Unbeaten Magpies survive huge fright to shrug off lively Cats

COLLINGWOOD has survived a scare from Geelong to win its third match in a row and extend the Cats' losing streak at home to 10 straight games. 

In a fiery clash, both teams piled on the pressure, each laying more than 60 tackles for the game as the Magpies held on to record a 5.5.(35) to 3.6 (24) victory at GMHBA Stadium that sees them move to the top of the ladder.

CATS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

Rachel Kearns' attack at the footy - and her opponents - shone through, adding a much-needed spark to the Cats. 

AFLW Match Highlights: Geelong v Collingwood

04:40 Jan 21. 2022. 9:27 PM

The Cats and Pies clash in round three of the NAB AFL Women's Competition

NAB AFLW Rising Star nominee Georgie Prespakis went head to head with Jaimee Lambert for much of the game, both during play and off the ball, and both players had moments of brilliance as they broke away from one another's grasp. 

Third-gamer Eliza James was dangerous up forward for the Pies, kicking her first AFLW goal, while her speed into space inside 50 created some headaches for a typically calm and considered Geelong defence. 

Magpies flock to James after ripping first AFLW goal

00:42 Jan 21. 2022. 7:52 PM

Eliza James is surrounded by teammates after snaring her first ever AFLW goal

In the first quarter, Sophie Van De Heuvel put her hand up for this week's highlight packages with a spectacular run through the centre square to get the ball in the hands of Jordan Ivey for the Cats' first goal of the game, and threatened to replicate it on multiple occasions. 

Sophie Alexander's workrate in the forward line was vital in the third quarter when Geelong was most threatening. She provided a presence in the air, but also applied pressure at ground level, resulting in a free kick and goal.

At the other end of the ground, Kate Darby picked up where she left off last week, taking strong pack marks and kicking a goal of her own. 

But Chloe Molloy had a big say on the contest on her return, kicking two important goals to put the game out of reach for the Cats. 

Molloy magic when Pies needed a reprieve

00:49 Jan 21. 2022. 8:26 PM

Collingwood was crying out for a settler and emerging superstar Chloe Molloy obliges with a powerful snap

Young Cats learn from their mistakes
Last week the Cats allowed Carlton to exit defence with ease, moving the ball freely into the forward half. This was certainly not the case against Collingwood, applying immense pressure to a typically well-organised Pies backline and often forcing them to turn the ball over on the rebound. Rachel Kearns' attacking run and Kate Darby's presence inside 50 allowed Geelong to dominate territory for long periods of the game. 

Geelong's Kate Darby celebrates a goal against Collingwood in R3, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Pies on a 50m lucky streak 
For the third consecutive game, and for the fifth time this season, Collingwood was the beneficiary of a 50m penalty that led to a goal. Late in the game as the Cats worked hard to rebound out of defence, Chloe Molloy took a brilliant intercept mark at half-forward. Unfortunately for the Cats, Julia Crockett-Grills' enthusiasm to defend Molloy resulted in a 50m penalty, landing the noted goalkicker within 20m of goal. While it wasn't the difference in the game, it did take some needed momentum away from the home side. 

Run and carry pivotal to Cats' gameplan
Something that has been missing from Geelong's game has been free run and carry out of defence to quickly transition to space up forward. Sophie Van De Heuvel's run from behind to gather the handball and use her speed up the field punctuated this game, none more so than to set up Jordan Ivey's first-quarter goal. 

Running Cat cruises towards impressive Ivey

00:38 Jan 21. 2022. 7:30 PM

The Cats complete a stunning string of play, coasting from defence before setting up Jordan Ivey for a super mark and finish

Say what? 
"Geelong's pressure tonight was outstanding. We struggled with it at times, we weren't clean. We were able to work our way through it, we did the right things at the right time. I guess if you're winning games you're always happy. I don't think we're playing our best footy yet and that's what we're all trying to achieve is play perfect football all the time. We're still trying to work out how all the pieces are coming together." – Collingwood coach Steve Symonds

"We just have to get a win. The group are really positive with the direction we're headed in. We're proud of each other but we still know what we're playing for. We had opportunities … but the difference is we just don't take our moments as consistently as other teams do. But we'll get better." – Geelong coach Dan Lowther

What's next? 
The Cats will head north to take on Brisbane in Maroochydore, while Collingwood will face Fremantle at home. 

GEELONG                    1.2     2.3     2.4     3.6     (24)  
COLLINGWOOD          1.0     3.3     4.3     5.5     (35)  

Geelong: Ivey, Darby, Moloney 
Collingwood: Molloy 2, Sheridan, James, Alexander 

Geelong: McMahon, Emonson, A.McDonald, Darby 
Collingwood: Alexander, Lambert, Bonnici, O'Dea 

Geelong: Nil 
Collingwood: Nil  

Reports: Nil  

Crowd: 2,265 at GMHBA Stadium 

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