COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley was left to lament a hapless tackling display he declared 'as low as I can remember' in Friday night's loss to the Western Bulldogs.
The Pies coughed up 139 more disposals to the Dogs but recorded three fewer tackles in their first meeting against former teammate Adam Treloar.
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It left the coach to identify one key area in his side's performance ahead of an early crunch fixture against arch-rivals Carlton next Thursday night.
"The worrying stat for us was that they laid three more tackles than us despite that dominance in possession," Buckley said following the 16-point loss to the Dogs.
"We had 104 tackle attempts for 53 tackles so we tackled at around 50 per cent which is as low as I can remember.
"Our effectiveness of our pressure is something we need to look at and if we want to win games of footy, we're going to have to create turnovers with pressure onball around the contest and we weren't able to create anywhere near enough of those tonight."
Buckley conceded that his defence – led by six contested marks from All-Australian Darcy Moore – kept the Pies in the game as they were forced to defend 60 inside 50s.
"I think they did the basics a lot better than we did," Buckley said.
"They obviously won a lot more of the ball, they were pretty efficient with it and were able to move it from one end of the field to the other clinically and stopped us from doing the same.
"Our defence held up for the insides that we faced to only allow 19 scoring shots was a really strong effort, but we were doing it on the ropes and it's a pretty hard place to start from."
Luke Beveridge praised his new ruck tandem that was able to limit the impact of Brodie Grundy, who had collected nine Brownlow Medal votes in his previous three outings against the Dogs.
"Stefan (Martin) was huge for us in the end because Brodie Grundy has really given them the impetus the last few times we've played, and it's been difficult for our team to recover from his work," Beveridge said.
"And I thought Tim's ruck work was pretty good, too, when it was his turn to go in there so that's a good result for us."
Beveridge was quick to hose down the hype around No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan who booted five goals in the Dogs' VFL practice match against the Pies earlier in the afternoon.
With West Coast premiership defenders Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass awaiting next week, it appears Ugle-Hagan's AFL debut may have to wait at least one more week with his coach insisting the Dogs wouldn't "throw him to the wolves".