Pies need to build on Geelong conquest - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies need to build on Geelong conquest

By Leonard Siragusa 27/05/2008 06:57:51 PM Comments (0)

After setting a new benchmark in tackling to defeat reigning premiers Geelong, the challenge for Collingwood is to build on it and gain some mid-season momentum.

Defender Heath Shaw said the Magpies drew enormous confidence from crushing the one-time all-conquering Cats by 86 points and believed "anything was possible" for last year's preliminary finalists.

The creative half-back said his team had taken a step forward in their nine-point win against St Kilda in round seven but were determined to lift their intensity and maintain it for the entire game against the Cats.

The Magpies successfully executed the plan, hitting Geelong with a tackling ferocity that arguably had not been previously seen in home and away matches - winning the count 96-54.

"Our tackling and our pressure was really good and that's what we talked about before the game - we wanted to put pressure on them and force them into mistakes," Shaw said.

"(Geelong) like to run the ball from the backline and our forwards put the pressure on their run and carry (brand of football) which made it easier for our backmen.

"Kicks were coming into (Geelong's forward line) high, coming under pressure rather than the free-flowing run that they get."

Shaw said his team had to back up their supreme tackling effort in a bid to build momentum.

"We do take confidence in the way we went about things and if we can continue that on and take that into the next four or five weeks then anything's possible," he said.

"We set the standard there with our tackling and our pressure and if we can continue on that form then anything's possible.

"It might be a benchmark for us as well but if we can improve on that and build momentum from that game that will be a good thing.

"We expect to play finals and that's what we want to do, but you have to have wins on the board to play finals."

Shaw predicted the side's next assignment against West Coast on Saturday at the MCG would be a fierce contest after the Eagles upset fourth-placed Adelaide by 50 points.

While he said West Coast are a different team to the one they beat in last year's extra-time semi-final thriller, Shaw said the result gave his team a bit of an edge.

"It was one of the best wins I've been involved in," Shaw said.

"It was a different situation playing extra time and getting into a preliminary final but we took a lot of confidence from that.

"West Coast had a good win on the weekend as well.

"Their pressure on Adelaide was similar to ours on Geelong so it's going to be a hard and tough game."

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