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2021 Toyota AFL Premiership
Round 4 • Collingwood v GWS Giants
MCG Melbourne
60 9.6
Full Time Giants by 30
90 14.6
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    Match Preview: Round 4 v Magpies

    The GIANTS and Collingwood clash in an MCG epic.

    Where and When: Saturday, April 10 at 7:25pm, MCG

    Last time they met: The GIANTS and Magpies have made a habit of closely-fought battles in big matches over the past few years. The two teams met in this corresponding round last year - for the first time since the epic 2019 preliminary final. This clash in round four, 2020 at GIANTS Stadium was another heart-stopper with the GIANTS taking a two-point victory. It was a see-sawing affair all night with the Magpies holding the edge at the beginning of the fourth term before goals to Josh Kelly and Jeremy Cameron sealed the win for the GIANTS. Lachie Whitfield starred while Tom Green was immense in his second AFL game and secured the round’s Rising Star nomination.

    TV and Online: Saturday night’s clash will be shown live on Fox Footy and Kayo Sports from 7pm as well as on 7mate in NSW and the ACT.

    What it means for the GIANTS: It’s crunch time for the GIANTS who are still looking to secure their first win of the season. A strong start during last week’s clash against the Demons had the GIANTS looking like they were back to their best before successive injuries to captain Stephen Coniglio and key leaders Phil Davis and Matt de Boer meant the young side ran out of legs. It will be a tough test for a next-gen GIANTS side this weekend who will be led on-field by vice-captain Toby Greene - who’s been in strong goal-kicking form - for the foreseeable future.

    Where’s the opposition at: The Magpies have been up and down in 2021 with one win on the board, courtesy of a good performance against Carlton in round two. They were pipped by the Bulldogs in round one and suffered heartbreak at the hands of the Lions in round three when a Zac Bailey goal after the siren secured the visitors a one-point victory. Calls are coming for the ‘Pies to play the kids with the club already confirming the debut of Beau McCreery (who was a medical sub but never got on the field) for this week.

    The number: 30. As the GIANTS venture to the MCG for the first time since the 2019 Grand Final, former ‘Pie Lachlan Keeffe is the GIANT with the most experience at the venue, having played 30 matches at the iconic ground in his time at both clubs. Based off last week’s team - and there’s likely to be further changes - at least seven GIANTS have never played at the venue in their careers.

    In the mix: There are at least three forced changes coming for the GIANTS with Coniglio (ankle), Davis (calf) and de Boer (hamstring) ruled out. Coach Leon Cameron has already flagged potentially playing a debutant, with 2020 draftees Conor Stone (pick 15) named as an emergency last week and Ryan Angwin (pick 18) developing nicely after stacking on eight kilograms of muscle since arriving at the club. The coach could also look to add some height to his forward line with Jake Riccardi ready to return after an ankle injury, recruit Jesse Hogan available for selection - but likely to need some match practice under his belt - and Jeremy Finlayson building some form at Reserves level.

    A GIANT Win at the MCG

    The GIANTS down the 'Pies for their first win of the season.

    The last time the GIANTS beat Collingwood at the MCG, a suspended Toby Greene watched that game from the race. On Saturday night, as the GIANTS again upset the Magpies away from home, Greene was the matchwinner. 

    The GIANTS star and stand-in skipper booted five goals to lead his side to its first victory of 2021, a well-drilled, well-executed 30-point pull-apart of a lacklustre Collingwood outfit.

    Greene – a GIANTS original and the club's heartbeat – was the central figure in the 14.6 (90) to 9.6 (60) surprise victory, seeing the GIANTS join Collingwood at 1-3 after the first month of the season. 

    Captaining the visitors in the absence of the injured Stephen Coniglio, Greene took his tally to 13 goals from the first four rounds of the season and backed up his five-goal effort against Fremantle last week as he dominated Magpies youngster Isaac Quaynor before Brayden Maynard was sent his way.  

    The stakes were in a different stratosphere, but there were similarities to the GIANTS' famous preliminary final victory of 2019 to the round four win, with the slippery MCG surface and a low-scoring dogfight ensuing.

