Events didn’t unfold the way Melbourne would have liked on Friday night, particularly for Ed Langdon.
The 26-year-old had the courage to label Collingwood a “one-trick pony” on SEN’s The Run Home the day before the clash in what lit the fuse for an enthralling contest.
“They (Collingwood) are sort of all duck, no dinner in a sense that if they’re playing fast footy on their terms, they’re a very hard team to stop, but they’re a bit of a one-trick pony at times,” Langdon said on Thursday afternoon.
Pies fans had clearly heard the comments when getting stuck into Langdon early in the game, but the wingman had the battle won early after kicking the Demons' first goal of the second term and the Melbourne faithful drowning out Collingwood’s boos.
He finished with 22 possessions to his name.
But as the narrative had it, Craig McRae’s side won their 11th straight game in thrilling circumstances by just seven points as Langdon’s comments came back to bite the club.
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin admitted Langdon would speak differently if asked again.
“Ed got his words wrong… Ed will put his hand up and say he got that wrong,” Goodwin told reporters.
“I don’t think he meant any disrespect to (Collingwood)... (but) if he could choose his words again he’d choose a few different ones.”
Speaking to ABC Sport after the game, Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe suggested Langdon got what was coming to him.
“I'd be lying to say if it wasn't on the whiteboard before we ran out… I thought he got what he deserved in the first 30 seconds,” he said.
Jeremy Howe on Ed Langdon’s one trick pony tag @abcsport “I'd be lying to say if it wasn't on the white board before we ran out… I thought he got what he deserved in the first 30 seconds.” #AFLDeesPies— Corbin Middlemas (@CorbinMiddlemas) August 5, 2022
Midfielder Jack Crisp added the whole club was across the comments.
“Everyone heard it yesterday. Bruzzy (Brayden Maynard) put it in our team WhatsApp group, they always have a few jokes in there. Fly (McRae) had it up pre-game on the board as well,” Crisp told Foxfooty.com.au.
“There’s a lot of different aspects to our game, I don’t know what the one trick is, but we just keep finding ways to win in different ways. It’s great to see everyone on the same page.”
However, Craig McRae laughed off the significance behind the message when addressing reporters after the game.
“I actually really like personality in the game,” he said.
“I think we’re craving that… I was having a bit of fun with myself (by putting it on the whiteboard).
“Nothing about Ed, I really respect him as a player. I’d encourage every club to have more of that (personality).”
The Collingwood coach added that his side was also under no illusions that they still have plenty of work to do. The Pies were belted in clearances (32-52), inside 50s (41-65) and contested possessions (138-162), but, as they’ve done throughout 2022, found a way to win.
The victory moves Collingwood into second on the ladder, where they’ll stay until at least the start of Round 22 and confirms the club’s status as serious contenders in September.