Magpies march on with victory over Dockers
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley believes there is still plenty of improvement to come despite his top-of-the-table team notching their tenth straight AFL win on Saturday with a 29-point triumph over Fremantle.
The Magpies thrived in wet and windy conditions at the MCG to score a 15.17 (107) to 12.6 (78) victory over the dogged Dockers, who battled hard to get back into the contest after registering just two behinds in the opening term.
After going into halftime with a 25-point buffer, it appeared Collingwood were set for a comfortable win, but the Dockers – led by five goals from captain Matthew Pavlich – mounted a third-quarter challenge to get within three goals of the competition leaders.
But the home side kept the scoreboard ticking over enough to never be truly threatened thanks to three goals from Chris Dawes, while Dane Swan, Dale Thomas, Jackson Paine, Travis Cloke and Tyson Goldsack all kicked two goals.
Buckley said his team had wasted too many goal-scoring opportunities that would’ve sewn up the match a lot earlier.
“We had plenty of entries (into the forward 50) but we didn’t score at the percentage we would have liked, or kicked goals at the percentage we would have liked,” he said.
“(There’s) plenty to work on, plenty to improve.”
Collingwood kicked the opening six goals of the match, with star midfielder Swan, who finished the day with 39 disposals, controlling the game.
But from late in the second quarter, the Dockers started to find some space and they kicked six of the next eight goals to cut Collingwood’s lead from 40 points to 17.
But when Swan and Dawes booted majors in the final moments of the third quarter, Fremantle’s momentum was stunted.
Buckley saved special praise for the defensive pressure of 19-year-old Jamie Elliott who, in just his fifth game, made a game-high 15 tackles in the Magpies’ total of 101 for the match, their highest count for the season.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said despite the disappointment of the loss, he was pleased with the effort of his team to fight their way back after a sluggish start.
“I know this effort is going to stand us in really good stead going forward. We are a team that no matter what the result we are getting, we just have to be persistent,” he said.
“We have lost but, at a deeper level, there was a lot to like about our persistence and perseverance.”
Magpies forward Scott Pendlebury, who has missed the past two games with a leg fracture, is likely to return for next week’s match against Carlton while Alan Didak and Chris Tarrant are set to spend more time on the sidelines.© AAP 2013