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VFL: Key pair return in big win

Billy Higgins  July 8, 2018 4:17 PM

Darcy Moore made his return from a hamstring injury in the VFL at Victoria Park. Photo: Collingwood Media. - Collingwood,Collingwood Magpies,VFL,Darcy Moore,Josh Smith

Darcy Moore made his return from a hamstring injury in the VFL at Victoria Park. Photo: Collingwood Media.


Collingwood reminded the VFL competition that it remains a threat in the 2018 season during its 58-point win over Werribee on Sunday.

A wet opening quarter and a determined display by the Tigers meant that the scoreboard remained tight until the last quarter. From there, the Magpies were able to kick away from the visitors so that their dominance was accurately reflected in the final score.

Josh Smith and Darcy Moore both made successful returns from hamstring injuries. Smith was named best afield for the Pies, kicking three goals in an influential display.

Coach Jared Rivers praised both the performances and attitudes of the returning duo.

“They’ve both been injured for a long time and just to see them come back and play a role, that’s all we ask of them,” Rivers said to Collingwood Media post-match.

“I can’t question their work-rate or willingness to buy into our program at VFL level and to help the other boys as well.

“He (Smith) really led the boys in the forward half, and Darcy down back just looked like a natural defender.”

The win halts a four-match skid which saw the Pies slide out of the top-eight following Saturday’s results. Sunday’s win vaults Collingwood to sixth-place and saw the team return to what Rivers calls the “Collingwood way” of playing footy.

“We felt we did (have the game on our terms),” Rivers said.

“As coaches, we felt like that was our best four quarter performance since we played the Doggies earlier in the year.

“It just clarifies for us as a VFL program that when we play our way we’re a really competitive team.”

There is reason for optimism on the injury front, with both the AFL and VFL squads looking set to be bolstered by key returns. James Aish, Jarryd Blair, Jamie Elliott and Alex Fasolo are all hoping to return in the coming weeks.

Rivers says this presents the best sort of dilemma for the coaching staff ahead of a trip to Windy Hill to face Essendon in two weeks’ time.

“We’ll have a big week on the track and assess a few of those boys that are coming back from injuries,” he said.

“That will give us a good look to see who’s coming to come in and play that game against Essendon.”

The match at Windy Hill presents an opportunity for the Pies to exact come revenge for the 80-point loss they suffered at the ground early last season.

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Jackson Starcevich and Thomas Jok celebrate their first win in Black and White with a traditional Gatorade shower. Photo: Shane Barrie

Collingwood      2.1   6.4    9.8    15.14    (104)
Werribee            1.2   3.3    5.7      6.10      (46)

Goals – Collingwood: Smith 3, Blair 2, McLarty 2, Murphy, Starcevich, Wellings, Hetherington, Chippendale, Varcoe, Hellier, C.Brown
Werribee: Porter 3, Maishman, Declase, Bennett

Best – Collingwood: Smith, Oxley, Hetherington, Hellier, Woodward, Lynch
Werribee: Aylett, Coughlan, Brew, Berry, Porter, Gribble