Collingwood plays defensive game

Collingwood plays defensive game

Whether Collingwood elects, or is forced, to recall key defender Nathan Brown to keep Carlton’s power forwards in check looms as an intriguing lead up to another MCG blockbuster between the arch-rivals.

Already armed with one of the best defences in the league, Collingwood has the option in the coming weeks of bolstering a group that has held up well without the likes of Brown and Marley Williams.

Rodney Eade: "We have been pretty good defensively over the past five rounds."

Rodney Eade: "We have been pretty good defensively over the past five rounds."

Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Brown has now got through two VFL hitouts since returning from a dislocated shoulder and will come under serious consideration for Friday night’s MCG showdown as the Pies plot to shut down the in-form Jarrad Waite and Lachie Henderson.

The versatile tag team has been instrumental in the resurgence of Mick Malthouse’s Carlton in the past two weeks and loom as the main threat to Collingwood strengthening its grip on a top-four spot.

It is possible an incident involving Pies key defender Jack Frost from the Anzac Day match against Essendon could be cited by the match review panel, and if so, coach Nathan Buckley and his team may have to turn to Brown.


The Pies have played Brown at the lower level to help him regain confidence in his shoulder but also because Frost and Lachlan Keeffe had proved so effective in helping the Pies lock down Richmond and North Melbourne in the past few weeks.

Collingwood director of football Rodney Eade said Brown had completed solid defensive jobs in both his VFL games and was a chance to return.

‘‘We were pleased with his outing on Saturday, so that certainly pushes his case again. But like all selections, it’s going to be horses for courses so that will be one point in match committee that will be discussed,’’ Eade said on Sunday.

‘‘It’s been more about getting his confidence back in the shoulder and playing, and then both Frost and Keeffe have performed very well,’’ he said.

‘‘We have been pretty good defensively over the past five rounds.’’

The possibility of Williams returning after just one game in the VFL will also be floated, but it is unlikely.

The talented defender injured his ankle in Saturday’s comeback but Eade said the Pies were confident he would be available this week.

Another of the incumbent defenders, Alex Fasolo, is in doubt for the Carlton game over a toe issue, with Eade rating him a ''50-50 chance''.

However, Clinton Young, who sustained a corked shin against the Bombers, has made significant improvement over the weekend and is likely to get up.

Quinten Lynch, meanwhile, will see a specialist on Monday to decide how to proceed with a leg fracture he sustained on Saturday.

There is a chance Lynch could be out for only six weeks but, if the diagnosis is worse, the Pies might look to elevate a rookie such as Kyle Martin, who kicked six goals in a best-on-ground performance in the VFL on Saturday.

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