Didak praised for taking on King - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Didak praised for taking on King

By Adam Cooper 15/08/2009 07:27:32 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood believe star Alan Didak has taken another step forward in his brilliant AFL season by keeping his cool in a running battle with Richmond's Jake King.

Didak and King provided an enthralling duel on Saturday at the MCG, especially after the Tiger's challenge on the Magpies midfielder sparked a heated melee, followed by a spiteful all-in.

During the second quarter of Collingwood's 93-point win, King was reported for striking Didak, which sparked a melee.

A second and more heated melee erupted barely a minute later, when several Magpies relished the chance to tackle King.

Such was the feeling in the second scuffle, the umpires bounced the ball and played on to separate the sides.

While Collingwood had much to lose and little to gain from any physical stuff given the finals are so close, they were pleased Didak did not let his frustrations simmer over.

A month ago Didak let the close tag of Hawthorn's Ben McGlynn get to him, and he responded by constantly shoving his opponent. He had a quiet night and Collingwood lost.

But Magpies assistant coach Brad Scott, who fronted the post-game press conference because coach Mick Malthouse was visiting his sick mother, said Didak had come a long way quickly.

"Everyone's highlighted the fact that McGlynn got under his skin against Hawthorn and we knew Richmond would try to do the same to him again today, and he responded brilliantly," Scott said.

"We were rapt with his efforts, both offensively and defensively, and to hold his nerve under pressure.

"He responded beautifully, and to be honest, the work that the coaches - particularly Mick - have put into him, we were expecting him to respond like he did today."

Scott said Didak was completely in control on Saturday compared to the round-16 game.

"A player has tried to get under his skin, it didn't affect him, the game was played on his terms and our terms," he said.

After the melees, Didak and King traded insults and shoves, and at three-quarter time Didak shoved King with a forearm when Collingwood's lead hit three figures.

His 29 disposals and two goals gave him the last laugh.

Richmond caretaker coach Jade Rawlings said the melees briefly changed the tone of the game after Collingwood dominated the first quarter, but denied he sent King out with a message to try to unruffle Didak.

"We didn't give Jake any individual tactics, we respect that he's going to do a role for us, that's what we ask of him every week," Rawlings said.

"I wouldn't encourage Jake to do anything unsavoury, but he's prepared to compete."

Richmond also had Tom Hislop reported, for striking Collingwood's Shane O'Bree in the last quarter.

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