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Five talking points: Collingwood v Geelong

Highlights: Collingwood v Geelong The Magpies and Cats clash in round 22
A Daicos in black and white will keep Pies fans happy - ${keywords}
A Daicos in black and white will keep Pies fans happy

1. Cats break Magpie hoodoo
It was all so familiar, with the Pies making a fast start just like they'd done in their previous three clashes with the Cats, each of which they'd won as underdogs. The Pies rattled on six of the first seven goals and at that point Geelong's top-four spot appeared in grave danger. But in a scrappy affair the Cats found something, adding seven of the next eight goals and finishing with the last two to get out of jail. Now, if they beat the Giants at Simonds Stadium in next week's final round, they will finish second and earn the luxury of a home final.

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2. 'The Macedonian Marvel' mark 2
There was plenty of romance in the air when Josh Daicos – the eldest son of Collingwood legend Peter Daicos – made his AFL debut. The 18-year-old's chance arose through a combination of his solid VFL form and mounting injuries, and he certainly didn't look out of place in gathering 10 possessions and 10 tackles. Just two minutes in, he dished off a handball at half-back that started a passage that ended with Steele Sidebottom snapping the game's first goal. Twenty minutes later, the diminutive Daicos marked on the southern wing and received a cheer from Pies fans, and his kick to position was marked by Mason Cox for another goal. He was one of five father-son players – the others being teammates Darcy Moore and Callum Brown, along with Cats Jed Bews and Sam Simpson.

 

3. Last week's Cat heroes go missing in action
Geelong's matchwinners against Richmond last week were Harry Taylor and Steve Motlop, but neither produced an adequate encore performance against the Pies. Taylor, who was blanketed by Lynden Dunn, went stat-less in the first term and managed just one goal, and that came from a dubious holding free in the goalsquare in the second term. The hot-and-cold Motlop was decidedly cold, winning just 14 possessions (three contested) and laying just one tackle to fuel further trade speculation. If the Cats are to do any damage in the finals, this pair – and Motlop in particular – will need to find greater consistency.

 

4. Cox relishes being the No. 1 man
With Brodie Grundy to return from suspension next week, Mason Cox certainly enjoyed his second game as Collingwood’s No. 1 ruckman, enhancing his chances of securing a new contract. The 'American Pie' was hot early, slotting two goals in the opening 21 minutes, the second from an impressive contested mark. Finishing with nine disposals, eight tackles and 43 hit-outs in his 18th AFL game, the 26-year-old is still a raw ruckman but showed his development by winning his share of taps against Cats duo Zac Smith and Wylie Buzza. At one point, the former soccer player even attempted a back-heel kick when wrong-footed in general play.

5. A Cat's family ties to the Pies
It was a significant occasion for Geelong youngster James Parsons, who played his first game against Collingwood, the club his grandfather Peter Marshall represented in 23 games from 1961-65. In his 17th AFL game Parsons was dangerous at times in attack, kicking the Cats' first goal against the flow of play with a neat finish on the run from 40 metres. The 2015 rookie selection could have had more impact on the scoreboard but sent another first-term shot from the arc out on the full, and missed a running shot from close range when he went with a banana kick in the second quarter.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs