Injury-hit Blues lose spiteful clash with Pies

Jason Phelan

Collingwood have scrapped their way into the top four with a hard-fought 20-point win over injury-hit Carlton at the MCG.

The Blues led by a point midway through the third quarter, but couldn't hold off the Pies, who ground out a 11.13 (79) to 9.5 (59) win in front of 53,706 fans on Sunday.

Scott Pendlebury starred in Collingwood's fifth win in a row with 29 possessions and a goal, with Steele Sidebottom (31 disposals) and Tom Phillips (28) also influential.

In his 299th AFL game, Carlton veteran Kade Simpson (31) was typically polished across half-back.

Patrick Cripps (29 touches and three goals) was a bull at the stoppages and Charlie Curnow (19) pulled down two stunning marks and kicked three goals.

It was a brave effort from Carlton a week after they were held goalless in a demoralising first half by Fremantle.

The Blues played with two fit players on the bench in the second half after losing Lachie Plowman (knee) and Matthew Kreuzer (ankle) to injury.

Those losses came after Levi Casboult suffered a broken finger just minutes before the opening bounce.

The key forward was replaced by defender Cam O'Shea, who only made it onto the field 11 minutes into the first quarter.

Despite the drama, the Blues started well and kicked three goals, with scores tied up at the first break.

Pendlebury kicked a brilliant goal from the boundary line as the Pies edged in front but play stopped for several minutes while Plowman was helped from the field.

Collingwood took an 11-point lead into halftime, with tensions boiling over in a heated push and shove before the teams retreated to the rooms.

Collingwood beat the injury-hit Blues at the the MCG on Sunday. Pic: Getty

Cripps and Curnow goaled for the dogged Blues after the restart, but a brilliant mark and goal from Will Hoskin-Elliott (three goals) put the Pies up by 14 points at three-quarter time.

Collingwood didn't escape unscathed, Levi Greenwood suffering a concussion after a Dale Thomas bump in the third quarter.

Hoskin-Elliott added another two goals as the Pies finally saw off the Blues' challenge, but Adam Treloar left the field clutching his right hamstring.

The Magpies improved to a 9-4 record and will take on Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium in round 15, with Carlton (1-12) to host Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday.