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VFL: Pies pipped by Port

VFL Pies fall short in the wet Watch the 60-second recap of Collingwood's loss to Port Melbourne in the second round of the 2018 VFL season.

Collingwood fell to its first loss of the VFL season against a fast-finishing Port Melbourne at the Holden Centre on Saturday.

Port overran the Magpies in the second half, booting three of the game’s last four goals to win by 16 points, 7.5 (47) to 9.9 (63).

Melbourne’s erratic weather ensured the game came to embody the ‘game of two halves’ cliché.

Strong winds and torrential rain meant all five first half goals were kicked at one end of the ground. Almost immediately after half time, the clouds had cleared and the Holden Centre was bathed in sunshine, resulting in more of an end-to-end encounter.

Collingwood coach Jared Rivers said Port’s ability to adapt the match’s changing conditions was a deciding factor in the match.

“It was a tough game for both teams, weather-wise,” Rivers told Collingwood Media post-match.

“We probably handled the first half pretty well and then they handled the dry weather better than we did.

“We had an opportunity in the last quarter to try and take the game on through the middle and change angles. I thought we did that at times, but we just lacked composure with ball in hand which makes it hard to score.”

Rivers says his side’s ill-discipline and inability to match the more-experienced Borough in contested ball were the reasons for the result.

“We didn’t win the hard ball, especially around the middle of the ground throughout the day,” Rivers said.

“We gave away too many free kicks as well. A couple of free kicks resulted in goals for them, and it ended up being a tight game.

“If you’re going to give free kicks away like that it’s only going to hurt you.”

The inexperience of the Pies wasn’t helped by the absence of captain Jack Hellier and last year’s best-and-fairest winner Marty Hore.

Rivers was impressed by the efforts of young defender Flynn Appleby to fill the void left by Hore in defence.

“I thought Flynn in his second game for the footy club played really well for us,” Rivers said.

“He was aggressive in the air and used the ball by foot.”

AFL-listed midfielders Brayden Sier, Josh Daicos and Rupert Wills relished the tough conditions to be among the team’s best players.

Daniel Wells returned from a hamstring injury and played the ‘65-70 percent’ of game time planned for him by the club.

Collingwood will play its first home game next week at Victoria Park when it hosts Essendon.

The Saturday afternoon clash is sure to whet the appetite for the ANZAC Day clash between the clubs the following Wednesday.

Heavy rain affected Saturday's clash with Port Melbourne. Photo: Luke Henry

Collingwood         3.2      3.2      5.3      7.5 (47)
Port Melbourne    0.2      2.3      5.5      9.9 (63)

Goals - Collingwood: Wills, Lane, Borthwick, Jarryd Blair, Mayne, Jack Blair, McLarty
Port Melbourne: Lisle 5, Pearson 2, Anastasio, Lange

Best - Collingwood: Appleby, Le Grice, Chippendale, Daicos, Gallucci, Sier
Port Melbourne: Lisle, Conway, Cook, Hooper, Waddell, Rivett