Practice pays off for Magpies' Cloke - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Practice pays off for Magpies' Cloke

Roger Vaughan 05/06/2011 04:13:26 PM Comments (0)

Travis Cloke's determination to improve his goalkicking this AFL season paid a massive dividend for Collingwood in Saturday night's win over St Kilda.

While the Magpies crushed St Kilda in the second half and won the grand final replay by 57 points, the game still turned on two crucial moments during the second term.

The Saints were leading by four points when their captain Nick Riewoldt had a set shot, directly in front.

The kick went wide, easing the pressure slightly on the 'Pies.

A few minutes later, with halftime looming, Cloke had a set shot from an acute angle and on the wrong side for a left footer.

Given Cloke's notorious inaccuracy when kicking for goal, Magpies fans would have held their collective breath.

But he slotted the difficult kick and, seconds later, Andrew Krakouer snapped another goal to give Collingwood a seven-point lead at halftime - plus the momentum in the game.

"It's probably been my key factor this year, to really get some momentum and probably get some structure through my goalkicking," Cloke said.

"It was nice to kick it, but my first half to second half goalkicking wasn't too great.

"I can see it on the mend and I'm looking to have an improved second half of the season with my goalkicking."

It is well known that when Cloke has practised his goalkicking this year, he has been wearing an iPod which plays crowd noise to help his concentration.

Cloke was close to best on the field in the first half, taking six contested marks and kicking three goals.

He let himself down in the second half with three behinds, but the son of former Richmond and Collingwood key forward David Cloke earned big plaudits from Magpies coach Mick Malthouse.

"You never have any worries about his work ethic," Malthouse said of Travis.

"His attention to trying to do everything right by his teammates is quite extraordinary for a tall forward who, in many instances, is judged on the number of goalshe kicks.

"If he kicks goals, it's a bonus for him - if he doesn't kick goals, so long as he's contributing in the air, bringing (the ball) to the ground, making sure he does a bit of ruckwork down there.

"Travis just needs and wants to be out there. Having played with his father, he has a lot of his father's traits, his work ethic, that sort of stuff."

Cloke and his fellow forwards became only the second attack this season to kick more than 100 points against the miserly Saints.

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