Nick just part of plan, Magpies say - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nick just part of plan, Magpies say

By Guy Hand 23/09/2010 06:29:37 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood insist Operation Stop Nick Riewoldt won't be conducted at the expense of letting St Kilda's other threats run wild in Saturday's AFL grand final.

The Magpies on Thursday elevated veteran defender Simon Prestigiacomo to their team - primarily as a response to the threat of Riewoldt - at the expense of young defender Nathan Brown.

But the Pies have promised they won't be Riewoldt-centric in their focus, concerned too much emphasis on the Saints skipper could result in one of their dangerous small forwards like Stephen Milne or Adam Schneider getting free and causing havoc.

"We'd also be negligent if we didn't pay attention to some of the other fantastic players they've got," Magpies assistant coach Scott Watters said.

"As good as he (Riewoldt) is, he's one player and there's others who can be equally damaging, so we're across the lot of them.

"When you focus on one, and place them above the others, you can really get bitten.

"It's really a complete look at their forward set-up and we'll set up our structure accordingly."

Prestigiacomo also comes with the bonus of having played in two grand finals, and having limited an underdone Riewoldt to one goal in their round 16 clash.

But Riewoldt was feeling his way back after his serious hamstring injury in that match, and did boot five goals against Prestigiacomo and the Pies in last year's qualifying final.

Watters gave little away when asked whether Prestigiacomo would find himself in a one-on-one match-up with Riewoldt, or the Pies would rotate a succession of players to stand him.

"We think we've got three or four players - and a couple of our players have got good histories on Nick - so we've got multiple options we'd use during a game," Watters said.

"You also rely heavily on the team defence you set up to limit that type of player's impact. You've got to have a number of options.

"It depends what the game dishes up. We might have one player who goes with him, does a great job and gets that role the whole day.

"There might be three, four or five players go through him so you can't pre-empt that now.

"We'll have some plans in place, but you have to see what the game actually throws your way."

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