Pies thump Freo in front of lowly crowd

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AFL: Travis Cloke and Mason Cox have gotten Collingwood off to a great start against the Dockers in their round 14 matchup.

AFL Round 14 : Collingwood v Fremantle Tom Phillips goal Picture:Wayne Ludbey

IF Collingwood returned to form but nobody was there to see it, did it really happen?

Fremantle will be desperately hoping the answer is yes.

The Dockers joined about 20,000 Magpie fans in failing to show at the MCG, with their mini-renaissance expiring in a fashion coach Ross Lyon must have loathed.

On a miserable Melbourne night the Magpies’ priority was the ball, while a frozen Fremantle’s appeared to be the flight home to sunny Perth.

In front of just 20,320 the Magpies secured a 48-point win to break clear of the bottom four on the ladder.

The Magpies sung the song for the 1500th time in VFL-AFL history but their smallest MCG crowd since 1940 — yes, 1940 — witnessed the win.

It was inexplicably game on briefly in the final quarter, Matthew Pavlich’s snapped goal shrinking the margin to 22 points.

An Adam Treloar reply snuffed out any chance of a comeback and while it soon descended into party time for the Pies, it still should have been much, much uglier.

Treloar famously said last October: “Playing in front of 90,000 at the MCG week in, week out was something I couldn’t pass up on”.

Travis Cloke was matched up with Zac Dawson.

Travis Cloke was matched up with Zac Dawson.Source:News Corp Australia

The fans who braved the cold witnessed his second-quarter master class with the former Giant again making good on his end of the bargain.

A downpour in the final quarter meant this game finished with the atmosphere of a local match and the quality of this encounter at times resembled that.

Key forwards Travis Cloke and Mason Cox had a goal apiece two minutes into this Friday night fizzer, but for the next 50 minutes the scoreboard failed to follow the Pies’ dominance.

It did, however, encapsulate just how dreadful these Dockers were. This wasn’t just Fremantle of the first nine rounds, it was another level of bad.

It was a performance littered with costly fumbles, bewildering turnovers and decisions certain to bring immediate trouble.

It was a first half which produced one goal and Ross Lyon’s equal lowest score as Fremantle coach.

Benny Hill music was needed to accompany much of their play, and while a staggering 80 per cent of the first quarter was played in Collingwood’s half the score remained tight.

A Chris Mayne poster and Matthew Pavlich miss from 15m could have had the Dockers within a kick in the second term.

They didn’t deserve to be, and when the Pies went coast-to-coast after Mayne’s miss the game seemed in hand.

Tom Phillips of the Magpies celebrates after kicking his first career goal.

Tom Phillips of the Magpies celebrates after kicking his first career goal.Source:Getty Images

Tom Phillips cleverly snapped his first career goal after a deft Zac Dawson spoil on Travis Cloke and it was just rewards for a kid who impressed.

Phillips has the name of an accountant and he racked up the numbers early with 11 first-half disposals in just his second game.

The highlights for Collingwood included the form of kids Jon Marsh, Josh Smith, Jack Crisp and, oddly, the fact it won so easily with minimal output from captain Scott Pendlebury.

There was Levi Greenwood’s brilliant snap in the first quarter when goals were hard to find, the former Kangaroo capitalising on a botched kick-out as Collingwood recorded 14 of the first 16 inside 50s.

But the performances of Zac Clarke, Danyle Pearce, Nick Suban and Jack Hanath will likely dominate the fallout.

Arriving on a three-game winning streak, they were as cold as the temperature as the Dockers produced perhaps their flattest performance in the Lyon era.

COLLINGWOOD 3.4 7.8 7.10 12.13 (85)

FREMANTLE 0.1 1.4 3.5 5.7 (37)


Collingwood: Cloke 2, White 2, Cox 2, Treloar, Smith, Phillips, De Goey, Greenwood, Aish.

Fremantle: Pavlich 2, Ballantyne 2, Walters.


Collingwood: Reid, Treloar, Marsh, Crisp, Grundy, Phillips.

Fremantle: Collins, Barlow, Crozier, Blakely.


3. Ben Reid (Coll)

2. Adam Treloar (Coll)

1. Jon Marsh (Coll)

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