Pies withstand Hawks challenge in Gather Round thriller

Shayne Hope |

Collingwood held on for a five-point win in Hawk Jack Ginnivan’s first game against his old club.
Collingwood held on for a five-point win in Hawk Jack Ginnivan’s first game against his old club.

Coach Craig McRae knows Collingwood need to lift their game if they are to defend their AFL premiership this season after they withstood a huge Hawthorn fightback in a tense five-point win to complete Gather Round.

The Magpies led by 38 points at halftime but were almost overrun by the winless Hawks in their 11.11 (77) to 11.6 (72) victory at Adelaide Oval on Sunday evening.

A second straight triumph gave McRae’s side a 2-3 record heading into an early-season bye, after their campaign started with three straight losses.

“We’re not standing still,” the third-year coach said.

“We know we need to get better … but we showed some signs today that we probably haven’t shown in previous weeks.

“We looked really sharp with the ball and some parts of our game looked really strong in the first half, hence why we’re sitting here with a win.

“It was just enough this week but we know this is a four-quarter game and a tough competition. We need to improve.”

Jordan De Goey.
Jordan De Goey was among the key contributors in Collingwood’s thrilling win. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Jordan De Goey (31 disposals, six clearances), Tom Mitchell (30, seven), Nick Daicos (26, three) and Josh Daicos (30, two) led the way in the midfield for Collingwood while Lachie Schultz and Brody Mihocek kicked two goals apiece.

Hawthorn recruit Jack Ginnivan also kicked two goals – and won a couple of free kicks – in an entertaining battle with former teammate Brayden Maynard in his first game against Collingwood since his October trade.

Ginnivan kicked his new side’s first major from a free kick for high contact and was regularly jeered by Magpie fans among the 43,198 present.

The 21-year-old added another goal in the final term after a free kick against Maynard for holding the man and a 50-metre penalty against Isaac Quaynor.

“You could probably write the script on that one well and truly before the game tonight,” McRae said.

“The fact he got a high free-kick and a goal was always going to happen, wasn’t it?

“We’ve got great love and respect for Ginni … so we wish him the best for the rest of the year.”

Lachie Schultz takes and overhead mark.
Lachie Schultz nabbed two goals for Magpies, who had just enough in reserve to hold out Hawthorn. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Blake Hardwick kicked a game-high four majors for Hawthorn – all in the second half after he was moved from defence to attack – and Dylan Moore finished with three.

Moore snared the final two goals of the game to lift the Hawks back within a kick but they couldn’t find a match-winner.

Connor MacDonald’s shot on the run could have put them in front, but he missed to the right.

Jai Newcombe had 26 disposals and an equal career-high 10 clearances, with Karl Amon (27 touches), Jarman Impey (23) and skipper James Sicily (22, 10 intercepts) also busy.

Blake Hardwick kicks a goal.
Blake Hardwick’s three third term goals brought Hawthorn back into the conest. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Hawks coach Sam Mitchell wasn’t sure whether the glass was half-empty or half-full for his side, which has lost its opening four games of the season.

“I’m disappointed for the players because if you look at the course of that game or the course of the year they deserve that winning feeling – and they didn’t get it,” Mitchell said.

“I’m torn between being proud of the resilience and the fight and staying all the way through right to the end.

“And then I’m also disappointed that we allowed five goals in a row (in the second quarter) and we lost control of the game.”

Magpies veteran Scott Pendlebury was substituted out of the match with damaged ribs after a collision with Hawthorn’s Josh Weddle, but is expected to be fit to play Port Adelaide in 13 days.

AAP