COLLINGWOOD 5.4 12.6 18.9 23.11 (149)
GOLD COAST 3.1 5.3 5.7 7.10 (52)
Collingwood completely obliterated an outclassed Suns outfit by 97 points yesterday, but it may have come at a high price, with star midfielder Scott Pendlebury substituted at half time with what appeared to be a knee injury.
Pendlebury hurt the knee early in the first quarter and spent some time in the players rooms before returning to the action, possibly signalling that his substitution was more precautionary than anything else.
Pendlebury had 17 possessions, five clearances and a goal to be the class player on the field for the first half, but he was not without help.
Collingwood simply dominated the inexperience from Gold Coast. Gary Ablett was magnificent, amassing an incredible 53 disposals, but it was too often left to him to do all the hard work.
Against a side stacked with stars, it was never going to be pretty.
Dale Thomas, Dayne Beams, Alan Didak, Jarryd Blair and Sharrod Wellingham were particularly brilliant, combining for more clearances (25) than the entire Suns team could manage (20).
Thomas went head to head with Ablett at the stoppages, but it was clear that around the ground they were willing to let each other run free.
It may have resulted in 53 disposals for the Suns skipper, but Thomas, amazingly, was better. He finished with 32 disposals, 20 of which were contested, had 11 clearances, three goals and three goal assists.
The fact he was more influential than Ablett leaves the Suns in he dire position of not having an one winner in any matchup across the ground. The Pies injury list is long and will cause concerns against the better sides, but their replacements smashed Gold Coast.
No Darren Jolly? Cameron Wood responded with 23 disposals and a goal. Dane Swan still out with a hamstring complaint? Jamie Elliot collects 18 disposals and three goals. It was the same story across the ground.
In other positive news for Collingwood, power forward Travis Cloke returned to his best, controlling the first term with several strong grabs and kicking straight when in range. Cloke could have easily continued the round 10 theme of forwards kicking big bags, but inaccuracy ruined his chances, and he would finish with three goals four, with a few other shots missing entirely.
For the Suns, well, the youth of the franchise may keep them immune to criticism for some time, but performances like that cannot be accepted. The loss leaves them on the bottom of the ladder – the only side yet to record a win after 10 weeks of footy. We all know how good the Pies are, but if there are many more games like this, it might be time to start questioning how good these young Suns can be.
3) Dale Thomas
2) Dayne Beams
1) Gary Ablett
Collingwood: Sinclair 3, Cloke 3, Elliott 3, Thomas 3, Fasolo 2, Didak 2, Pendlebury, Buckley, Wood, Beams, Williams, Goldsack, Wellingham
Gold Coast: Brown 3, Lynch, Russell, Shaw, Hall
Collingwood: Thomas, Beams, Cloke, Didak, Clarke, Elliot, Wood,
Gold Coast: Ablett, Bennell
Collingwood: Pendlebury (knee)
Gold Coast: Nil
Collingwood: Scott Pendlebury (knee) replaced by Kirk Ugle in the third quarter
Gold Coast: Kyal Horsley replaced by Alik Magin in the third quarter
Umpires: Fila, Wenn, Findlay
Official crowd: 36,913 at the MCG