Collingwood's VFL side continues to provide fans with great hope for the future after another gutsy win against the reigning premiers on Sunday afternoon.
To no one’s surprise it was the man in-form, Jack Ginnivan who got the Pies off to a fast start. Ginnivan has been untouchable in the last month of football, particularly since the VFL resumed post Melbourne’s lockdown. The young small forward now has 11 goals in his last three games, including four on Sunday afternoon. Remarkably, Ginnivan also missed two getable chances in what was another fantastic performance.
It was quite windy down at Punt Road Oval, with the breeze playing a significant role throughout the match. The Tigers were able to take advantage of this in the first term, kicking the next three goals before Sam Glover kicked his first for the day.
Glover returned from a hamstring injury, looking refreshed and motivated he played a pivotal role in creating a contest down forward and getting on the end of a few. He had the best game of his season so far, finishing the game with three important goals.
The Pies were using the ball really well out of the back half during the first quarter. None better than Isaac Chugg who seemingly brought his own footy to the game. Chugg amassed nine of his eventual 15 disposals in the first term and was damaging off the back flank.
In an evenly balanced first term, scores were practically level at the first change of ends.
QT Score: Pies 26 - Tigers 25
The second quarter started very similarly to the first for the Pies, with the ball being launched deep into the forward line. This time it was the dangerous Sam Fowler who snapped truely over his left shoulder for his first of the afternoon. The man from Dromana has been a consistent contributor all season, however was particularly potent against the Tigers. His pressure up forward combined with great skill by foot and coolness in front of goal was crucial.
Despite an all around great team performance, the first half belonged to Max Lynch. Lynch had unbelievable first quarter where he kicked a goal, had 7 disposals, 15 hit-outs and 2 clearances. He then backed it up with another huge second quarter, slotting a second goal and giving the Richmond rucks an absolute nightmare. The 22 year-old continues his fantastic 2021 season in the VFL. He finished the day with his two goals, 14 disposals, five clearances and a whopping 40 hit-outs.
Jack Ginnivan kept doing Jack Ginnivan things to finish off the quarter with two goals in just as many minutes and the Pies had a 20 point lead at the major break.
Brayden Sier has been damaging in the VFL lately, playing arguably his best game of the season against the Tigers. In moments when the home side started getting on top in the midfield, Sier was enormous. His work around stoppages pivotal in driving the ball into the forward line. The inside midfielder has had back-to-back 30 disposals games, led the match with 10 clearances and 10 tackles to put the cherry on top of a quality performance.
HT Score: Pies 61 - Tigers 41
With the wind behind their backs, the Tigers quickly diminished Collingwood’s 20-point lead from half time. Richmond youngster Noah Cumberland had the ball on a string, kicking three goals and three behinds for the home side.
Fortunately for the Pies, the backline applied pressure around the footy to ensure the Tigers didn’t kick away. Mark Keane was clutch all afternoon, his 18 disposals, six marks and fantastic aerial spoiling helped lead the way down back. His partner in crime, Anton Tohill continues to improve in his role, athletically Tohill has impressed in a lockdown role this season.
Sole captain for the day, Lachlan Tardew stood up for the team. His experience at the level should not go under appreciated. A quality communicator, Tardew sets the team up defensively behind the ball, and then goes and leads from the front; putting his head over the ball and winning it at the coal face. Tardew has had a great season, with six consecutive games of over 20 disposals.
A vital goal from Jacob Booth to finish the quarter kept the Pies within a goal going into the final term. Booth has also put together a great month of football, playing a work horse style role for the Pies. His ability to mark overhead is elite for his height, and yesterday he had a season high 21 disposals to go with two goals.
3QT Score: Pies 75 - Tigers 81
With the onus on the Pies to take it to the Tigers in the last quarter, the quarter got off to a good start. A beautiful team goal, finished off by Sam Glover, had the Pies just 2 points down and with all the momentum.
Pies fans at the ground started to get nervous however, when the Tigers kicked back to back goals and extended the lead to 13 points half way through the final term.
A 50m penalty was earned by Reef McInnes and he kicked his first goal for the afternoon from point blank range. After a syndesmosis injury had McInnes sidelined for the last two months, he had a fantastic afternoon. Building his game around effort and pressure, McInness racked up 18 disposals for his defensive midfield role.
In the end, there was always going to one man that would stand up for the Pies, Mason Cox.
Cox had a reasonably quiet afternoon leading into the final quarter, but he had a huge impact as the time ticked down. A fantastic set shot goal put the Pies in front in the 23rd minute. The big American finished with two goals for the day, but the best moment of his match was a massive tackle with just seconds left to go. An outstretched arm prevented Richmond from running through the middle of the ground, an effort that consequently won the game for the Pies.
A shoutout has to go to the work of Finlay Macrae. Despite being on limited minutes for the match as an emergency for the AFL side, Macrae’s hustle and bustle throughout the afternoon was immense. His ability to break away from stoppages and damage opponents with his distribution is very similar to that of his older brother at the Western Bulldogs. There were several plays throughout the afternoon where Macrae’s ability to connect defence with attack changed the game.
FT Score: Pies 106 - Tigers 101
Goals: Ginnivan 4, Glover 3, Booth 2, Cox 2, Fowler 2, Lynch 2, McInnes
Best: Ginnivan, Booth, Lynch, Cox, Sier, Stackelburg, Wilson