Fortune favours the brave
The narrative of the game boiled down to Collingwood’s bravery with ball in hand, and how that impacted the scoreboard. It was evident that when the Pies looked to hit the inside kick, particularly coming out of the back half, the opportunity to score increased exponentially.
Collingwood scored six goals from the back half on Saturday afternoon, with most of those coming when the “gloves came off” according to senior coach Robert Harvey.
Controlling the flow of the game has been an issue for the Pies all season, with flourishes forward often exposing the backline considerably. As the Pies hit the back end of the season, look for that to be an area of improvement for the team.
Experienced core leading the way
The questions have been posed to the Collingwood midfield all season, with multiple variations put through the centre square across the year. Robert Harvey trusted his experienced leaders on Saturday afternoon and it paid off.
Collingwood’s midfield found a lot of the football against Fremantle, with seven of the top-10 ball winners on the day wearing the black and white. It started under the contest, with Taylor Adams doing what he does best. Adams returned to the senior side in style, amassing 32 disposals and 15 contested possessions.
Adams had great support, and it came from the likes of Jack Crisp (30 disposals), Scott Pendlebury (29 disposals) and Steele Sidebottom (25 disposals).
Inconsistent phases of the game prove costly
‘Consistently inconsistent’ almost summarises the 2021 season so far for the Pies, with phases of lacking concentration and intensity costing the Pies on Saturday afternoon.
Robert Harvey spoke to the issue in his post game interview:
- “In crucial times, Fremantle were able to score easy goals.”
- “We just had periods where we weren’t as dangerous in the front half."
Brodie Grundy made a big impact
Brodie Grundy returned to the AFL side with a bang. He continued his strong season so far after a few weeks on the sidelines amongst the bye.
What was most impressive about his performance on the weekend was the way he tested his opponent Sean Darcy going forward. Grundy’s ability to cover the ground and get into dangerous positions was a huge asset for the Pies. Particularly later in the game when he got into the forward 50 a clunked a mark with Darcy no where in sight.
As always, Grundy was dominant in the hit-outs, finishing the day with 27 to go with 22 disposals and seven marks. The Pies have great strength in the ruck position at the moment, with Max Lynch in fantastic form, and Darcy Cameron proving to be a great second fiddle when Grundy needs a rest.
Improved ability to control the football
The stats sheet was filled with promising signs after Saturday afternoon’s performance against Fremantle. The Pies put together an above average performance as far as team possession indicators go.
|Round 15 v Fremantle||Season Average|
|Marks inside 50||14||10|
As Robert Harvey continues to influence the way Collingwood play, look for the Pies to continue to improve their ability to control the football and dominate possession.