The Saints were in the game up to their eyeballs half way through the third quarter, and then… they weren’t.
The Pies were too strong for St Kilda and ran out 28 point winners.
Here’s The Mongrel’s good, bad and ugly.
Pendlebury is all class
If there’s a player who looks as balanced and poised as Pendlebury when he gets the ball, I’d like you to point him out. I know it’s no secret, but to watch him be completely in control when he takes possession, change direction, ready and handball, then change direction again and hit a teammate with an inside fifty pass is a privilege.
I see that Sidebottom had 38 touches today, Crisp and Howe had 30 as well, but none of them hurt like Pendlebury’s disposals hurt. Early in the season, Mike Sheahan said he was no longer an A-grader. He was A+ tonight.
Daniel Wells as a forward
Wells looks a little heavier than I remember him, but the Pies and Nathan Buckley look to be playing to his strengths at the moment. His presence inside 50 is a frightening proposition to opposing coaches. Wells has the kind of footy nous that makes him extremely dangerous around goal.
It seemed as though whenever he became a link in the chain today, good things followed. De Goey may have kicked goals, but he would owe a few to the work of Wells. His ability to deliver the ball to a teammate in the right position is exquisite. He had three direct goal assists tonight, and added two of his own.
If he can stay healthy, his presence inside forward 50 could be vital to the Pies in September.
Jeremy Howe All-Australian claim?
It’s getting to the point where Howe is racking up disposals like a midfielder.
Last week, he had topped 30 disposals, and he matched it again tonight, adding a game-high 11 marks, as if that’s surprising. It wasn’t just the disposals and marks that impressed – his ability to read the ball in flight and make connection with a big, spoiling fist has been excellent for Collingwood.
He appeared to hyper-extend a knee at one point, but ran it off. You’ve gotta love that about Howe. He just ran it off.
The Phillips boy
We asked the question a couple of weeks ago – if you were to re-award the rising star from last year and include games from this season, who would you give it to?
The answer certainly points to Phillips, who goes from strength to strength. With his little brother playing for the Saints, Tom decided to show him how it was done. His 30 touches and 11 marks (equal game-high with Howe) were a highlight again.
What makes his disposals more impressive is the way he continually hits targets. Tonight, he ran at 87% efficiency. At some stage, a team will start sending someone to him, such is his influence. But it wasn’t this week, and the Saints paid for it.
Ka-ching! Do you hear that?
That’s the sound of Jordan de Goey’s price tag rising with every game. He is a beast, and the prototype for the medium forward. Powerful overhead and hard to bring to ground, de Goey makes for a match-up nightmare.
He is the sort of forward that Dustin Martin or Patrick Dangerfield become when they’re shifted forward, but you could argue that de Goey is currently doing it better. His second efforts and willingness to put his body on the line for the betterment of the team are traits that are starting to look attractive to a lot of teams in need of a strong forward-mid.
Collingwood would be eager to re-sign him as soon as possible. If you hear that he’s put contract talks off any time soon, time to start worrying.
Jack Steven delivery inside 50 delivery
You have to feel for Jack Steven. The poor bloke runs his backside off and still manages to hit targets consistently inside 50, then he sits back and watches his teammates spray them all over the place like a bloke on his phone at a urinal.
Steven reminds me of Dane Swan in the way he runs, but he probably has better delivery that Swanny. Earlier in the season I watched him burn Paddy McCartin in favour of kicking for goal from 45 metres. After tonight, I can’t say I blame him. He did the team things tonight, and the team just couldn’t convert. That doesn’t take away from the quality of his inside 50 ball. It was top-notch.
The Pies had so many options to choose from to go into the good category, but I opted for Langdon over Sidebottom, Crisp, Scharenberg and Grundy.
Langdon is a bit of an unsung player, and I figure it’s about time someone started singing his praises. Firstly, with his hair tied up he kind of looks like a moderately attractive woman, but that aside, he went about his business against the Saints, compiling 25 touches and delivering them at 80% efficiency.
The only time I can remember him being beaten one-on-one was due to some excellent body work from Jack Newnes to nudge him under the ball in the second.
He had seven tackles and took the ball outside 50 six times off his own boot. After two seasons of sporadic play, he finally seems to be settled in the Magpie defence, and they are reaping the rewards of having him healthy.
Fasolo hurt again
If we’re being brutally honest, based on his first quarter and a half of play, Collingwood aren’t missing much if they lose him for a while, but on a personal note, you never want to see a bloke do an ankle and be unable to return.
Fasolo got Bronx cheers when he took a mark on the wing in the second quarter. Pies fans knew he had not been near it until that point, and let him know about it. Sadly, he didn’t last much longer.
