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Pies tame Tigers in fierce clash

Magpie Luke Ball collected 20 disposals in the win over Richmond

NATHAN Buckley recorded his first win as Collingwood coach after the Magpies comfortably defeated Richmond by 21 points on Saturday night at the MCG.
Dale Thomas cut loose at the start of the second half to inspire an unanswered five-goal burst in the first eight minutes that put the result beyond doubt.
When Richmond finally stabilised the Magpies were eight goals in front and the game was over.
A melee on the half-time siren involving every player seemed to spark Collingwood from its lethargy after the break.
Within 30 seconds of the second half resuming Thomas had burst out of the centre and kicked a long goal. At the next bounce Thomas cleared it again and Travis Cloke kicked his third.
Thomas kicked another two minutes later. Alex Fasolo then kicked two goals and the lead was eight goals after just eight minutes.
Collingwood controlled the ball and began to play with a confidence that had not been seen since the mid stages of 2011.
During the quarter the Magpies collected 41 contested possessions to Richmond's 30 and had 19 inside 50s compared to the Tigers 11.
It was in stark contrast to the first half. During that period there were more missed opportunities than chocolate eggs at an Easter egg hunt.
Goals were missed, balls were fumbled and players either slipped through tackles or slid into them before being dispossessed.
Trent Cotchin worked his heart out but had little support. By contrast Collingwood had numerous midfielders sharing the load.
Collingwood also had the powerful Cloke up forward to contest and convert.
The Magpies' Ben Reid quelled the Tigers key forward Jack Riewoldt.
Reid's effort was critical after the Magpies lost Chris Tarrant to a suspected calf injury during the first quarter. He was subbed off the ground at quarter-time.
It meant Richmond had plenty of running at the end of the game but after drawing to within 23 points at the 12-minute mark, the Magpies stabilised.

COLLINGWOOD       2.8   5.10   11.12   12.13   (85)
RICHMOND              1.6   2.10   4.13   8.16   (64)   

Cloke 3, Thomas 3, Blair 2, Fasolo 2, Paine, Jolly
Richmond: Miller 4, Deledio 2, Edwards, Conca

Pendlebury, Reid, Sidebottom, Cloke, Thomas, Swan
Richmond: Rance, Deledio, Grigg, Miller, Tuck, Cotchin

Tarrant (calf)
Richmond: Foley (broken nose), King (knee)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Stewart, Meredith

Official crowd:
57,268 at the MCG

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs