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Witts' 'outstanding' VFL return

Sam Gastin  May 10, 2016 4:53 PM

The VFL's Mr Consistent From Lulie Street - Join Collingwood VFL President Marcus Wagner, Development Coach Anthony Rocca and premiership Magpie Brent Macaffer as the panel look back on round five from the VFL in 2016.
Jarrod Witts had 22 hit-outs in Collingwood's VFL loss to Sandringham on Saturday.

Jarrod Witts had 22 hit-outs in Collingwood's VFL loss to Sandringham on Saturday.

Standing tall in the VFL Magpies line up on Saturday evening was an inclusion desperately eager to return to football.

Jarrod Witts had a pre-season full of promise. He played all three NAB Challenge games and was chosen ahead of teammate Brodie Grundy as the sole ruckman to take on Sydney in round one.

Witts played the game with split webbing in his hand as the Magpies’ suffered an 80-point to the Swans.

He required stitches post-match, before an infection led to a frustrating five-week absence.

However as Collingwood’s VFL team returned to the Holden Centre to take on Sandringham on Saturday, so did Witts.

Midfielder Brent Macaffer was more than happy to have the 209cm ruckman feeding him the ball in the centre square.

“It was great having Wittsy back in the side,” Macaffer said on Collingwood Media’s ‘From Lulie Street’.  

“As a midfielder, having him put it down my throat was pretty handy.”

Witts combined nine possessions with 22 hitouts against the talented Sandringham ruck combination of Billy Longer and Jason Holmes.

40 per cent of his hit-outs went to advantage, a percentage greater than any other established ruckman on the field.

He was named among Collingwood’s best players as judged by the coaches, despite what Anthony Rocca described as a “sluggish” start.

“In that first quarter he tried to get his legs going moving around the ground,” the development coach said on ‘From Lulie Street’.

“As the game went on, particularly in the second half, I thought he was outstanding with his ruckwork and his aerial (work) around the ground.”

Witts was one of three players who made their return from injury in the VFL Magpies’ 67-point loss to Sandringham.

Jonathon Marsh overcame hamstring complaints to take up a position in the backline, while VFL-listed Magpie Gus Borthwick returned from a shoulder injury to finish with 11 disposals and four tackles.

Borthwick will put his hand up for a trip to Geelong to take on the Cats in the VFL on Saturday. Marsh and Witts will have their sights set on a higher level, however may have to join the VFL Magpies as they look to strength their claims for AFL selection.