COLLINGWOOD star midfielder Adam Treloar had 36 disposals in Brisbane’s 62-point thumping win over Brisbane, but that wasn’t all he did.
Treloar held dangerous Brisbane recruit Lachie Neale to a comparatively low 24 touches, his fewest since round 16 last year, after the former Docker had started his Lions career with three successive 40-plus disposal games.
It’s part of Collingwood’s flexible approach to tagging star opponents.
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Levi Greenwood is the side’s nominal stopper, but wasn’t picked for the match despite having some impressive scalps under his belt.
Coach Nathan Buckley gave a deadpan response when asked how his side tackled Neale.
“We put our best tagger, Adam Treloar, on him. ‘Ads’ was able to get a bit of the ball at the same time,” Buckley said.
“There is an argument, clearly, that is through the competition at the moment about taggers and the effectiveness of them. We have a couple of ‘go-to’ guys that can do the job for us when we feel we need it, but we also need to explore our capacity to be able to have a balanced midfield that’s able to defend as well as attack.
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“Sometimes, the names that we have used [aren’t] associated with defensive roles. ‘Pendles’ (Scott Pendlebury), Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar, James Aish, Chris Mayne, Levi Greenwood – to name a few – will have defensive roles at times, but I thought largely we were able to hunt the ball really well and impose our brand of footy, which is largely going to be our focus.
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“We’re going to come up against teams that are going to have high-disposal or high-effect midfielders and you have to work out how to quell them without losing your own integrity, and half the time that’s just playing your brand better.”
Collingwood’s forward line was potent, with eight players kicking 18 goals between them.
They were led by a four-goal haul from Brody Mihocek, who at 26 years old played just his 21st game on Thursday night, after coming through the club’s VFL ranks.
Mihocek also had 18 disposals and took eight marks in a well-rounded display.
“He’s underrated for what he does. His workrate’s huge, he impacts through the air and on the ground,” Buckley said.
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“The amount of bullocking work he does for his teammates is not unnoticed and is not lost on his teammates, so he’s well-respected with the way he goes about his role internally.
“It’s probably just a matter of time when his opportunity comes and he’s going to hit the scoreboard more, and he took it tonight, there’s no doubt.
“If he’s not creating it for himself, he’s creating opportunities for his teammates, which has been a really consistent part of his AFL career to date.”