Giants' spearhead Jeremy Cameron has produced some special efforts in his brief AFL career, but his game against the Magpies will take some beating. The 20-year-old kicked goals with each of his first seven kicks by midway through the third quarter. He slotted the Giants' first five goals by the five-minute mark of the second term and kept his side in the contest with two quick ones in the third quarter. He showcased various modes of goalkicking: a booming set shot, a bouncing run and finish, a brilliant gather and snap. He also handballed one off to Tom Scully when he could have kicked his eighth. He isn’t the Next Big Thing; he's already fast becoming The Biggest Thing.
2. What's wrong with the Pies?
Just when they were widely tipped to press for a top-four berth and boost their flagging percentage, the Pies have struggled against the AFL's two newest teams in successive weeks. A shock loss to Gold Coast last week was expected to produce a manic response against the winless Giants, but for much of the match the cellar dwellers were the cleaner, classier, harder and more organised team. Sure, the Pies are missing key players but they also have serious issues. Their spot in the top eight is starting to look increasingly shaky.
3. The unveiling of the Pies' prized draft pick
One major positive for Collingwood is that they have found a potential superstar ruckman. Sporting a Sumo-wrestler-style bun atop his head and with the famous No. 35 of Collingwood greats Peter Daicos and Simon Prestigiacomo – as is now customary for the club's top draft pick in his first year – Brodie Grundy became the Pies' eighth debutant this season. (They blooded seven last year.) The athletic South Australian was widely regarded as a steal at pick 18, and could form a dominant ruck combination with fellow youngster Jarrod Witts. We got a great glimpse of the future, with Grundy starting in the ruck and displaying a spectacular leap, sure ball handling, great mobility and aggression. The commentators are already calling him "Reg".
4. The return of Harry O
Until his recent three-match layoff as he dealt with personal issues, Harry O'Brien hadn’t been sidelined for consecutive games since mid-2007. Little wonder there was some fanfare when he ran onto the field for the warm-up. The section of the crowd closest to the Pies applauded as O'Brien broke from the group and jogged towards them. There was even a mini-chant of "Harry … Harry … Harry". O'Brien was a bit rusty, especially with some of his short passing, but he galloped and provided some much-needed life to a side almost bereft of spark in the first half. His running goal early in the third term lifted the Magpie army.
5. Sheedy's final bow at the MCG
It was the 372nd and final time that Kevin Sheedy will grace the MCG. His record tally comprises 132 games (including four grand finals and three premierships) as a Richmond player and 240 (seven grand finals and four flags) as a coach of Essendon and the Giants. It's an effort that will probably never be surpassed, with the next-best on the hallowed turf being Mick Malthouse (285), Norm Smith (254), Kevin Bartlett (241) and Ron Barassi (219). The Giants' banner rightly paid tribute to "a giant of the game". For a while it looked like he might get the triumphant finale he was dreaming of against old enemy Collingwood, but he certainly enjoyed one last joust at the 'G.