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Match report: Pies win but injury strikes again

Highlights: Collingwood v Western Bulldogs The Magpies and Bulldogs clash in round 10
Jeremy Howe and Adam Treloar celebrate a goal - AFL,Collingwood Magpies,Western Bulldogs
Jeremy Howe and Adam Treloar celebrate a goal

COLLINGWOOD has climbed into the top eight after completely dominating the second half against the Western Bulldogs to win by 35 points at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

The Magpies trailed by 26 points early in the second quarter and struggled to find a target in attack for much of the first half as the Bulldogs defenders ruled the air inside their forward 50.

However, the Pies seized control of the game with a four-goal-to-none third quarter and then put the Dogs to the sword with another four goals in the final term to power to a 13.12 (90) to 8.7 (55) victory.

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After kicking eight goals in the first half to lead by 18 points at the main break, the Dogs went goalless in the second half, kicking just four behinds.

Brodie Grundy (26 possessions, 38 hit-outs, seven marks and seven clearances) was outstanding for Collingwood, dominating the ruck contests against Jordan Roughead and Tom Boyd and providing a hard-running target around the ground all night.

The Magpies' win broke a string of five consecutive losses against the Bulldogs – entering Friday night's game they had not defeated them since round 12, 2013 – and took them to sixth on the ladder, although they will slide out of the top eight by the end of round 10 if North Melbourne, Geelong and Hawthorn win.

The tireless run of Adam Treloar (40 possessions, six inside 50s and two goals) and Tom Phillips (36 possessions and one goal) was vital to the Pies' comeback win, while the composure of skipper Scott Pendlebury (32 possessions and six clearances) was important all night.

 

Will Hoskin-Elliott (two goals) was a lively performer in attack, while Tom Langdon, Matthew Scharenberg and Lynden Dunn kept things tight in defence.

There were a couple of sour notes late in the game for Collingwood, with big man Mason Cox reported for a bump on Jason Johannisen and Travis Varcoe sitting out the last quarter with a hamstring injury.

Although Johannisen appeared to emerge unhurt from the incident, Cox will still have concerns after cannoning into the Bulldog speedster with his hip while Johannisen had his head over the ball, a potentially dangerous action that is unlikely to sit well with Match Review Officer Michael Christian.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was pleased with his team's response after its slow start.

"It was a pretty impressive last three quarters. The gap in the first quarter was always going to be hard to peg back but we did it bit by bit, and the last half in particular was a really strong example of the brand we want to play more often," Buckley said.

"Hopefully we’re improving and getting closer to it and doing it better week by week.”

 

On a disappointing night for the Dogs, captain Easton Wood (15 possessions and 10 marks) worked tirelessly in defence, while Toby McLean (35 possessions) and Jack Macrae (30) fought hard in the midfield.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said the game changed so markedly after quarter-time it was as if "two completely different sides" had taken the field.

"They lifted their intensity and they challenged us on a number of fronts and we came up well short. Put that down to Collingwood's ferocity around the ball (and) our lack of scope to maintain it in our front half – the ball came out of our forward half way too easily," Beveridge said.

"It felt like for most of the game our backend held it together pretty well, but backmen can't defend those open plays.

"So the 12 through the middle of the ground and forward of the ball just became complacent, and as much as that's disappointing and deflating, at least we know what it is and we can fix it."

The Magpies did all the attacking at the start of the game, but struggled to find targets inside their forward 50.

Finally, from their ninth inside 50, Tom Phillips kicked the game's opening goal – and score – but after that breakthrough the Bulldogs seized the momentum and, unlike Collingwood, made the most of their control of general play.

The Dogs piled on the next five goals, two of them through Tory Dickson, who was returning from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since round five, and two of them courtesy of 50m penalties given away by the Pies.

PIES ARE BACK IN TOWN Five talking points

The Bulldogs went into quarter-time with a 25-point lead, but Collingwood suddenly found a spark early in the second term with two goals in less than two minutes through Treloar and Josh Thomas.

The Pies still hadn't taken a mark inside their forward 50 at that stage, but they managed to cut the Bulldogs' lead to six points at the 24-minute mark after consecutive goals from Langdon and Jaidyn Stephenson.

However, when Billy Gowers goaled after taking a strong pack mark close to goal and former No.2 draft pick Josh Schache, in his first game in Bulldogs colours, converted a 35m set shot, the Dogs extended their lead back out to 18 points at half-time.

 

At that stage, the Bulldogs had taken nine marks inside their forward 50 to Collingwood's two.

Jordan De Goey, fresh off a match-winning six goal performance against St Kilda last week, started as the Magpies' deepest forward, but he was held scoreless and to just five possessions by Zaine Cordy in the opening two terms, before Cordy was ruled out with concussion after half-time.

De Goey was moved into the midfield at the start of the second half, from which time his night and, particularly, the Magpies' took a big turn for the better.

 

MEDICAL ROOM
Collingwood:
Travis Varcoe's night ended early when he came off the ground in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said after the game Varcoe had suffered a "likely strain". 

Western Bulldogs: Zaine Cordy spent the entire second half on the bench after suffering a delayed concussion from a head knock in the second quarter.

NEXT UP
The Magpies host Fremantle at the MCG next Sunday, having won their past five games against the Dockers at the home of football. The Bulldogs play Melbourne next Saturday at Etihad Stadium, where they lost to the Demons by 57 points in round 13, 2017.


COLLINGWOOD           1.1   5.3   9.8  13.12 (90)
WESTERN BULLDOGS  5.2   8.3   8.5    8.7 (55)

GOALS
Collingwood: Treloar 2, Thomas 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Phillips, Stephenson, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Daicos, Adams, Langdon
Western Bulldogs: Dickson 2, Roughead 2, Boyd, Gowers, Schache, Suckling 

BEST 
Collingwood: Treloar, Phillips, Grundy, Pendlebury, Crisp, Scharenberg, Dunn, Greenwood
Western Bulldogs: McLean, Hunter, Macrae, Roughead, Dahlhaus 

INJURIES 
Collingwood: Varcoe (hamstring), Cox (knee)
Western Bulldogs: Cordy (concussion) 

Reports: Mason Cox reported for rough conduct on Jason Johannisen in the fourth quarter

Umpires: Meredith, Findlay, Gianfagna

Official crowd: 37,985 at Etihad Stadium