Collingwood's AAMI Stadium Record
By: Glenn McFarlane
When Sydney fell to Port Adelaide in round 13 in 2013, it all but guaranteed a small piece of history for the Collingwood Football Club.
No other non-South Australian team has won as many matches at AAMI Stadium (nee Football Park) as the Magpies, who hold the ledger with 15 wins.
The Swans could have drawn level with the Magpies in 2013, but couldn’t add to their tally of 14 wins.
The Magpies have had an exceptional record at AAMI Stadium. Two of the club’s 15 wins from 27 matches at the ground have been in finals.
Here is a snapshot of the 15 wins the Magpies have had at AAMI Stadium.
1. Round 9, 1992
Collingwood d Adelaide by 5 points.
In a match in which Adelaide led at every change, and second-game Crow Tony Modra kicked five goals, Collingwood prevailed in their first game against Adelaide at the ground.
Jamie Turner was playing his 150th game and Mark Fraser was a last-minute inclusion for the injured Gavin Crosisca.
Collingwood’s hopes suffered an early blow when acting skipper Peter Daicos (Tony Shaw was injured) was “crunched” by Rod Jameson. He was shaken but soldiered on with two goals.
At one stage, early in the second term, the Magpies trailed by four goals.
But three goals to Collingwood in five minutes turned the match in the last term, even though Modra missed a chance that would have levelled the scores late in the game.
Coach Leigh Matthews said: “It really helped us because it is quite a shock coming to Adelaide. The crowd is quite parochial and I would say it’s harder playing here than in Perth.”
2. Round 21, 1996
Collingwood d Adelaide by 57 points
Nathan Buckley’s first official match back in South Australia since playing for Port Adelaide in the 1992 Grand Final turned out to be a good one for him – and for Collingwood.
Even though he was reported for tripping Ben Hart (who is now a Collingwood assistant coach), Buckley had 28 touches and played a strong role in the Magpies’ win over the Crows.
Sav Rocca kicked five goals, Shane Watson kicked four, while defender Simon Prestigiacomo was playing his 11th game. Paul Williams was outstanding.
Gavin Brown shut out Darren Jarman, while Scott Burns outpointed Jarman’s brother, Andrew.
Collingwood coach Tony Shaw said: “We had a plan on how to play them, man-on-man and a bit more leg speed, and it worked out alright. There were some great individual performances, but it was a great team game with everyone contributing.”
3. Round 8, 2001
Collingwood d Port Adelaide by 9 points
The Magpies looked to have the game in their keeping when they set up a near six-goal lead seven minutes into the final term, but the Power came charging home.
A critical error from Brett Montgomery in defence deep into time-on meant that 19-year-old Josh Fraser – in only his 29th game – managed to score the sealing goal.
Coach Mick Malthouse described the victory as one of the best he had been associated at the club.
“It’s certainly right up there with the best because of the quality of the opposition, the way we played and that we were able to come back when it looked like the momentum had shifted totally,”’ he said.
Chris Tarrant booted five goals, Shane O’Bree was outstanding and Buckley was one more a dominant player.
4. Round 13, 2001
Collingwood d Adelaide by 2 points
Nathan Buckley turned in an extraordinary last term, which consisted of 13 kicks and the club’s final goal, to lift Collingwood to a win over Adelaide.
And he helped to repel the home side when the Magpies fought desperately to hold onto their slender advantage.
He had 37 touches, winning three Brownlow Medal votes, while six goals to Adelaide forward Darren Jarman almost swung the game in his club’s direction.
Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse believed the nail-biting victory would prove to be a psychological breakthrough.
“The record for Collingwood in away games has been pretty dismal over the past six or seven years, maybe eight or nine years,” Malthouse said.
“We’ve broken a lot of those mental barriers because the players’ persistence puts us on a different level now.”
5. Round 14, 2002
Collingwood d Adelaide by 22 points
Collingwood dominated from outset but fans who had travelled to Adelaide had to put up with an eight-goal last quarter from the Crows that threatened to steal the points.
At one stage of the third term, the difference was 66 points. But the Crows made a last-ditched effort to pinch the game.
But Malthouse concentrated on the positives rather than the negatives.
“It’s our first time over 20 goals this year, but we let 17 through and under those circumstances I think the rage will come back pretty quickly. (But) If we just looked at the scores at the end of the game … it’s a fabulous win,” Malthouse said.
Josh Fraser kicked four goals, Alan Didak three and Nathan Buckley had 29 touches and again won best afield honours.
