Valiant Pies sink to the bottom - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Valiant Pies sink to the bottom

By Sam Lienert 02/05/2004 07:56:45 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse refused to use the reasonable excuse of a swathe of injuries to explain his side's gallant 14.17 (101) to 12.12 (84) AFL loss to a courageous Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

The Magpies, which sunk to the bottom of the ladder with their fourth consecutive defeat - were without three of their biggest stars - Nathan Buckley, Chris Tarrant and Josh Fraser a late withdrawal due to illness - then lost four other players during the game, one in each quarter.

Scott Burns injured his hamstring in the opening term, Ben Johnson's game ended in the second and Cameron Cloke's in the third, both due to concussion, while Simon Prestigiacomo went off with a shin injury in the final quarter.

Despite the host of missing Magpies, Collingwood still led by 21 points early in the second quarter and fought back from a 16-point deficit at the last change to level the scores midway through the final quarter, before Port sealed the win with the final three goals.

Mark McGough, Shane O'Bree and Brodie Holland were all excellent for the Magpies in the midfield, while James Clement and Ryan Lonie provided run from defence and Anthony Rocca kicked three goals, including two in the last term.

But Malthouse took no comfort from his side's valiant effort against the third-placed Power, saying to label the performance as courageous would ignore the fact that his club needed to improve its depth.

"You still have 18 on the ground, we had 18 on the ground, that takes too much away from Port Adelaide," Malthouse said.

"You're given 22 players, what happens to them is just bad luck, you've still got players that have got to perform to their best."

Malthouse said the Magpies could not afford to rely on a few stars, then drop their standard if they were missing.

"I don't want individuals to win games of football, I want a team effort," he said.

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