mihocek added four goals and was a constant headache for Essendon, especially once Jayden Laverde suffered a knee injury in the opening term that eventually saw him subbed out.

Collingwood entered the contest in superior form and seemed set to put the out-of-sorts Bombers to the sword when it shot to an early three-goals-to-one lead.

But Essendon dug in, with last year’s Anzac Day medallist, Darcy Parish, leading the way with 30 of his 44 disposals in the first half, along with 12 clearances, including seen out of the centre.

There was some soul-searching at Tullamarine following the 48-point defeat to Fremantle, which included conceding 10 of the 13 goals after half-time, but Rutten was pleased with the response, if not the result.

“I was pretty proud of the way we went about our work throughout the week,” he said.

“We reflected really hard and had a look at the areas that we needed to bounce back in and I thought for the majority of the day today it was at a pretty good level.

“From a results point of view, we’re disappointed – absolutely – but I think we’ve certainly taken a step forward. We’re on a journey to get better and over the course of this season, we’re going to continue to improve.

“It’s not going to be a linear graph, but we understand there are going to be some hiccups along the way, which probably last week (against Fremantle) was.”

Matt Guelfi celebrates a goal for the Bombers Picture: Getty Images
Matt Guelfi celebrates a goal for the Bombers Picture: Getty Images

Pies benefit from Jack attack

Jack Ginnivan not only adds plenty of spunk to Collingwood’s attack but he’s also becoming a serious problem for opponents.

The peroxide blond forward, who has barely been out of the headlines this season, was one of many players making his Anzac Day debut on Monday.

Ginnivan confidently called for an early pass that he duly converted for the game’s opening goal but the second of his five goals, which he bent back from near the behind post, was even better.

He immediately spun around to deliver a one-finger silencer to some rowdy Essendon fans, who didn’t take too kindly to the Pie’s cheek.

Ginnivan went at them again after his fifth and most important finish of the afternoon.

Bringing his own Sherrin

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell tells us Tom Mitchell’s mammoth disposal tallies are a thing of the past as he seeks to share the load more evenly.

But Essendon’s Darcy Parish looks the Hawk’s possession-hungry successor.

The Bombers’ midfield star gathered at least 34 disposals on 13 occasions in a breakout 2021 season, including 42 and two goals on Anzac Day.

He also set a new club record with 44 touches in round 12 against Richmond.

Parish clearly wasn’t satisfied with either performance, amassing an extraordinary 30 by halftime – the most in any first half since 2000 – and finished with 44 by the final siren.

Only 10 footballers in VFL/AFL history have racked up 50 or more disposals in a single match, with Mitchell’s 54 the most.

Darcy Parish has leather poisoning for the Bombers. Picture: Mark Stewart
Darcy Parish has leather poisoning for the Bombers. Picture: Mark Stewart

SCOREBOARD

ESSENDON BOMBERS 2.2, 4.6, 8.8, 12.10 (82)

def by

COLLINGOOD MAGPIES 3.2, 6.2, 9.3, 15.3 (93)

GOALS

Bombers: Waterman 4, Stringer 3, Perkins 2, Guelfi 2, Wright

Magpies: Ginnivan 5, Mihocek 4, Crisp, Quaynor, McInnes, Cameron, Adams, Grundy

MARC MCGOWAN’S BEST

Bombers: Parish, Merrett, McGrath, Heppell, Waterman, Perkins

Magpies: Ginnivan, Howe, De Goey, Pendlebury, Mihocek, Crisp, J.Daicos

MARC MCGOWAN’S VOTES

3 — J.Ginnivan (Coll)

2 — J.Howe (Coll)

1 — D.Parish (Ess)

INJURIES

Bombers: Laverde (left knee)

Magpies: Kreuger (left shoulder)

Umpires: Rosebury, Gavine, Williamson

Venue: MCG

Crowd: 84,150

Young Pie Nathan Kreuger is a big injury concern for the Pies. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Young Pie Nathan Kreuger is a big injury concern for the Pies. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Middle-finger salute: Huge Anzac crowd riled by blond Pie

Collingwood young gun Jack Ginnivan signalled to Essendon fans for quiet with one finger to his mouth and many in the pocket responded with a finger-based salute of their own.

But coaching great Mick Malthouse said he wasn’t a fan of the pomp from the peroxided teenager.

Jack Ginnivan gives the shoosh to a crowd expected to tip over 80,000. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Jack Ginnivan gives the shoosh to a crowd expected to tip over 80,000. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

As Essendon star Darcy Parish speeds towards a potential possession record, it was the 19-year-old Magpie’s theatrics that got the football world talking in the second quarter.