6. Qualifying Final, 2002
Collingwood d Port Adelaide by 13 points
Paul Licuria turned in one of the great finals performances – complete with 40 touches – as he helped drag Collingwood to one of its most courageous wins of the Malthouse era.
Nathan Buckley was out injured, but Licuria responded with a superb performance as the Magpies held on for a gritty win that shook the 2002 finals series apart.
On a night in which president Eddie McGuire vented his frustration against a scoreboard spruiker at AAMI Stadium – who turned out to be future tennis coach Roger Rasheed – the young Magpies turned in a mature performance to signal to the footy world that it was capable of challenging for the premiership.
Licuria’s parents, Carmen and John, had driven across to Adelaide with Anthony Rocca’s parents and watched in awe.
“They weren’t sure if they were going to come until two days ago,” Licuria said. “But it (the result) will make it easier for the return home.”
Malthouse, who had raised the issue of the pressure on Port Adelaide even before the game, said: “There wasn’t a hell of a lot to grasp hold of, quite frankly … Our form wasn’t that good . . . (but) I guess not every battle is on the field, is it?”
7. Round 7, 2003
Collingwood d Adelaide by 5 points
Chris Tarrant had the Sherrin, and the match, in his hands when the siren sounded on this game.
Having trailed at every change, the Magpies watched nervously as Tarrant lined up for the most important shot of his career, and coach Mick Malthouse couldn’t bear to look.
“I can’t recall winning after the bell and I didn’t even see the kick,” Malthouse said. “After the bell, it was: `Do I watch or do I not watch it?’ By the time I looked up, he had kicked it.
“So I was a coward. I’m led to believe it wobbled through, anyway. Thank God, I didn’t watch it.”
Tarrant admitted he had been “shocked” and “nervous” when the siren sounded.
“But it’s what you dream of as a kid growing up, isn’t it? I was rapt to kick it,” Tarrant said.
8. Round 20, 2006
Collingwood d Port Adelaide by 2 points
In 2003, it was Chris Tarrant. In 2006, it ended up being Alan Didak as the match-winner.
While ‘Taz’ had kicked his goal after the siren, Didak’s came with 19 seconds remaining.
But the celebrations were almost on a par, as Collingwood overcame Port Adelaide by two points.
“I think it’s a testament of (the) maturity of Alan,” Malthouse said.
“Was it defining? Well, it’s put us in the eight. That’s fairly defining, isn’t it? Especially when you were 15th last year.”
Didak said he knew there was less than 30 seconds left on the clock when he received the pass from Anthony Rocca.
He said he went through his routine and watched nervously as the ball faded and scraped in by a few centimetres.
9. Round 6, 2007
Collingwood d Adelaide by 24 points
The Magpies went into the game with nine players under 21 years of age, but held firm against the Crows.
Malthouse said it was a sign of the maturity of his team to withstand the pressure.
“You don’t pick players who don’t stand up, they don’t get off the hook because they are 17, 18, 19, or playing their first game,” Malthouse said.
“There have been plenty of kids who have played one game through history because you work out that the next stage is a little bit too big for them.
“I think the players we are bringing to the side are intelligent football people.”
Some of those nine included Travis Cloke, Scott Pendlebury, Harry O’Brien, Dale Thomas and Alan Toovey.
The only thing Malthouse didn’t enjoy was the fact that his team hit the post on seven occasions.
10. Round 20, 2008
Collingwood d Port Adelaide by 31 points
With Heath Shaw and Alan Didak not playing after being stood down over an off-field incident, Collingwood was able to overcome Port Adelaide in a fine display at AAMI Stadium.
Travis Cloke kicked four goal in what was Shane Wakelin’s 250th game, John Anthony kicked two goals in his eighth game, and youngsters John McCarthy and Chris Dawes were playing their second games with the club.
“We’ve had to re-invent the forward line,” Malthouse said.
“It’s the old chestnut, but if you look up and you see Anthony Rocca, you kick the football to him. We haven’t had him and Travis (Cloke) has been left virtually by himself up there.
“We’ve been fortunate given we’ve lost (Sean) Rusling, Rocca, (Ben) Reid — and we’ve elected not to play Didak. There’s four that would genuinely be a part of our forward line. We’re fortunate to have some kids who will have a crack.”
11. Elimination Final, 2008
Collingwood d Adelaide by 31 points
Collingwood fought its way back from four goals down in the second term to keep its season alive with an elimination final victory over Adelaide.
With Josh Fraser standing in as acting captain, and with Nick Maxwell playing an unlikely midfield role on Scott Thompson, the Magpies showed plenty of resolve to overcome the Crows.
