Collingwood and Carlton will collide in a Friday night blockbuster that could prove crucial to the Blues’ late-season bid to make finals.
The Pies (16-2, 136.5%) prevailed in arguably the match of the year last week, defeating second-placed Port Adelaide to solidify top spot on the ladder.
The Blues (9-8-1, 116.1%) have won six straight matches to resurrect their season, but will be without star midfielder Sam Walsh due to injury.
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This match gets underway at 7:50pm AEST from the MCG.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (Channel 504) from 7pm AEST.
QUARTER-BY-QUARTER MATCH REPORT
There were no late changes, with Will Hoskin-Elliott (Collingwood) and Paddy Dow (Carlton) named starting subs.
The Pies didn’t take long to hit the scoreboard, with Jordan De Goey marking inside 50 and kicking the opener on Friday night footy.
Collingwood interestingly matched up Nathan Murphy on Charlie Curnow, who was coming off a career-best 10-goal burst against West Coast.
Darcy Cameron made it two in a row for the Pies in a strong start from Craig McRae’s side.
Eleven minutes into the opening quarter, the Blues kicked their first goal via a long bomb from Mitch McGovern from outside 50.
Darcy Moore had his fingerprints over the first quarter with his usual big intercepting efforts in defence.
Jesse Motlop kicked the Blues’ second goal from point-blank range and it was game on at the MCG.
“They do look rather composed the Blues and handling it well,” Channel 7 caller Brian Taylor noted. “They look like they have a real plan.
Jack Martin kicked Carlton’s third goal to give his side the lead in a strong response after the Magpies’ strong start.
Brayden Maynard won a crucial contest against Ollie Hollands on the wing to set up another Collingwood goal, while the Blues youngster got him back soon after with a big tackle.
Adam Cerra missed a golden chance to give the Blues back the lead.
“The heat is on though,” Channel 7 commentator Luke Hodge said.
It was all square at quarter-time, 3.4 (22) apiece.
The Blues gave away a few free kicks early in the second quarter including Nic Newman giving away a downhill free kick to lead to Collingwood’s first goal of the term
It resulted in a mini scuffle between both sides before Newman argued his case to the umpire.
“Some ill discipline creeping into this game of football,” Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw noted.
A free kick in the ruck to Curnow saw the Blues kick their third in a row and continue a strong stretch from Michael Voss’ side as it led by 12 points.
There was plenty of feeling in this one between the two arch rivals, with both sides getting into it in a heated contest.
“There’s a lot of trash being spoken- and a lot of history between these clubs,” Brayshaw.
Hodge added: “That’s what you want, a passionate Friday night game.”
Alex Cincotta took a plucky mark just inside 50 and nailed the goal from distance – Carlton’s fourth in a row – to extend its lead to 18.
“Collingwood just cannot get started at the moment,” Taylor added.
And they trailed 47-30 at the main break.
But it took the Magpies just seconds to get on the board in the third term with Josh Daicos taking full advantage of Brody Mihocek’s strong hands.
Dan McStay could have added a second as commentator Luke Hodge warned it was a “danger” time for the Blues early in the term.
When Nathan Murphy missed his target at half forward, Carlton went on the counter attack and found Charlie Curnow one-out with Brayden Maynard.
And the big Blue made no mistake with his set shot to re-establish the 16-point lead once again.
Jack Martin extended Carlton’s lead before the Blues suffered a big blow with Adam Cerra subbed out.
The midfielder was Carlton’s leading possession getter with 20 before hamstring tightness saw his night end early.
McStay blew another opportunity in front of goal just as the Pies were pushing to get back in it.
They went into three quarter time trailing 66-47.
The game was stopped early in the fourth term to allow Sam Docherty to get off the field after a big aerial collision.
And there was a moment of controversy when Blue Caleb Marchbank was pinged for walking the ball across the goal under minimal pressure.
Jamie Elliott dished it off to Mihocek 25m out, but again inaccuracy cost Collingwood.
“Huge, huge blown opportunity there,” commentator Brian Taylor said.
With the Magpies blowing it at one end, Charlie Curnow cashed in down the other with two big goals – both coming from free kicks against Darcy Moore.
The second was a gift from the goal line after a dissent 50m penalty was paid against Nathan Murphy for his point to the scoreboard.
The umpire could be heard telling Murphy “be careful”, and then “be very careful” as the defender continued to point.
“He’s just doing what they’ve done every week,” Hodge said.
Jeremy Howe was sent forward and had an immediate impact to bring the margin back to 29 points with 11 minutes on the clock.
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