Gary Ablett Jnr had 53 possessions last time these teams met. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Getty Images
Last Two Matches
Round 10, 2012 – Collingwood 149 d Gold Coast Suns 52 at MCG
Round 18, 2011 – Collingwood 129 d Gold Coast Suns 75 at Metricon Stadium
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Collingwood has overcome two very ordinary first quarters in its last couple of matches against Carlton and Adelaide to win relatively easily. With so many other things going on outside of football with the Magpies of late, a streak of five wins in six games has almost slipped under the radar. With matches against Gold Coast and GWS in the next fortnight, the ‘Pies should be full of confidence heading in to a tough run of five games to finish the season.
They have certainly remained competitive the past two months, but the Suns have lost four in a row and six of their last seven. They had their chances in foul weather against Richmond in Cairns, but couldn’t keep their unbeaten streak in far north Queensland alive. If they can’t start getting some fit bodies back on the park, Guy McKenna’s team could finish with a couple more wins thanks to a soft run home.
The Suns will be without David Swallow due to a knee problem, while Tom Murphy has been dropped. Key defender Rory Thompson will play despite copping a nasty blow last week. Collingwood is missing Clinton Young (hamstring) and Jarryd Blair (calf).
(Suns) Gary Ablett Jnr – Given Collingwood’s lack of interest in tagging, Gary Ablett Jnr has been able to cut loose in both matches he has played against the Magpies in a Suns uniform. He had a phenomenal 53 possessions in last season’s 97-point thumping, but most of those were in the back half of the field. He also had 36 touches in the 2011 match-up, so expect him to rack up a similar tally despite being hampered by a calf problem.
(Magpies) Travis Cloke – Collingwood finally lost it last Friday night when Travis Cloke was manhandled at times against Adelaide, and often ended up having free kicks whistled against him. The monster forward will be looking for more love from the umpires this weekend, and he may well get it in a match where the Suns will have to use any means possible to stop the monster forward. He has two bags of five in the past month but has been well held in both of the Magpies’ wins over the Suns
Gold Coast has stuck with the best teams in the league this season, but that was before they started losing bodies on a regular basis. The Suns are lacking height at both ends of the ground and the youngsters in the midfield are starting to show the odd sign of slowing down after a fantastic first half of the year. Collingwood, on the other hand, seems to have been revitalised by the emergence of its younger players of late and with some experience coming back in to the side, all of a sudden the Magpies look like they may be some sort of a threat come September. Collingwood by 33 points
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