Nathan Buckley...a REAL champion!

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emilsitka

Debutant
Mar 10, 2003
90
0
Other Teams
COLLINGWOOD!!!
Buckley runs the Tigers ragged
By Dwayne Russell
March 30 2003

It was a famous American football coach who once told his star receiver after an over-elaborate touchdown celebration to act like he had done it before. Nathan Buckley, playing in the centre, had 31 effective possessions and ran 20 kilometres in captaining his men to victory on Friday night.

He was harder to follow than a Carlton player-payment flow-chart. Three opponents tried and failed. Matthew Rogers and Joel Bowden got lost at the point where fitness and class collide. Kane Johnson was asked to shut the gate in the last quarter, but the horse had bolted.

Despite, or to spite, midweek speculation inflamed by coach Michael Malthouse that Buckley could spend long stints in the forward line and have occasional rests on the bench this season, Buckley was in the centre square for every bounce, and ventured inside Collingwood's attacking 50 only five times for the match. His goal came from a metre outside 50. He did not visit the bench.

For 99 per cent of the game, Buckley's actual field position was just behind the ball, including all centre bounces. In essence, he was Collingwood's quarterback. Sitting on the defensive side of stoppages, he could see the contest for the ball, his own goal, and his opponent all in front of him, and once he broke Bowden's jumper hold, could simply accelerate forward into a possession. Not once did Buckley start his run for possession from a position ahead of the ball, other than when a teammate kicked in from a Richmond behind.

But in true quarterback style, Buckley took many of the kick-ins from Tiger behinds himself. Almost every Richmond inaccuracy hurt it twice. The goal missed, and clean possession to Collingwood's play-starter, who hit his target with every one of his seven kick-ins, one of which resulted in a Collingwood goal without a Richmond player touching the ball.

Add Buckley's seven tackles and double-figure tally of spoils and pack ball traps to his possession tally, and his influence may be closer to understood. Statistically, he kicked the crucial early third-term goal that gave Collingwood an 18-point break, the biggest lead of the match to that point. His handball to Shane O'Bree, who goaled, helped ensure that Collingwood retained the three-goal buffer at the last change.

His last-quarter handball to Leon Davis, who goaled, helped extend the margin to 33 points. Minutes later, Buckley's kick-in led to the Shane Woewodin goal that pushed the points gap to an embarrassing 37 points.

And yet that still does not take into account an area where Buckley shone and Richmond's players continually fell down - an area that accounts for half the 20 kilometres he covered: his willingness to run as hard to stop an opposition player in a position to get the ball from being an option.

But when asked about his commanding centreman's performance in the wake of this week's positional publicity, there were no verbal cartwheels.

"My role is whatever the coach asks me to do. He didn't give me any specific instructions. Just to play my normal game within the game plan," Buckley said without even a flinch on the word normal.

Malthouse was even more poker-faced about his ace, saying: "I thought he was a contributor, like we had 20 others."

Act like you have done it before, boys. And like you expect to do it again.
 

bucksisbest

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 27, 2002
6,733
2,246
Club Silencio
AFL Club
Collingwood
Micky Malthouse never gives Bucks huge praise he always tries to act like aah it' s just another bucks game ,he was alright.
But at some stages on friday when he took that diving one on one mark on the flank , when he kicked that 55 metre goal from the dud end or the way he moves and kicks the ball at a class above everyone else on the field. Malthouse must sit their and think in his head "How ****ing good is he"!, he'd never admit it though.
 

Watcher

Team Captain
Jan 3, 2002
382
1
Earth
Bucks knows he is good(His record speaks for it self), MM knows that Bucks is great - MM job is to get all 22 players, playing as one - Which is more important

Well Done Bucks
 

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supa-gal

Team Captain
Nov 6, 2002
345
3
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
I was interested to see Nathan covered 19-ish km on Friday night. I especially liked the break-down Channel 9 gave of what percentage of that 19km was sprinting, jogging, walking AND standing!!!

How do you increase the amount of ground covered by standing?
 

bucksisbest

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 27, 2002
6,733
2,246
Club Silencio
AFL Club
Collingwood
You don't it was just pointing out what percentage of time he was covering no ground or not moving, it's a relevant stat.
 

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