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Tapping's VFL review

Midfielder Josh Thomas was one of several Magpies to impress VFL coach Dale Tapping in the side's loss to Geelong on Saturday. Photo: Shane Barrie.
Huddo (Ben Hudson) competed outstandingly well. I know it doesn't matter where Huddo plays, he just competes. He was excellent
VFL coach Dale Tapping on the impact of new ruckman Ben Hudson
VFL coach Dale Tapping was pleased with the competitiveness of his young Collingwood team in its 26-point defeat at the hands of 2012 premiers Geelong in a practice match on Saturday.

Geelong led from start to finish, but didn't have the game all its own way. The reigning premiers were challenged at varying stages of the afternoon, particularly at the start of the final quarter when the Magpies piled on four quick goals to bridge the gap to only seven points with 10 minutes to play.

Unfortunately the Cats steadied the ship and pulled away to record a comfortable win, but Tapping leaves Kardinia Park optimistic about what the afternoon said about his team's attitude.

"We discussed at the end of the game that our effort and certainly our attitude towards playing the game can't be questioned at all. I think just the attention to details in games and throughout games just needs to get better," Tapping told collingwoodfc.com.au moments after the team's post-match debrief.

"We've still got a really young squad so hopefully over the course of the year we can continue to move forward with that. We put in a really good effort and that's clearly been evident in the last two weeks. We came within seven points with 10 minutes to go in the last quarter. We were pretty much trailing by four or five goals all day, so we played it out for the duration so we were really pleased with that side of it."

"One of the things we did speak about over the course of the pre-season was being competitive for longer. I think there's some improvement we've shown over the two practice matches against two quality outfits, particularly against Essendon last week with their availability of players and Geelong today with Stevie Johnson, James Kelly, Troy Selwood, Dominic Gleeson and those sorts of boys through the midfield.

Collingwood fielded seven AFL players to Geelong's five, but lacked players the calibre of triple premiership duo Steve Johnson and James Kelly.

Tapping was pleased with the efforts of mature age rookie Ben Hudson and young midfielders Josh Thomas and Kyle Martin who had no trouble winning the ball at the stoppages.

"It was a really good chance for our young boys like Kyle Martin and Josh Thomas to play against Kelly and Johnson. They were more than competitive and were really good contributors for us," he reflected.

"Huddo competed outstandingly well. I know it doesn't matter where Huddo plays, he just competes. He was excellent.

"I thought Joshy Thomas played really good footy and worked really hard. His transition was good and 'Marto' pushed through and showed some real resilience.

"Peter Yagmoor did a good job on the wing. Adam Oxley certainly showed a bit with his ball use and Jackson Paine, after a slowish start, got rolling and started to dominate his opponent which we know he can, particularly at this level.

"Marley Williams was good and he attacked the footy really well. His task was just to beat his opponent and be really disciplined on his opponent and he did that really well. I thought Marley was really good. I'm pleased for him because he's had a tough few weeks but today he responded really well."

Collingwood was a man short when wingman Sam Williams left the field with a strained ankle in the second term and lost some of its grunt when bullish midfielder Jack Hellier withdrew from the side before the warm up.

The Magpies will head back up the Princes Highway to recuperate before preparing for next Friday's practice match against the Northern Blues at Princes Park at 4pm.

Collingwood 1.0, 6.1, 8.3, 12.5 (77)
Geelong 3.1, 7.7, 11.15, 14.19 (103)

Goals - Collingwood: Ferguson 4, Paine 3, Moloney, Collopy, Thomas, Allan, Yagmoor
Geelong: Gleeson 3, Barham 2, Corrigan 2, Hamling 2, Hollmer, Measures, Selwood, Johnson, McFarlane

Best - Collingwood: Martin, Riddle, Ferguson, J.Thomas. Hudson, Collopy, Moloney

Squads
Collingwood: 1.
Nick Gray, 2. Chris Gleeson, 9. Callum Matheson, 11. Tom Tyquin, 15. Tyson Mitchem, 24. Josh Thomas, 25. Ben Hudson, 26. Tyson Mitchem, 33. Jackson Paine, 37. Kyle Martin, 38. Peter Yagmoor, 43. Adam Oxley, 46. Marley Williams, 56. Nick Riddle, 57. Tim Allan, 58. Ben Moloney, 59. Sam Williams, 60. Matthew Hine, 62. Lachie Ferguson, 63. Jordan Collopy, 64. Scott Greenhough, 65. Chris Mangoni, 69. Brendan Rinaldi, 71. Jackson Heagney-Steart

Geelong: 1. Piers Flanagan, 8. Sam Robinson, 12. Ryan Bathie, 20. Steve Johnson, 32. Daniel Measures, 36. Brad Hartman, 45. Joel Hamling, 50. Dominic Gleeson, 51. Troy Selwood, 52. Jack Hollmer, 53. Jaxson Barham, 55. Jai Sheahan, 56. Mitch Farmer, 57. Mark Corrigan, 59. Tom Maas, 60. Matthew Sully, 61. Ben Raidme, 63. Zak Sherman, 64. Andrew Banjanin, 65. Daniel Gribbs, 66. Ryley Hall, 68. Ben Capra, 69. Dane McFarlane, 71. James Kelly