AFL Round 9: Western Bulldogs v Collingwood, latest news and scores
Collingwood coach Craig McRae has made no excuses for his team after a heavy defeat to the Western Bulldogs while adding a warning to fans over what to expect in the future.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae quipped that if his team keeps playing like they did on Friday night, they’ll be “shipped back to Sunday” as the remainder of the rolling fixture unfolds.
The Magpies suffered their heaviest defeat of the season in prime time, as the Western Bulldogs cantered to a 48-point victory at Marvel Stadium.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t put on a show on Friday night because we haven’t had too many chances to do that,” McRae said post-match.
“I just want to be better than that ... Friday night lights are bright and they were shining on us and we were disappointing.”
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McRae refused to use his team’s third six-day break in a row as an excuse for their performance, and certainly wasn’t going to blame the flu either after it affected a portion of his team during the week, and forced Scott Pendlebury and Jack Ginnivan out of the side.
“I don’t want to make excuses, I really don’t, because I feel like you can play with a runny nose and still execute your role - that’s what good teams do,” he said.
McRae was prepared to give his developing team “a bit of grace” after a fairly competitive first couple of months to the season, but jokingly suggested his players might have to bring mouthguards to training in the coming weeks if their contested game continued to trend in the wrong direction.
The Bulldogs battered the Pies in contested possessions (146-106) and clearances (43-27).
“There’s some contested method around that we need to improve on,” he said.
“Just thought our fundamentals on a whole were really down today. We’ve been doing a lot of work on it, but we’ve got more to do.”
At times, McCrae felt like his side looked completely disconnected against the Dogs.
“I reckon we had 14 players with Collingwood jumpers on and four or five of them are going, ‘Are they wearing our jumper tonight? Are they predictable to what we’re doing?’,” McRae said.
“These are the questions as coaches you go, ‘We need to get on the same page’. So a lot of that for me is coaching and I take responsibility for that – if we’re not on the same page, we need to work harder to make sure we do.”
The forward line looked especially dysfunctional for Collingwood and young Oliver Henry was emblematic of their struggles, missing three set shots and making a handful of other costly skill errors and decisions which deprived his side of potentially good looks at goal.
“Sometimes it takes 50-70 games to feel like you belong at this level and be able to pick up the pace of it,” McRae said.
“He’s played 10-odd games ... he does something good and then does something bad, and I think that’s the rollercoaster we’re on with some of our youth – it’s going to be painful for some at times and we’ve just got to ride that and back them in and make them believe.
“I think at the minute I believe more than some of them of what they’re capable of.”
Defender Jack Madgen’s season is under a cloud after he suffered a dislocated shoulder, but McRae was hopeful that Pendlebry, Ginnivan and Jamie Elliott (shoulder) would be back for their daunting trip to Optus Stadium against top-two Fremantle.
NAUGHTON FEAR AS DOGGIES LEAVE MAGPIES IN THEIR WAKE
Western Bulldogs have breathed new life into their stuttering season after easily brushing aside a tired-looking Collingwood on Friday night.
The Dogs’ star-studded midfield ran hot in the 48-point win, but there were concerns for jet spearhead Aaron Naughton who jarred his right knee in the second term.
Naughton already had his right knee strapped after previous injuries and again looked sore after slamming it into the Marvel Stadium turf.
The key forward played on throughout the rest of the night but will likely face a light week on the track as the Dogs look to chalk up wins against Gold Coast and West Coast over the next fortnight.
The victory over the Pies lifted the Dogs to ninth spot on four wins from nine games as their hard edge in the centre returned.
A pair of wins against the Suns and besieged Eagles will catapult them back into the eight after a slow start to the season put them under early pressure on the back of last year’s Grand Final appearance.
Dogs’ midfielder Adam Treloar fired against his old side, slotting three goals, while Bailey Smith was prolific as he looks to sign a bumper new contract.
Smith underlined his status as one of the game’s best young playmakers with a 24-possession first half.
It was an important statement from the Dogs’ engine room which dominated the clearance battle over the first three quarters leading 36-20 and inside 50s 49-37.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae said the Magpies were beaten out of the middle and “had a lot of work to do” on the fundamentals and chemistry.
“I don’t want to make excuses I thought we were poor,” McRae said. “The Friday night lights are bright.”
