COLLINGWOOD has hung on for a scrappy 11-point victory over GWS to extend its winning streak to five matches and take a step closer to an AFL finals berth.
The Magpies triumphed 11.22 (88) to 12.5 (77) at the MCG on Sunday, reclaiming a spot in the top eight after a fortnight of controversy around Jordan De Goey’s latest off-field drama.
There was a scare as woeful inaccuracy in front of goal almost came back to bite them, with the Giants piling on seven last-quarter goals in front of 30,804 fans.
A 37-point margin at the final change was cut back to 10 points when Toby Greene kicked his only goal with more than four minutes left on the clock.
At that stage, the Giants had kicked four goals in 10 minutes and were mounting a serious challenge.
But the Magpies tightened up around the contest to make sure of a result that gave them a 9-5 record in their first season under Craig McRae and continued the Giants’ (4-10) tough year.
Collingwood’s midfield was on top for the opening three quarters in dreary conditions and Taylor Adams (24 disposals, six clearances) was influential against his old side.
Nick Daicos (25 disposals), Steele Sidebottom (26) and Josh Daicos (23) were also effective.
Ruckman Darcy Cameron finished with two goals from 17 disposals to go with five clearances and 23 hit-outs opposed to former Magpie Lachlan Keeffe, who was thrust into the Giants’ ruck role in the absence of Braydon Preuss (suspension) and Matt Flynn (injury).
Jesse Hogan kicked a game-high four goals for the Giants and Jake Riccardi two, while Stephen Coniglio (30 disposals, four clearances) was busy in the midfield.
Coniglio and Josh Kelly lifted around the ball in the final term but Collingwood were clear winners overall in contested possession (137-123), clearances (37-28) and inside-50s (62-50).
The first-half action was befitting of a cold and wet Melbourne afternoon.
GWS bounced out with the opening two goals through Hogan and Lachie Whitfield but conceded the next five before half-time as Collingwood built a 23-point halftime lead, with the Giants held scoreless in the second quarter.
Controversy arose in the final quarter when Collingwood defender Darcy Moore was penalised for a deliberate rushed behind.
Still, the game looked over when Cameron and Scott Pendlebury kicked the next two goals for the Magpies.
GWS unexpectedly breathed life back into the contest with their late surge, only to fall short.
(C) AAP 2022