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VFL: Pies hold off late surge

VFL Magpies win a thriller Watch the best moments as Collingwood's VFL team held on for a four-point win over Geelong.

Collingwood survived a late scare to record its third consecutive VFL win against Geelong at the Holden Centre on Sunday.

Jarryd Blair was the eventual match winner for the Magpies. With 24 minutes played in the fourth term and his side trailing by a point, he marked 45 metres out on a slight angle, before a 50-metre penalty made a certainty of his set-shot.

This came after Geelong overturned a 29-point three-quarter time deficit to lead in the last quarter. An upset looked on the cards, before Blair slotted his goal and the Pies hung on bravely for the remaining minutes.

The Pies’ win was soured by an injury to Jamie Elliott. He left the ground with an apparent hamstring injury late in the second quarter and did not return.

Coach Jared Rivers told Collingwood Media post-game that he believes the win is an important step in his budding side’s development.

“I said to (our players) after the game that last year we would have lost those close games,” Rivers said.

“Our young players, with another year in the system and our senior players really stood up.

“It just shows you we’re really maturing as a group.”

The win was set up by a blistering opening from Collingwood. The Pies took advantage of the breeze blowing to the Olympic Boulevard end of the ground to slam on six goals to one to open up a 37-point lead at the first break.

“There was a strong wind early so for us to hit the scoreboard early was a really good result for us,” Rivers said.

“I thought our forward half pressure was superb in that quarter, I think we had 14 forward half turnovers and 10-plus tackles in the forward 50.

“Our game style is to try and keep the ball in our forward half and we did that in the first quarter.”

The work of Brayden Sier and Rupert Wills in the centre was key to Collingwood’s first quarter dominance. Rivers also praised the attitudes of experienced AFL-listed players Blair, Alex Fasolo and Levi Greenwood.

“Fas has been super for us, credit to him,” Rivers said.

“The last month of footy, he’s really stepped up. He showed with his composure late in that game why he’s such a good player for us.

“Blairy came back and just played his role like he normally does, he leads really well and plays a really important part to us in a young group.

“Levi down back has been really impressive. He hasn’t played a lot of footy down back and he’s fitted right in down back for us.

“He’s played great footy, he’s a ripper bloke and the boys love playing with him. He’s been super for us.”

The win leaves the Pies sitting level with four other teams on 16 points at the top of the VFL ladder, with Box Hill’s match still in progress. Next up, Collingwood takes on winless Coburg at Piranha Park on Saturday afternoon.

Collingwood celebrate their third straight VFL win. Photo: Shane Barrie.

Collingwood         6.7    8.7    12.11     13.13 (91)
Geelong                1.3    5.3      8.6       13.9   (87)

Goals – Collingwood: Gallucci 4, McLarty 2, Fasolo 2, Jarryd Blair 2, Chippendale, Hellier, Jack Blair
Geelong: McCarthy 2, Stanley 2, Dobson 2, Jones, Abbott, Black, Miers, Atkins, O’Connor, Narkle

Best – Collingwood: Gallucci Jarryd Blair, Hore, Mihocek, Oxley, Hetherington
Geelong: Abbott, McCarthy, Hayball, Kol, Simpson, O’Connor