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Match report: Pies prevail in dour clash as Blues count cost

Highlights: Carlton v Collingwood The Blues and Magpies clash in round 15
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Brodie Grundy of the Magpies celebrates a goal with Adam Treloar and Tom Phillips of the Magpies during the 2016 AFL Round 15 match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 2, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Collingwood players celebrate a goal during their tight win over Carlton

COLLINGWOOD has avenged its round seven loss to Carlton and spoiled the debut of royal Blue Jack Silvagni, winning a scrappy clash at the MCG by 12 points on Saturday night.

After its season was sent into a tailspin by the Blues two months ago, Collingwood finally got a chance to square up and it hit the old enemy where it hurts, winning 8.9 (57) to 6.9 (45).

Full match coverage and stats

Silvagni was the drawcard on Saturday night, and a crowd of 56,157 rolled through the gates to see son of Stephen and grandson of Sergio in his long-sleeved No.2 jumper.

And in a year that has quickly become one of development for the Magpies, making sure Carlton didn't celebrate the occasion with a win was probably more significant than the four points they banked.

Five talking points: Carlton v Collingwood

Further souring the loss for the Blues was what appeared to be a serious knee injury to defender Ciaran Byrne, who landed awkwardly in a contest in the fourth quarter and was taken from the ground on a stretcher.

It was clearly a clash between 13th and 14th, and neither side did anything to suggest they will have a rapid spike in form in the last eight weeks of the season, with the combined score the lowest between these sides since 1966.

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury brought class to an ugly match, finishing with 34 possessions (14 contested), eight clearances and a goal in a clear best-on-ground performance.

Defenders Ben Reid and Tyson Goldsack, who combined for eight intercept marks, were also excellent in repelling the Blues' forward entries, while ruckman Brodie Grundy (17 possessions and two goals) took the points against Matthew Kreuzer.

The concerns for coach Nathan Buckley remain the forward line, with Darcy Moore, Travis Cloke and Mason Cox combining for one goal, which was kicked by Moore in the opening 10 minutes.

Despite his team's shortcomings, Buckley said he was satisfied with the win.

"Always when you beat a side like Carlton, especially with the fact they got the points early in the year," the coach said.

"We're happy with the four points and we put them in the back pocket and there's plenty of areas to improve on for next week."

The Blues, who kicked the final two goals to trim the margin, will remember the occasion for the significance of Silvagni's debut.

There was high anticipation whenever the classy teenager went near the ball, and it reached fever pitch when he marked 15m from goal with less than 10 minutes to play.

After a night of missed opportunities, he chose to pass backwards to Bryce Gibbs and will have to wait another week to kick his first senior goal, finishing an eye-catching debut with 15 possessions and a team high seven score involvements.

Veteran defender Kade Simpson was his team's best player, with 28 possessions and four rebound 50s, while Gibbs fought through a hard tag from Levi Greenwood to win 22 possessions and kick two goals.

"We're a team that is learning to play the Carlton way for longer, and that's what we need to do in all phases," coach Brendon Bolton said.

"If you don't do it for longer than the opposition you get hurt and we did today.

"We're trying to grow, we're trying to develop … every week is a real challenge."

Carlton: The Blues fear the worst for Ciaran Byrne, who punched the ground and was visibly upset when he was taken from the ground on a stretcher. He will have scans, which are expected to confirm an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee.
Collingwood: No injuries for the Magpies, who would have been pleased to see young forward Darcy Moore escape unscathed after four games out with a collarbone injury.

Collingwood takes on one of the toughest road trips in the AFL and faces Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium on Saturday. The Magpies are yet to lose to the Giants in four matches, but that appears at great risk now. The Blues host Adelaide at the MCG Sunday.

CARLTON            3.3  4.6  4.8  6.9  (45)
COLLINGWOOD  3.5  5.5  7.8  8.9  (57)

Carlton: Gibbs 2, Lamb, White, Wright, Phillips
Collingwood: Grundy 2, Blair 2, Moore, Pendlebury, Greenwood, Aish

Carlton: Simpson, Curnow, Gibbs, Cripps, Docherty, Phillips
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Grundy, Reid, Goldsack, Sidebottom, Moore

Carlton: Weitering (ankle), Byrne (knee)
Collingwood: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Foot, Dalgleish, Pannell, Mitchell

Official crowd: 56,157 at the MCG