Collingwood thrash Demons by 88 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood thrash Demons by 88 points

By Sam Lienert 13/06/2011 07:31:22 PM Comments (0)

Even the absence of some midfield stars turned positive for Collingwood, as lesser light Sharrod Wellingham produced his own star turn in Monday's Queen's Birthday AFL massacre of Melbourne.

Wellingham had a career-high 37 disposals and power forward Travis Cloke notched the first six-goal haul of his career, with the under-strength Magpies belting the disappointing Demons 19.15 (129) to 6.5 (41) at the MCG.

Collingwood's three-point loss to Geelong in round eight remains the Magpies' only loss this season, while Melbourne's struggle to string together creditable performances continues.

Missing midfielders Dane Swan, Dale Thomas and Dayne Beams and ruckman Darren Jolly, Collingwood needed players to fill the breach and Wellingham responded superbly.

Coach Mick Malthouse said the way the 22-year-old coped with the increased responsibility forced on him should feed his self belief.

"Sharrod has always probably walked in the shadow of Swan and (Scott) Pendlebury and (Luke) Ball and perhaps even Dale Thomas," Malthouse said.

"Today, he jumps into the top three by sheer fact of his volume of games, his knowledge, his endurance, because he's seasoned. So, he goes up and he performs accordingly, which is terrific for him.

"There's a lot of players that don't grab the opportunity and fall away.

"So, I hope now that Sharrod understands his value to the team and has similar games on a week-to-week basis."

Malthouse also welcomed the way the likes of Jarryd Blair, Steele Sidebottom, John McCarthy, Andrew Krakouer, Heath Shaw, Alan Didak and first-gamer Alex Fasolo handled increased midfield time.

Wellingham said he had viewed the absence of some big-name teammates as an opportunity.

"The slack was going to have to be picked up somewhere, so I was just happy to do it," he said.

He said it reinforced Collingwood's belief that if they lost key players heading into finals, others could step up.

"Anything can happen later on in the year. For other guys, everyone, to play their role today without those big names in was very promising."

The Magpies blasted clear in the second quarter, when Cloke kicked four of his six goals.

A comfortable win then became a pounding when Collingwood produced what was becoming their customary last-quarter barrage, booting the final eight goals.

The Demons' fade-out was among numerous disappointing aspects for coach Dean Bailey, underlining his side's staggering inconsistency, after their spirited win over Essendon last round.

"We'll keep making a few changes to the team and keep challenging the guys who are in the team from last week who played today. They've got to lift their work rate. It comes down to work rate most of the time," Bailey said.

Key defender Colin Garland could return from an ankle injury, which would be welcome, given Jared Rivers was thrashed by Cloke in the first half, before being replaced by James Frawley.

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