Malthouse, who admitted he didn’t love seeing young players engaging with opposition fans after goals, said he would rather see players “get the respect of the football world first, and then start to celebrate”.

Jack Ginnivan gives it to Bombers fans after a goal. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Jack Ginnivan gives it to Bombers fans after a goal. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Former Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones said the brash youngster had shown fantastic composure early on one of football’s biggest days.

Bomber Parish – who won last year’s Anzac Day medal – already has 30 possessions at halftime prompting questions whether he could push towards 60 — and break Hawk Tom Mitchell’s record of 54 — as the day wears on.

It was a massiv crowd at the ‘G. Getty Images
It was a massiv crowd at the ‘G. Getty Images

It’s a huge crowd

The MCG crowd is the biggest since the pandemic shut down the nation.

The final figure was 84,205 who turned out.

Last year’s Anzac Day match delivered 78,113 people. Monday’s turn out was still short of the best Anzac Day attendance of 93,373 in 2013.

Jack Crisp and the Pies celebrate in front of the enormous crowd. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
Jack Crisp and the Pies celebrate in front of the enormous crowd. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Crispy blister

Collingwood continued to wrest momentum in the second quarter of the Anzac Day clash with the Bombers, with a blistering Jack Crisp goal firmly in contention for a goal of the year nomination.

Crisp marked in the centre of the ground and turned on the burners, running to the Punt Road end and booting a goal from 40 metres out.

“He’s a runner from way back. He loves to run the football,” Malthouse said on ABC Radio.

“He could have easily stopped, looked around … he took the mark and just went for it.”

In the wars

Magpie Nathan Krueger was subbed out with a shoulder injury with Callum Brown straight into the action.

No 50 metre penalties have yet been paid in the match, despite one moment that saw Magpie John Noble appear to question a second-quarter call.

But it earned praise from Malthouse, who labelled umpire Brett Rosebury “the best umpire in the last 10 years” and champion ex-Cat Cameron Ling.

“He saw Noble put the arm up and say ‘I touched it’ … but it’s all fine – terrific interaction between player and umpire,” Ling said on ABC.

Essendon had appeared to suffer an early blow in the traditional clash when defender Jayden Laverde hobbled to the rooms in the opening minutes with a feared left hamstring injury.

But despite medical substitute Nick Hind appearing to warm up on the bench, Laverde has returned to the ground but clearly remains inhibited and continues to speak with medical staff.

Why Pies won’t break bank to keep rejuvenated de Goey

—Jon Ralph

Collingwood president Jeff Browne says unsigned free agent Jordan De Goey has been a “model citizen” since his return but is adamant the club will never again break its budget to sign players.

Collingwood’s salary cap fire sale became so extraordinary it jettisoned contracted players and damaged relationships to cater for massive contracts like Brodie Grundy’s $7 million, seven-year deal.

De Goey’s manager Ryan Vague told News Corp his player wanted to stay at the club despite his chequered past, but contract discussions are yet to ramp up.

Jordan De Goey has been in spectacular form for the Magpies so far this season.
Jordan De Goey has been in spectacular form for the Magpies so far this season.

Rival clubs would potentially be prepared to offer five years and $5 million if De Goey kept up his brilliant start to the season.

But Browne said it was his job as president to have the oversight to ensure the salary cap disaster of a previous regime was not repeated.

“What I am determined to do is to make sure Collingwood doesn’t get into a position it was, where it had to eject players because of the salary cap crisis. That won’t happen again,” he told 3AW Radio.

“Everyone’s cap is pretty tight, we are within it and as long as everyone abides by the salary cap we accept there needs to be a cap.”

It remains to be seen whether the Pies would hand De Goey a long-term deal of the kind that saw Grundy signed on for seven seasons and Darcy Moore six years at over $900,000 per season.

“Jordan simply needs to do what he is doing,” Browne said.

De Goey has been a ‘model citizen’ since his return.
De Goey has been a ‘model citizen’ since his return.

“He has not only been paying great football he has been a model citizen around our club

“He has been welcomed back by the group, he has done everything asked of him. For anyone who doubted he would fit in as a model citizen, they are wrong.

“He is a valuable Collingwood player. There are a number of players on our list to be re-signed and Jordan is one of them. We did chase the signature for Darcy because he was the subject of even bigger offers for other clubs. He was in receipt of those offers, therefore we had to re-sign him.

“But in the same week we re-signed him we signed five other players. So we are moving through the process.”

Geelong triple-premiership player Jimmy Bartel said on Monday he believed De Goey would not receive the massive offers he might deserve with his on-field brilliance given his list of indiscretions.

