Malthouse loves unbeaten Magpies' spirit - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse loves unbeaten Magpies' spirit

Sam Lienert 01/05/2011 08:56:09 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse loves the way his unbeaten AFL side keeps finding the will to stave off challengers.

The reigning premiers downed the Western Bulldogs 15.15 (105) to 8.9 (57) at the MCG on Sunday and have still not lost a match since round 22 last season.

For the second time in six days, they faced a determined surge from quality opponents, but stormed away.

In last Monday's Anzac Day blockbuster, Essendon drew within two points in the last term before the Magpies powered home to win by five goals.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs came from 28 points down to level early in the final quarter.

But inspired by three goals in five minutes from veteran utility Leigh Brown, Collingwood piled on eight goals in 19 minutes to destroy the contest.

"The boys, when they're challenged, they find the spirit," Malthouse said.

"As I said to them, the better thing about it is it's very evenly spread, it's not one player who ignites the side.

"It's a very team-orientated resurrection, if you like, and I think that's fantastic for us to have players, plural, who can generate enough want and step up.

"Browny in the last quarter clearly had a good day, but he was good before that and he just got a bit of reward."

Collingwood now have a bye, before what will be their biggest test so far this season, a much-anticipated Friday night MCG clash with fellow unbeaten side Geelong.

The injury-depleted Dogs, who were pipped by Fremantle by seven points in Perth on Monday night after hitting the lead late in that match, now have another six-day break before facing Sydney in Canberra.

They are now with a 2-3 win-loss record and on the bottom half of the ladder.

The Magpies' hard-working win was in stark contrast to Sunday's other match, in which Essendon blasted Gold Coast 31.11 (197) to 8.10 (58) at Etihad Stadium.

Any confidence the Suns took from their maiden AFL victory against Port Adelaide last round was wiped away in one quarter.

The Bombers kicked 15.4 (94) to 0.1 (1) in the opening term, the highest first-quarter score in VFL/AFL history.

Earlier in the round, West Coast moved into the top eight with a nine-goal home win over a dismal Melbourne.

Carlton are in the top four after downing the Swans at the SCG, with Sydney out of the eight on percentage, as are Richmond, despite their win over Brisbane.

North Melbourne posted their first win of the season, against a very disappointing Port Adelaide, while last year's grand finalists St Kilda are in 13th spot after falling to Adelaide (12th).

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