Anzac Day clash still the biggest: Shaw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anzac Day clash still the biggest: Shaw

By Sam Lienert 20/04/2010 05:16:09 PM Comments (0)

While Collingwood have claimed some big scalps already this season, defender Heath Shaw says no home and away clash motivates the Magpies like playing Essendon on Anzac Day.

The Bombers are lagging in 13th spot, with just one win from four rounds, and coming off a disappointing loss to West Coast.

In contrast, Collingwood, who knocked off premiership fancies the Western Bulldogs in the opening round, are flying after Saturday night's thrashing of another highly-rated club, Hawthorn.

But Shaw, sidelined by injury for last year's Anzac Day clash, when Essendon made a late charge in wet weather to snatch a thrilling five-point win, said downing the Bombers on Sunday would top those victories.

"We've had some pretty big games in the first four rounds, but Anzac Day is always definitely a standout," Shaw said.

"Apart from finals, it's probably the biggest home and away game going around, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there."

Shaw said the atmosphere surrounding the traditional fixture between the rivals, first staged in 1995, enabled young players involved to get a taste of what they could expect if they played finals.

"I enjoy the fact that we've had that for the last 15 years or so and it's the single game in Melbourne," Shaw said.

"It's even better sometimes, I think a few years ago we played on a Wednesday, and it was just Collingwood versus Essendon (playing that day) and there was a massive crowd there.

"So I look forward to Anzac Day and the occasion and being isolated as that game and hopefully we can continue on with that."

Shaw said the Magpies expected a fierce contest and had learnt from their close shave in beating Melbourne by a point in round two, the danger posed by an opponent coming off a bad loss.

"It's pretty hard not to get pumped up for Anzac Day, whether you're favourites or not," he said.

"We're going to be wary of Essendon like we're wary of every team we come up against every week.

"We were expected to beat Melbourne pretty comfortably and they came out all guns blazing, so we've got to be right on our game and make sure we hit them pretty hard from the start."

He said goal-kicking was a focus at training this week, after the team scored a total of 21.38 over the past two rounds, with their inaccuracy costing them dearly against St Kilda in round three.

"The good thing is we're having a lot of shots on goal, but hopefully it will all turn for us in the next couple of weeks," he said.

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