Pies stay hot, continue AFL winning streak

·3-min read

Collingwood have extended their AFL winning streak despite living dangerously in staving off a late Port Adelaide push to win by six points at the MCG.

It was the Magpies 10th straight win - and the fifth in a row by seven points or less - as the home team fought hard and remained composed for the 13.10 (88) to 12.10 (82) triumph.

This was another victory full of fight and character with Collingwood forced to activate medical sub Josh Carmichael at halftime to replace onballer Taylor Adams, ruled out by a groin injury.

And the interchange bench was further restricted in the frantic final 10 minutes with key defender Jeremy Howe sidelined with a thigh injury.

Port Adelaide, with the season on the line, threw everything at the Pies in the tense last quarter in a brave bid to snatch the vital win.

The Power seemed doomed when Magpie forward Jamie Elliott, last round's after-siren hero, volleyed a superb goal early in the last term to stretch the lead to 23 points.

But the visitors, inspired by relentless running from Sam Powell-Pepper, kept coming.

And the Power reduced the margin to six points after Jase Burgoyne kicked a goal with 61 seconds left on the game clock.

Jordan De Goey made a triumphant return for the Magpies after three weeks out with a thigh injury.

He had 23 disposals in the midfield and kicked two goals to epitomise his team's fighting spirit that helped shore up a spot in the AFL ladder's top eight.

And it was also another example of Collingwood's ability to reset during a contest.

Port Adelaide kicked five goals from turnovers in the opening quarter, then was held goalless in the next term and struggled to impact the Magpies' defensive structure until that late goal flurry so nearly stole the critical premiership points.

Controversy raged literally a second after the starting siren when Power veteran Travis Boak was awarded a free kick for perceived overzealous attention from opponent Nick Daicos for the first goal even before the opening bounce of the game.

Boak was the victim again after a ferocious tackle from Brayden Maynard and the ensuring angry melee prompted a 50-metre penalty that gifted the Power forward a second goal.

It was part of a Power run of five goals in a row to open up a scoreboard break that threatened to take control of the contest.

Magpie Jack Ginnivan broke Port Adelaide's dominance with a snap goal before De Goey added another steadier after the quarter-time siren.

That same pair were an integral part of Collingwood's first-half recovery with goals in the defence-dominated second term.

And when Ginnivan booted his third goal after a diving mark on the lead, it propelled the Magpies to the front for the first time just before halftime .

Ginnivan was again at the centre of several high-tackle decisions and he revealed after the game the scrutiny was taking its toll.

Collingwood coach Craig McRae said it was time to support his young gun.

"We're conscious of this, we see it and we try to protect him. We get to a point where we say, 'maybe enough is enough, let's look after this kid'," McRae said.

"There's been all these stories, and again, we need to look at what we can control around that.

"He's a 19-year-old kid, and he's saying his mental health has been strained. Let's look after him."

Port coach Ken Hinkley lamented another close defeat that ends the Power's bid for a place in the finals.

"It's a season we've had this year, it's been close but not good enough," Hinkley said.

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