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2020 Toyota AFL Premiership
Round 5 • Collingwood v Essendon
MCG Melbourne
48 7.6
Full Time Bombers by 15
63 10.3
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    The ultimate preview: Rd 5

    A comprehensive preview of Essendon's round five clash against Collingwood.

    <!-- -->
    The Bombers and Magpies will renew hostilities on Friday night. (Photo: AFL Photos)

    Take a look at our comprehensive preview of Essendon's clash against Collingwood on Friday night.

    COLLINGWOOD v ESSENDON

    Friday, July 3
    7:50pm AEST
    MCG
    Live on Channel Seven 

    THE HISTORY

    Games played - 248
    Won – 103
    Lost – 132
    Drawn – 4

    THREE QUICK FACTS

    1. Walla sets new record

    Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti will break Essendon's consecutive games record in the AFL era when he lines up on Friday night. The 27-year-old will surpass 2000 premiership player Mark Johnson on 82 consecutive games, climbing to outright seventh on the Bombers' overall consecutive games tally behind former VFL stars Don McKenzie (94), Elton Plummer (98), Allan Hird (102), Geoff Gosper (114), Frank Maher (118) and Jack Jones (133).

    2. History against Bombers

    The Bombers haven't beaten the Magpies on a Friday since round 19, 2006 - a 13-point win that saw Courtney Johns kick a game-high three goals and Dustin Fletcher awarded three Brownlow votes. The five Friday games since have fallen Collingwood's way, with the Magpies having won the past four clashes and 15 of the past 20 overall against the Bombers.

    3. Phillips' birthday treat

    Andrew Phillips will make his Essendon debut on his 29th birthday, having crossed over from Carlton during last year's trade period. The ruckman was part of Greater Western Sydney's foundation squad, playing 14 games for the Giants before adding another 27 at the Blues. He joins fellow Tasmanian Mitch Hibberd as club debutants this week.

    00:34 Mins
    Published on

    Debut announcement | Andrew Phillips

    Watch the moment Andrew Phillips found out he'd be making his Essendon debut.

    Published on

    LAST TIME WE MET

    Round 23, 2019: Essendon 10.5 (65) lost to Collingwood 10.16 (76)

    Essendon entered its last game of the home and away season as a rank outsider, having lost Jake Stringer, Orazio Fantasia, Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis to injury ahead of the match. Its task was made even harder when Michael Hurley suffered a shoulder injury in the early stages, failing to return to the field for the rest of the match.

    The Bombers were undeterred, however, making a fast start to lead by 19 points at the first break. The Magpies chipped away at the deficit to level the scores at three-quarter time, putting some distance on the Bombers in the final term to run out 11-point winners.

    Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti earned a Brownlow vote for his 18 disposals and two goals, while Conor McKenna set new career-highs for disposals (35), effective disposals (27) and metres gained (710).

    05:31 Mins
    Published on

    Highlights | Rd 23

    The Magpies and Bombers clash in round 23.

    Published on

    FORM 

    Essendon
    Round one: Defeated Fremantle 9.9 (63) to 8.9 (57) at Marvel Stadium
    Round two: Defeated Sydney 12.7 (79) to 11.7 (73) at the SCG
    Round four: Lost to Carlton 8.3 (51) to 7.10 (52) at the MCG

    The Bombers' unbeaten start was ended in yet another cliffhanger, with their first three games decided by a goal or less. While coach John Worsfold didn't blame the interrupted lead-in for the last-gasp loss, he said having players in lockdown for 48 hours "wasn't ideal".

    Whatever the case, the Bombers looked flat and were well beaten in disposals (267-332), inside 50s (34-49), clearances (23-37) and uncontested possessions (140 to 201). They'll take some consolation from the fact they were in the contest until the dying seconds despite those numbers, but they'll need a considerable lift against one of the competition's best sides this week.

    04:51 Mins
    Published on

    Rd 4 | Every Goal

    Every Essendon goal from our round four match against Carlton at the MCG.

    Published on

    Collingwood
    Round one: Defeated Western Bulldogs 13.8 (86) to 5.4 (34) at Marvel Stadium
    Round two: Drew with Richmond 5.6 (36) to 5.6 (36) at the MCG
    Round three: Defeated St Kilda 12.9 (81) to 5.7 (37) at the MCG
    Round four: Lost to GWS 9.10 (64) to 10.6 (66) at GIANTS Stadium

    Like Essendon, Collingwood had its undefeated start ended in a nail-biter in Sydney. The Giants looked set for an emphatic victory when they skipped out to a 19-point lead late in the third term, but the Magpies fought back to hit the lead early in the final quarter, despite losing star defender Jeremy Howe to a nasty knee injury.

    After four rounds, the Magpies sit fifth on the ladder and lead the competition for effective disposals, uncontested possessions, marks and hitouts per game, conceding the second-least points behind Port Adelaide.

