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Match Preview

The Preview: Round 18, 2018

By Mitchell Jones July 19, 2018 6:25 PM

190718_ZiebellLarge.jpg

Round 18
North Melbourne v Collingwood
Saturday, July 21
Melbourne Cricket Ground
First bounce: 1.45pm (AEST)
Gates open: 12.00pm (AEST)

Storyline

They are two sides that were widely considered to sit in the bottom half of the ladder by this point of the season, but in Round 18, Collingwood and North sit third and ninth respectively.

It makes Saturday’s clash between the two a mouth-watering one.

For Collingwood, it has been plagued by injuries this past month, but continues to overcome hurdles and fight hard for a top two berth.

As for North, every match for the remainder of the season seems pivotal in its pursuit for a ticket to September, and after losing a nail-biter last week, this one has become much more important.

Two in-form teams, on the MCG, on a Saturday afternoon, it has all the makings of an absolute classic.

Dominant big men

In the years gone by, the role of the big man was thought to be on the brink of extinction, but in 2018, they are back in vogue, and Collingwood and North’s talls have proven that.

In the ruck stocks, Brodie Grundy is putting together a career-best year, while Todd Goldstein continues to edge closer to his All-Australian form from 2015.

The Collingwood ruckman is currently averaging a personal-best number of hit-outs, 37.8, while his North counterpart is hot on his tail, averaging 36.9 taps per game.

Both athletic ruckman that pride themselves on their running ability and skills, the Grundy-Goldstein clash will be fascinating.

In the forward line, Mason Cox is improving with every game, continually standing tall in attack to either hit the scoreboard, or bring the ball to ground for this smaller teammates such as Jordan De Goey and Jaidyn Stephenson.

For North, Coleman Medal leader Ben Brown continues to kicks bags of goals, and is currently sitting on a season tally of 50 majors after a four-goal haul last weekend.

With Cox back in the side, Majak Daw could find himself return to defence after an impressive cameo inside forward 50 last week.

Battle of high-prized recruits

Both sides pride themselves on their young, emerging stars, and on Saturday, both sets of young guns will be on display.

Highlighting the Magpies' group is electric forward Stephenson, while for North, smooth moving midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke is set to line up.

Stephenson’s had a solid start to his AFL career, exhibiting his natural talent in front of goals and ability to create something out of nothing on many occasions this season, kicking 25 goals from his 16 games.

Davies-Uniacke’s transition to the big league has been gradual, but he more than impressed last weekend against Sydney, displaying his agility, silky skills and elite game sense on multiple occasions, in what is being considered as his best AFL game.

Taken with pick six and four respectively in last year’s draft, both Stephenson and Davies-Uniacke will give football fans an insight into what to expect in years to come.

At football’s home

Saturday will be the second and final time that North run out on the MCG in 2018, where as for Collingwood, it will be the 12th occasion.

The Magpies’ record at the ‘G has been impressive of late, winning six of their past nine at the home of football, which has included a pair of wins over Essendon, plus lone victories against sides such as Melbourne and Fremantle.

North’s recent record at the ground is a far cry from what many would think, with the Roos walking away from the stadium with the win in ten of their past 16 outings.

Unlike North’s home ground of Etihad Stadium, the MCG surface is exposed to the unpredictable Melbourne weather, which can often heavily impact how the game plays out.

If it does rain however, don’t expect it to hinder away side’s chances in any way, given it faces similar conditions in Hobart on multiple occasions each year.

Collingwood’s team

B Brayden Maynard, Tom Langdon, Jack Crisp
HB Jeremy Howe, Matthew Scharenberg, Sam Murray
C Chris Mayne, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips
HF Jordan De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Travis Varcoe
F Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson
FOL Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Steele Sidebottom
I/C Brody Mihocek, Brayden Sier, Darcy Moore, Levi Greenwood
EMG Callum Brown, Ben Crocker, Josh Daicos, Sam McLarty
 
In: Sam Murray, Mason Cox
Out: Ben Crocker (Omitted), Josh Daicos (Omitted)

Burning questions

Is Darcy Moore the one to line-up on Ben Brown?
There isn’t a less enviable task for a defender at the moment than lining up on Ben Brown, who has rarely let a backman stop him from impacting the game this year.

Collingwood’s Darcy Moore returned from injury last weekend and filled the vacancy left by defender Lynden Dunn quite well, and looks set to do the same on Saturday given the Magpies’ key-defender shortage.

How will Marley Williams go against his old side?
Despite being in his second season at North, Saturday will be the first time that Marley Williams faces his old side.

Traded at the end of season 2016 for pick 105, Williams has become an integral part in North’s backline. He’s been impressive since arriving at Arden Street, but it will be a big test against his former teammates.

