Magpies coach praises Blair, Jolly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies coach praises Blair, Jolly

By Roger Vaughan 04/07/2010 02:43:59 PM Comments (0)

The shortest player at Collingwood and one of their tallest had coach Mick Malthouse enthused after Saturday night's 83-point AFL demolition of West Coast.

The win was expected but Collingwood were particularly impressive in the first and third quarters.

Most importantly, it consolidated their top-four standing.

It was also a memorable night for first-gamer Jarryd Blair and ruckman Darren Jolly.

At 174cm, Blair is a nuggety midfielder who is in his second season on the Collingwood rookie list.

His short stature means Blair has had to work harder than most for his shot at an AFL career but he seized the chance when Steele Sidebottom was a late withdrawal with a calf muscle injury.

"He was like pepper and salt, in everything," Malthouse said of Blair's game.

"It's just terrific - there are good-time stories.

"I don't know how long he's going to play ... (but) for the guy who wears the white hat occasionally, he ends up being not only the good guy but he comes out and wins, the movie has closed and he's still standing up, I think it's terrific."

At the other end of the height scale is 200cm Magpies ruckman Darren Jolly, who produced his best game since transferring from Sydney in the off-season.

Jolly kicked four goals, a career best, and dominated around the ground.

"It was terrific for him ... he's enjoying himself, he enjoyed himself (on Saturday night) and he's enjoyed himself so far down here, back home, which is terrific," Malthouse said.

"He's a very important player for us." Malthouse said the percentage boost was irrelevant, pointing to the half a game they earnt from the draw against Melbourne.

But West Coast's 7.10 (52) was their lowest score against Collingwood and that hit to their percentage could be costly as they try to avoid their first wooden spoon.

Worsfold conceded the first and third terms were among their worst football of the season.

"We're making sure the players learn from every game - there's some stuff they learnt (against Collingwood) that is good, but there's a lot they learnt where they have to get stronger," he said.

"We have to make sure we do learn from it, otherwise we can be wasting some games, some opportunities.

"We don't want to lose like that, but that's where we're at as a team."

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