MELBOURNE 0.4 3.4 7.7. 13.9 (87)
COLLINGWOOD 6.3 8.9 10.15 19.15 (129)
Despite losing yet another player to what looks like a long term injury the Magpie juggernaut rolled on, accounting for Melbourne by 42 points in their traditional Queens Birthday Clash.
Alan Didak pulled his groin in the first few minutes of the game and was subbed out immediately. However this did not phase Collingwood as they kicked six goals to none in the first to create a buffer that they would ride for the rest of the match.
Will the loss of Scott Pendlebury the was even more opportunity for Collingwood’s second tier midfielders to step up and they did not hesitate. Dayne Beams, Steele Sidebottom were excellent, but the most impressive was returning Brownlow Medalist Dane Swan with 42 possessions.
Collingwood were in control for pretty much the whole game, clearly showing that they were a class above the Demons. Their spread and use of the ball allowed them at times to cut through at will.
After their first win last week, Melbourne was not totally blown out of the water. Despite conceding a large early lead the Dees continued to challenge the Pies through the day on multiple occasions they were build up some momentum but they could never overcome that their earlier failures.
Apart from Didak’s injury everything went right for the Pies in the first quarter, much of which came down to pursuance. Ben Sinclair was particularly impressive with two early goals. The Demon’s had no answer for the Pies the continually breaking down on their half back line and watching the ball come straight back.
After kicking the first two goals of the second the Magpies looked like they were in for a big win but Melbourne finally found their feet. The difference was immediately noticeable in the center as Players such as Nathan Jones began to stand up and get first use of the ball. The Dee’s got on a roll and were able to kick the next three and outscore Collingwood for the quarter.
After half time Melbourne came out with a similar resilience, a late hit by Luke Tapscott turned the game up another level and Melbourne were starting to look good, the main beneficiary of this was Mitch Clark who kicked three for the quarter. However as hard as Melbourne tried Collingwood had the answer at every turn making sure that their lead never dropped below four goals.
In the final quarter the floodgates opened. The Pies kicked the first four and looked to have put the game beyond doubt but the Dees rallied again. The cycle continued as Collingwood, for the umpteenth time in the match, steadied and pulled away.
The standout was by far Dane Swan, Swan who has played almost in the shadow of Pendlebury this season. In his absence Swan went bananas gathering 42 disposals and six clearances. He also moved foraward at times kicking two goals and setting up a handful of others.
He was not alone as the Pies two most in form players Beams and Sidebottom also had day outs collecting 37 and 36 disposals respectively. The two form the 2008 draft seem to be developing into top flight players.
As for Melbourne they were not shamed, Nathan Jones led the way in the midfield with 31 disposals. Mitch Clark continued to show his value to Melbourne creating contests and kicking a few himself. However their efforts were not enough as Collingwood continued on its winning ways.
3) Dane Swan
2) Steele Sidebottom
1) Dayne Beams
Melbourne: Clark 4, Howe 2, Dunn 2, Magner, Sylvia, Rivers, Trengove, Blease
Collingwood: Sinclair 3, Wellingham 2, Goldsack 2, Cloke 2, Fasolo 2, Blair 2, Swan 2, Jolly 2, Sidebottom, Beams
Melbourne: Jones, Clark, J, Howe, Grimes, McKenzie
Collingwood: Swan, Sidebottom, Beams , Blair, Wellingham
Melbourne: Brad Green (groin), Colin Sylvia (suspected broken nose)
Collingwood: Alan Didak (groin)
Melbourne: Brad Green (groin) replaced at three-quarter time by Lynden Dunn
Collingwood: Alan Didak (groin) replaced by Tom Young in the first quarter