The Brisbane Lions aren’t letting their ex-vice captain go without serious compensation.
Collingwood has stunned the more fancied Melbourne outfit, defeating them by 42 points in a brilliant Queen’s Birthday performance at the ‘G.
The first quarter was a frenetic term. While both teams started strongly, it was the Pies that managed to storm ahead to a early lead off the back of some ferocious play and consistent forward forays.
Mason Cox slammed home the first goal, but Melbourne hit back immediately with a easy goal of their own.
From there, it was all Collingwood – slamming home an additional four goals for the quarter, compared to one more for the Dees.
The pressure was off the charts from both sides, though – a thoroughly enjoyable match to watch early. Leading by 23 at the first break, Collingwood were looking sharp albeit a little inaccurate.
The second quarter was a closer one – at times. Melbourne rallied, booting a couple of early goals to momentarily worry the Pies, but were unable to close the gap.
Collingwood’s accuracy deteriorated a little, yet they still managed to kick four as opposed to a better lot of five majors for the Dees.
The margin was 19 points at the half, yet the game was arguably still up for grabs.
The third term? More of the same. Collingwood controlling most of the ground, but a contentious umpiring decision about halfway through the term seemed to switch the momentum into Melbourne’s favour – if only momentarily.
During that spell, the Demons slammed home two majors, but the Pies, as they had the whole day, had the answers: four straight goals to finish off the term.
The final quarter? Melbourne adding three late goals, Collingwood thinking about percentage and slamming on five more.
It’s difficult to choose who the Pies’ best was. American import Mason Cox played arguably his best game in career, booting 5.1 and clunking marks like it was nobody’s business.
Young Jaidyn Stephenson was also great, if a little shaky at times, in a four-goal performance – matching Will Hoskin Elliott, who counted his great streak of scoring a goal every game this year.
In a powerful midfield, the likes of Steele Sidebottom (32 touches), Adam Treloar (32) and Jordan de Goey (30 touches, 13 contested processions) were on fire.
Really, though, all of Nathan Buckley’s troops were playing well in a consummate team performance.
Melbourne, despite their loss, were served well by the midfield trio of Jordan Lewis, Clayton Oliver and Nathan Jones, while Tom McDonald sent through six goals – the biggest haul of his career. Youngster Charlie Spargo was also lively at times.
Both these sides have the bye next weekend.
Melbourne 14.7 (91)
Collingwood 20.13 (133)