Leon Davis may not feature in AFL replay - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leon Davis may not feature in AFL replay

By Sam Lienert 26/09/2010 05:48:50 PM Comments (0)

After wasting one shot at AFL grand final redemption, Collingwood forward Leon Davis will be sweating over whether he gets another.

The 29-year-old 204-gamer managed to add one dazzling snapped goal to his long career highlights reel at a crucial stage early in the final term against St Kilda in Saturday's drawn grand final.

But that moment aside, he was a virtual spectator, seemingly overwhelmed by the big occasion and the close attention of recalled Saints defender Steven Baker.

Davis had just six touches for the day.

It adds to a personal grand final history that is notable only for negative reasons.

He infamously failed to gain a disposal when he first played in a premiership decider, against Brisbane in 2002.

Davis again had minimal impact in another loss to the Lions a year later.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse said on the eve of Saturday's grand final it was time to forget those early-career performances.

"If we're going to judge him on 2002, 2003 when he was a young lad, we're sadly misgiven," Malthouse said on Friday, adding that in more recent big games he had made good contributions.

After Saturday's performance, the coach will have cause to rethink, and perhaps offer a berth in the grand final replay to Paul Medhurst or Tarkyn Lockyer.

But Magpies captain Nick Maxwell said Davis was still valued for his ability to produce the freakish.

"I'm down the other end, so I'm not exactly sure how he went or what his role was or anything like that, but I think that for Leon to get another chance, like he did yesterday, he's just someone who's that X-factor for us," he said.

"He can kick that special goal when we need it, like he did yesterday, he really kept us in it.

"Apart from all that, he's there for his leadership as well. Although people don't look at Leon Davis and think leadership, he knows what's expected and knows where blokes need to be standing and what they should be doing."

Fellow small forwards Jarryd Blair and Dayne Beams might be other Magpies under selection pressure, although both had more involvement than Davis.

For the Saints, who appear certain to lose ruckman Michael Gardiner to a hamstring injury, Robert Eddy and Brett Peake appear the players most vulnerable at selection, after also having minimal impact.

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