Harry O'Brien of the Magpies marks in front of the Swans' Luke Parker. Photo: Getty Images
COLLINGWOOD 2.4 6.6 12.10 14.16 (100) SYDNEY 4.4 5.9 9.10 10.11 (71)
GOALS Collingwood: Elliott 3, Reid 2, Thomas 2, Sidebottom 2, Cloke 2, Grundy, O'Brien, Pendlebury. Sydney: Tippett 6, Bolton, Kennedy, Jack, Shaw.
BEST Collingwood: Pendlebury, Beams, Swan, O'Brien, Williams, Ball. Sydney: McVeigh, Tippett, Hannebery, Malceski, Bird, Jack.
UMPIRES Stevic, Dalgleish, Nicholls.
CROWD 42,627 at ANZ Stadium.
The Swans' six-game winning streak, which had sent shivers through the rest of the competition, came to a grinding halt on Saturday night against a resurgent Collingwood at ANZ Stadium.
The Magpies were determined to prove their big win over Essendon last round was no aberration and what better way to do it than out-contesting the Swans in front of 42,627 fans.
AFL Round 20: Sydney v Collingwood
Ted Richards, Travis Cloke Photo: Anthony Johnson
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Tippett (6.2), Bolton (1.2), Shaw (1.1), Jack (1.0), Kennedy (1.0), White (0.2), Hannebery (0.1), Mitchell (0.1)||Scorers||Elliott (3.4), Cloke (2.3), Reid (2.1), Sidebottom (2.0), Thomas (2.0), O'Brien (1.1), Grundy (1.0), Pendlebury (1.0), Ball (0.2), Blair (0.1), Lynch (0.1), Macaffer (0.1)|
The premiers kicked the first four goals of the game to lead by 25, but Collingwood gradually reeled them in. By quarter-time the deficit was back to two kicks and 20 minutes into the second term the Magpies hit the front for the first time.
At the main break, the visitors could celebrate a courageous comeback with a lead - albeit slender following Kurt Tippett's after the siren set shot goal - of 6.6 (42) to 5.9 (39).
In the third, the Magpies were outstanding, applying relentless pressure which yielded six goals to four and a three-goal three-quarter-time lead. Tellingly, by the final break Collingwood had the ascendancy in contested possessions, a sign that the Swans were being outfoxed on their smartest suit. The Magpies applied killer blows in the final term, adding a further two goals to one.
Tippett dominated defender Nathan Brown to finish with six goals, while Jarrad McVeigh produced a remarkable 36 disposals and five tackles. But the famed Swans midfield was finally toppled, with Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams, Jamie Elliott and Dane Swan among their best. Pendlebury grabbed 35 touches and seven tackles, while Elliott kicked three goals and Travis Cloke two.
Following an 11-match losing run to Collingwood, the Swans had won their previous two against the Magpies. But it had been more than 14 years since they beat Collingwood in three straight games and the resurgent Pies made sure that record stayed in tact, drowning out celebrations for Swans defender Ted Richards' 200th game and making it a night to remember for Collingwood utility Tyson Goldsack who was notching up his 100th.
The pressure applied by the Swans in the opening term was furious and they held a 19-point lead, dominating the clearances and getting big numbers around the ball.
Tippett intimidated Brown, who provided the big man two early free kicks for two goals, while Kieren Jack and Rhyce Shaw finished off great team efforts, before Collingwood made its move on 14 minutes.
Cloke and Elliott pulled two back for the Pies and it would have been closer than two goals at the first break had others kicked straighter.
Nevertheless, the resurgence continued, topped by Brodie Grundy's finish of a length-of-the-field rebound, featuring a Dane Swan burst, book-ended by goals to Steele Sidebottom and Pendlebury, which put them ahead for the first time 20 minutes into the term.
Harry O'Brien's 50-metre set shot, after a midfield turnover cushioned the lead, before Tippett grabbed and goaled with the final kick of the term. It was a tough term for the Swans, who finished with 14 inside 50s for a return of 1.5.
However, as happened at the start, Tippett monstered Brown and scored two early to begin the second half and put the Swans out again.
Lachlan Keeffe went to Tippett, but it didn't really matter, as the Magpies had the next six inside 50s and scored three unanswered, until Jude Bolton unleashed.
Overpowering pressure and intensity from the Pies, especially through Beams, Luke Ball, Swan and Pendlebury, blasted them back into the lead with a second goal each to Thomas and Cloke. Tippett did his best to stem the flow with his sixth.
But Magpies players swirled around Ben Reid after he converted after the siren, following a strong contested mark against Dane Rampe. They continued the theme in the final term to score an important win for the club.
PIES BACK TO BEST
Pies fans can finally feel settled that last week's thrashing of Essendon was no aberration. They played with the same intensity and two-way running they showed to topple the Bombers.
NICE TO HAVE BEAMS BACK
Dayne Beams' form since his return from injury has been a revelation. On Saturday night he was outstanding with 32 touches.
The Swans don't have a player among the top 30 goalkickers in the competition, such has been their ability to spread the point-scoring. With Kurt Tippett up front now, they have no hesitation in banging it long.