Magpies the AFL's killing machine - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies the AFL's killing machine

Guy Hand 08/04/2011 11:54:54 PM Comments (0)

Sadly for Carlton, Collingwood don't come with an off switch.

What they do have is a succession of gears the AFL's killing machine worked through to eventually grind down the Blues by 28 points at the MCG on Friday night.

On a night the Magpies unfurled their 2010 premiership flag in front of an 88,000-strong crowd, they unfurled not so much a show of strength, but a show of depth to remain unbeaten this season in a 15.12 (102) to 11.8 (74) victory.

The premiers are a mean, merciless, multi-weaponed beast.

Multiple heads that can savage opponents, multiple legs to kick important goals, multiple strong arms to squeeze the life out of any challenger.

Theirs is not so much a playing list but a checklist of weapons. If some don't work, others will.

Collingwood's midfield stars Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury were unable to have their usual impact - though Swan finished with 34 possessions.

So small forward Jarryd Blair, playing just his 15th game, stood up for the Pies to keep them unbeaten.

His five goals - four of which came in the two periods the contest was in balance - turned the match Collingwood's way.

Rated a finals team on the rise, Carlton threatened to make a game of it early.

They led by a point at quarter-time and matched the Magpies, for whom Blair booted two key goals.

The momentum shifted in the second term as Collingwood were ruthless inside their forward 50 metres, dominating the clearances and kicking several goals from stoppages.

At halftime, the determined Blues looked shaken off, trailing by 27 points.

But early in the third quarter, they came again as captain Chris Judd lit up to shorten the gap to 14 points.

Enter Blair, who booted goals four and five, and the Magpies were back out to 27 points by the final change.

It was game over when Collingwood forward Chris Dawes booted two of his three goals in the final term, leaving the Magpies unbeaten in their opening three matches.

Carlton's Jeff Garlett led the Blues' goalkickers with three.

Carlton coach Brett Ratten was confident his upwardly mobile team would emerge from the defeat with valuable lessons to deal with the competition's benchmark clubs.

"I think we've taken a step in the right direction. There were things to like and things not to like as well," Ratten said.

"I thought at times we lacked a bit of composure. Other times we rolled our sleeves up for the fight. We learned some fantastic lessons."

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse was disappointed with his side's inability to put away the Blues, especially after being so clinical in winning their previous two matches this season by an average of 81 points.

"We tried to do a few things that are not anywhere near what we expect of our playing group," Malthouse said.

"Kicks that were not to the right position, a little bit too clever ... when we looked like we had them five goals or six goals (down), all of a sudden it was three goals.

"We just didn't really put them away the way we really should have."

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