ANZAC Day 2022

Scott Pendlebury and Craig McRae. Photo: Collingwood FC

In his short tenure, Craig McRae has instilled a fighting spirit in the Collingwood playing group that comes to the fore on big occasions.

It was the turning point that sums up Fly’s men. If you make a mistake, you go back and make amends.

John Noble gave up the easiest goal of the match with his ill-directed chip in the backline that Alec Waterman intercepted. The Dons forward went back from 40 metres out and converted truly, but Pies players immediately got around Noble and lifted his head back up.

In his following contest proceeding the turnover, Noble hit the ball with pace through the corridor and spotted up Jack Ginnivan on the 50-metre arc for one of his five goals. Ginnivan won the ANZAC Day medal, and Noble’s efforts encapsulated the dogged determination that Craig McRae has instilled in his playing group so early in his tenure.

It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, it matters what you do after you make them.

“We want to make mistakes, because if we’re not [then] we’re not going for our kicks”, McRae said post-game.

“That kick in particular… is not part of our game plan, but we want to bounce back.

“We’ve had some times where [we say] we want to embrace the imperfections of the game, we say that a lot.

“It’s going to be reality, we’re going to make mistakes. But it’s what you do next and John [Noble] is a great example of that.

“He’s grown a lot in the last four or five weeks, of making mistakes and fixing it.”

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Noble has already been dropped and recalled this year, but on Monday he showed his worth with 23 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency out of the backline.

The Pies went on to scrap out victory by 11 points in front of 84,205 fans at the MCG with a chorus of Collingwood chants echoing out of the coliseum.

Noble has become an embodiment of the Collingwood mentality that sees it sitting pretty in the top 8 after six rounds of the season.

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