COLLINGWOOD will continue to experiment with Darcy Moore as a forward as it prepares to take on Essendon without injured stars Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe on Anzac Day.
The Magpies lost De Goey early in Friday night’s 27-point loss to West Coast, with coach Nathan Buckley confirming the livewire forward had suffered concussion and broken nose.
Howe is also set to miss the crucial clash at the MCG and will be sent for scans after suffering a hamstring injury as the Magpies fell to 1-4 with their third straight loss.
De Goey returned to the field briefly in the opening quarter after being collected high by midfielder Tim Kelly but was sidelined after quarter-time and will miss at least one match due to the AFL’s concussion protocols.
“The doctor assessed him when he had the opportunity to and deemed he was no good to continue,” Buckley said on Friday night.
“So more than likely he misses another week. I don’t think he’ll miss any more than that with his nose, but he won’t be able to play next week given the rules, and then he’ll be looking at for round seven.
EAGLES v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats
“Those two blokes … to replace them in season is difficult and to replace in game is almost impossible.
“But having said that, we felt like we shuffled around and had enough of the play and we went inside 50 more often.”
All-Australian defender Moore started the match forward and was in the play early, but he drifted out of the game and didn’t register a disposal through the second and third quarters.
He still managed to finish with a team-high three goals and Buckley said the Magpies wanted to see him continue in the role for at least another week.
“We need more than one week to go off and he looked dangerous at times. It’s going to take him time to get a handle on it,” the coach said.
“The last time he played forward, the game was pretty different. So that’s going to take time. But we needed to change things up, we’re looking to get better.”
Buckley believed his team’s inability to defend in the back half was where the game was lost, with West Coast talls Oscar Allen and Jack Darling booting five goals each. Dom Sheed also booted three in a two-minute burst in the third term.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson praised the Magpies’ ability to dig in after suffering early injuries and warned his team had not put in a complete performance.
“I think our best is as good as anyone’s, but at the moment when we dip, we’re as vulnerable as anyone,” the coach said.
“We’re missing a few soldiers, like a lot of clubs, and we’re looking for that consistent four-quarter effort. We’re still searching for that.”
Simpson praised young star Allen, whose contested marking was thrilling before finishing off his work with a career-high five goals.
“We’ve got to keep a lid on it a little bit. He’s going to have ups and downs, he’s still pretty young,” Simpson said.
“But while we’ve got some experience around he’s having a good apprenticeship.”
Simpson expected backline pair Tom Cole and Josh Rotham had escaped without concussion after a final-quarter head clash.
“We dodged a bullet because it looked horrifying really. They’re having good seasons, so hopefully they’re OK,” he said.
“I don’t think they’ve got concussion, they were smiling and giggling next to each other in the medico room.”