A third quarter blitz from Mason Cox was not enough for the American and Collingwood to get over the line against Richmond in a six-point thriller in the AAMI Community Series at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
The loss comes at an expense for the Magpies, losing Brayden Maynard, Steele Sidebottom and Will Kelly all to injuries.
Kelly’s looked the most concerning, immediately being sent off to hospital to have his broken collarbone attended to.
While worrying for the Pies, there is more to address from tonight’s game; particularly their first half where they failed to keep up with the aggression and speed that Richmond was producing.
Nothing was different from the defending premiers.
The Tigers defended well, set up the style they wanted to play early and kept dominant for the game – other than Cox’s slight running of a muck.
Despite it looking as though Richmond’s game was cleaner and far more consistent, there wasn’t too much different between the two sides in terms of the stats.
Contested possessions tallied 135 to 134 Collingwood’s way, disposal efficiency too was in Collingwood’s favour 77 per cent to 75.7. Richmond was slightly more efficient inside 50, 46.9 per cent to the Pies’ 45.7.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said in the post-match press conference that fatigue and players needing to get used to the longer quarters again contributed to his side’s performance.
“To our eye, we saw fatigue as a factor later in quarters and it effects skill execution. We weren’t clean, our skill execution especially by foot is a massive improvement area on tonight,” Buckley said.
Regardless of it being fatigue, or if it will be a problem area for Collingwood in 2021, the Pies need to fix two things should they want to go into round one as a contender.
Their ability to get in front of the pack and take possession of the football and to reduce the amount of very careless turnovers made under pressure.
Although Collingwood’s turnover numbers were only slightly more at 87 to Richmond’s 78, it was the noticeable lack of composure that made the Pies’ much more costly.
Under pressure, the Pies first draft pick in 2020, Oliver Henry struggled to make much use of the ball with his six touches.
Coincidentally, Callum Brown, Will Kelly and Darcy Moore, all of which are sons of some of Collingwood’s greatest, caused turnovers that ultimately ended up with Richmond creating scoring opportunities.
Moore gave Richmond its first goal after misjudging his kick to Isaac Quaynor.
Jason Castagna, who went on to kick four goals, managed his first by intercepting the kick and kicking the games opener.
At this stage, it is too hard to determine whether Collingwood is already missing Adam Treloar in the midfield, if it misses Jaidyn Stephenson down in the forward line and if its lack of experience traded in, to allow the growth and development of its younger players was a smart move.
Facing Western Bulldogs, a hungry Carlton, Brisbane, GWS and West Coast in the first five rounds, these mistakes need to be address ASAP by the Pies.
Buckley believes it isn’t what to expect from his side in 2021, again with the return of ‘normal’ football being a factor
“It’s going to take a good five or six weeks to see where the game is going to settle,” he said.
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