    Collingwood had its moments but its comeback attempt again fell short, with Leon Cameron's men the dominant side. Returning key forward Jeremy Finlayson booted four goals to be instrumental, while former co-captain Callan Ward (36 disposals), Tim Taranto (34) and Jacob Hopper (32) were terrific in the midfield. Young gun Lachie Ash had the best game of his career with 28 disposals. 

    00:51 Mins
    Published on

    R4: Riccardi's trick shot silences the crowd

    Jake Riccardi stays down in the contest and gets a soccer goal, adding to the pile of GWS goals

    Published on

    The GIANTS were up for the fight early. A goal from Finlayson after the quarter-time siren gave them a six-point lead at the first change, but it was one of only three goals kicked for the term in a defensive display from both clubs.

    Genuine warning signs for the Magpies emerged in the second quarter. The GIANTS played with more flair as Greene booted three goals to capitalise on his side's midfield dominance. 

    With skipper Scott Pendlebury, vice-captain Taylor Adams, veteran Steele Sidebottom, ruckman Brodie Grundy and the rest of Collingwood's onball unit struggling to make an influence, the GIANTS jumped to a 17-point lead that was wound back to 10 points by the main change. 

    Ward, playing under duress with a hand injury suffered in the first term, gathered 15 disposals for the second quarter as youngsters Tom Green and Ash lifted. It was Ash's dash again in the third term as his line-breaking run from half-back set up another goal for Greene, who doubled up to boot his fifth, before the GIANTS grabbed another through Jake Riccardi to extend their lead to 27 points.

    With the game on the line the Magpies rose to the challenge for a period, with Grundy getting more involved and some Josh Daicos magic helping the Pies back to within 15 points at the final break. 

    The Magpies continue to press and got within 10 points but a controversial free kick for a deliberate rushed behind against Steele Sidebottom was converted by Finlayson before Josh Kelly stepped up with two late goals to seal the result, ease the pressure on his club and at the same time heap it on its opposition. 

    00:39 Mins
    Published on

    R4: Greene finishes a GIANT play from Hill

    Bobby Hill produces some magic and creates a goal from nothing for Toby Greene

    Published on

    'Mummy's' big task

    Every Brodie Grundy performance comes with an intense focus and the Collingwood ruckman entered the clash with the Giants off his 28-disposal and 54-hitout performance last week against the Bulldogs. The GIANTS brought back Shane Mumford for the clash and, like he did in their famous preliminary final clash, the robust big man did a good job. Grundy had only four disposals in the first half and although he improved thereafter to finish with 20 and 41 hitouts, Mumford (17 disposals and 17 hitouts) quelled the star Magpie's influence.  

    Young GIANTS take their chance

    With an injury list that including Coniglio, Lachie Whitfield (liver), Harry Perryman (glandular fever) and Phil Davis (calf), the young GIANTS had to step up. First-round draft pick Conor Stone was given his debut and collected 11 disposals, while Bobby Hill kicked a slick early goal. Connor Idun and Sam Taylor continue to take strides in defence, while Green also showed his smarts as one of the up-and-coming inside midfielders in the game. Ash, the No.4 pick from the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, was a standout, however, with his confidence growing with every line-breaking run to be a key player. In the least experienced GIANTS side since 2015, it was a gutsy win. 

    COLLINGWOOD   1.2      4.5       7.6      9.6 (60)
    GIANTS                 2.2          6.3          10.3        14.6 (90)


    GOALS
    Collingwood: 
    De Goey 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Daicos, Madgen, McCreery, Mihocek, Thomas
    GIANTS: Greene 5, Finlayson 4, Kelly 2, Hill, Himmelberg, Riccardi

    BEST
    Collingwood:
     Sidebottom, Crisp, Madgen, Howe, Daicos
    GIANTS: Greene, Ward, Finlayson, Taranto, Ash, Hopper

    INJURIES
    Collingwood:
     Adams (knee), Sier (illness)
    GIANTS: Ward (hand)

    SUBSTITUTES

    Collingwood: Greenwood (replaced Sier)
    GIANTS: Shipley (unused)

    CROWD

    29,866 at MCG

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