Mag­pies re­cover to slay Saints

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - ROGER VAUGHAN

COLLING­WOOD came off the ropes at the MCG to knock out St Kilda in the last quar­ter for a 41-point AFL win.

The Saints paid dearly for their on­go­ing prob­lems in at­tack as the Mag­pies kicked 6.6 to 1.0 in the fi­nal term yes­ter­day af­ter­noon and won 17.10 (112) to 10.11 (71).

St Kilda had the ball in their for­ward half for 75 per cent of the sec­ond term — the most by any team this sea­son — but could only man­age a waste­ful 2.6.

When they should have been four or five goals up, they trailed by five points at half­time.

In­stead, Colling­wood are the first team this year to win six games in a row. The Mag­pies also tri­umphed with­out late with­drawals Jor­dan De Goey and Darcy Moore, with coach Nathan Buck­ley say­ing they should miss only one game. Tom Lang­don is doubt­ful for Fri­day night’s SCG match against Sydney af­ter sit­ting out most of the match with a knee in­jury.

Travis Var­coe was re­ported for a rough con­duct af­ter his bump some­how caught Ed Phillips and his brother Tom but, at most, it should be a fine rather than a sus­pen­sion.

“It was a re­ally ma­ture re­sponse to the sit­u­a­tion, it was led well and it was pretty sus­tained over that hour of footy, cul­mi­nat­ing in a pretty dom­i­nant last quar­ter,” Buck­ley said.

“We were on our heels for a fair while — we were on the ropes for large pe­ri­ods of the first half.”

“The com­po­sure and where­withal to be able to ab­sorb that, and then come back with a lit­tle bit more on the re­turn serve, was im­pres­sive.” Reign­ing club best-and-fairest win­ner Steele Side­bot­tom led the way with an­other out­stand­ing per­for­mance on a wing.

His run­ning goal in the last quar­ter, when he wove around two op­po­nents, was the death knell for the Saints.

Jai­dyn Stephen­son capped the last-quar­ter romp with a tor­pedo punt from out­side 50m — Buck­ley joked that it would keep Mal­colm Blight happy for the next week.

Key for­ward Ben Reid booted three goals and was mas­sive for the Mag­pies when they were un­der pres­sure, while Brody Mi­ho­cek kicked four.

Per­haps jolted by op­po­nent Rowan Mar­shall’s goal in the sec­ond term, star Colling­wood ruck­man Brodie Grundy was piv­otal in the sec­ond half.

Jack Billings and Luke Dun­stan were best for the Saints as Tim Mem­brey kicked four goals.

St Kilda’s Rob­bie Young kicked two ma­jors in the third quar­ter to highlight his solid AFL de­but.

“Just be­ing able to fin­ish our work has been a chal­lenge but, hav­ing said all that, at three­quar­ter time, the game was up for grabs,” said Saints coach Alan Richard­son.

“The stuff that had given us the … op­por­tu­nity to win the game, we fell away.” SAINTS

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