Sports

Match-winning Magpie Oliver Henry was almost dropped for Fremantle clash


“It’s a great lesson for resilience … I spoke to him during week about, just, (how) you’ve got to stay more present and make the most of the opportunities you have.

“Today he just looked like a player with more composure. Credit to the kid, though, he went back and worked on his craft all week, I was looking out of my window and everyone else has gone home and he’s doing goalkicking.”

Griffin Logue of the Dockers gets tackled by Oliver Henry of the Magpies.

Griffin Logue of the Dockers gets tackled by Oliver Henry of the Magpies.Credit:Getty Images

The Dockers have now lost back-to-back games to bottom-10 sides, and after starting the year 7-1, Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir accused his players of “getting way ahead of themselves”.

“It probably gives us a reality check, to be honest, because we were riding high and everyone was getting way ahead of themselves, and if you get way ahead yourself in footy – you don’t even need to get way ahead of yourself, if you get marginally ahead of yourself in footy, it gives you a reality check and we’ve got that,” Longmuir said.

“So when you’re sitting close to the top, teams come and bring their best and (if) you’re off in any part, you get what you deserve.”

Despite also losing to the Suns by 36 points in very similar conditions last week, Longmuir doesn’t think his game plan has to change too much. But he conceded playing in the wet could be a psychological problem for his players.

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“Until we trust ourselves in those conditions and probably get used to them, I’m not going to be able to answer that question,” he said.

“I think it is a mental thing. I think some of our players read too much into the conditions and it affects their games too much.”

McRae said his side welcomed the rain as they laid a whopping 85 tackles to 61 in what was a superb performance of pressure footy.

“The great thing is our style stacks up in the wet,” McRae said.

“We were smiling, to be honest, when it started raining – here we go, we like to play in the wet and we got an opportunity to display that.”

But Longmuir found McRae’s optimism for the conditions odd, especially as the Dockers started the game stronger when the ground was more waterlogged.

“When it was at its wettest we were on top in the game,” Longmuir said.

“You saw the first quarter, it was about that much water over the ground and I thought we owned that part of the game.

“It’s an interesting comment.”

After a copping a shellacking in contested football from the Bulldogs last week, McRae said he was “really proud” of Collingwood’s response.

“I thought last week wasn’t a pattern of behaviour for us, I thought it was an event – a lack of effort in parts of the game,” McRae said.

“So we showed them what they were like for seven or eight rounds of being a really good pressure team, a good territory team and these sort of things that we revisited.

“We looked like a more organised, measured, disciplined team tonight, and last week we looked the complete opposite.”

As for Jack Ginnivan’s decision to showboat to the crowd moments before kicking a goal midway through final quarter: “Just kick the goal and then maybe celebrate with your teammates might be the message.“



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