Coming off of a tight win against Essendon, Collingwood were looking to start the season 2-0.
Richmond had a bye round 1 but were hungry to record a win in their first game of the year. Collingwood’s head coach Brian Fitzpatrick was back to lead the team however captain Brendan Stroud and Tim Ryan were unavailable on the day. This however meant co-vice captains Brett Newman & Ben Jankovski took on the captaincy role for the day leading from the front which would be a big task as the Richmond faithful had shown up ready for a positive result.
The first quarter began and the Pies were off to a hot start with Brian Owens and Alex Gale-Grime keeping it sturdy down back. Ben Jankovsi hit the scoreboard early getting into space and having some impressive accuracy. Richmond found a way to sneak a few through coming into quarter time with Collingwood up by 22 points.
The second quarter begun with well-structured team all around. Jaws dropped with the ruck craft from Josh Christian to Riley Fitzgerald scoring from centre field. The back line was once again held down by Owens along with Arnold Razon and Andrew Paddle. Leaders Jankovski & Newman got into their groove putting a goals on the board helping the Magpies gain a 53-point lead at half time.
At main break, coach Brian emphasised how great the teamwork was that we were witnessing on and off the field with team mates helping one another. The Magpies flew out to another fantastic start in the third quarter with Gale-Grime creating that extra option down back which opened up the game tremendously. Jankovski was unstoppable moving into every inch of space he could, converting goals every chance possible. Jason Heagerty took the highlight of the quarter giving the perfect goal assist to Fitzgerald. Collingwood now held a 15-goal lead going into three-quarter time.
A team brand of football had been played all day and it continued in the last as the Magpies continued to stick ‘side by side’. Christian proved too good throughout the mid along with Fitzgerald recording 13 goals in the game. Within the final minutes Aaron Cutajar attempted shot on goal that had the fans holding their breath. The ball dribbled through to an eruption of cheer from the magpie army finishing off the Tigers with a win of 107 points.
“It was great to record our coach’s first win for the year, to see Aaron’s first goal in the black and white along with leading the team out alongside Ben Jankovski,” stated Newman.