COLLINGWOOD has kicked its highest ever score in a big win over the Western Bulldogs, on a day soured by a knee injury to important midfielder Brittany Bonnici.
The Pies got up at their Victoria Park fortress 10.6 (66) to 6.5 (41), keeping their spot inside the top six in the process.
MAGPIES v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats
Collingwood’s running handball game was spectacular. Running in support of teammates, and with speed to burn, the Pies got the ball moving with slick handballs to evade oncoming Bulldogs opponents and swiftly move the ball forward, something we’ve rarely seen from them this year, and they used the ball particularly well, going at 70 per cent disposal efficiency.
That willingness to run and spread was evident from the first contest, where the Pies easily found players on the outside and regularly forcing the Dogs toward the boundary line where they were often rewarded with a lasso free kick or throw in stoppage.
Jaimee Lambert always works tirelessly but found herself in much more space than she is typically afforded, kicking three goals to three-quarter time, and finishing the day with 22 touches and six tackles.
The Bulldogs had no answer for Collingwood’s spread and ball use, unable to shut down the run and carry that split open a typically strong Dogs defence.
Young Eliza James showed off her speed in attack once again, with 14 disposals, a goal and five score involvements, providing a spark inside 50 that the Pies have been needing.
A felled star
After six damaging disposals and strong running over the first 13 minutes, Brittany Bonnici landed awkwardly as she went to take a relieving mark in the back pocket and immediately went to ground. Holding her left knee, the Collingwood vice-captain pounded the ground in anger as trainers rushed to her side. Bonnici spent the rest of the day on crutches with ice on her knee. The midfielder has never missed a match in her career, after debuting in round one, 2017.
Making a statement
Sabrina Frederick hasn’t had the dream run she’d have hoped for at the Pies. Coming into the game she was yet to kick a goal for the year and returning from a stint in the VFLW, but when her side needed her most against the Dogs, she stood up. Frederick kicked her side’s first goal of the game with a strong kick around the body from distance, and was presenting well in the air, so as her teammates were able to take more time and consideration with their forward entries she was able to really take hold. Kicking her second just before half time the roar of celebration echoed around Victoria Park as her Pies took a 15-point lead into the half time break. It was the first time Frederick had kicked multiple goals in a game since round seven 2018, and just the third multiple-goal game of her career.
Collingwood won this game on the outside, registering 50 more uncontested possessions than its Bulldogs opponents and from that, controlling the game. This year the Bulldogs have been conceding an average of 96.3 uncontested possessions a game, but the Pies gathered a massive 146 for the day with a clean short kicking game, hitting targets with ease across the ground. This bled into Collingwood’s use in the forward half, registering the club’s highest ever AFLW score from an equal-club high seven goal kickers – a far cry from the Collingwood we’ve seen for much of the 2022 season.
Collingwood has the tough task of Adelaide at Norwood Oval, while the Western Bulldogs will make the trek to WA to face West Coast at Optus Stadium.
COLLINGWOOD 3.2 6.2 9.3 10.6 (66)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.3 3.3 4.4 6.5 (41)
Collingwood: Lambert (3), Frederick (2), Molloy, Chiocci, James, Moloney, Cann
Western Bulldogs: Blackburn (2), Lamb, Fitzgerald, Morris-Dalton, Hartwig
Collingwood: Lambert, Schleicher, Cann, Frederick
Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, Lamb, Georgostathis, Fitzgerald
Collingwood: Bonnici (knee), Newman (concussion)
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Crowd: 2,796 at Victoria Park
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