Collingwood crush Hawks at MCG - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood crush Hawks at MCG

Greg Buckle 03/07/2011 07:41:16 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood sent a chilling warning to their AFL rivals as they powered to a comprehensive 41-point victory over Hawthorn on Sunday.

Before a crowd of 83,985 fans at the MCG, the second-placed Magpies gave a mighty display of team discipline and self-belief to win 15.16 (106) to 9.11 (65) on the back of a dominant midfield.

Dane Swan, Dale Thomas and Scott Pendlebury were superb for the defending premiers while tall defender Ben Reid gathered 31 possessions and fellow backman Harry O'Brien picked up 23 touches as they exploited Hawthorn's lack of poise going forward.

The Hawks managed only four behinds in the first quarter and had kicked only 2.4 by halftime.

They failed to kick 10 goals in a game for the first time this year and had a late injury scare with star forward Lance Franklin limping off with a sore ankle.

But Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said he expected Franklin and Chance Bateman (rolled ankle) would be fit for next Saturday's Launceston clash with Brisbane, along with defender Josh Gibson (bruised eye socket).

Key defender Jordan Lisle was taken to hospital for x-rays for a suspected facial fracture and could miss several weeks.

Collingwood scored their 12th win from 13 matches while the Hawks suffered their fourth defeat in 14 games.

Travis Cloke kicked three goals for the Magpies while Franklin managed only one for the Hawks and was given an on-ball role in the second half.

"We've got a fair few home-and-away rounds now to lick our wounds a bit and get ourselves ready for another crack at it hopefully later in the year," Clarkson said of the challenge of playing against the Magpies.

Clarkson said the Magpies set the tone early.

"They were tougher and harder and they really played a great brand of footy," he said.

"It's a great experience for our young blokes, 83,000 people against the premier side in the competition."

The Hawks had 410 possessions to Collingwood's 386, led by Hawks skipper Luke Hodge's best-afield effort in gathering 40 touches at half-back.

But Hawthorn's high-possession game was no match for Collingwood's defensive press.

"Our system fell down today against a very very good football side," Clarkson said.

"When the heat was on, Collingwood were just far superior to us.

"Reid had 31 touches. He had a field day.

"Our use of the ball going across the forward 50 was very poor."

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse said he was pleased his team's structures passed another test, as he rotated players such as O'Brien and Reid through the role of loose man in defence.

"They (Hawthorn) have still generated a lot of football," he said.

"So to play our style and stick to our style, I felt we held up okay.

"They opted to have a loose player come from the centre back to their back half which gave us a plus-one at our end, so we rotated that as best we could to encourage players to find a bit of space and work the ball."

Hawthorn's long injury list includes defenders Ryan Schoenmakers, Stephen Gilham and Ben Stratton, forwards Cyril Rioli and Jarryd Roughead, midfielder Brad Sewell while Jordan Lewis is suspended.

The Magpies face North Melbourne at the MCG next Sunday.

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