Can the skippers lead from the front again?
Both Scott Pendlebury and Jack Ziebell have stood tall this season, and led their respective sides from the front.

Pendlebury, who is an elite ball winner through the middle of the ground, plays a much different role compared to Ziebell, who uses his solid build to burst through packs deep inside forward 50.

A captain’s performance is often a good representation of a team’s output, which is why both side’s will be hoping for strong games from their leaders.

Match Articles

Winning at the contest

North will look to win the battle in close in a bid to match to match Collingwood’s in-form midfield brigade.

6:55pm Jul 19, 2018

The Preview: Round 18

Two in-form teams, on the MCG, on a Saturday afternoon, it has all the makings of an absolute classic.

6:25pm Jul 19, 2018

Match Video

Match Info

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Head to Head

Disposal Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Adam Treloar
    Adam Treloar
    31.1
  • Collingwood
    Steele Sidebottom
    29.9
  • Collingwood
    Scott Pendlebury
    27.4
  • Collingwood
    Tom Phillips
    26.8
  • Collingwood
    Taylor Adams
    24.9
Fantasy Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Brodie Grundy
    Brodie Grundy
    117.3
  • Collingwood
    Adam Treloar
    108.5
  • Collingwood
    Steele Sidebottom
    103.3
  • Collingwood
    Scott Pendlebury
    103.1
  • Collingwood
    Tom Phillips
    99.1
Scoring Leaders
  • Will Hoskin-Elliott
    Will Hoskin-Elliott
    31.11
  • Collingwood
    Josh Thomas
    27.9
  • Collingwood
    Jordan De Goey
    26.9
  • Collingwood
    Jaidyn Stephenson
    25.14
  • Collingwood
    Mason Cox
    14.5

Season Averages

  • 408.3 Disposals 364.7
  • 74.5 Disposal Eff 70.4
  • 149.8 Contested Pos 150.1
  • 96.8 Marks 80.9
  • 23.5 Free Kicks 23.8
  • 37.9 Clearances 35.8
  • 54.9 Inside 50s 52.5
  • 38.3 Rebound 50s 39.8
  • 63.7 Tackles 64.1
  • 45.4 Hit-outs 43.3
  • 80.0 Interchanges 84.0

Recent Encounters

  • 7.15 (57)
    RD 20, 2017, ES
    16.15 (111)
  • 12.12 (84)
    RD 18, 2016, ES
    18.16 (124)
  • 17.10 (112)
    RD 9, 2015, MCG
    14.11 (95)
  • 13.15 (93)
    RD 5, 2014, MCG
    8.10 (58)
Disposal Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Shaun Higgins
    Shaun Higgins
    27.5
  • North Melbourne
    Ben Cunnington
    25.1
  • North Melbourne
    Paul Ahern
    20.5
  • North Melbourne
    Luke McDonald
    20.4
  • North Melbourne
    Ben Jacobs
    19.1
Fantasy Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Shaun Higgins
    Shaun Higgins
    94.3
  • North Melbourne
    Ben Cunnington
    93.5
  • North Melbourne
    Todd Goldstein
    92.2
  • North Melbourne
    Jarrad Waite
    86.8
  • North Melbourne
    Jack Ziebell
    84.4
Scoring Leaders
  • Ben Brown
    Ben Brown
    50.19
  • North Melbourne
    Jack Ziebell
    24.23
  • North Melbourne
    Jarrad Waite
    22.11
  • North Melbourne
    Mason Wood
    15.9
  • North Melbourne
    Shaun Atley
    11.13

Team Lineups

Collingwood

B

  • Brayden Maynard,
  • Tom Langdon,
  • Jack Crisp

HB

  • Jeremy Howe,
  • Matthew Scharenberg,
  • Sam Murray

C

  • Chris Mayne,
  • Scott Pendlebury,
  • Tom Phillips

HF

  • Jordan De Goey,
  • Will Hoskin-Elliott,
  • Travis Varcoe

F

  • Josh Thomas,
  • Mason Cox,
  • Jaidyn Stephenson

Fol

  • Brodie Grundy,
  • Taylor Adams,
  • Steele Sidebottom

I/C

  • Brody Mihocek,
  • Brayden Sier,
  • Darcy Moore,
  • Levi Greenwood

Emg

  • Callum Brown,
  • Ben Crocker,
  • Josh Daicos,
  • Sam McLarty

In

  • Sam Murray,
  • Mason Cox

Out

  • Ben Crocker (Omitted),
  • Josh Daicos (Omitted)

Last updated: 6:39PM Thursday, July 19, 2018

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