“This is where the off field issues come into play. Call it the ‘mess-up tax’, you can see that around. It’s not just Jordan de Goey, we have seen it across the comp. Players who have had some on field issues, they take a hit when it comes to contract time.”

The Pies have to make a decision on whether to re-sign Jamie Elliott.
The Pies have to make a decision on whether to re-sign Jamie Elliott.

The Pies still have to make a decision on whether to re-sign free agent Jamie Elliott, with youngsters including Ollie Henry, Finn Macrae, Josh Daicos off contract.

Young guns’ special connection with fallen Digger

– Glenn McFarlane

Essendon and Collingwood young guns Nik Cox and Jack Ginnivan will carry a special connection – on their backs – to a fallen Digger in Monday’s blockbuster Anzac Day clash at the MCG.

The pair this week learnt the story of footballer-turned-soldier Norm Le Brun, a World War II commando who served his country and made the ultimate sacrifice almost 80 years ago.

Le Brun was one of 30 footballers to have played for four or more VFL-AFL clubs – South Melbourne, Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton – in a 50-game career spanning from 1929 to 1935.

The connection of Cox and Ginnivan to Le Brun, who was 36 when he was killed by a sniper in New Guinea in November 1944, relates to the number they each wear on their backs.

Jack Ginnivan (left) and Nik Cox (right), whose numbers were worn by WWII soldier Norm Le Brun. Picture: Tony Gough
Jack Ginnivan (left) and Nik Cox (right), whose numbers were worn by WWII soldier Norm Le Brun. Picture: Tony Gough

Cox wears No.13 – the same guernsey number Le Brun wore in 23 games for Essendon in 1931-32.

Ginnivan wears No.33, which Le Brun wore in two games for Collingwood in 1933. Le Brun also wore No. 18 in black and white colours in a further 17 games the following season.

It’s a fact that won’t be lost on Cox, 20, and Ginnivan, 19, ahead of their second and first Anzac Day clashes.

“It’s a huge privilege to be representing the club on a day like Anzac Day,” Cox said.

“Football is secondary to the significance of the day and it’s pretty hard to comprehend what Norm and his fellow veterans went through to fight for our country.

“Educating us as the younger generation about the sacrifices our heroes made for our freedoms today is so important.”

WWII solder Norm Le Brun pictured during his time at Collingwood.
WWII solder Norm Le Brun pictured during his time at Collingwood.

Ginnivan told the Herald Sun: “It’s a true honour to wear the number 33, the same number as a veteran who served our country all those years ago”.

“His strength and courage gives me great pride to wear his number.

“It is a special occasion to be a part of this football club for the Anzac Day match, whether you are playing or supporting the side. If I get to play on Monday, it would be a time in my career that I’d cherish.”

Le Brun, a rover-forward, had an extraordinarily well-travelled football career that took him to many clubs.

Aside from the four VFL clubs he played senior matches with, he also took the field for Richmond reserves, Sandhurst, Coburg, South Warrnambool and he coached Ulverstone.

He enlisted in the Australian Army on February 26, 1942, a week after the bombing of Darwin brought World War II even closer to Australia’s doorstep.

He trained in Townsville before heading to New Guinea as part of the elite 2/6th Australian Commando Squadron.

According to a book called To The Green Field Beyond by Shaun O’Leary, Le Brun became the first Australian soldier to die in what was known as the Aitape-Wewak campaign – a campaign aimed at finally purging the Japanese from New Guinea.

Cox and Ginnivan are honoured to wear Le Brun’s number. Picture: Tony Gough
Cox and Ginnivan are honoured to wear Le Brun’s number. Picture: Tony Gough

The book said: “On November 15 (1944) the squadron suffered the 6th Division’s first battle casualty in New Guinea … the going was heavy, the maps inadequate and there was an absence of tracks, so the patrol was constantly bashing its way through”.

“The force was engaged in a fire fight, which lasted three quarters of an hour, in the course of which Trooper N.S. Le Brun was killed by a rifleman concealed among the root of a large tree. The country was too steep and the jungle too thick … to bring Le Brun’s body back.”

Le Brun was buried a few hundred metres from where he fell. His body was later moved to Aitape before he was laid to rest in Lae War Cemetery.

Six months after his death, it was revealed in the Argus that the Australians had renamed the area in which Le Brun had fallen after him.

It said: “In the Aitape sector is the Le Brun feature, a steep hill on the Danmap River and known simply as Le Brun. It is named after the first Australian killed in the area, Norman Le Brun, a trooper in a Cavalry Commando squadron and a well-known Victorian footballer”.

Originally published as AFL Collingwood defeat Essendon: Results and news out of the Anzac Day blockbuster

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