Magpies win another one
REIGNING premiers Collingwood withstood a spirited Essendon fightback to win only their second AFL preseason t i t l e, beating t he Bombers by 22 points.
Essendon trailed by just three points at 10 minutes into the last quarter before the Magpies powered away to win 1.15.9 ( 108) to 0.13.8 ( 86) at Etihad Stadium last night.
C o l l i n g w o o d d e f e n d e r Heath Shaw won the Michael Tuck medal as best afield, while Leon Davis was also outstanding as he continues to relish his new role as a defender.
Chris Dawes and Andrew Krakouer kicked three goals apiece for Collingwood in front of 45,304 fans.
Essendon forward Michael Hurley was crucial in their comeback after they looked gone early in the third term and he starred with three goals.
Collingwood’s only preseason premiership came in 1979 and it is also the first for t h r e e - t i m e p r e m i e r s h i p coach Mick Malthouse in his 27-year coaching career.
Essendon were in trouble at times, but they steadied impressively in the second half to cap an encouraging pre-season under new coach James Hird.
They trailed by 23 points at the last break before Hurley kicked two out of three goals as they nearly took the lead.
But the ‘ Pies, the pre-game favourites, steadied with a Cloke’s accurate snap right on the siren appeared to blunt the comeback.
In the first half Collingwood had given Essendon a master class in defensive pressure and they took a convincing 26-point lead at halftime.
While Shaw was brilliant off half back, Davis and Krakouer continued to be great early-season stories.
Davis was dropped for last year’s grand final replay, which Collingwood won for their first day premiership since 1990. Davis has played nearly all his 204-game career in the midfield or as a small forward but has impressed through the NAB Cup as a backman.
Krakouer is looming as the AFL’s feelgood story this y e a r . Aft e r s p e ndi ng 1 6 months in jail, the former Richmond small f orward starred in WA football last year and Collingwood then gave Krakouer a second chance at senior level.
Collingwood and Essendon fielded strong sides, with Magpies premiership defender Ben Reid a late withdrawal with an ankle injury.