Hopefully, Fasolo is able to get back quickly and get another crack at the senior side. His ability to kick goals would add another string to an already-impressive Magpie forward line.
Jack Billings underperforming
Now this is a bit from left field, as if you peruse the stats, you will see that Billings had 21 touches and kicked a goal. It’s a good night out for a small forward, right?
Yeah, I guess so, but what irks me is that I genuinely thought Billings would take the next step this season and be right there in All-Australian contention at the pointy end of the season. As it stands, I doubt he’s been in the top five players for any game during the year.
He’s gone backwards this season in terms of output, down from 23 touches per game to 20, and has only kicked five goals for the year. The Saints need a lift from him if they’re to get better, but I guess you could say that about a lot of their upper-echelon players.
The thing is, I liked at Billings last season and thought he was going to be a scary proposition this season. Now... he's more like Casper the friendly ghost. He doesn't look scary at all.
Tim Membrey adds another three behinds
What would you do with Tim Membrey? He’s a proven goal kicker who just isn’t kicking goals. He’s not even looking like it at the moment, and his confidence is completely shot.
After missing two set shots early, he was on the end of the ball, running inside 50. It’s the sort of kick players salivate over. No time to hover over the ball and over-think it… all you’ve got to do is kick it in rhythm.
Well, Membrey made time to over-think it and didn’t even make the distance. Being highlighted like this obviously doesn’t help, but I doubt he reads it – haha.
If you’re a Saints fan, is there a different role he can play for a couple of weeks? How would he slot in off half back for a while? He took seven marks tonight so he can still find it – he just can’t convert. Maybe letting him find it elsewhere for a while might play him into form.
Rohan Marshall is an interesting looking fella. I was quite enthralled with his early battles against Grundy. He sure was putting in. Grundy was always going to win the duel against Marshall and Hickey, but it was good to see the young fella having a crack… and being taken down the tunnel to be spoken to by Alan Richardson.
The angst around Chris Mayne seems to have subsided a little these days. 16 touches at 94% efficiency today .
Matt Scharenberg starts games well. If you’re the opposition, don’t kick it in his vicinity in the first quarter – the bloke loves intercept marks early.
Why do so many players have such a high ball drop when kicking for goal, and no hand guiding it down? Tim Membrey… looking at you, buddy.
I’m not sure anyone can physically move Lynden Dunn off the spot in a marking contest if he gets there first. Just a big, strong body.
It’s not often that Pendlebury gets caught holding the ball, but Jack Steele got him today.
From my count, Pendles had four inside fifty kicks in the first quarter. Quality…
Trav Varcoe does not get a lot of the ball these days, but his smother, and then body work to bump and take possession before delivering to Wells in the second quarter was brilliant.
How was the confidence from Jaidyn Stephenson? Lays the tackle at 50, gets the holding the ball decision, plays on immediately out to the right and just slots it!
Great kick from Shane Savage to hit the wide open Jade Gresham for the open goal. No idea how Gresham got so wide open inside 50 for so long.
Great win from Newnes to start the third, using his body to get rid of Sam Murray. Murray looked as though he didn’t anticipate any contact at all, and went to ground. Nice work by Newnes.
Grundy’s centre clearance work in the third was important. He banged it long, allowing Will Hoskin-Elliot to run onto it. He may have dropped it in a tackle, but it wasn’t paid. It fell to Wells, and well… he knew what to do with it.
Two terrible misses cancelled each other out. One from Varcoe, and one from Steven, both standard shots were the sort that each would kick 19 out of 20 times.
Hunter Clark’s miss with 30-odd seconds left in the third was so costly. He booted it on the full from 50 and the Pies went coast to coast. It ended up with de Goey who banged through his sixth. Never has St Kilda’s inaccuracy cost them more.
Mav Weller played a shocker today. He had four touches up until three quarter time.
He was probably matched in terms of ineffectiveness by David Armitage. He’d had five touches to three quarter time. I don’t think Armitage will be getting a senior game again anytime soon. He looks like a guy who the game has simply gone past.
Hoskin-Elliott really botched an absolute gift in the last quarter. A complete miskick saw him get the ball 30 metres out but he seemed torn between kicking for goal or handing to de Goey for his seventh. He finally opted to kick and missed. Always go with that first instinct.
Loved Jarryn Geary’s hard chase on Stephenson late in the game. It was a captain’s effort, particularly when the young pie’s speed is talked up so much.
And that’ll do for the Mongrel tonight. It’s late and I’m tired. If you like what you’re getting from us, please give us a like on Facebook or a follow on Twitter. We don’t ask for much… throw us a bone.