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Pies can still get better

Sportal June 30, 2012, 7:23 pm
Caolan Mooney

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Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition, saying that there is plenty of improvement left in his side.

The Magpies cruised to their 10th straight victory on Saturday with a 29-point triumph over Fremantle in a game in which they rarely got out of first gear.

They booted the first six goals and never really looked back as they generated 69 forward 50 entries compared to 33 from the Dockers.

The win ensures the Magpies will finish Round 13 a game clear on top of the ladder.

But despite the easy victory, Buckley was left somewhat frustrated by their inability to convert those inside 50s and their inaccuracy with the team scoring 15 goals from 32 scoring shots.

"We had plenty of entries, didn't score at the percentage we would have liked and didn't kick goals at the percentage we would have liked for our shots on (need) improvement there and we leaked a bit, especially in the last quarter giving them six goals with eight entries," Buckley said.

"Plenty to work on, plenty to improve.

"We could spend the whole review period looking at things we didn't do and there's still plenty of areas we want to improve.

"But fundamentally we are doing a lot right. It's a tough competition to back up week in week out and to find the necessary effort, endeavour, intensity to be able to meet and surpass the opposition's effort, endeavour and intensity and then obviously play the game on your terms as well.

"We've been able to do that more often than not so there's credit that needs to be given for that, but clearly we want to be better every time we take to the park."

Buckley was particularly disappointed that Fremantle were able to get back to within 17 points, but refused to use the absence of key personnel as an excuse as well.

"The majority of the side are there and up and about. We play some really good footy and we play some footy that gives the opposition a look, so we've got to remedy that as the season progresses," he said.

"We're aware of it as coaches, the players are aware of it. We believe we are ticking boxes as we go along and that's where we are at.

"We take the four points. We're gradually improving."

One aspect of the game that Buckley was certainly pleased with was the 101 tackles his side laid the highest they have recorded this season.

He also made special mention of youngster Jamie Elliot, who had 15 of them 10 of which were in the forward 50.

"There were a lot of packs and the tackle count probably reflects that. You play the game on its merits and we've been able to step and do what's needed to be done," he said.

"That's exceptional, generally it takes a month to get 10 forward 50 tackles and to do that in one game is exceptional. Definitely a benchmark performance for the club."

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