Magpies drop Leon Davis for grand final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies drop Leon Davis for grand final

30/09/2010 06:25:45 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood forward Leon Davis may never get another chance to exorcise his grand final demons after he was dropped for Saturday's AFL re-match against St Kilda at the MCG.

Davis, who failed to fire in the Magpies' 2002 and 2003 grand final defeats, paid the ultimate price for his flop last week, axed in favour of Tyson Goldsack.

In a clear sign that Collingwood's hierarchy has become fed up by Davis' repeat failures on the biggest stage, the mercurial 204-game veteran wasn't even named as an emergency.

Those spots went to John McCarthy, Tarkyn Lockyer and Simon Prestigiacomo, who failed in his bid to force his way back into the side.

Davis kicked a crucial goal in the final quarter last week but was otherwise barely sighted, with his six possessions and two tackles well below what he usually delivers.

Goldsack, who also replaced Davis in the preliminary final, has played 10 games this season for a career tally of 55.

But Davis' absence will rob Collingwood of crucial firepower up forward, with Goldsack's career return of five goals - none this season - meaning power forwards Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes will be even more heavily relied upon by the Pies.

As expected, St Kilda recalled young ruckman Ben McEvoy to replace the injured Michael Gardiner, who has now played in three grand finals but is yet to taste premiership glory.

But Saints coach Ross Lyon has left the door ajar for a late change, with McEvoy, an unlucky omission last week, firmly in the firing line should that happen.

"The two ruckmen of (Justin) Koschitzke and (Jason) Blake affords us the opportunity to bring in another runner and we just think it's going to be quite brutal in the running stakes," Lyon said.

"It's something we are really considering strongly (bringing in another runner in place of a specialised ruckman).

"We'll pick 25 to play and there's always that possibility of a late change."

Rhys Stanley, David Armitage and Jarryn Geary are St Kilda's emergencies.

The Saints named Clint Jones despite a newspaper report the tagger had suffered a broken foot.

Lyon declared Jones a certain starter, joking he almost fell off his chair when he read the report.

"I can guarantee you this, Clint Jones doesn't have a broken foot otherwise he wouldn't be playing," Lyon said.

"I certainly wouldn't put him to elite midfielders of the competition (if he was injured)."

Lyon said he was certain Nathan Brown would again get the job on Nick Riewoldt after Prestigiacomo was overlooked for selection.

"We know (former Saint and current Collingwood assistant coach) Max Hudghton really well and he's been mentoring and working closely (with Brown)," Lyon said.

"We know he did a lot of one-on-one with him at training and ... word's got out through that end that he's teaching him how he thinks he should play Nick."

Riewoldt said there was a sense of unfinished business at the club.

"We came close last year (to the premiership) and close last week but the bottom line is we still haven't got what we're after," Riewoldt said.

"It is the ultimate in football and what we play for."

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