Can Dane Swan lead the 'Pies to the preliminary final? Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
North Melbourne looked like kangaroos caught in headlights at Patersons Stadium last weekend, and West Coast took full advantage of a team which dropped off in the final weeks of the season. Suffice to say, they won’t get the same latitude against a Collingwood outfit which was competitive against the high-flying Hawks last week.
West Coast has an unflattering record against the ‘Pies in Melbourne, having lost the teams’ last eight clashes in Melbourne, and they haven’t come away from the MCG with a win against Collingwood since 1995. The Eagles went oh-so-close in round 12, going down 85-82 in a thriller.
With skipper Nick Maxwell on the sidelines thanks to his two-weeks suspension, Collingwood’s mid-sized defenders will have their hands full against the likes of Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling .
Up the other end, the Eagles defensive corps will have to stop Travis Cloke , who has rumbled his way back in to form with hauls of five and six goals in his last two games. Traditionally he has been well held by the likes of Darren Glass, but he’ll be hard to stop in what could be his last game in the black and white stripes.
Where it Wiill be Won
– Collingwood’s engine room is still the match of any in the league. Dane Swan , Dayne Beams and Scott Pendlebury can all rack up plenty of possessions and heavily influence games. Will the Eagles go in to lockdown mode, or is John Worsfold going to back the likes of Daniel Kerr , Matt Priddis and Scott Selwood to win the game in the middle?
– If the Eagles give the ‘Pies too much free space in the middle of the ground, then Travis Cloke will get the service he needs to kick a bag. Collingwood 1-24
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