Magpies score comfortable win over Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies score comfortable win over Swans

By Roger Vaughan 23/08/2009 07:56:34 PM Comments (0)

The pieces keep falling into place for Collingwood as they build imposing momentum ahead of the AFL finals with 12 wins from their past 13 matches.

No.1 ruckman Josh Fraser made a successful comeback from his knee injury on Sunday at the MCG as the Magpies ended Sydney's faint finals hopes, winning by 41 points 13.19 (97) to 8.8 (56).

They also have minimal injury worries and have tall players such as veteran Anthony Rocca and Chris Dawes playing well in the VFL.

Collingwood are third and will play the fourth-placed Western Bulldogs next Sunday before most likely facing Geelong in a qualifying final.

Predictably, coach Mick Malthouse scoffed when asked if his side might be assuming premiership favouritism.

But the healthy state of their list means maximum pressure on the players to maintain their red-hot form.

"You don't get caught up in it - we've been low profile, it's all the things we need to do are being tested," Malthouse said.

"We're looking at it to improve without worrying about outside interference or whatever else happens."

Sunday was only the fourth time this season that Fraser and Cameron Wood had rucked together.

Fraser had been out since round 15 with a knee injury.

The other serious premiership contenders - St Kilda, Geelong and the Bulldogs - will go into the finals with two ruckmen, but Malthouse said he will keep an open mind on his setup.

"Today, I thought both players playing together was probably the best result that they've had in those games," Malthouse said.

"So that gives us something, but it will be horses for courses, make no mistake about it." Malthouse felt Collingwood were "reasonably flat", but broke clear with five goals to two in the third term.

The Swans will miss the finals for the first time in seven full seasons under coach Paul Roos.

They were pushing the Magpies late in the second quarter, but Jarred Moore had to go to hospital with two broken ribs and a punctured lung after he was crunched while bravely lunging for a ball.

That upset Sydney's balance and, combined with sloppy ball use, they fell away.

One exception was Adam Goodes, who kicked three goals and was best afield.

Roos doubts Goodes can win his third Brownlow Medal this year, citing inconsistency.

But he also acknowledges Goodes finished outside Sydney's top 10 in their best and fairest last year, yet was only three votes off the Brownlow lead.

"The consistency has been down a lot this year and he'd probably agree," Roos said.

"He's a proven vote catcher - the other side of it is we've only won eight games ... certainly his best games have been really good."

First-year player Dayne Beams and captain Nick Maxwell were best for Collingwood, while Jack Anthony kicked four goals.

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