Collingwood down Melbourne by a point - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood down Melbourne by a point

03/04/2010 08:27:30 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's near-upset of Collingwood in a pulsating AFL match at the MCG was "totally predictable" to Magpies coach Mick Malthouse.

With seconds left, a desperate spoil from Steele Sidebottom stopped Ricky Petterd from taking a juggled mark in the goalsquare and Collingwood held on to win 12.14 (86) to 12.13 (85).

The Demons were shattered when the final siren sounded and they had the look of a team that had just lost the grand final.

Petterd, probably best afield with four goals, repeatedly smashed the ground in frustration.

Most people would not have expected such a tight match, given the Magpies opened their season last weekend with a resounding win over the Western Bulldogs and the Demons were so poor in the first half against Hawthorn.

But Malthouse sensed the Demons would be treating this like a grand final.

Rather than the team breaking into small groups at quarter-time, Malthouse brought them together immediately for a stern address.

He also revealed he gave them "some home truths" at halftime and had them behind closed doors for 15 minutes post-match.

"It was predictable, totally predictable - Melbourne seem to think this is their grand final, every time they play Collingwood ... we knew they'd be having a crack," he said.

"It was predicted during the week, with the efforts of last week, our players were extremely flat and needed something to get up.

"There were enough things there to know that we can work on, but a couple of things where probably two or three players got us over the line.

"We just weren't as fever-pitched, if you like, for a game that's round two - you've got to be, you simply have got to be."

The young Demons had plenty of chances and undoubtedly had more good players than the Magpies, but lacked the poise to kill off their opposition.

Crucially, after trailing by 15 points at quarter-time, Collingwood were also able to have a four-goal run at the start of the second term that brought them back into the match.

Malthouse praised the Demons, saying they dominated the stoppages.

He added his team had shown maturity by rallying whenever Melbourne looked ready to break clear.

The Magpies lost Ben Johnson with a knee injury in the second term and he will undergo scans.

Dayne Beams, a late inclusion, and Scott Pendlebury were their best, while Mark Jamar rucked superbly for the Demons and Brad Green kicked three goals in his 200th game.

After a week of intense scrutiny, it was so nearly an epic win for the lowly Demons.

"That's why the game goes to the last second," said coach Dean Bailey.

"That's why the game is never, ever ... won until the siren goes and so you have to push and push and push until the last very second.

"You never know what might happen - we had our chances in the last two minutes."

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