Magpies' confidence sky-high: Shaw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies' confidence sky-high: Shaw

By Robert Grant 06/08/2010 03:27:09 PM Comments (0)

AFL ladder-leaders Collingwood have warned Geelong they will be facing a far more formidable unit on Saturday night than the one which buckled to the premiers back in round nine.

Magpies defender Heath Shaw cautioned that the match of the year would in no way be a repeat of the earlier clash which saw the Cats stroll to a 36-point victory.

Shaw says Collingwood are undaunted by the prospect of facing the side which has won the flag two of the past three years.

"No, I don't think so," Shaw said.

"Obviously they've been a good team for the last few years but it's just an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and challenge our structures against another team.

"I don't think we've been on top of the ladder before when we've played them.

"Over the last few weeks we've built up with our confidence.

"With the list that we've got, the depth we've got - there are a lot of players who are missing out this week who could easily come in so it's a good position to be in.

"I think the 22 that run out there will do the job," he said.

"We want to win this game, we want to beat Geelong and we want to stay on top of the ladder."

Shaw also said that the players were all familiar with the demands of playing in big games because of the crowd-pulling clashes they are regularly involved in through the year.

Up to 90,000 are expected to pack the MCG for the highlight of the home and away season.

"We get used to it now ... we play in front of big crowds every week and that's a good thing for us and a good thing for the younger guys coming into finals."

Shaw returns to the side after being sidelined for the past two weeks with a back injury but says both he and Sharrod Wellingham, who received a knock to the knee last week against Carlton, were fit and prepared.

Wellingham trained strongly on Friday.

"He's done well," said shaw.

"He has gone from missing the season to playing this week.

"He was fine. They were just a bit cautious last week and he is fine."

One major query over the Collingwood side is their accuracy in front of goal, with forward Travis Cloke's miscued kicks spotlighted.

"With Trav, the good thing is he was getting the ball last week (when he kicked 2.5 against Carlton) and he was having those shots on goal," Shaw said.

"I think it will all click together sooner or later. He's a good player and he's an important player for us and if he's having seven shots on goal every week then that's a bonus.

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