    TEAMS

    ESSENDON

    Backs: 8. Martin Gleeson, 26. Cale Hooker, 42. Adam Saad
    Half-backs: 11. David Zaharakis, 18. Michael Hurley, 14. Jordan Ridley
    Centre: 33. Brayden Ham, 1. Andrew McGrath, 4. Kyle Langford
    Half-forwards: 13. Orazio Fantasia, 44. Shaun McKernan, 43. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
    Forwards: 40. Will Snelling, 25. Jake Stringer, 20. Jacob Townsend
    Followers: 34. Andrew Phillips, 3. Darcy Parish, 9. Dylan Shiel
    Interchange: 5. Devon Smith, 46. Mitch Hibberd, 27. Mason Redman, 15. Jayden Laverde
    Emergencies: 28. Ned Cahill, 35. Matt Guelfi, 37. Dylan Clarke, 30. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

    In: Phillips, Hibberd, Laverde

    Out: Merrett (suspended), Francis (injured), Bellchambers (managed)

    New: Phillips (Carlton), Hibberd (Williamstown)

    04:35 Mins
    Published on

    Rd 5 | Team selection

    Senior Coach John Worsfold takes us through the team to face Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night.

    Published on

    COLLINGWOOD

    Backs: 25. Jack Crisp, 23. Jordan Roughead, 12. Matt Scharenberg
    Half-backs: 37. Brayden Maynard, 30. Darcy Moore, 16. Chris Mayne
    Centre: 26. Josh Daicos, 10. Scott Pendlebury, 32. Will Hoskin-Elliott
    Half-forwards: 1. Jaidyn Stephenson, 41. Brody Mihocek, 17. Callum Brown
    Forwards: 2. Jordan De Goey, 46. Mason Cox, 5. Jamie Elliott
    Followers: 4. Brodie Grundy, 13. Taylor Adams, 7. Adam Treloar
    Interchange: 18. Travis Varcoe, 33. Rupert Wills, 6. Tyler Brown, 21. Tom Phillips
    Emergencies: 24. Josh Thomas, 36. Brayden Sier, 14. Darcy Cameron, 44. Jack Madgen

    In: Treloar, Varcoe, Scharenberg

    Out: Sidebottom (suspended), Howe (knee), Noble (omitted)

    BOMBER TO WATCH

    Jake Stringer

    Born on Anzac Day, Jake Stringer missed out on the opportunity to strut his stuff on the biggest stage of the home and away season. He'll still have a huge role to play in the postponed edition, however, as the Bombers attempt to crack open a miserly Collingwood defence.

    Boasting speed and pressure, Stringer will need to dial up the the heat and force turnovers from the Magpies' defenders, who love to control possession and be methodical in their ball use. The 26-year-old is also a bonafide game-breaker who can hurt opposition defences on the scoreboard in devastating bursts.

    DANGEROUS OPPONENT

    Scott Pendlebury

    At the ripe old age of 32, there appears to be nothing stopping Scott Pendlebury. The Collingwood captain is in vintage form, ranked in the top five for disposals and uncontested possessions and placed fourth in the AFL Coaches' Association votes.

    He loves playing against the Bombers, too, last year claiming his third Anzac Medal for his 38-disposal performance.

    Scott Pendlebury with last year's Anzac Medal. (Photo: AFL Photos)

    KEY TALKING POINTS

    1. Replacing two premier midfielders

    It's rare to see Zach Merrett absent in the line-up, with the suspended midfielder having played 51 consecutive games. He joins captain Dyson Heppell (ankle) on the sidelines, leaving the Bombers with the sizeable task of replacing the star duo against a midfield that's conceding the least centre clearances.

    Expect to see more time in the middle for Darcy Parish and Kyle Langford, while club debutant and former Roo Mitch Hibberd is a ready-made inside midfielder who averaged 24 disposals and seven tackles for Williamstown in the VFL last season.

    02:13 Mins
    Published on

    BTV: Rookie Draft | Mitch Hibberd highlights

    Highlights from our pick 10 in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft, Mitch Hibberd.

    Published on

    The Bombers will need to lift their game in the contested ball stakes, having lost the count 112 to 126 against Carlton last week. They're ranked 12th to Collingwood's fifth for contested possessions, with four of the top five sides on the ladder also ranked in the top five for average contested possessions.

    The Magpies also have their midfield concerns with prolific wingman Steele Sidebottom suspended, but his absence is offset by the return of Adam Treloar for his first game of the season.

    2. Stopping Grundy's influence

    Going up against the League's premier ruckman is a daunting task for your club debut, but under Friday night lights, this is Andrew Phillips' chance to shine.

    The former Giant and Blue has replaced Tom Bellchambers (managed) as he prepares to face up to Brodie Grundy, who after back-to-back club best and fairests has started 2020 in rampaging fashion.

    A look at Phillips' numbers last year - albeit from a small sample size - suggests he could be up to the challenge.

    During his five senior games, he ranked in the competition’s top 10 averages for centre clearances, hitouts and contested marks, with Nic Naitanui the only other ruckman to better Phillips in the latter.

    02:05 Mins
    Published on

    BTV: Andrew Phillips highlights

    Highlights of our newest Bomber, Andrew Phillips.

