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Pies' class rises to sink spirited Dogs

Highlights: Western Bulldogs v Collingwood The Dogs and Pies clash in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup
Dane Swan of the Magpies in action during the 2013 NAB Cup round 01, week 01 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Collingwood Magpies at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Ball-magnet Dane Swan - one of Collingwood's best - in action during the Pies' NAB Cup win over the Dogs
Sometimes you've just got to hang in there for the last three or four minutes, and that's something we've got to get better at
Brendan McCartney
 COLLINGWOOD has fought off a spirited Western Bulldogs unit, recording an 18-point win in its opening NAB Cup game at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

The Pies overcame a two-point half-time deficit, winning 1.6.2 (47) to the Bulldogs' 0.4.5 (29)
Dane Swan's second-half running super-goal started a late run of majors for the Pies, finished off by Travis Cloke whose two second-half goals put the result beyond doubt.

Goddard burns as Dons put torrid two weeks behind them
Typically, Swan lifted in the second half to be one of the Magpies' best with nine touches, while Heath Shaw, as he often does, dictated terms in the back-half with nine as well.
The Pies did not have everything going their own way, though, having to overcome a much more functional Dogs team.
After their loss to Essendon earlier, the Dogs turned the pressure up against the Pies in the first half and led by seven points early in the second half.

Essendon fans keep the faith
The Dogs' ball movement was more precise than it was in the earlier game, and they seemed to make a point of opening up their forward half.
Their hard running was better rewarded, with Jarrad Grant's first goal taking the margin to seven points just after half-time.
Tom Liberatore's in-and-under work was also crucial (nine possessions), while rookie Lin Jong, who did not play in the opening game, was lively with 11 touches.
Though the Pies looked sluggish early, they found their groove later in the first half and trailed by just two points at the major break.

Late surge gives Collingwood last-gasp win
For the Pies, Clinton Young's run and carry and laser-like left boot was a significant element in how they moved the ball.
He faded out a little in the second half, but the former Hawk showed why he will be a critical piece in the Magpies' 2012 hopes.
Much much-talked about forward duo Travis Cloke (two goals) and Quinten Lynch (one) got better as the game wore on.
Earlier, in a fairly uninspiring opening half, Brent Macaffer's clever crumbing goal provided a clear highlight.
From a skied ball in to the forward line, the Pies forward hit the pack at full tilt, tapped the ball into open space, and finished with a smart snap.
In the end, though, it was the Magpies' star players who rose to the occasion and carried their side to victory.

Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney:
  "If you were sitting there watching the game, you'd be disappointed with how we kicked the ball at times. When fatigue set in and the opposition put defensive pressure on us, we didn't use it that well. We gave up goals late quarters. Sometimes you've just got to hang in there for the last three or four minutes, and that's something we've got to get better at. In the second game, once we got a game under our belt, we were able to work and run and stretch Collingwood and make them defend."
Fantasy Snapshot:
 Collingwood mature-age rookie Kyle Martin (MID, $103,300) has been an impressive performer for the Pies in the pre-season. He showed glimpses of what is capable of against the Bulldogs, utilising his hard running to end the game with seven touches and 36 fantasy points. For Frankston in the VFL last year, he averaged 26 possessions and he did not seem to be too fazed by the jump to the next level on Friday night. While senior opportunities are likely to be limited, you can count on Martin to take his opportunity if he gets it.

WESTERN BULLDOGS       0.3.3   0.4.5    (29)                 
COLLINGWOOD                   0.3.1   1.6.2    (47)         

Western Bulldogs: Nil
Collingwood: Swan

Western Bulldogs: Giansiracusa 2, Dickson, Grant
Collingwood: Cloke 2, Blair, Elliott, Lynch, Macaffer

Western Bulldogs: Smith, Liberatore, Jong, Griffen
Collingwood: Swan, Shaw, Blair, Martin, Young

Western Bulldogs: Nil
Collingwood: Nil
Reports: Nil

Umpires: TBC

Official crowd: 26,693 at Etihad Stadium

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