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Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 8

Carlton captain Stephen Kernahan prepares to kick one of his seven goals in the 1992 “Centenary Match” against Collingwood. Picture: CHANNEL 7

Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 8

Luke Michael    

As the AFL season rolls on and the top eight begins to take shape, it is sometimes useful to take a step back from the action and reflect on some of the great footy memories from years gone by.

Round eight contains some of the most iconic moments in the league’s history, from the heart-breaking to the downright quirky.

Because like Peter Daicos magic at the MCG or a tied-down windsock at Windy Hill, so are the Rounds of our Lives.

CARLTON 16.9 (105) d COLLINGWOOD 9.18 (72) (MCG, Round 8 1992)
While the traditional Carlton-Collingwood rivalry isn’t as anticipated as it used to be, in 1992 it was central to the match billed as “The Game of the Century”.

The match marked Collingwood’s 100th birthday and was played on 7 May, exactly 100 years to the day that the Pies played their first match against Carlton in the VFA in 1892.

The centenary clash dominated discussion in Melbourne during the build-up, so much so that even Prime Minister Paul Keating offered his tip before the match.

The Thursday night clash was witnessed by 83,262 fans at the MCG, who were treated to a dazzling pre-match fireworks display, searchlights, booming music and laser beams.

Fans were also greeted by the newly-completed $119 million Great Southern Stand, adding another sense of glamour to the spectacle.

The game itself was not quite as enthralling, but featured a dominant display by Carlton captain Stephen Kernahan, who booted seven goals.

Blues’ fans also were able to enjoy the arrival of prized recruit Greg Williams, who gradually dominated Michael McGuane in the centre to collect 33 disposals in his second game for the club.
While Collingwood led by two points at half time, the Blues gradually pulled away to lead by 25-points at three-quarter time.

Collingwood fought gallantly, but were not able to withstand the Carlton onslaught, despite flashes of brilliance from Peter Daicos and an impressive 37-disposal display from Scott Russell.
The inaccurate Pies (who kicked 9.18 compared to Carlton’s 16.9) were left to lick their wounds as the Blues ran out 33-point winners, spoiling the party for the fanatical Magpie Army.

ESSENDON 14.14 (98) d NORTH MELBOURNE 10.15 (75) (Windy Hill, Round 8 1954)
Essendon legend John Coleman was tragically struck down in the prime of his career after severely dislocating his knee in this round eight clash. Coleman was a goalkicking colossus who entered round eight having booted 14 goals the previous week – an Essendon record – and already had five goals on the board against North Melbourne before tragedy struck. Flying for a mark in the forward pocket, Coleman landed awkwardly and crumpled to the ground in agony. Silence descended over Windy Hill as Coleman was carried from the ground, never to return (as a player) again. It was an inglorious end to a distinguished career for Coleman, whose 537 goals in 98 matches remains the second-highest goal average in VFL/AFL history behind Peter Hudson. The match itself was a thriller, with Essendon coming back from 25-points down at half-time to overrun North Melbourne and record a 23-point victory.

WEST COAST 14.10 (94) d ESSENDON 13.9 (87) (Windy Hill, Round 8 1991)
Always a colourful character, Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy’s quirky antics were on full display during the Bombers’ round eight match with West Coast. Sheedy famously had a windsock tied down before the game at Windy Hill, so the Eagles would not know which way the wind was blowing. West Coast came to Windy Hill on the back of a crushing 82-point victory over eventual premiers Hawthorn the week before, and the tactic seemed to be working as Essendon, despite a litany of injuries, remained in the contest all day. However the Dons would eventually go down by seven points, after an impressive five-goal display from Peter Sumich. While Sheedy initially took responsibility for the incident, Essendon chief executive Roger Hampson was eventually revealed as the culprit.

SYDNEY 21.6 (132) d CARLTON 8.12 (60) (SCG, Round 8 1995)
Carlton was the dominant team in 1995, losing only two games and romping to a 61-point Grand Final victory. But one of the greatest upsets of the modern era occurred in round eight, with Sydney smashing the Blues by 12 goals under the Friday night lights. Sydney entered its clash with the undefeated Blues having won just two of its first seven matches, but seemed hell-bent on delivering Ron Barassi a win in his 500th game as coach. While leading by only 10-points at quarter-time, the Swans blew Carlton away in the second term kicking nine goals straight to 1.1, setting up a 57-point lead. In the end, Sydney would run out 72-point winners, helped by an eight-goal haul by Tony Lockett.

GEELONG 8.17 (65) d COLLINGWOOD 9.8 (62) (MCG, Round 8 2011)
This classic match between Collingwood and Geelong was marred by a controversial call in the dying minutes of the game. This top-of-the-table clash remained close throughout, but Geelong was willed over the line by a dominant display from Joel Selwood in his 100th game. But controversy occurred in the game’s final moments, when Collingwood ruckman Cameron Wood was awarded a free kick on the half-forward flank. Scott Pendlebury immediately picked up the ball and kicked a running goal to rapturous applause from Collingwood fans, but the umpire disallowed the goal after losing sight of the ball and blowing time-on. It consigned Collingwood to its first loss of the year. The Pies’ only other losses in 2011 also occurred against Geelong, in round 24 and more significantly, in that year’s grand final.

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