There were also injury problems for Collingwood which lost backman Jack Madgen to a suspected serious shoulder injury in the second term.
Madgen wrenched it in a marking contest with Darcy Moore and looked in terrible pain as he was helped from the ground by a pair of trainers.
Madgen could be out for an extended period continuing the club’s shocking run of injuries to its key position stocks including Brodie Grundy, Jordan Roughead and Nathan Kreuger.
However, captain Scott Pendlebury is expected to return from illness for Sunday’s trip west to play Fremantle.
Pendlebury was a late withdrawal on Friday night after feeling unwell on Friday.
Collingwood was coming off its third-straight six-day break and was smashed out of the middle by the Dogs in the opening term.
It was the Magpies’ second-straight loss as they prepare for a tougher run against the Dockers, Blues, Hawks and Demons over the next month.
The dissent rule controversy also flared again after Jordan De Goey copped a 50m penalty for throwing out his arms at the umpire, gifting the Dogs an easy goal early in the last term.
The dissent rule had seemed to soften over the past fortnight but the De Goey incident has reignited concerns over the harshness of the new rule.
Doggies rediscover their mojo
The Western Bulldogs have stabilised their spluttering 2022 season on Friday night with a dominant 48-point win over Collingwood at Marvel Stadium.
The Bulldogs looked back to their grand final best as they wound the clock back to 2021 to blow the Magpies away with a devastating first quarter that saw them kick the first six goals of the contest inside 19 minutes.
From there, the Pies never got within reach of the Dogs who cruised home to a much-needed 14.15 (99) to 7.9 (51) victory after seeing off an early final-quarter flurry from the Pies which included three quick goals.
The Dogs would’ve slipped two games adrift of the top eight after nine rounds if they lost to the Magpies, but they’ve kept in touch and remain an outside chance of entering it by the time the weekend ends.
Either way, Luke Beveridge’s men will like their chances of climbing inside the top eight by the halfway mark of the season with Gold Coast and West Coast to come in the next two weeks.
The much-vaunted Bulldogs midfield had been underperforming for majority of this year, but they had no such issues against Collingwood as Bailey Smith (41), Adam Treloar (36), Jack Macrae (37), Tom Liberatore (30) and returning skipper Marcus Bontempelli (26) combined for 170 disposals to have an enormous influence on the game.
Treloar sent another reminder to his former club of what they’re missing out on following his controversial trade to the Kennel in 2020, booting three goals, to combine with Aaron Naughton (three), Buku Khamis (three) and Josh Dunkley (three) for 12 majors, and also registering eight clearances and 15 contested possessions.
Ultimately, the Bulldogs shellacked the Magpies in disposals (436-324), contested possessions (146-106), clearances (43-27), inside 50s (68-46), scoring shots (29-16) and marks (129-85).
The result was further compounded for the Magpies, who had already lost captain Scott Pendlebury (illness) before the game as a late withdrawal, as Jack Madgen appeared to suffer a serious shoulder injury in the second quarter and needed to be helped from the field by trainers in excruciating pain. He was subbed out, and his likely absence in future weeks will put further strain on the Magpies’ backline which is already missing Jordan Roughead (finger).
BULLDOGS’ EARLY ERUPTION
After trailing the inside 50s 5-8 early, the Dogs took over, kicking the first six goals of the game, including pairs to Khamis and Dunkley, as they recorded the next 14 forward entries, before leading that category 22-12 at quarter-time.
Led by Smith, Treloar and Macrae, the Bulldogs dominated the centre bounces (7-1) and clearances (15-6) in the opening term, while they also smashed the Magpies in disposals (114-91) and contested possessions (44-28) as their ferocious pressure forced Collingwood into multiple turnovers.
DE GOEY GIFTS DUNKLEY GOAL
With the shackles loose, and trailing by 46 points at three-quarter time, the Magpies attacked the final quarter with freedom.
They momentarily played with more flair, dare and risk, and their pressure rose significantly. They sent a mini scare through the Dogs camp when they kicked the first three goals inside seven minutes after the final change, but their enthusiasm was snuffed out when Jordan De Goey gave away a free kick to Dunkley for pushing him in the back on the wing, then a 50m penalty for umpire dissent which brought Dunkley to within 15m from where he booted his third goal to put the result beyond any doubt.