Malthouse said: “`In this game it was death if you lost and another game if you had won. So the consequences were so great.”’
“The boys were terrific. Particularly against a side like Adelaide, they remind me of the German soccer side. Once they get in front they’re happy with a 1-0 lead and they’ll defend it and win the game.
“That’s why it was so important we didn’t let them get in front. We didn’t and we were able to rebound in the third quarter which was terrific and then the pressure went back on the other side to score.”
Dane Swan, with two goals before half-time, and Dale Thomas, emerging as a player, were very important in the win.
12. Round 19, 2009
Collingwood d Adelaide by 21 points
Alan Didak and Dale Thomas combined to help Collingwood seal the game in a tight clash with Adelaide.
After cutting the margin back to nine points 24 minutes into the game, the Crows looked like they were about to get off the canvas and overrun the Magpies.
Enter Didak, who intercepted a pass from Andy Otten and handballed over to Thomas in the goal square to score a critical goal. Then Cameron Wood slotted through a goal seconds before the siren.
“They (the Crows) are a very, very well-organised and disciplined top side and it’s always a difficult task to play them,” Malthouse said.
“And if you can come away with a victory under those circumstances, coming back from behind, it makes it a good win.”
Didak finished the game with 31 touches, Pendlebury had 27 and John Anthony scored three goals.
13. Round 15, 2010
Collingwood d Port Adelaide by 26 points
On a strange day in which it was announced that Mark Williams would be coaching his last game for Port Adelaide, Collingwood managed to turn around a six-goal deficit into a remarkable win.
It was a fitting result for Harry O’Brien and Dale Thomas, who celebrated their 100th games. But the game looked in danger for the first part of the night.
Incredibly, the news about Williams coaching his final match with the Power came through as his counterpart Mick Malthouse was engaged in an early afternoon strategy meeting ahead of the game.
By that evening, the Port Adelaide side were intent on sending Williams out a winner, kicking five goals to nil with the breeze in the opening term.
At one stage, the margin was out to six goals at the nine-minute-mark of the second term.
From there, though, the Magpies got moving. They kicked seven goals in the second quarter and managed to claw their way to a one-point lead at the last change.
And Collingwood – aided by 39 touches from Dane Swan, brought it home with six goals to two in the final term to put the game beyond doubt.
“It certainly wasn’t by design to have to fight back from five goals down, let me tell you,” Malthouse said.
“That’s the most pleasing thing of the night, to be able to look out of it, with all aspects falling into place for Port and all the things we pride ourselves on going straight out the window.”
14. Round 20, 2011
Collingwood d Port Adelaide by 138 points
Collingwood scored a remarkable 138-point win over Port Adelaide in what was the third greatest winning margin for the club.
The Magpies scored six goals to nil in the first term, then piled on six, four and seven goals in the next three quarters.
The Power could not manage their first goal until the 30-minute-mark of the second term. By that stage, the Pies had 12.
Jarryd Blair was outstanding, kicking four goals among a dozen goal kickers, with three each to Dayne Beams, Travis Cloke and Dane Swan, while Chris Tarrant was solid in his 250th game.
Mick Malthouse questioned whether the competition was suffering in terms of the number of one-sided results occurring at the time.
“We are seeing far too much of this. I just think we might murder our game in its present state,” Malthouse said.
AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson explained: “One of the key reasons for that is that Collingwood is an awesome football team at the moment and they are killing the opposition.”
15. Round 9, 2012
Collingwood d Adelaide by 26 points
The Magpies made it eight consecutive wins at AAMI Stadium with a gutsy 26-point over the Crows, but it was tinged with disappointment.
For as positive as the win was – completed with debut games from Jamie Elliott and Marley Williams – the negative came in the form of a fourth ACL injury for the club – this time defender Lachlan Keeffe.
Almost as soon as Elliott was subbed into the game for Alex Fasolo, Keeffe went down clutching his knee.
Dayne Beams was outstanding for the Magpies, having 36 touches and kicking two goals in a best-on-ground effort.
After trailing by a goal at three-quarter-time, Collingwood kicked five goals to nil in a clinical final term.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, coaching against his former housemate Brenton Sanderson, said: “We’re very disappointed for Lachie to go down…It’s a suspected ACL — our fourth for the year.”
Alan Didak said: “We really stuck it out for four quarters and that’s what you have to do amongst the best teams and we did that . . . what a great win.”
“Early on in the season we were probably leaking too many goals. Slowly we’re getting better and better and we showed tonight if we stick it out for four quarters we can be a good team.”