It was a fantastic afternoon at Avalon Airport Oval for the Collingwood VFL side. Coming away with a 7-point victory in a contested slog, there were some great highlight performances from a range of players.
It all started with Reef McInnes early in the game, he had two shots on goal early in the quarter and managed to slot his second shot through the big sticks. Playing in a full-time midfield role, McInnes impressed all afternoon, particularly in and around the stoppage. He had 8 disposals on the day, kicked 1.1 and had 7 tackles.
Ollie Henry also had a fast start to the game with 4 disposals and 1.1 in the first quarter. His classy snap for the Pies’ second of the quarter put the pies ahead. Henry finished with 2.2 and 8 disposals, he also had 7 marks.
The Pies kicked 3 goals in a row to end the first quarter and give them a 12 point lead at quarter time.
QT: Collingwood 4.3.27 v Werribee 2.3.15
A stalemate second quarter had only 2 goals in it after a fast start from both sides. Werribee started to get on top in the contest, their experienced midfielders finding the ball quite often. This meant that the backline were under the pump for a lot of the quarter.
Fortunately for the Pies it was a brick wall defence all day, stand-out performances from Will Kelly, Isaac Chugg and Nathan Murphy were crucial in ensuring the home side were unable to make their territory dominance count on the scoreboard.
Kelly’s game out of full-back was a bit of a change to his normal position up forward. But the young tall utilised his footy IQ and ability to read the play to get his fist to multiple contests.
Isaac Chugg played a team role for the Pies, his desire to hunt the ball and apply pressure in defence was very important. Despite his impact not showing as significantly on the stats sheet, his presence down back was felt all day.
Nathan Murphy brought his own footy in the second quarter. He had 8 of his 15 disposals in the term and showed off his ability to impact at both ends of the ground. His running capabilities meant he could help transition from defence into offence, and even found himself on the end of a couple.
HT: Collingwood 5.4.43 v Werribee 3.5.23
The scoring resumed in the third quarter as Werribee’s Wylie Buzza showed is class and experience. Buzza kicked 4 goals on the day, proving dangerous moving from the ruck into the forward line.
After a quiet first half, Mason Cox started to make his presence felt on the game in the third term. Spending a large portion of the first half on the bench or deep in the forward line, Cox was given more ruck minutes in the second half. Despite being wayward in front of Goal, Coxy kicked 2.1 for the day and had a significant impact on the second half.
The other big man on the ground for the Pies was Max Lynch. Lynch was potentially the best on ground for the Pies, leading the hit-outs for the match against a very experienced Werribee ruck duo in Matthew Lobbe and Wylie Byzza. Lynch’s presence around the contest was crucial in nullifying the Werribee midfield. He finished with 8 disposals and 33 hit outs.
In a quarter largely dominated by the home side, the Pies went into the final break just 1 point ahead.
3QT: Collingwood 7.7.49 v Werribee 7.6.48
In what had been a highly contested ball all day, Jay Rantall led the way for the Pies in the midfield. Finishing with a team high 28 disposals, Rantall was industrial around the contest and was consistently able to find the ball as a result of his great work ethic. What was equally as impressive was that 20 of his disposals were kicks, taking territory for the Pies and identifying the leading forwards up the ground.
2 goals in two minutes almost sealed it for the Pies when Coxy went back and slotted a set shot, closely followed by a awesome ‘on the run’ goal by youngster Jack Ginnivan. Despite being quiet for most of the day, when Ginnivan was required to step up, he was able to make the moment his own and kick the goal for the Pies.
The sealer was kicked by the very promising Caleb Poulter with about 5 minutes to go. Poulter was epic along the wing for the Pies all afternoon, and a fantastic snap from 45 meters out a reasonable reward for his efforts on the day. He finished with 18 disposals including a team equal high 7 marks (with Ollie Henry).
A tense final few minutes had Werribee knocking the door down, but it wasn’t enough in the end and the Pies were able to come away with the 4 points in a well-deserved victory.
Goals: Henry 2, Cox 2, McInnes, McMahon, Fowler, Ginnivan, Hoskin-Elliott, Poulter
Best: Rantall, Lynch, Poulter, Murphy, Kelly