COLLINGWOOD 0.3.5 0.5.11 0.7.15 0.10.20 (80)
ST KILDA 0.0.2 0.2.4 0.3.8 0.6.11 (47)
Collingwood has comfortably defeated St Kilda by 33 points at Visy Park this afternoon.
The Pies were never threatened after keeping the Saints to a goalless first-quarter whilst amassing eight scoring shots of their own.
Conditions were slippery, but if not for some errant shooting Collingwood would have led by more, as their defensive pressure and zone caused St Kilda problems as they attempted to move the ball out of their back half.
Travis Cloke dominated, taking seven strong marks and kicking a game-high five goals and he was complemented by the Pies’ other power forward, Chris Dawes, who kicked two goals of his own whilst also taking some spectacular grabs.
The Collingwood midfield’s superiority assisted Cloke, with Scott Pendlebury in particularly incredibly effective with his ball use. The Pies star finished with 29 disposals in a leading display.
The game will leave a bitter taste for both sides however, with injuries to key players from both sides.
Lenny Hayes collided with Tyson Goldsack and remained motionless for several minutes before being stretchered off and taken to hospital for precautionary scans. Hayes appeared fine however, as he returned to the Saint’s rooms at half-time.
Collingwood could face worse news as Captain Nick Maxwell was assisted from the field after appearing to have seriously injured his right ankle.
In what was a lacklustre performance, it seems the cancelled pre-season game against Essendon may be affecting the Saints more than originally thought, with several players exhausted by the fourth-quarter, allowing the Pies more room to create.
The Pies also exploited several miscommunications through the Saints’ defensive zone, allowing forward charges without any serious pressure on the ball carrier.
In comparison, the Pies’ zone was disciplined and tight, forcing St Kilda to over-possess the ball, leading to turnovers which Collingwood quickly capitalised on.
It’s telling when a side wins the possession count 342 to 315 yet is comprehensively outplayed across the field.
The Pies were simply quicker and more direct, and it enabled Cloke and Dawes opportunities one-on-one with a defender. Collingwood’s ball use did not allow St Kilda to defend, whilst St Kilda’s allowed Collingwood to push back and make life difficult for Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke.
Both sides will now look forward to round one, where the Pies face Hawthorn whilst St Kilda will travel to South Australia to play Port Adelaide.
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Ball, Cloke, Dawes, Shaw, Swan
St Kilda: Goddard, Dal Santo, Fisher, Ledger
Collingwood: Maxwell (ankle), Cloke (cut head), Thomas (cut head)
St Kilda: Hayes (concussion), Milne (cut eye)
Umpires: Wenn, Leppard, Mitchell, Harris