Mason Cox only had flashes of moments- though his nimble goal in the last quarter was quite the flash.
Collingwood looked for much of the game a little troubled by how to attack. They were pre-occupied by two things. One who had the mismatch of a shorter Richmond defender? Consequently they went for Brodie Mihocek too often early on.
They also looked to still be struggling to work out their structure and system with Jamie Elliott brought into the mix. De Goey and Elliott alternated out of the goal square but, unlike last week, it was De Goey’s night. That will happen, but slightly troubling was the uncertainty of players about when to fly.
Richmond played a style unusual for them. Fortunate to get Carlton last week they were given a more searching examination on Thursday night.
Richmond conceded too much territory and time to Collingwood all night, but especially in the first half.
In the first term Collingwood had 85 uncontested possessions to Richmond’s 41, by half time it was 179 to 99. The Magpies chip and pass game was further reflected in the fact by half time they had 88 uncontested marks to Richmond’s 31.
The Magpies held the ball and routinely switched play trying to stretch Richmond and find an opening to attack.
Richmond was patient but Collingwood was poking holes through their defence. The Tigers’ strategy was to wait for the counterattack, sweat on the long ball in that they could spoil and then punish Collingwood on the rebound. Collingwood though was more desperate around the ground balls in putting pressure on.
Lynch didn’t have a great game last week but still finished with the three goals. On Thursday night he got the Tigers’ second goal of the game when Tom Langdon nudged him out in a marking contest. But it was his second goal of the night that delivered the sort of goal Richmond was waiting for.
After Richmond kicked one against the flow late in the second term, they won the next centre clearance and Trent Cotchin was able to spear a ball to Lynch leading from the goal square. He converted. It was a training run goal and exactly what they wanted him for. His third goal too, from a scrubbed kick forward off the ground from the centre clearance landed straight in Lynch’s arms.
NOT SO JUMPING JACK
Richmond’s determination to save Lynch from playing second ruck coming off his PCL injury saw his forward teammate Jack Riewoldt forced into the middle to stand opposed to Mason Cox.
Riewoldt played the role more as a midfielder than a ruck. He didn’t jump and waited down – much like Shaun Grigg did when he rucked last year – and sharked Cox’s ruck work.
It was reasonably effective, Collingwood did not get a clear advantage in centre clearances from the ruck who had a clear height advantage.
More troublingly Riewoldt landed heavily on his right arm after a marking contest in the goal square. He nursed the wrist for the rest of the night, had it strapped and spent long periods on the bench.
I’LL TAKE THAT
Richmond was thoroughly beaten for all but the last three minutes of the first half. Then they kicked three goals in three minutes. The third goal of those goals was just weird.
Steele Sidebottom had the ball in Collingwood’s back pocket, turned and the ball was knocked out of his hands. Kamdyn McIntosh then had him by the shorts.
A free was paid for holding the ball which seemed odd for the ball was knocked out without a tackle, but not as odd as Shane Edwards being given the kick. (Collingwood was in no position to argue about free kicks on the night, Sidebottom got away with a throw in the back pocket a quarter later.)
From the Dom Sheed pocket (he wasn’t as far out as Sheed) Edwards was just as accurate as the Eagle.
COLLINGWOOD 3.2 7.3 12.4 17.8 (110)
RICHMOND 2.2 6.3 9.4 10.6 (66)
Goals: Collingwood: J de Goey 5 B Mihocek 2 J Stephenson 2 M Cox 2 A Treloar C Mayne J Elliott J Thomas S Pendlebury T Phillips. Richmond: T Lynch 3 J Higgins 2 J Short 2 S Edwards 2 D Rioli.
Best: Collingwood: De Goey, Pendlebury, Treloar, Moore, Grundy, Crisp, Beams, Mayne. Richmond: Cotchin, Lynch, Edwards, Short, Martin, McIntosh
Umpires: Ray Chamberlain, Nicholas Foot, Andre Gianfagna.
Crowd: 70,699 at MCG.
Jordan De Goey 8
Scott Pendlebury 8
Darcy Moore 7
Brodie Grundy 7
Dayne Beams 7
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.