Magpies storm to big win over Kangaroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies storm to big win over Kangaroos

By Sam Lienert 08/05/2010 11:05:54 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood continued their slick brand of high-scoring football Saturday night, storming to their fourth consecutive big win 23.19 (157) to 14.7 (91) over North Melbourne at the MCG.

The percentage-booster took the Magpies to a 6-1 record and temporarily into top spot on the AFL ladder, a position they could well maintain by the end of the round.

It gave the club their equal best start to a season in 17 years, matching their win-loss ratio from the first seven rounds of 1993.

But while that year's fast start did not result in a finals berth, this season's Magpies seem destined to be strong premiership challengers, with their form building steadily.

Since going down to St Kilda in round three, they have thumped Hawthorn by 64 points, Essendon by 65, Carlton by 53 and now the Kangaroos by 66, topping the 120-point mark on each occasion.

Making their attack harder to stop is the unpredictability of who will kick their goals.

Youngster Steele Sidebottom was the surprise top goal kicker with five, after a total of just seven in the previous 17 games of his career.

They had 13 goal kickers, as they did last round against Carlton when they also topped the 150-point mark.

The result was never in doubt after Collingwood kicked the last two goals of the first term, then three majors in the first six minutes of the second, to open up a 32-point lead.

Sidebottom kicked three of those five goals, two from slick roving work at the front of forward line packs and the other after finding space behind the 'Roos' defence.

While the Magpies' midfield thrashed the Kangaroos in the centre clearances, just as important was Collingwood's ability to turn defence into attack.

On numerous occasions, North Melbourne turnovers turned into quick Collingwood attacking moves and goals.

Collingwood's ability to shift the ball quickly from one end of the ground to the other using lightning chains of handballs was a highlight.

The Magpies had a host of good players, midfielder Dane Swan and rebounding defender Heath Shaw two of the best, with Alan Didak, Dale Thomas, Luke Ball, Ben Johnson, Leon Davis and Sidebottom also excellent.

The Magpies next face a big clash against fellow early-season pacesetters Fremantle at Subiaco.

For the Kangaroos, captain Brent Harvey battled hard in the midfield, while Lindsay Thomas chimed in with three goals.

Adding to their disappointment, midfielder Liam Anthony was helped off the ground in severe pain in the third quarter with an injured left arm.

And Daniel Wells could face match review panel scrutiny over a bump which caught Ball high in the second quarter.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse refused to get excited about his side's form

"I didn't think tonight's game was exceptional, I know we won in the end pretty easily, but I think a few of the things North Melbourne did were very effective and certainly we'll be looking that," Malthouse said.

But he was happy with the spread of goal kickers and said Sidebottom deserved his five-goal haul.

"Sidebottom's worked pretty hard in the last few weeks and I think five goals is something he'll remember for the rest of his life, outside of that, I don't think it was a great game, quite frankly."

But North Melbourne coach Brad Scott was happy to praise the Magpies, saying his own side could not match their midfield running power.

"Like all good sides do, they created opportunity, but more than that they really punished us, they put a lot of pressure on us, we couldn't withstand that pressure and then they punished us on the scoreboard," Scott said.

He said like the 104-point thrashing his side copped from St Kilda in round two, he expected the Kangaroos to learn from it and rebound strongly.

Scott said Anthony would need scans on a dislocated shoulder, while ruckman Hamish McIntosh sustained a minor AC joint injury.

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