COLLINGWOOD'S effort in its brave loss to Greater Western Sydney should set the 'minimum standard' for the Magpies for the rest of the season, coach Nathan Buckley says.
On Easter Saturday at the MCG, the Magpies bounced back from their disappointing 34-point round one loss to Hawthorn, pushing the highly fancied Giants to the brink.
After falling 17 points behind early in the second quarter, Collingwood fought back and appeared on the brink of an upset victory when two early goals in the last quarter put it 11 points up.
The Giants rallied, kicking five of the last six goals to run out 19-point winners, but the Magpies' chances were not helped by the fact they had played the entire second half with just two players on the bench after injuries to Tim Broomhead (broken tibia and fibula) and Darcy Moore (hamstring tightness).
Buckley was proud of his team's performance after the game, but challenged his players to bring the same effort for the rest of the season.
"I suppose it's their challenge to keep producing that and not (the effort of) round one," Buckley said.
"It showed a lot of pluck, showed a lot of endeavour, a lot of discipline through the game. We sort of had it on our terms for the most part, but it just opened up late.
"As I said to the players, it's the same result in terms of win and loss but you have a very different feeling about the effort that was brought to the table and the application to what we want to do for longer.
"We still can be a lot cleaner at ground level and cleaner with the ball in hand. There's still (room for) massive improvement on that, and we need to find it.
"But that needs to be a minimum standard for us going forward."
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Buckley was also pleased with his team's "more adventurous" ball use against the Giants, particularly from defence, while he said the Magpies had coped well with Moore's absence in the third quarter, but their lack of an aerial presence in attack had told late in the game when they were tiring and weren't able to break the lines with run and carry.
The Magpies coach was also satisfied with the way many of his players responded to their round one loss to Hawthorn.
He specifically nominated ruckman Brodie Grundy, who starred with 20 possessions, 45 hit-outs and two goals, Matthew Scharenberg, Tom Phillips, Tom Langdon and James Aish.