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Booing should not define this great Anzac Day game

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In recent years, the Anzac Day game has seldom been equal to its billing as "the biggest game of the home-and-away season," or as the match most similar to the grand final in terms of fevered anticipation and ritual.

In 2019, the game finally rose to equal the occasion, in what was the first thriller since the famed 2012 match, won by the Magpies by a point on a lunging soccer goal to Jarryd Blair that required a tense score review confirmation.

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury maintained his preternatural calm and one-touch ball handling. Credit:Eddie Jim

This game was both memorable and not without a touch of controversy, the result effectively sealed by a free kick for too high to Collingwood's Callum Brown, who chewed up the clock with less than a minute remaining and while he fluffed the shot, the Dons didn't have time for one final parry.

Indeed, the contentious end was a strange continuation of Easter Monday, when Gary Ablett was booed relentlessly by aggrieved Hawthorn fans, for whatever reason – probably several of them. This time the Collingwood great, Scott Pendlebury, received the hoots when he was awarded his third Anzac Day Medal.

At least the booing of Pendlebury was clearly........

© The Age