Last Time We Met
Fremantle 61 defeated Collingwood 49
It wasn’t the prettiest of games last time the Pies played the Dockers. A disappointing performance from the Pies, the side will be looking to rectify that record this weekend at Marvel Stadium.
Steele Sidebottom had one of his best games of the 2020 season, amassing 25 disposals and kicking 2 goals. He had Brayden Maynard for support, the rebounding defender had 24 disposals to go with 457 meters gained and 8 marks.
David Mundy v Scott Pendlebury
Two veterans of the competition, both in some of the best form of their careers, David Mundy and Scott Pendlebury will be an intriguing match-up on Saturday afternoon.
Mundy is having his best season since the 2014/15 era, when Fremantle were at the peak of their power. In 2021 he’s averaging 25.77 disposals and close to a goal a game, making him one of the more dangerous attacking midfielders in the competition. Known for his composure around the contest and ability to hit targets inside attacking 50, Mundy will need to be nullified on the weekend.
In similar fashion, Pendlebury has been in extremely good form going into the bye week. Against Melbourne, the 33-year-old had 31 disposals (20 of which were contested) to go with a final quarter goal and 5 clearances. Also recognised as one of the best inside 50 kicks in the competition, the Collingwood captain will look to solidify that reputation when he lines up against Mundy.
Sean Darcy v Brodie Grundy
Fremantle’s Sean Darcy has quietly been one of the competition’s best ruckman this season. To put his numbers into perspective, Darcy is 4th in the competition for average hit-outs, 3rd ranked ruckman for AFL fantasy, and averages more goals per game than the likes of Grundy, Gawn and Goldstein.
Brodie Grundy is back this week after a short stint on the sidelines. He will prove to be a great challenge for the young Fremantle ruckman, particularly given some time to recuperate his body and return to full fitness. Before his injury, Grundy was having an outstanding season, averaging 19 disposals (#1 for ruckman), 35.4 hit-outs (#1 in the competition) and 4.6 tackles per game (#1 for ruckman).
The ruck contest will be a crucial part of Saturday’s game.
Alex Pearce v Darcy Cameron
Alex Pearce goes underrated in the modern game, an elite competitor and fantastic in the air, he poses a real threat to Collingwood’s key forwards. Pearce spent a large portion of the last 12 months on the sidelines, missing the second half of 2019, all of 2020 and 12 matches this season. He was back to his best last match against the Gold Coast, matching up on the dangerous Ben King. Pearce was able to keep King goalless while also finding the footy 16 times.
Darcy Cameron had a career-best game against Melbourne, kicking 4 goals and playing a pivotal role in getting the win. When Cameron is firing, the Pies are a much better side as he provides a very dangerous target up front and gives Grundy a rest in the ruck.
Look Out For
Mason Cox to return
Having not played in the AFL side since Round 4 against the Giants, Mason Cox will make his return to the big stage this weekend against Fremantle.
The key forward has shown consistent form in the VFL since being dropped, kicking 6 goals in his 4 games with an average disposal count of 10.5 and 3.3 marks per game.
His presence down forward will test the Fremantle backline, a defence that doesn’t boast a lot of height. Look for this to be a factor when Cox lines up alongside Darcy Cameron and Brody Mihocek.
The Inside Word
Nathan Murphy to return to the backline
With Darcy Moore unfortunately sidelined for an extended period, Nathan Murphy looks most likely to resume his role as an athletic, intercepting defender. One of Murphy’s key strengths as a player is his versatility, something he’s displayed perfectly throughout the season with roles on the wing, as a defensive forward and a rebounding defender.
Despite not being as tall as Moore, Murphy has a fantastic leap that allows him to impact the contest in the air. A great ball distributor by foot, he will be able to contribute to Collingwood’s rebounding game style across the defensive line.
Return from the bye with a win
The Pies won back to back matches before the bye, so it’s important to not let the pressure lift when Fremantle come to town on Saturday.
After a tough start to the season, it would be great to get life under Robert Harvey off with a win as Collingwood look to finish the season with a strong run of form.
Collingwood v Fremantle
AFL Round 15
Saturday, June 26
Marvel Stadium, 1.45pm AEST