COLLINGWOOD 7.5 8.8 13.11 14.13 (97)
PORT ADELAIDE 2.2 5.7 8.8 10.13 (73)
Collingwood has given their faltering season a timely boost with a four-goal win against Port Adelaide on Saturday.
The improving Power took the game on against a Collingwood side that was missing 11 Premiership players, but the black and white army was again too strong – thanks largely to key forward Travis Cloke who booted 4 goals.
The biggest talking point of the day, unfortunately, was the shocking knee injury to Robbie Gray that occured a heartbreaking 30 seconds from the final siren.
His 2-goal, 17-disposal performance will be his last of the year – after his knee hyperextended at a 180 degree angle in a contest against Sharrod Wellingham.
While the prognosis will be confirmed on Monday, Power officials confirm that he has suffered a suspected ACL injury.
Despite the sour ending to the game, both sides had positives. Port Adelaide remained competitive, while Collingwood put a controversial few days behind them with a satisfying win.
The Magpies had a horror lead-up to the game after Luke Ball was ruled out for the season with an ACL and President Eddie McGuire initiated a fiery spat with former coach Mick Malthouse. They went into the quarter-time break at Etihad in front by 33 points, but the inexperience present in the Magpie side was evident, as the gutsy Port Adelaide fought back in the second quarter.
Cloke and Chris Dawes booting a goal each in the first minute of the game was the crucial buffer that Collingwood needed to keep the Power at bay.
The game-breaker, however, was Brownlow medalist Dane Swan who finished with 36 touches. The tattooed midfielder was everywhere, nullifying the threat of Dom Cassisi at stoppages; while Scott Pendlebury did much the same.
Pies coach Nathan Buckley praised his senior players, including Swan, Cloke, Darren Jolly and Nick Maxwell who provided leadership from the front.
Despite Port Adelaide keeping the Magpies to a half-time lead of just 19 points, Collingwood’s youth, including Paul Seedsman, Jarryd Blair and Marty Clarke in his 50th, all stood up with crucial pieces of play to keep their side comfortable.
Harry O’Brien also starred as the Magpies beat the Power by 24 points.
Umpires: McBurney, Jennings, Ritchie
Official Crowd: 30,741 at Etihad Stadium