    Published on

    He set new career-high averages for disposals (11.4), hitouts (29.8), tackles (3.4), inside 50s (2.6), marks (3.6), clearances (3.2), metres gained (185.2) and intercepts (3.2), ranked by Champion Data as ‘elite’ for contested marks and hitouts to advantage.

    Phillips' ability to negate Grundy's influence will be crucial on Friday night, with the Magpies ranked first for hitouts and third for centre clearances.

    3. Howe big a loss is Jeremy?

    While the Bombers have key personnel missing, the Magpies have a significant hole to fill in defence without Jeremy Howe.

    Arguably the competition's in-form defender through the first four rounds, Howe leads the Magpies for marks, intercepts and rebound 50s, using his positioning to cut off opponents' attacks and hurt them the other way with his skills and creativity.

    He was enjoying another strong performance before succumbing to a brutal knee injury against the Giants, recording 23 disposals, six intercept possessions and almost 500m gained.

    The Magpies have called on Matt Scharenberg to replace Howe, but already have Darcy Moore and Jack Crisp capable of playing that intercept role.

    Dons strike back against Magpies

    Essendon defeats arch-rival Collingwood to move into the top four.

    <!-- -->
    Essendon debutant Mitch Hibberd celebrates with Michael Hurley. (Photo: AFL Photos)

    For so long Essendon has been a side full of style. But its win over Collingwood on Friday night was one of substance.    

    After last week's lacklustre defeat to Carlton, the Bombers struck back by beating Collingwood by 15 points at the MCG in a boilover.

    06:51 Mins
    Published on

    Rd 5 | Highlights

    The Bombers and Pies clash in round five.

    Published on

    The Bombers didn't do it without a scare, though, having led by 28 points early in the last term. That was whittled back to three points midway through the last term after a flurry of Collingwood goals, however late majors to Jacob Townsend and Dylan Shiel sealed the 10.3 (63) to 7.6 (48) win.  

    BID NOW FOR MATCH-WORN GUERNSEYS

    Jake Stringer was the star with three goals but he limped from the field late in the contest with what appeared to be an ankle injury.  

    Midfield duo Shiel (29 disposals) and Andrew McGrath (19) were also pivotal in the Bombers' third win from four starts, while stand in skipper Michael Hurley was terrific in defence alongside runner Adam Saad.  

    This was the Bombers playing to senior coach-in-waiting Ben Rutten's plan.  

    The club has been known for its flash, dare and fast-paced game plan, but Rutten is laying the defensive foundations and it showed against the Pies, who were kept goalless for the second and third quarters after a quick start.

    With a side missing star midfielders Zach Merrett and Dyson Heppell, as well as key forward Joe Daniher, it was an Essendon win where its sum was better than its parts.

    The loss capped a rough week for the Pies, who lost Jeremy Howe for much of the season with a knee injury in last week's loss to the Giants and had vice-captain Steele Sidebottom suspended for four games because of a COVID-19 protocol breach. 

    Phillips stakes claim for permanent ruck spot

    It loomed as a massive task for new Bomber Andrew Phillips in stopping Collingwood ruck counterpart Brodie Grundy. Grundy picked up four of six Brownlow Medal votes against the Bombers last year and asserted his dominance around the ground. But the former Giants and Blues ruckman held his own in his first game in the red and black. Grundy dominated the hitouts (37 to 13), but Phillips' competitiveness and marking around the ground (he finished with 11 disposals) were also influential in a performance that should see him in the starting Bombers side for some time. 

    Howe will the Pies replace him? 

    The massive hole left in Collingwood's defence by the injured Howe was laid bare by the Bombers. Howe, who underwent knee surgery this week and could miss the rest of the season, is such a general in the back half for the Magpies that it was clear they were missing his direction, control and ability to help out teammates in the air. Collingwood's back half lacked surety without him, with Matt Scharenberg returning to the line-up and Travis Varcoe being deployed into defence. Townsend kept Magpies' star backman Darcy Moore occupied too, making for some shaky moments.  

    Controversial calls 

    Late in the third quarter, with Collingwood's scoring drought continuing, the Pies missed what looked set to be a certain goal when De Goey's shot hit the goal umpire as he was straddling the post. The decision was sent to the score review centre, who deemed it a behind in what was a crucial moment. But the Pies perhaps got the evener in the last quarter, when Bomber Will Snelling was pinged for a dangerous tackle on Callum Brown. Replays showed the tackle to be near textbook, but Brown duly went back and slotted his goal as the Magpies made their late run. 

    COLLINGWOOD                3.0       3.1       3.5    7.6 (48)?
    ESSENDON                           3.0       5.0      8.2    10.3 (63)? 

    GOALS?

    Collingwood: Stephenson 3, Brown, Daicos, Mihocek, Varcoe

    Essendon: Stringer 3, McDonald-Tipungwuti 2, McKernan, Parish, Shiel, Townsend, Zaharakis

    BEST?

    Collingwood: Treloar, Maynard, Daicos, Stephenson, Pendlebury

    Essendon: Shiel, Hurley, McGrath, Stringer, Ridley, Hooker 

    INJURIES?

    Collingwood: Nil

    Essendon: Stringer (ankle)

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