Young Collingwood forward Oliver Henry was emblematic of the Pies’ dysfunctional forward line. Early in the first quarter, instead of lining up for goal from 50m out, he opted to pass to De Goey who slipped over, allowing the Bulldogs to clear the danger. Moments later, Treloar made them pay by drilling a goal down the other end.
And late in the first term, after Will Hoskin-Elliott earned a holding-the-ball free kick, Henry took the advantage but proceeded to boot the ball out of bounds from 40m out, while nine minutes into the second term, Henry’s set shot from 40m out missed horribly, falling well short of the goal face. On top of all that, Henry also kicked three behinds in the first half from set shots.
MOORE HAS A ‘MARE
Early in the third quarter, Dogs defender Ed Richards kicked it out on the full on the Pies’ half-forward flank.
But rather than Collingwood taking a free kick in a dangerous position, with a sniff of momentum in their nostrils after Isaac Quaynor kicked the opening goal of the third term, Darcy Moore crudely, and unnecessarily, cannoned into Naughton.
The collision sent the Dogs forward crashing into the fence, overturning the free kick and moments later, Treloar converted a set shot from directly in front.
MAGPIES 1.3, 2.6, 4.7, 7.9 (51)
BULLDOGS 6.5, 7.10, 11.11, 14.15 (99)
Magpies: Crisp, Lipinski, Quaynor, Howe, Adams.
Bulldogs: Treloar, B.Smith, Macrae, Naughton, Liberatore, Dunkley, Daniel.
Magpies: Crisp 2, Mihocek, Quaynor, Hoskin-Elliott, Lipinski, De Goey.
Bulldogs: Treloar 3, Naughton 3, Dunkley 3, Khamis 3, Scott, Bontempelli.
Magpies: Madgen (shoulder).
Scott Pendlebury (illness) replaced in Collingwood’s selected side by Callum Brown.
Power, Brown, Meredith
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
3 A.Treloar (WB)
2 B.Smith (WB)
1 J.Macrae (WB)
DOGS AMONG LOBB’S VICTORIAN SUITORS
High-profile free agents Jamie Elliott and Bailey Dale are about to kickstart meaningful contract talks to stay with their existing clubs as the Dogs chase key position reinforcements at both ends of the ground.
Collingwood mid-forward Elliott is likely to return next week from a broken AC joint, with coach Craig McRae gushing in recent weeks about his impact as a small forward.
The Pies have wanted to contract Elliott for some time but he was also keen to maximise his worth in what at 29 years of his age is his last lucrative multi-year contract.
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Those talks will kick into gear again when he returns to the field, with Elliott injury-prone but possessing a rare blend of clearance ability, overhead marking, goal sense and speed.
It means the Pies will need to compensate him fairly but despite question marks about Jordan De Goey’s future Elliott wants to remain at the Pies.
Rival clubs have believed Western Bulldogs Dale’s recent explosion in form as an All Australian defender might challenge the club’s cap space given it also needs to sign Bailey Smith, Josh Dunkley, Tim English and Caleb Daniel.
But the Dogs not only have cap space after several seasons of saving to retain players, they have ambitious plans to secure reinforcements at both ends.
Dale ranks elite for disposals and metres gained and at only 25 years of age has many exceptional years ahead of him.
He will likely have to sacrifice the $650,000 per season rivals would be keen to offer him but he is intent on remaining at Whitten Oval.
The Dogs are one of multiple Melbourne clubs with strong interest in Fremantle’s Rory Lobb, who can fill a role as a forward pinch-hitting in the ruck.
Clubs would need to hand over as much as $500,000 a year for a three-season deal on Lobb.
His teammate Griffin Logue is also likely to find his way to a rival side given the Dogs are one of many suitors for the key defender.
The Dogs would ideally find a lockdown defender and either secure a key position forward or secure a young key back they can turn into a key position forward.
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Clubs across the competition including Collingwood and Essendon have tried hard to find key position forwards but while free agent Daniel McStay is out of contract there are few other available targets.
As revealed by the Herald Sun, Tim English will stay at the club and Caleb Daniel’s new long-term deal is not far off being locked away.
Originally published as AFL Round 9: Western Bulldogs v Collingwood, latest news and scores