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‘That’s rubbish’:‘Arrogant’ Pies taught lesson as Daicos claim exposed

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Dual All-Australian Kane Cornes says Collingwood’s system “backfired” during Saturday’s shock loss to Hawthorn, suggesting Sam Mitchell’s 16th-placed side has shown a blueprint on how to beat the premiership favourites.

It came in a contest Nick Daicos was blanketed by Hawks tagger Finn Maginness, restricting the Brownlow Medal favourite to an all-time low five disposals – albeit a game he was unable to finish due to a knee knock – and marking just the third time in the 20-year old’s glittering 45-game career he’s had fewer than 20 disposals in a match.

Daicos is now set to undergo scans to put him in doubt for next Friday night’s clash with Geelong, while it wasn’t the only injury blow for the Magpies to emerge from a grim day, with senior coach Craig McRae suspecting Nathan Murphy suffered a low-grade syndesmosis issue but downplayed concerns around Tom Mitchell (thigh).

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It marked consecutive losses for Collingwood for the first time since Round 9 last year – and just its fourth loss this season – despite sitting two games clear at the top of the ladder ahead of clashes with the Cats, Lions and Bombers before finals.

And speaking on AFL Media’s The Round So Far, Cornes believes more teams should look to deploy a tagger given the success of Maginness’ lockdown role on Daicos, who was even moved to full-forward in a desperate plea to get him involved in the game.

“I can’t believe we have 44 spots on an AFL list, and Hawthorn is really the only team with a dedicated tagger,” the Port Adelaide great said.

“You must get one or develop one because you need one at some stage. It’s not every week, but he’s shown the importance of this.

“Hats off to Finn Maginness because people were saying through three quarters of this season this man is untaggable. Well that’s rubbish and more teams should try and do the same.”

Cornes also questioned the Magpies’ lack of attention to Hawks skipper James Sicily, who was best afield in a commanding performance in defence with 37 disposals, 19 marks and three goal assists.

And Cornes thinks it ultimately reflected how McRae’s side backing in it’s own system showed vulnerabilities in its game.

“They let (Sicily) do as he pleased … we saw how much time St Kilda put into James Sicily last week after he got a hold of them earlier on in the year,” the 300-gamer added.

“Collingwood gave him no respect and there was just a little bit of arrogance about the way Collingwood went about it. I didn’t think they helped Daicos anywhere near enough and they knew that tag was coming days out.

“Collingwood’s system is all about sticking to their own system, today that backfired.

“I just wonder whether there is now evidence of a blueprint on how to beat the Pies – stop them intercepting the ball in their defensive half, guard the corridor, match them in the midfield so you can give your forwards an opportunity because their defenders are vulnerable and bring that ferocious pressure.”

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell meanwhile lauded the dedication of Maginness after the tagger became the first to convincingly shut Daicos out of a game.

Mitchell said the Hawks’ midfield dominance was the key to executing the tag, as their 18-3 centre clearance demolition meant Daicos could not win the ball even though Maginness did not stand on him until after centre bounces during the 32-point win at the MCG.

Maginness now has the two biggest run-with scalps of the season after he held GWS star Josh Kelly to six disposals in round 17, and Mitchell said a dream situation would be allowing the aerobic beast to focus on a single opponent each week.

“Finn will leave no stone unturned in getting his job done … unfortunately, quite often this year we haven’t been able to let him do his best job because of other problems in the game,” he said.

“We can’t retain the ball in our front half, we can’t put enough pressure on the opposition, we can’t win centre bounces … there’s always something else that’s causing us trouble.

“In the coaches’ box it’s a nightmare – it’s not an easy thing to do, and you compromise other parts of your game … we decided not to compromise centre bounce by putting (Maginness) in there, and that worked well. It certainly worked for us, but it’s not to say it would work again next time.”

Hawthorn Press Conference

Collingwood coach Craig McRae said he was forced to give up on the positional shift heading into the last quarter, as he thought the move was contributing to a disconnect which had also dogged them in the previous loss to the Blues.

He said the need to support Daicos who signed a bumper six-year deal this week, on the field to help him break the tag was discussed pre-game, but he would have to “watch the tape” to know whether more should have been done by his teammates.

“In the end you go we’re actually tying ourselves in knots here trying to find a place for Nick, and it’s actually disconnecting other parts of our game, so in the end we just went with what we knew,” he said.

“We like to think we look after each other quite well … I think the disconnection between our game has just gone off the last couple of weeks.

“We’ll look deeper into that, but I think we’ve had great pride in our connection over the last 18 months, and (Saturday) wasn’t that.”

McRae said the Magpies would need to “find out quickly” what has impacting areas of their game including stoppages, where they were soundly beaten 18-3 at centre bounces.

Asked if the back-to-back losses could be important for the Magpies to mount a successful finals campaign, McRae said that was his hope.

“I live in that world where I’d like to think so … I’m an optimistic guy, I look for the good in things,” he said.

“The last couple of weeks, there are a lot of parts of our game that just don’t look the same as what they have, but this is a long journey.

“We learnt a lot (from the Blues loss), there was so much we learnt last week and presented it to the players, and we learnt a bit more this week.”

Meanwhile, Mitchell said the emphatic win was another “step forward” for his young side, singling out ruckman Ned Reeves after he dominated in the air for 39 hit-outs, laid five tackles and kicked a goal.

-With NCA NewsWire

Originally published as Great rubbishes ‘untaggable’ Daicos claims amid scathing assessment of Pies’ shock loss to Hawks

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