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VFL: Magpies fall to North Ballarat

VFL R1 in 60 seconds Get a snapshot of Collingwood's opening round loss to North Ballarat in 60 secs with ColllingwoodTV.
Darcy Moore was named in the best in the VFL Magpies 35-point loss to North Ballarat. Photo: Shane Barrie

Collingwood’s VFL season has begun with a disappointing 35-point loss to North Ballarat.

While a trip to Ballarat already proved a daunting start to the 2015 season, wet and windy conditions greeted the Magpies on arrival at Eureka Stadium.

The rain began to fall as the players entered the ground and the game quickly turned into a heated battle for possession as both sides attempted to gain metres and lock the ball inside forward 50.

Jarrod Witts was excellent in the ruck as overcame former Geelong and Richmond ruckman Orren Stephenson to give the Collingwood midfielders first possession.

However it failed to be a day for standout performances as a slippery ball brought errors from even the most skilful players.

After facing off against the Roosters in a practice match at Victoria Park last week, Collingwood VFL coach Dale Tapping says there was no surprises from the opposition today.

VIDEO: VFL in 60 seconds.

While Tapping believes the tough conditions played a role in the outcome of the game, he believes his young Collingwood side will be better for the experience of today’s match. 

“Trying to get a consecutive chain of possessions was really difficult in the conditions,” Tapping told Collingwood Media post match.

“All in all I thought the effort was okay. Obviously we want to be better for longer.

“I think there’s still a lot of room for us (to improve). We had a lot of first gamers today, VFL and AFL. They’ll take great benefit from that. We’ll take the lessons from it and move on.”

Alex Fasolo made Collingwood’s AFL-listed presence felt as he kicked the Magpies second goal of the match.

Despite being named in defence, Fasolo immediately assumed a position in the forward line and proved effective in attack to finish with two goals.

He was Collingwood’s only multiple goal-scorer with Michael Still, Ben Moloney, Mason Cox and Jordan Collopy also adding majors.

Three of these came in a frantic third quarter as blue skies appeared and Collingwood kicked three consecutive goals to level the scores at the 10 minute mark.

In front of the small home crowd braving the conditions, the final quarter belonged to the Roosters.

They controlled the play and were unlucky not to break further in front as they had nine scoring shots to Collingwood’s zero.

While disappointed in the fourth quarter fade-out, Tapping was able to take positives out of a tightly contested first three quarters.

Defenders Darcy Moore and Jonathon Marsh were named in the best, while Ben Reid took a number of strong overhead marks as he continued his return from injury.

VFL: Recap Sunday's loss.

“It was coming in thick and fast in the last ten minutes and that’s always going to test even the best opposition,” Tapping said of the backline.

“But by and large I think our back six has been pretty good.”

With the cobwebs well and truly taken out of the equation, the VFL Magpies now turn their attention to an emotional round two Anzac weekend clash with Essendon.

After the Bombers fell to Sandringham by a point today, both teams will no doubt be desperate to get their first win on the board at Windy Hill next Sunday.   

Collingwood   2.4  3.7  6.9  6.9 (45)
North Ballarat
  2.4  5.4  8.8  11.14 (80)

Goals - Collingwood: Fasolo 2, Still, Cox, Collopy, Moloney
North Ballarat: Hooper 3, Stephenson 2, Tsitas, Bacon, Staley, Anderson, Black, Schache

Best - Collingwood: De Goey, Witts, Moore, Moloney, Abbott, Marsh
North Ballarat: Stephenson, Rippon, Dumont, Sewell, Kiel, Warren