Pies beat struggling Power by 31 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies beat struggling Power by 31 points

By Daniel Brettig 15/08/2008 11:56:36 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's push to play AFL finals without the help of Heath Shaw and Alan Didak has gathered a little more steam with a scrapping 31-point victory over strugglers Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

It took the Magpies three tries to build the match-sealing advantage they finally established either side of three quarter time, the Power offering noticeably more fight than last week in the 16.10 (106) to 10.15 (75) defeat.

Burly marking target Travis Cloke (four goals) and action man Leon Davis fought an absorbing battle for best afield honours, Cloke dominating in attack on a difficult night for forwards while Davis won plenty of the ball and popped up to curl the match sealer from a pocket in the last.

Elsewhere Tarkyn Lockyer's delivery was precise as usual, and Dane Swan's three goals all arrived at significant times.

Re-united ruck/rover pairing Brendon Lade and Shaun Burgoyne were outstanding for Port Adelaide, combining for countless damaging clearances that helped keep the Power in touch for much of the contest.

Of more concern for Port was another poor crowd: an attendance of 23,694 was inflated considerably by the Collingwood contingent.

Speculation about Port's lack of ambition to win their remaining games was given impetus by the pre-match withdrawals of Daniel Motlop (calf) and Dean Brogan (shoulder), their places taken by Robbie Gray and occasional ruckman Toby Thurstans.

A lap of honour by the universally admired Michael Wilson brought much of a thinnish crowd to their feet, but they were soon to be heard uttering familiar groans while Collingwood capitalised on defensive turnovers.

Troy Chaplin and Peter Burgoyne were both guilty of errors unbecoming of an AFL footballer in the first, allowing goals for Cloke and Dale Thomas, and by time-on the Magpies had a 19-point lead.

They did not maintain it late, making a few of their own missteps to help Port cut the margin back to five at the turn.

Collingwood's direct approach drew dividends for numerous individual goalkickers in the second, the best a tremendous kick from long range by John Anthony moments after he had used his head to desperately smother Dom Cassisi's kick.

Like the first term those goals put the Magpies well clear, but once again Port would finish stronger, and a goal to debutant Matthew Westhoff - the spitting image of his brother Justin - meant only a few points separated the sides.

The Magpies made the early running for a third time in quarter No. 3, and were crucially able to maintain it to the final change.

Swan bookended accurate finishes by Davis and Anthony, allowing the visitors to sneak 13 points clear despite another series of Power attacks late in the quarter.

Finishing on the breeze, Collingwood were given cause to breath easier when Davis' inspired snap whirred through, and Cloke later added his fourth to make them more than safe.

Magpies coach Mick Malthouse gave little away after the win, but credited Davis with being exactly what his side needed.

Malthouse was also generous in his praise of Shaun Burgyone's 18-clearance game.

"He was outstanding, there's no question about that," Malthouse said.

"Any player that has seven centre clearances by halftime then you're in trouble.

"We threw three or four different combinations at him ... after halftime we were able to rein it in, he had two in the third or none in the last - either he got sick of getting it or we did something reasonably well."

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams said his men had at least improved on last week's loss to Carlton.

"I thought we got quite a good response from our players from last week's disappointing game," he said.

"To go inside 50m the same amount of times, win the hard ball gets and the clearances, shots on goal were pretty similar.

"A lot of their goals we kicked it straight to them.

"Our skills were terrible. Probably three or four times we kicked it straight to them to kick a goal without pressure on, but I'm not going to feel as bad as last week given there was a lot of effort shown."

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