Pies stick to victory blueprint

Beating the odds: Magpie Travis Cloke marked in this contest against Crows Daniel Talia, Richard Douglas and Ricky Henderson at the MCG on Friday night. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoCOLLINGWOOD 2.2 9.5 13.6 17.9 (111) ADELAIDE 6.3 8.7 10.11 12.12 (84) GOALS Collingwood: Krakouer 3, Macaffer 2, Reid 2, Swan 2, Pendlebury 2, Cloke 2, Witts, Ball, Williams, Sidebottom. Adelaide: Lyons 4, Lynch 4, Porplyzia 3, Douglas. BEST Collingwood: Pendlebury, Swan, Sidebottom, Ball, Reid, Young. Adelaide: Douglas, Thompson, Lynch, Henderson, Crouch. UMPIRES Stevic, McBurney, Stewart. CROWD 54,790 at MCG.

A certain high-ranking official at Collingwood used to say a week is a long time in football. It’s true most times. Other times, seven days can pass and nothing changes.

This match was eerily similar to the Pies’ win over Carlton last Friday night.

Collingwood got jumped early. Before they knew it, Nathan Buckley’s men were down 25 points (it was 28 points last week against Carlton) and looking helpless, with the ball zinging around their heads.

Then, Adelaide lost one of its most valuable contributors midway through the first quarter, just as the Blues had last week.

For Carlton it was Jarrad Waite. For Adelaide, Patrick Dangerfield.

Then … the move. Last week it was a surprise. This week, expected. Buckley sent Ben Reid forward to start the second quarter.

And on the combination of those two factors the momentum of the game shifted. Or at least the foundations. The ascendancy still had to be taken away from the Crows.

And again, just like last week, it was the Pies’ midfield that took responsibility – knowing the defence behind them had been significantly weakened by the removal of Reid.

And again it was Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan.

When the Pies took control and the lead in the first half, Swan had 22 disposals. He would finish with 33 touches and and six clearances, slowed somewhat by Nathan Van Berlo in the second quarter.

The stats say that when Swan and Scott Pendlebury have more than 30 disposals, the Pies win. It happened again here, but this was Pendlebury’s night.

His silky hands in tight were breathtaking for the football purist. And then when the game needed to be won he answered the call.

With the Crows pressing and within two kicks, Pendlebury snuck forward and kicked the clincher.

Then a few minutes later, he kicked another. A second later, he gathered his 40th disposal for the first time in his career. He had 14 score involvements, eight clearance and eights inside 50s.

He is all class. This might have gone close to the best game he has played. Maybe.

And then there was Reid.

He kicked the first two goals of the second quarter to spark the resurgence, and finished with seven inside 50s.

He makes an impotent forward line look potent.

His very presence freed up Travis Cloke.

Unfortunately, Cloke’s goal-kicking demons had him in a choke hold. Amazingly, the Pies key forward had nearly a dozen shots at goal for just 2.5.

It must be said that Dangerfield’s shoulder injury sustained in a collision with Sam Dwyer did not take him out of the game completely.

He went off, strapped up, came back on, then went back off.

They sent him forward when it was clear the injury was going to prevent him from having an impact in the middle. He was basically playing one-handed, and at times did it with effect.

Like Carlton last week, Adelaide was playing to keep finals in sight.

It never gave up, getting numbers behind the ball, caused turnovers with pressure and had Tom Lynch (four goals), Jason Porplyzia (three) and Jarryd Lyons (four) and Richard Douglas (24 disposals) dangerous forward.

They threw everything at the Pies.

But they just lacked the class when it mattered.


A week after Carlton got off to a flyer against Collingwood, Adelaide put a huge scare into the Pies with a barnstorming opening to the game. The Crows led by 25 points at the first change. But with its top-four aspirations at stake, Collingwood put the forward squeeze on Adelaide, with the Crows committing several costly turnovers that saw them relinquish the lead by half-time.


Adelaide fans, still mourning the season-ending injury to star forward Taylor Walker on the same ground, had their hearts in their mouths as superstar midfielder Patrick Dangerfield came off cradling his right arm after a fearsome collision with Sam Dwyer in the first quarter. Dangerfield returned to the field with his right shoulder strapped, but he was clearly hampered by the injury for the rest of the evening.


Collingwood president Eddie McGuire couldn’t resist the temptation to have a light-hearted dig at Adelaide chief executive Steven Trigg before the Crows boss arrived late to the Pies’ pre-match president’s function. Trigg only recently resumed his post after a six-month ban for irregularities with the Kurt Tippett contract in 2009. ”I hope he’s not in our rooms handing out brown paper bags or anything,” McGuire noted of Trigg’s absence. – Jason Phelan

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.