Pies book fifth spot in September
Collingwood 20.19 (139) def. Kangaroos 10.11 (71)
A fast-finishing Collingwood has ended the minor round this season in fifth
position following a 68-point victory over the Kangaroos at the MCG this
Requiring a win by roughly eight goals to jump into fifth on the table, the
Magpies led by only 22 at three quarter time, before they ran away with the
match in the final term, booting 10 goals to three to achieve the higher spot.
However, the day was emotional, particularly for the Roos, as veteran Sav
Rocca played his final AFL game, before embarking on an NFL career in the US.
The burly forward booted three goals in his 257th and final game with both
the Pies and North, finishing his career 12th on the VFL/AFL goal-kicking table
with 748 majors.
Paul Licuria hit some form heading into the finals, collecting 26 possessions
and kicked four goals for Collingwood.
Scott Burns, Shane O'Bree and Ryan Lonie provided plenty of run and forward
drive, while James Clement was serviceable in defence.
Chris Egan and Chris Tarrant guided home three goals apiece, while Tarkyn
Lockyer kicked two majors, including gathering 20 disposals.
The Kangaroos had few match-winners, depicting the result, but Jess Sinclair
toiled hard all day with 31 touches.
Brent Harvey and Brady Rawlings worked hard in the midfield, while Daniel
Harris provided a tough presence around the ball all match.
The Pies finish the minor round ranked in fifth with a 14-8 analysis, similar
to the fourth-placed Sydney, who have a higher percentage, while North end their
season sitting in 14th with only seven wins.
Corey Jones landed the first major inside the first minute of the match for
the Roos, before the Magpies responded with two goals by Ben Johnson and Ryan
Both teams nailed three majors in a first term immune from any spectacular
highlights, as North, inspired by two goals by Sav Rocca, held a slender
The score-worm read goal-for-goal in the second stanza, normally
representing a tough and even match-up, but the style of play was ugly by both
Although Collingwood carried an eight-point lead into the long break, their
brand of football suggested they were by no means a top eight squad.
Sav Rocca booted an early third quarter goal - his third - but the style of
play emulated itself after the half, with only three majors in 20 minutes of
Heading into red-time, the Magpies held a four-point lead, before three
late goals by Licuria, Lockyer and Alan Didak ensured they held a comfortable
22-point buffer at the last break.
With fifth position on the line, Collingwood eliminated two-and-a-half
quarters of unimpressive football and replaced it with a fast-running and
confident style of play, partially helped by North throwing in the towel.
Ten goals to three in the final term, including three by Licuria, boosted
Magpies' winning margin beyond what was a proper representation of the match,
which was relatively even for almost three stanzas.
"We had a lot of the football, but didn't use it well early," Pies coach
Mick Malthouse said post-match.
"We struggled to score (in the first half), and allowed them to score, but
by the end of perhaps the second quarter, we started to realise that the best
form to take into finals is good form.
"I'd rather go into the finals sires with some good form and confidence,
rather than going in it without it."
Next week, Collingwood will match up with the Western Bulldogs at the MCG
in an elimination showdown, likely to be next Saturday evening.
||3 Qtr Time
||3. 3 (21)
||6. 7 (43)
||3. 4 (22)
||5. 5 (35)
Goals: - P.Licuria 4, C.Egan 3, C.Tarrant 3, T.Lockyer 2, B.Johnson, R.Lonie,
N.Buckley, R.Shaw, A.Didak, D.Swan, A.Rocca, B.Holland.
Best: - P.Licuria, S.Burns, B.Johnson, D.Swan, S.O'Bree, J.Fraser, J.Clement,
Goals: - S.Rocca 3, Co.Jones 3, S.Watt, K.Green, B.Harvey, B.Rawlings.
Best: - J.Sinclair, Co.Jones, D.Harris.
Injuries - Collingwood: S.Prestigiacomo (ill). Kangaroos:
K.Green (cut head).
Reports - Collingwood: nil. Kangaroos: G.Archer (striking).
Umpires - M.James, M.Head, S.Ryan.
@ the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne. Crowd: 49,040.
Votes - Player of the Year:
3 - Paul Licuria (Coll), 2 - Scott Burns (Coll), 1 - Ben Johnson (Coll).
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