Is Brodie Grundy the Most Valuable Player in the AFL?
Collingwood showed how highly they valued Brodie Grundy with the size of the contract they offered him to keep him Black and White for the next seven years. His performance on Saturday afternoon showed that the $1mil a year deal might have been the steal of the century for the Magpies.
The Saints entered Saturday afternoon’s match full of confidence and with a two-man ruck crew they believed were primed to take down the Collingwood star. By the time the final siren sounded they were left to trudge of the MCG with their tales between their legs having fallen victim to a Grundy masterclass.
Neither Rowan Marshall or Paddy Ryder had an answer to Grundy’s mastery and the Magpies midfield feasted as a result. With silver service from the big ruckman Collingwood kicked seven goals to nil from clearances.
How the game was won.
In a match decided by seven goals we kind of gave this away above. With the match seen as season defining by the Saints, they came out desperate to prove themselves. Yet after taking an early lead, they were overpowered by Collingwood and trailed by 20 points at quarter time.
Two early goals to start the second suggested that they might offer a contest but a five goal burst from Collingwood ended the contest before either team had reached their half time oranges. With the heat out of the match, the second quarter was a stalemate as Grundy, Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury did what was needed to ensure the four points remained unchallenged. Despite the struggles of his teammates, Dan Butler continued his early season form and was the standout performer for the Saints.
What the coaches said.
Brett Ratten conceded his team’s strategy to combat Brodie Grundy did not work. “They lowered their colours to Brodie Grundy, which many people will do this year, but I thought he gave them first access to the ball a bit,” Ratten said. “Today, we thought it was an advantage to take two high-quality ruckmen against one of the best in the comp and it didn’t work. He was too good in that role and we probably didn’t get any bang for buck with them as a forward as well. You can sometimes not dominate in the hit-outs, but if they kick a goal or two each you sort of say, ‘OK, they’ve played another part of the game’, but we didn’t get that today.”
Nathan Buckley spoke glowingly of his teams intensity post match. “Our intent to pressure and compete early in the match was a key focus for us coming out of last week,” he said post match. While explaining the limited preparation was to blame for the drop off by his team in the second half he was proud of their pressure. “For the most part our pressure on them was relatively consistent we dropped off in the third quarter and the game changed…but our intent to come forward rather than collapse, like the game against Richmond, was really positive.” he said.
COLLINGWOOD 5.3 10.4 11.7 12.9 (81)
ST KILDA 2.1 4.2 5.6 5.7 (37)
Collingwood: Stephenson 2, Elliott 2, Mihocek 2, T. Brown 2, Adams 2, Sidebottom, De Goey
St Kilda: Butler 2, Marshall, King, Marsh
Collingwood: Sidebottom, Grundy, Crisp, Pendlebury, Adams, Maynard
St Kilda: Gresham, Butler, Hill, Jones, Carlisle
St Kilda: Nil