COLLINGWOOD 7.2 10.5 14.8 21.14 (140) ST KILDA 3.2 6.2 8.5 8.6 (54)
Goals: Collingwood: T Cloke 5 A Fasolo 4 J Elliott 4 J Thomas 3 J White 2 D Beams J Blair J Witts. St Kilda: N Riewoldt 3 A Siposs F Ray J Steven L Dunstan T Milera.
BEST Collingwood: Beams, Thomas, Cloke, Pendlebury, Young, Fasolo, Elliott, Sidebottom. St Kilda: Newnes, Shenton, Dunstan, Hayes, Steven, Longer, Riewoldt.
Umpires: Chris Donlon, Matt Stevic, Jason Armstrong.
Official Crowd: 34,855 at Etihad Stadium.
The game was only four seconds old when Steele Sidebottom ended Maverick Weller's night . . and effectively his own next matches.
Sidebottom collected Weller with a forearm or elbow to the head as he came in at the first bounce. Sidebottom's elbow was down but his body was not - he was off the ground when he hit him which is a place he will remain after the match review panel look at the case.
Steele Sidebottom of the Magpies handballs as he tackled by Josh Bruce of the Saints. Photo: Getty Images
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Riewoldt (3.1), Dunstan (1.1), Milera (1.1), Steven (1.1), Ray (1.0), Siposs (1.0), Billings (0.1), Montagna (0.1)||Scorers||Cloke (5.2), Elliott (4.2), Fasolo (4.1), Thomas (3.2), White (2.0), Beams (1.0), Blair (1.0), Witts (1.0), Adams (0.2), Langdon (0.1), Seedsman (0.1), Young (0.1)|
The fact Weller needed to be subbed out with concussion will not help Sidebottom's case.
It was one of the blots on Collingwood's night from a game it comfortably won and was never seriously threatened in. The 86-point margin elevated the Magpies to third on the ladder.
Another blot for Collingwood was that its former captain Nick Maxwell hurt a calf early and was subbed out. That brought Paul Seedsman onto the field after he and Josh Thomas were late inclusions for the Brodie Grundy, who was rested, and Dane Swan (sore heel).
AFL Round 11 St. Kilda v Collingwood
Maverick Weller of the Saints lays on the ground after being bumped by Steele Sidebottom of the Magpies. Photo: Getty Images
The introduction of Thomas only reinforced the question of why he is so often squeezed out of the side. He has wonderful poise and a step in traffic.
The Magpies' troubles with their clunky-Clokey forward line took a step towards being ironed out with Cloke kicking five goals. Most notably, though, Cloke led and marked in a manner that has not been seen this year. His third goal came from a regulation mark on 50 and set shot goal, but, for Cloke, that has been anything but regulation this year. You could see the burden lift on his shoulder as the game wore on.
He knew his form was better but he was not ''back''. At game's end he declined an interview request from Channel seven - five goals against St Kilda in an 86-point win is a start, not an end.
Collingwood used the ball atrociously to begin the game, dominating possession and clearances but with 12 inside 50s to St Kilda's two it had failed to kick clear of the Saints. It would come but it took time.
St Kilda worked the ball more cleverly inside 50 for periods, with Luke Dunstan around the ball and Shenton loose behind it, moving the ball well and finding options other than Nick Riewoldt.
The Saints kicked three in a row in the first term to take a lead for a period but when the Magpies kicked seven unanswered goals the Saints put two players loose behind the ball. It held Collingwood up and the Saints even kicked a couple of goals despite having fewer forwards, but it was never likely to be an avenue to success.
Shenton was often loose and did well but Collingwood's loose players, such as Clinton Young, did more with the ball.
Collingwood found a multiplicity of options up forward. Alex Fasolo, sampled as a defender, played like a man who does not want to go back to the back line. He booted three in the first quarter and finished with four.
Jamie Elliott worked his way into the goals, kicking off a step, turning inside, leading at the ball. With Fasolo he makes for a difficult mid-sized forward line capable of crumbing.
Taylor Adams in the side for Luke Ball was tough as teak but loose.