Cats stagger to AFL win over dour Magpies

·3-min read

Collingwood's AFL season from hell has sunk to new lows with the Magpies losing star ruckman Brodie Grundy in a woeful 10-point defeat to Geelong.

In a scrappy, low-quality contest at an empty MCG, the Cats did barely enough to bank their eighth win of the season.

Geelong played well below what is expected of a premiership contender, but the Magpies were far worse for the majority of Saturday's match.

Despite five junk-time goals for Collingwood in the final term to put some respectability on the scoreboard, nothing could cover up the fact it was the first time since 2005 they had been kept goalless in the first-half.

With out-of-contract Nathan Buckley already under immense pressure, the performance is sure to put more heat on his future as Collingwood coach.

Geelong held a 31-point half-time lead before staggering over the line 8.13 (61) to 6.15 (51).

In a dour game full of skill errors, Grundy was subbed out due to a neck injury suffered in a contest with Rhys Stanley in the third quarter.

Grundy had just kicked the Magpies' first goal of the game - two minutes into the third term - when he came off the ground sore.

Magpies youngster Finlay Macare was immediately brought into the contest, with Grundy sent to hospital for scans for possible nerve damage in his neck.

Star Geelong forwards Tom Hawkins (three) and Jeremy Cameron (two) were the only multiple goalkickers for the Cats.

Having kicked just one goal to three-quarter-time and staring down the barrel of their lowest score since 1956, Collingwood scored through majors to Jordan De Goey (two), Will Hoskin-Elliott, Brayden Maynard and Brody Mihocek in the final term.

Despite the lacklustre effort in a "strange game", Buckley is remaining positive about his side.

"We want to win games of football but the overarching feeling in the sheds is we are playing a brand that we are more confident in than potentially a month ago," Buckley said.

"We're not getting the wins at the moment, I think the players' energy and enthusiasm remained for the entirety of the match.

"We're still defending really well, we're hard to score off of stoppage and we've got some players taking on more important roles."

The Magpies' only shining light was the debut of Trent Bianco, who racked up nine first-quarter possessions on his way to 19 for the match.

Geelong were hit by late changes to ace midfielder Cameron Guthrie and versatile tall Mark Blicavs.

"It must've been a hard game to watch, it certainly wasn't played the way we wanted it to be played," Cats coach Chris Scott said.

"I thought we had control of the game but (Collingwood) were still in it late and that can happen when you miss your chances."

Collingwood are meant to be playing the Crows at Adelaide Oval next Saturday but that match looks to be in doubt given South Australia has closed its borders to Victoria.