GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 3.4 5.4 6.11 7.12 (54)
COLLINGWOOD 7.5 13.11 17.14 26.18 (174)
Travis Cloke has responded to a week of heavy speculation in perfect fashion, booting six majors as Collingwood, as expected, thumped the tiring Greater Western Sydney Giants.
GWS were quick out of the blocks and up for the contest, with Devon Smith kicking the first two goals of the game in a matter of minutes. The Giants forwards were more than holding their own, with Jeremy Cameron and Jonathon Patton taking good contested grabs and Jonathan Giles was giving the likes of Toby Greene and Adam Treloar first use in the middle.
The longer the quarter went however, fatigue set in for the home side’s young bodies, and the kicks got sloppy, decisions poor.
The big Collingwood forwards benefited from quick delivery after Giants errors, their size advantage even more prominent with the defenders stretched on the rebound. The Pies kicked 38 points from Giants turnovers in the first quarter. Luke Power had a couple of muffed kick ins that came straight back over his, and the goal umpires, head, Chris Dawes clamped a grab in the square and converted, and Cloke was getting lots of the ball, but not converting it to the scoreboard.
With fresh legs, the Giants are a formidable team, they get lots of numbers at the ball and have skill on the ground. The home side again kicked the first two goals of the quarter, with Cameron getting a free in the pocket, which he snapped trough, then the big resting ruckman Giles marking and goaling from close range.
The tide turned the longer the quarter went and after a number of missed chances – with Chris Tarrant the worst offender, spraying three behinds from gettable shots - another turnover from the Giants defence saw Mooney kick Collingwood’s first after 13 minutes. Nick Maxwell chimed in and kicked a long bomb from the centre square to increase the lead to 28, Swan goaled on the run a minute later to take the margin past five goals.
The Giants shone early in the second half, getting the first five clearances, and having the first two shots, yet unlike the opening two quarters, the shots missed. The Pies were struggling to score at the other end, until Coke stood up and took two big marks and blasted them through from close range. Another miss to Cameron at the other end, and a great running goal through the corridor to Smith after a great grab, dummy and handball from Giles at least showed the Giants were sticking in, despite the three figures on the scoreboard against them.
The Giants matched the Pies in the third term, nearing the end of the term the inside fifties were twelve all, and it was only the inaccurate 1.7 by the home side, to Collingwood’s four goals that proved the difference.
The margin at three quarter time was 69, though it wasn’t the licking the Pies were hoping for in a top four race where percentage will be all important, a strong last term would likely have satisfied the desires of coach Nathan Buckley.
Collingwood: Cloke 6, Swan 5, Beams 2, Elliott 2, Goldsack 2, Dawes 2, Sinclair, Blair, Mooney, Maxwell, Shaw, Fasolo, Tarrant
Greater Western Sydney: Smith 3, Cameron 2, Palmer, Giles
Collingwood: Swan, Cloke, Pendlebury, Shaw, Elliott,
Greater Western Sydney: Giles, Greene, Treloar
Greater Western Sydney: Cornes (virus) replaced in selected side by Bruce
Collingwood: Martin Clarke replaced Caolan Mooney in the third quarter
Greater Western Sydney: Nick Haynes replaced Jonathon Patton at three quarter-time