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Porplyzia reflects on Taylor Walker’s debut match against Collingwood

Round One, 2009 - Collingwood vs Adelaide at the MCG
Round One, 2009 - Collingwood vs Adelaide at the MCG

Former Crows small forward Jason Porplyzia knows a thing or two about facing Collingwood.

Between 2006 and 2014, Porplyzia took on the Magpies nine times - including a four-point win in Round One, 2009.

Lining up alongside future captain Taylor Walker, Porpylzia booted two goals to help guide the Crows home.

“That day was sunny and reasonably warm from memory, a couple of guys made their debut including Tex and a few other young guys had come in with only a few games,” Porplyzia said. 

“We built up a good rivalry over that period and it’s definitely continued until today.

“It was always a big deal around Collingwood regardless of whether it was on our home deck or away because they had big crowds and are always around the mark.”

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Jared Petrenko and Myke Cook debuted alongside Walker, while Andy Otten and Patrick Dangerfield made just their third AFL appearance.

Almost like a new player, Trent Hentschel returned after being sidelined by injury since 2006.

Several momentum shifts saw Adelaide lead by 23 points at quarter time and Collingwood by 18 midway through the third.

The Crows absorbed pressure to tie the game by three-quarter time and in a low-scoring fourth term, goals to Chris Knights and Porplyzia had the visitors on top.

Porplyzia’s goal put the Crows up by 11 with six minutes to play.

“We were able to hang in there and arrest the momentum to then get our nose in front in the last quarter and hold Collingwood off,” Porplyzia said.

“I knew the game was tight and any score we could put on the board, especially a goal, was going to be important at that time of the game.

“Anytime you get a shot at the end of the game when it’s tight and there’s a lot riding on it, just making sure going through your routine.

“Thinking about what you can control and not worrying about the outcome, is important. 

“I was straight in front, about 40 metres out, so it wasn’t a very difficult shot but in those circumstances it does make it more difficult knowing the score.”

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Scott Pendlebury’s late goal for Collingwood meant the siren could not come sooner in a nervous finish.

The 2009 season proved to be a career-best for Porplyzia with 57 goals, an achievement the 130-gamer looked back on with pride.

“I’ve got some fond memories,” he said.

“That year and that time we played finals footy, I was able to contribute to the side and be a part of some reasonable success. 

“I certainly enjoyed that period of my career.”