Pies won't let Hawks dictate: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies won't let Hawks dictate: Malthouse

By Adam Cooper 02/05/2008 05:07:23 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse insists the Magpies won't allow Hawthorn to dictate terms in Saturday's AFL blockbuster, as the Hawks' game plan is not worth the worry.

The Hawks have won all six games and will enter the MCG encounter as warm favourites, but Malthouse said Collingwood were better than their 3-3 record suggested and knew all about Hawthorn's zone set-up.

Hawthorn's success at keeping the ball in their half of the ground for long periods prompted Richmond coach Terry Wallace to label the Hawks the best at having games played on their terms.

But Malthouse said he had seen other sides deploy zones in recent years, and refused to concede the tactic was revolutionary - or the Hawks any ground.

"It may well be on their terms and we might come away with a good going-over and find out that we are not good enough in those circumstances," he said.

"On the other side of the coin it could well be that we play our style of game and make them change theirs.

"I'm not going to concede Friday before a Saturday match that it's going to be played on their terms.

"Yeah, they've got the form, but not necessarily, do we think, the game structure they've got is any different than we've (encountered) in the last 18 months, whether it be by them or Adelaide or Sydney.

"I don't know if we're going to spend a lot of time worrying about things that are uncontrollable, we'll look at the things that we can control.

"We'll look at our game plan and if our game plan is good enough to get the ball inside (50 metres) 60-odd times, like the last couple of weeks, that's what we'll work on."

Malthouse said Collingwood - boosted by the returns from injury of key forward Anthony Rocca and captain Scott Burns, for his 250th game - were looking forward to testing themselves against in-form opposition.

"No disrespect to Essendon. It was the (Anzac Day) occasion last week, and Essendon were the same as us (2-3 before the game)," he said.

"Now we're playing a side that hasn't been beaten this year and for all intensive purposes played really good football to win the six games."

The Magpies are seventh, but Malthouse believed they were better than that record indicated, after narrow defeats to the Brisbane Lions and North Melbourne.

"When you're 3-3 you'd say patchy, but I think we're better than 3-3," he said of the Magpies' form.

"We lost two games by a kick or less and I reckon we had both sides covered and a couple of things didn't go according to the script.

"We're better than 3-3 and this is a great test."

One of Collingwood's bigger tests will be stopping Lance Franklin, who had his first downer for the season against the Tigers, when he booted 1.7.

Malthouse said Franklin was dangerous because he did remarkable things regularly, and admitted stopping him would take some doing.

"Outside a sledgehammer? Outside double teaming?" he said.

"We'll just have to give one of our boys the opportunity and see how they go."

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