Collingwood claim AFL blue collar status
Memo to the AFL community – Collingwood consider themselves a blue collar football club and don’t take kindly to being branded as an attack-fixated team.
The Pies certainly bared their defensive teeth in Saturday’s huge clash with Sydney at ANZ Stadium, restricting the AFL ladder-leader to their second lowest score of the season, though the Swans’ inaccuracy – 9.16 – was also a factor.
Collingwood’s lockdown performance on a side coming off nine straight wins underlined they had the defensive steel to go with their offensive spark.
“We had people during the week maybe say a few things about the footy club that we didn’t feel represented us,” Collingwood’s Jarryd Blair told AAP.
“Whether it was motivation or not – we wanted to win anyway, so it just added a little bit extra.”
Pressed on what exactly had irked the Magpies, Blair said “We’ve always sort of felt we’re a blue collar sort of footy side, everyone contributes and nothing really flash or outstanding.
“To say that we’ve become just a forward-running attacking team was something that we feel didn’t represent us, so we wanted to get back to the way we play footy and just play tough contested pressure footy.”
It was Collingwood’s tenth straight interstate win and they haven’t been beaten outside Victoria since May 2010.
“The club have found a routine that works and it stays the same every time we do travel,” Blair said.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley hailed his on-field leaders for rallying the side from a 17-point third quarter deficit.
“When you look across our playing group, there were some boys that were hurting at that stage,” Buckley said.
“To be able to go and regroup and dig in ten minutes out from three-quarter time and kick those last three goals into three-quarter time, it was a really strong performance from the group to be able to do that.”
The victory moved Collingwood level on points with Sydney and Adelaide at the top of the ladder, but Buckley wasn’t prepared to talk up the Pies too much.
“People outside the club like to look at permutations and combinations and percentage and ladder positions etcetera, ” Buckley said.
“It obviously matters to finish top four and beyond that it’d be nice to have a home final.”
A corked thigh for Dale Thomas was Collingwood’s main injury worry out of the game, though club officials are optimistic he will be right to play North Melbourne next Saturday.© AAP 2013
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