Collingwood survive Sydney fightback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood survive Sydney fightback

Adrian Warren 25/06/2011 11:36:16 PM Comments (0)

Sydney gave AFL Premiers Collingwood a fright at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

But key forward Travis Cloke bagged six goals for a second straight game as the Magpies made their first AFL interstate journey of 2011 a victorious one with a six-point win.

Collingwood survived a ferocious late fightback from Sydney to win 13.21 (99) to 14.9 (93), stretching their six-year winning streak over the Swans to ten games.

The Swans had recovered from a 30-point, third-quarter deficit to lead by one point on two occasions in the final quarter.

However Sharrod Wellingham capitalised on a turnover and Cloke kicked his sixth goal to wrap up the points for the visitors who had played their previous 11 games this year at either the MCG or Etihad Stadium.

Cloke, who finished with 6.4 after kicking six goals in his last outing against Melbourne, gave Sydney key defender Heath Grundy a torrid night.

The Swans lacked a comparable presence up forward with promising youngster Sam Reid well held by his elder brother Ben.

Co-captain and midfielder Jarrad McVeigh led Sydney's goalkickers with four.

Sydney led 24-13 early on but Collingwood rebounded to kick ten of the next 12 goals to lead by nine points at the first change and 17 at halftime.

In the latter part of the first quarter and through the second, Collingwood's unrelenting pressure forced Sydney into turnovers and the Swans couldn't match the visitors' efficiency.

Collingwood's Dane Swan topped the possession-getters with 33.

The masses of Collingwood supporters hit full voice after a sensational Luke Ball goal swelled their lead to 30 points in the third quarter.

Sydney kicked five of the last six goals to get within nine points at the final change.

Two more majors put them in front, but they couldn't maintain the rage against a Collingwood side which notched their fifth straight victory.

Sydney switched Lewis Roberts-Thomson to Cloke in the final term, but their options were limited with key defender Ted Richards pulling out of the game with an ankle injury.

Midfielder Kieren Jack was off the ground for part of the first quarter colliding with team-mate Jude Bolton and was substituted in the second quarter with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

Collingwood lost Alan Didak early in the third quarter and replaced him with John McCarthy.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse described it as a hard-earned win against a hardened football side, but lamented the inaccuracy of their goalkicking.

"We controlled enough of the ball to put it beyond their reach when we were five goals in front," Malthouse said.

"Our set shots were something to be erased, hopefully from our bank for the 10 games left, I can't explain, I don't think anyone can explain how we can miss shots on goal like some of the ones we missed."

He described Cloke's game as fantastic.

Didak suffered a calf injury, but Collingwood reported no other significant issues.

Jack, who was only in his third game back from a five-week lay-off due to a syndesmosis ankle injury, hurt the ankle again, but Swans officials are waiting on a scan to ascertain the extent of the latest injury.

Sydney coach John Longmire said he was really pleased with his players' effort following their fifth loss from as many games to the current top-four teams.

"Obviously when there's just a kick in, my first instinct is to say it could have gone either way, we know they missed a few shots, but you need a little bit of luck when you are playing the good teams," Longmire told reporters.

"We had a little bit of luck, but we just didn't get there in the end."

Sydney finished on top in both the tackle and contested possession counts.

Swans co-captain Adam Goodes, who finished with three goals, said the performance had helped top up the Sydney's self-belief.

"I'm really proud of the boys tonight, we showed a lot of ticker," Goodes said.

"We fought hard, we won a lot of the key areas, we never felt like we were out of the contest."

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