Steady plan for flighty Pies
COLLINGWOOD’S maddening inconsistency has been a constant source of frustration for Magpies fans this AFL season but that stops today. Quite simply, it has to. Nathan Buckley’s men haven’t managed back-to-back wins this season as they’ve stumbled to a 3-6 record.
Last week’s stunning comefrom-behind win over Hawthorn might have given the Pies’ season and Buckley’s coaching career a shot in the arm, but it won’t count for much if they slip up against cellar-dwelling Brisbane at the MCG.
“It’s vital for us because we’re so far behind the eight ball as it is,” Pies assistant coach Robert Harvey said.
“We need to just keep chipping away and try to get some wins under our belt.
“We’ve got some games to catch up on that we’ve given away early in the season, so this is a really big game for us.
“We’ve just got to win and anything it takes to do that we will. We’ve got to start to claw back that win-loss ratio.
“We’ve obviously been really inconsistent this year so we need to see more consistency in our game both on offence and defence.
“But there’s enough good that you can see each week with us to think that we’re not far away.”
Former No.6 draft pick Matt Scharenberg will play his first game since round 23 of the 2015 season after overcoming a second knee reconstruction.
The 21-year-old was put in the line-up with Tim Broomhead, with James Aish (concussion) and Henry Schade (omitted) departing the side that defeated the Hawks.
An encounter with the lastplaced Lions appears a timely opportunity for the stop-start Pies to build some confidence. Chris Fagan’s side carries an eight-game losing streak into today’s clash, but Harvey has been impressed with aspects of their game.
“Nearly every match they’ve played they’ve looked likely in patches,” Harvey said.
“When they get their running game going, even against Adelaide last week (in an 80point loss), they looked dangerous early.
“So they’re going to have their moments but it’s a matter of us putting up a bit more of what we saw in the second half against Hawthorn for the whole game.”
Fagan made five changes bringing in Tom Cutler, Daniel McStay, Ryan Bastinac, Rhys Mathieson and Archie Smith.