Collingwood vs Melbourne: NAB Cup live scores, blog

Cameron Rose Columnist

By Cameron Rose, Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

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    Tonight’s NAB Cup game sees Collingwood and Melbourne doing battle under the roof at Etihad Stadium, and a clash between two of Michael Malthouse’s coaching proteges – Nathan Buckley and Mark Neeld. Join us for live scores and blog from 7:40pm AEDT.

    Collingwood were far from impressive in their opening matches up in Blacktown, defeating GWS and the Western Bulldogs by meagre margins, but considering that their realistic aim is to be holding the premiership cup aloft in seven months’ time, they can be forgiven for taking it easy against inferior opposition in two ‘fairy floss’ affairs.

    With an ever-lengthening injury list at the Lexus Centre, all is not perfectly in order for a tilt at the flag, but the best way to dispel any doubts, both internal and external, is victory, which is what they’ll be chasing tonight.

    Melbourne had the misfortune of playing in the midst of a tropical storm against the Queensland-based sides, so not much can be read into their performance of splitting their matches into a win and a loss against two teams that resided in the bottom three throughout 2011.

    Rookie coach Mark Neeld has demanded competitiveness above all else from his team this year, and was happy with what he saw.

    Even so, he’ll be expecting a cleaner brand of football under the dry conditions that Etihad alone can guarantee, and we will all learn if the Melbourne ‘talk’ of recent years will finally be put into action.

    As much interest in the Nab Cup resides in who is missing as opposed to playing, so let’s examine which players will be watching from the grandstand.

    The Pies are going in reasonably strong, missing seven of their predicted best team, which includes the likes of Alan Didak and Jarryd Blair, neither of whom are necessarily guaranteed a spot, although recent knee injuries to Andrew Krakouer and Brent Macaffer certainly help their claims.

    Backmen Chris Tarrant, Harry O’Brien and Ben Johnson are also absent, along with utility Tyson Goldsack, and mid-forward Dayne Beams.

    A change of coach can often make it hard to settle on a best 22, especially if that team experienced the turmoil that Melbourne did towards the end of 2011.

    Not many will forget the 186-point drubbing the Demons copped at the hands of Geelong last year, and it was hard to make a case for any player to be in the side after that performance.

    With several spots up for grabs in the Melbourne line-up, I can only identify six players missing that are probably guaranteed selection, and they are co-captains Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove, forward recruit Mitch Clark, along with Jared Rivers, Brent Moloney and tackle-machine Jordie McKenzie.

    With both Neeld and Buckley cutting their teeth under the Malthouse regime at Collingwood, we can rightly anticipate some similarities in game plan this year, so much of tonight’s interest centres on the style of play of the respective teams.

    The Pies have been renowned in recent seasons for their boundary-line play, so we may see them attack through the corridor more often, and while Melbourne were looking to get the ball in long and quick to the physicality of Mitch Clark in round one, was it purely driven by the conditions? And what impact will his absence have?

    With the Demon players fighting for spots and still trying to impress a new coach, their intensity will be high, and even if Collingwood doesn’t match them in this regard, they still have many elite, premiership players to call on.

    I believe the Magpie class will prevail, but intensity can cover all manner of sins, so this will be closer than many may predict, and an upset will not surprise.

    Mark Neeld will be expecting no favours from his former colleague Nathan Buckley, but can he get one-up on his old club with a win tonight? It’s an intriguing preseason matchup and we’ll cover it from siren-to-siren from the first bounce at 7.40pm AEDT. If you’re following along don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts in the space below.

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.

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    The Crowd Says (90)

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:18pm
      The Oudsman said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

      A fit and firing Jurrah is in every sides best 22.
      Granted, 2011 was hardly a tour de force for him, but most sides would still prefer to play a Demon lineup without him in it than with him.
      Bartram is no Johncock as a small defender, but he’s still one of the Demons’ best options there, and his promotion to the leadership group suggests he’s best 22.
      Would be surprised to see Melbourne get within 4 goals, their performances at Etihad have ranged from abysmal to diabolical in recent times.

      • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:32pm
        camtherose said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

        A popular opinion re Jurrah, but we’ll see if he can command a game under ‘No frills’ Neeld, who one senses will demand a much greater accountability than Liam has so far shown.

        Bartram’s elevation a surprise, but no certainty to get a game. Jarred Moore was in Sydney’s leadership group last year (and this), but only played three games despite full fitness. If my team is playing Melbourne, I want Bartram in the side, as our chances improve significantly.

        Melbourne’s record here is well known, but gee it’s amazing to think one ground should have that much impact. It just can’t. I don’t get it.

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:26pm
      camtherose said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

      Welcome to The Roar’s coverage of Collingwood against Melbourne, in this second round Nab Cup clash at Etihad Stadium.

      We’ve seen the two newest sides already comfortably beaten this weekend so far, both by very weak potential top four teams, but I think we’ve seen enough to confirm that both clubs will inhabit the bottom echelons of the ladder this year.

      I believe this match will be a much more keenly fought contest than either Geel/GC and Haw/GWS, both of which lacked even ‘Nab Cup’ intensity at various stages.

      Neeld will want to fully test his men against a formidable Pies outfit. We’re not sure if any of them will just play a half, but the really big names are all there for Collingwoood tonight – Swan, Pendlebury, Cloke, Thomas, Ball, Reid, Maxwell, Jolly, Sidebottom.

      Personally, i’m disappointed that Mitch Clark has been rested after only one round, I would have liked to have seen his brand of physicality against more hardened opposition than he faced against the Lions and Suns.

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:36pm
      camtherose said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

      The issue of the day is the cancelled game between St Kilda and Essendon at Wangaratta, a country town in middle Victoria some 2.5-3 hours out from the CBD. The Saints took the bus up yesterday, but the Bombers were flying in today, but couldn’t land due to inclement weather, so they had to turn back.

      There will be faux outrage and sanctimony on offer from plenty over this and an article or two may even pop up on The Roar, lambasting the AFL and Essendon officialdom. Let’s all just settle down. Sometimes these things just happen. Admittedly, flying in to a venue that is only a two and a half hour drive smacks of some kind of Essendon arrorgance, but we should all be well conditioned to that by now.

      The points from that game have been split for those that aren’t aware.

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:40pm
      camtherose said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

      We’re five minutes away, and I am particularly excited about this clash. Feels like it might be the first time we see some ‘real’ football this year.

      TAB Sportsbet has the Pies at $1.20, with the Dee’s a $4.25 ‘dog. The line is 26.5 points, but I sense we might be able to make our money elsewhere.

      I am four from four with my suggested bets during these live blogs over the last two weeks, so let’s see if I can make it a straight five.

      I think Collingwood under 39.5 is the way to go, paying $2.25. I expect Melbourne to show some spirit, but the Pies still have too much class on the field, and they may even rest a Swan or Thomas for the second half, and might ease off halfway through the last quarter if they are seven goals up.

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:43pm
      camtherose said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

      22 to go first quarter

      Coll 0 Melb 1

      The Dee’s scream out of the middle thanks to Howe, but Green is astray in the opening seconds.

    • March 3rd 2012 @ 7:45pm
      camtherose said | March 3rd 2012 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

      19 to go first quarter

      Coll 0 Melb 1

      Ben Reid takes a flying shot from outside fifty, but kicks out on the full. One of the best backmen in the business.

      Pies already looking to play on quickly, but Garland reads it well and chops it off, but kicks poorly and ball is hurried over the boundary.

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