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Report: VFL season begins on a high

VFL: Round one win in 60 seconds Watch the highlights from Collingwood’s 24-point victory round one of the VFL. The VFL Magpies defeated Port Melbourne at North Port Oval for the first time since 2000.
Brent Macaffer kicked two final quarter goals as the VFL Magpies defeated Port Melbourne by 24 points.

Five unanswered goals in the final quarter has resulted in a 24-point win to the VFL Magpies at North Port Oval.

Dale Tapping’s team controlled large parts of the game, however a Port Melbourne burst in the third quarter saw the game sit in the balance at three-quarter time.

Led by Brent Macaffer, the VFL Magpies powered home in the final term.

Jack Blair, Josh Smith and Lachlan Ferguson joined Macaffer as fourth-quarter goalkickers as Collingwood opened up a 30-point lead. 

It was cut back to 24 before the final siren ended what was an entertaining, tightly-contested match.

Collingwood          3.3     8.6     9.12     14.13     (97)
Port Melbourne     3.1     5.2     9.10     10.13     (73)

Collingwood: Macaffer 2, Crocker 2, Smith 2, Wyatt 2, Ferguson 2, Broomhead, Cox, Close, Blair
Port Melbourne: Lisle 3, Sandilands 3, Rivett, Lange, Dixon, Connelly

Collingwood: White, Toovey, Macaffer, Kelly, Cox, Frost
Port Melbourne: Tynan, Lange, Cook, Haretuku, Sandilands, Clarke

Talking points

A first-class backline

While the Collingwood forward was where the game was won in the final term, a strong defensive group gave Collingwood an advantage for large stages of the match.

Consisting of Alan Toovey, Jesse White, Jonathon Marsh, Jack Frost, Tim Golds and Jordan Kelly, Port Melbourne's forward were greeted by six players all with AFL experience.

Four of these men were named among the best players, with White selected as the best player on the ground for a game which included 15 disposals and six intercept marks.

On a day where his former AFL clubs Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs met at Etihad Stadium, Kelly impressed in his first official game for the VFL Magpies.

Marsh was also impressive before being taken out of the game at half time with a suspected hamstring injury.

"I don't it's as severe as it was the last time we played here in the final (against Werribee in 2015)," Dale Tapping said of Marsh's injury.

"He's got some good leadership qualities. It's something we want to hone in on and continue to develop.

"He could have easily sat in the rooms and felt sorry for himself, but he got amongst his teammates and urged them on and helped them get arcoss the line."

Converted ballers

Collingwood's pair of basketball converts both impressed in their new code against the Borough.

Mason Cox and Darrean Wyatt spent large periods of the game in the forward line and were key targets for the Magpies' midfielders.

Playing his first official VFL game, Wyatt kicked two goals in an encouraging performance.

"Darrean is new to the game. We got him to adjust his role a little bit," Tapping said of Wyatt.

"In the third quarter, he probably had three or four chances. He was the one that was allowing us to stay in the game."

Cox, meanwhile, kicked one goal and took a number of strong contested marks as he eyes off the chance to be elevated to the Magpies' senior list.

The VFL contingient

Alongside a number of talented AFL players were a crop of VFL-listed Magpies who impressed on the small ground that is North Port Oval.

As previously mentioned, former AFL rookie Jordan Kelly was a standout, however a number of others played honourable games.

After a season-long absense from VFL football, Lachlan Ferguson applied forward pressure and showed an uncanny goal sense with two majors.

At the other end of the ground, Marty Hore showed experience beyond his years.

The 23rd man barely played the first half, yet finished the game with 17 disposals and nine marks.

It was the connection between AFL and VFL which coach Tapping saw as integral to acheiving a winning result.

"We had 14 AFL-listed players, but at the end of the day you've still got to come together and connect as a team," Tapping said.

"Sometimes the numbers don't mean too much. It's about how you approach it and what sort of pressure you bring to the game."