Fraser ensures justice is done - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fraser ensures justice is done

By Adam Cooper 26/02/2006 08:16:43 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood ruckman Josh Fraser ensured justice was done by booting the winning goal in the Magpies' extra-time win over St Kilda in a thrilling round one NAB Cup AFL pre-season clash at Telstra Dome on Sunday.

Fraser was cruelly penalised just before the fulltime siren and the resultant behind kicked by St Kilda's Fraser Gehrig sent the game into two five-minute extra-time periods because scores were level at 66-66.

But Fraser was in the right place at the right time with three minutes left and snapped a goal over his head to put his side in front and give Collingwood a deserved 2.8.8 (74) to 1.9.10 (73) win before a crowd of 24,567.

Although just a glorified practice match, there was no shortage of drama.

Collingwood's Chris Tarrant and Anthony Rocca also had their chances in extra time with set shots but missed, while St Kilda star Nick Riewoldt kicked one goal in extra time and then snapped inside the last minute, only for the ball to be stopped by Magpie Jason Cloke on the goal line.

But really Gehrig should have won the match with a shot after the fulltime siren, although his free kick was a soft one.

Fraser, who spent most of last season injured, was penalised for what looked to be minor contact in a ruck duel, by experienced umpire Hayden Kennedy.

Moments before, Saints forward pocket Stephen Milne also had the chance to put his side ahead with a set shot, but hit the post and under pre-season rules, it was play on.

Collingwood scrambled the ball out to its 50-metre defensive line, where St Kilda's Brendon Goddard had yet another shot for glory only to narrowly miss.

The Magpies' win set up a round two clash with either West Coast or Fremantle at Subiaco Oval.

Although the skills were not up to scratch and both sides had key players missing, there was action aplenty.

Collingwood charged back into the contest in the final quarter with three quick goals, and a Fraser snap put the Magpies two points up.

Fraser, Rocca and Tarrant made encouraging returns from injury for Collingwood, whose best were busy midfielders Paul Licuria and Brodie Holland, an improved Jason Cloke at half-back and a clever Alan Didak.

Riewoldt (three goals) was great throughout for the Saints, either all over the ground in the first half and up forward in the second, while evergreen onballer Robert Harvey (two goals) and backmen Max Hudghton and Brett Voss also impressed.

However there was some concern for St Kilda, which had forward Aaron Hamill sit out most of the match after the first quarter.

St Kilda coach Grant Thomas confirmed Hamill had injured his calf, an injury he had struggled with in 2005, and needed further assessment

Both coaches claimed they did not see the crucial Gehrig free kick which sent the game into extra-time, but Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse indicated he wasn't happy.

"I haven't actually seen what took place, but from what I can gather there was the possibility of a doubt from our end, but all's well that ends well," he said.

"A win's a win and it's the NAB Cup and it's important for the club, and I was just pleased for the boys because they'd worked pretty hard and come back from what I thought was the dead there at one stage."

Thomas said the Saints had their chances to win the game, but was happy his players got the extra hit-out.

"To have a really good, close, tight contest like that is invaluable," he said.

"If you could orchestrate it, that's the sort of game you would orchestrate - a good, hard tussle for the whole game and then thinking it's over and having to go again, that's priceless."

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