The Pies begin their AFL season in two weeks against the Western Bulldogs, with Taylor Adams (hamstring) and Chris Mayne (concussion) also under injury clouds.
Those injuries headlined a decent night for the Pies, against a Richmond side that mostly picked up where it left off after winning the 2020 grand final against Geelong at the Gabba.
Richmond’s defensive style
Dustin Martin was his typical self through the midfield, and Jason Castagna kicked a bag, but it was the Tigers’ defence that took the breath away on Friday night at Marvel Stadium, at least when the game was at its most serious in the first half.
Their last line of defence – including Grimes, Noah Balta and David Astbury – marked almost every kick that came their way. Grimes had six marks to quarter-time and then 11 at half-time.
But more than that last line it was their “team defence” that looked ominous. It was absolutely on song, with midfielders and half-backs folding back with hard running and precise timing to thwart Collingwood’s attacks. Their defensive discipline did not take away from attack. The balance was right.
Josh Caddy charged up and down the wing to lead by example in this respect, and the Pies forwards regularly found themselves hopelessly outnumbered.
The problem with De Goey in midfield …
… is that you don’t get Jordan De Goey in the forward line. To the naked eye he seemed to spend slightly more time in the midfield than usual. And he deserves it. De Goey looks fitter and was dynamic and damaging when he took up a place in the Pies’ engine room.
But when he played forward he was, as usual, transformative to Collingwood’s attack, which struggles without him. This was true on Friday too. His nous to snap a goal from 35 metres out in the second quarter was a rare moment where the Tigers’ defence looked helpless. De Goey had an injury scare to his leg in the final term but returned to the field.
It’s only pre-season, and there was no Brody Mihocek, but it was clear Collingwood’s weakness – when both teams had their best players on the field – was again their forward line. Mason Cox and Darcy Cameron did come into the game late at least.
Isaac Quaynor impressed off half-back and was also a handful defending in marking contests. Overall the Pies’ defence held tight given Richmond’s territorial dominance early.
Jayden Short did as he pleased across half-back and Shane Edwards was great in the middle.
Both coaches said key players who did not play – including Taylor Adams, Brodie Mihocek, Tom Lynch and Dion Prestia – should be right for round one.
COLLINGWOOD 2.3 3.5 6.7 11.8 (74)
RICHMOND 4.3 6.8 8.9 11.14 (80)
Collingwood: Cox 3, Cameron 3, De Goey 2, Elliott, Daicos, Ruscoe
Richmond: Castagna 4, Riewoldt 2, McIntosh, Caddy, Edwards, Coleman-Jones, Rioli
Collingwood: Crisp, Grundy, De Goey, Maynard
Richmond: Short, Caddy, Riewoldt, Edwards
Rosebury, Stevic, Findlay, Dore
VENUE Marvel Stadium
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.