Return to 2018? Pies consign Blues to horror record
Collingwood have made a habit in recent years of producing their best with their backs against the wall, and Thursday night was no exception with a gutsy victory against the old enemy Carlton.
After enduring a week full of critics questioning the direction they were heading in, following their timid showing against the Western Bulldogs, Nathan Buckley's men responded in the best possible fashion, taking the wind out Carlton's sails following a pre-season full of promise, and consigning them to their ninth consecutive 0-2 start to a season.
The Magpies turned the clock back to 2018 with their mosquito fleet up forward wreaking havoc in the first half especially as Jordan De Goey (four goals), Jamie Elliott (two), Will Hoskin-Elliott (one) and Josh Daicos (one) kicking eight goals between them, while Brody Mihocek added three.
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Gone was the Magpies' reactive, ultra-defensive style from last week against the Bulldogs, with numerous attacking forays launched from the backline. Instead, they got on the front foot and took the fight right up to the Blues.
But the Magpies didn't have it all their own way in a fast-paced entertaining clash, twice seeing five-goal leads whittled down to single-digit advantages as an unfazed Carlton outfit continued to take the game on with the same relentless spirit they exhibited against reigning premier Richmond last week.
However, while the Blues did enjoy periods of ascendancy built on frantic pressure and territory dominance, they couldn't sustain them for long enough to secure a victory with Collingwood winning the tackle count convincingly 65-40.
MCKAY, MOORE IN EPIC BATTLE
Carlton forward Harry McKay and star Collingwood defender Darcy Moore produced a one-on-one contest that will be hard to top for the remainder of the season. McKay was instrumental for the Blues with four goals, six marks and 10 touches, but by the same token Moore played a crucial role in keeping his team's head above water, especially in the third quarter when Carlton were pushing hard, finishing with a whopping 18 intercepts to go with six marks and 22 disposals.
Who is winning the matchup?— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) March 25, 2021
MOORE TO THE RESCUE
With only a few minutes remaining in the first half and Collingwood leading by a precarious 13-point margin, the Blues looked on to cut the deficit to seven. Adam Saad ran through the middle before kicking it to the flank where he saw key forwards Harry McKay and Levi Casboult. But Moore was having none of it, attacking the contest with vigour and taking a sensational mark sandwiched between the Blues' twin towers and sparking a chain of play that ended up with Jordan De Goey extending the Pies' lead. Zac Williams was all by himself in Carlton's goal square, too, so if Moore wasn't in the way, a Carlton goal would've been all but guaranteed.
DOUBLE GIBBONS TROUBLE
Carlton small forward Michael Gibbons brought out the party tricks, finishing with the two of the best goals of the game. The first one came in the first quarter when he sold some candy to Darcy Moore before checksiding a ripper from the pocket under pressure from Tyler Brown. But he took it up a notch with his second effort, turning Brown inside out next to the behind post in the second term before curling it around to perfection along the ground before a diving Brayden Maynard could rush it through.
NOT SO FAST, MICHAEL
But early in the third quarter, Taylor Adams said to Gibbons, "Anything you can do, I can do better". The star midfielder roved the pack magnificently and from the boundary under enormous pressure from Zac Williams, somehow managed to squeeze it home from the impossible angle to give the Pies a 27-point lead.
BLUES 3.2 8.3 12.4 13.7 (85)
MAGPIES 6.2 11.5 13.7 16.10 (106)
Blues: McKay, Walsh, Gibbons, Martin, Fogarty, Weitering.
Magpies: Adams, Crisp, De Goey, Grundy, Pendlebury, Moore, Roughead.
Blues: McKay 4, Martin 3, Gibbons 3, Pittonet, Fogarty, Fisher.
Magpies: De Goey 4, Mihocek 3, Elliott 2, Cox 2, Sidebottom, Hoskin-Elliott, Daicos, Adams, Ruscoe.
Magpies: Elliott (ankle).
UMPIRES Deboy, Stephens, Harris
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
3 T.Adams (Coll)
2 J.Crisp (Coll)
1 J.De Goey (Coll)
GUN PIE TO GO IN FOR SCANS AFTER NASTY INJURY
Collingwood forward Jamie Elliott will undergo scans to rule out a serious setback after he was subbed out of Thursday night's important win over Carlton with a right ankle injury.
Elliott's injury was the only sour note on an otherwise positive night for the Magpies, who faced an 0-2 start after a 16-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs in their season opener.
Instead, it's the Blues who have suffered consecutive losses to begin a season they entered with such hope.
Their Round 3 date with Fremantle at Marvel Stadium now looms as almost a must win, as David Teague's side aims to play finals for the first time since 2013.
As for Elliott, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley was hesitant to offer an early prognosis for him.
"We don't know. We'll wait until we see the scan and see what comes of that, but clearly (he was) unable to finish the game, so not a great sign - but we're hoping for the best," Buckley said.
The club's new football boss Graham Wright was hopeful it was only a bad sprain, but reported that Elliott was still pretty sore post-match.
Elliott kicked two of the Pies' first four goals, and set up De Goey's match-opening major, but took no further part after landing awkwardly from an aerial contest in the second quarter.
He soared for an improbable mark, but went straight through the pack of players without touching the Sherrin.
Collingwood's medical sub, Trey Ruscoe, was activated soon after, with Elliott spotted on crutches.
Teammate Will Hoskin-Elliott instead came down with the ball in the same contest and kicked the Magpies' ninth of 16 goals on the night.
Trainers immediately came onto the field, and the 28-year-old forward looked in significant pain as he was assessed.
He didn't need a stretcher, but was carried from the field and unable to put any weight on his injured ankle.
Elliott had left ankle surgery late in 2017, after dealing with soreness in the latter stages of that season.
Jordan De Goey kicked four goals for the winners in a dual midfield-forward role, while Jack Crisp amassed 36 disposals and 788m gained and Taylor Adams won 13 clearances among his 29 touches.
Harry McKay booted four majors for Carlton in an engrossing battle with Darcy Moore.
Buckley was pleased not only with the result, but with how his players responded from a "disappointing" first-up display against the Bulldogs.
"We saw a greater intent across the board from our players (tonight). It wasn't all on our terms in the third quarter, when Carton was coming," he said.
"We actually defended really well, and our pressure went up and our tackling went up when we weren't getting our hands on the ball, so it was encouraging on a couple of levels.".
Originally published as Return to 2018? Pies consign Blues to horror record