Tom Mitchell wins more than Brodie Grundy for Collingwood Magpies, Kysaiah Pickett’s timing is bad

The introduction of Mitchell and Bobby Hill was crucial and changed the way Collingwood played. Dan McStay didn’t do much, but his presence may have helped create space and opportunity for others. He looked like a gambler contemplating where to spend most of the night.

The Demons' Brodie Grundy and the Bulldogs' Rory Lobb go head-to-head in round one.

The Demons’ Brodie Grundy and the Bulldogs’ Rory Lobb go head-to-head in round one. Credit:Getty

Jack Ginnivan gave up his place on the team through his own silliness. Hill’s performance ensured that Ginnivan did not automatically return after the suspension. Hill added another bite to Collingwood, not only in attack, where he scored three goals, but with a deep transition run. He looks like a player enjoying the big stage. On Friday night he played in front of 86,000 people. On Sunday, his old team played ahead of a tenth in the Giants-Crows match with just 8169.

Introducing ‘Grawndy’

Aside from that, Brodie Grundy also improves the look of Melbourne, whose victory over the Bulldogs was the most ominous warning for the rest of the competition.

Grundy’s numbers did not reflect his effectiveness. He had a hand in seven points, tunneled a deft ball to Ed Langdon on the border in the pocket for a goal and started one himself.

He only played 69 percent of the game, which is a change for a player who usually enjoys using his stamina to wear out opponents. He also only took one mark, which is worrying since tagging has never been his forte: his career average is just 3.5 points per game. As a second ruck and forward, he needs to be more menacing in the air.

And yet there was no doubt that he allowed Max Gawn to go forward more often, where the Melbourne skipper was just as dangerous as any forward on the ground. Gawn hit the scoreboard and stretched the Bulldogs, and that was because Grundy made it possible.

This was a Melbourne side without Steven May, Jack Viney, Bailey Fritsch and Christian Salem. Again, the sample size is small, but the signals for the season are there.

Is MRO daunting enough?

Kysaiah Pickett’s timing was terrible. Except for the fact that he was late shooting shoulder first in Bailey Smith’s chest and head. His timing – and that of Buddy Franklin and Shane McAdam with their bumps – came after a week, as the first of the long-threatening concussion class-action lawsuits was initiated.

You cannot separate the two problems.

The rating system has predicted penalties for Pickett (two games) and Franklin (one), but the specter of trials and further litigation looms over all football decisions and must make us reconsider the size of the penalties and the deterrent effect.

Are suspensions for one or two games sufficient in potentially serious injury incidents? Smith got up immediately, but ongoing concussion studies suggest the potential for serious injury from high-impact collisions is high.


In isolation, neither incident appears to merit a multi-game ban. But in the context of the game’s existential threat, the question is whether the penalties are enough.

Wright timing for Weideman

Peter Wright’s injury layoff for at least half the season creates the solid stretch of games that could be the pick-me-up for ex-demon Sam Weideman. A rim striker throughout his career, his rejuvenation continued at a new club with a couple of goals in a quarter and he seemed to be growing in confidence. A set of games can only help. Tom Mitchell wins more than Brodie Grundy for Collingwood Magpies, Kysaiah Pickett’s timing is bad

Ryan Sederquist

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