Injury-Hit Blues Brave But Pies Prevail
Nathan Buckley seemed mildly pleased with the four premiership points from Collingwood's dour 20-point win over Carlton at the MCG.
But he was absolutely thrilled Adam Treloar appears to have avoided a major hamstring injury.
"Ugly game, four points, opposition were motivated and pretty well-structured," a matter-of-fact Buckley said of the scrappy 11.13 (79) to 9.5 (59) win in front of 53,706 fans on Sunday.
"We just did enough to win on the day against an opposition we thought played some pretty good footy."
But the coach's demeanour brightened considerably when he reported on Treloar's status.
The star on-baller fell to the ground in agony in the last quarter and limped to the nearby bench, sparking fears he had suffered a serious injury.
"The reports I have is that it was cramp," the coach said.
"If he's got away with that it's a credit to his preparation and the work that he does in the gym.
"The mechanism didn't look great but if he has indeed escaped with that then that's the best news we get out of today."
Levi Greenwood will also be monitored after suffering a concussion in the third quarter.
When the dust settles it's fair to assume Buckley will also be pretty chuffed that his team has won five games in a row and sits inside the top four after 14 rounds.
Scott Pendlebury starred with 29 possessions and a goal, with Steele Sidebottom (31 disposals) and Tom Phillips (28) also influential.
Jaidyn Stephenson and Will Hoskin-Elliott kicked three goals each.
It was last-placed Carlton's 12th loss of the season, but after last week's demoralising goalless first half against Fremantle there was actually a lot to like about the gutsy display.
In his 299th AFL game, Kade Simpson (31 possessions) was typically polished across half-back.
Patrick Cripps (29 touches and three goals) was a bull at the stoppages and Charlie Curnow (19) thrilled with two stunning marks and three goals.
The Blues played with two fit players on the bench in the second half after losing Lachie Plowman (knee) and Matthew Kreuzer (ankle) to injury.
Those losses came after Levi Casboult suffered a broken finger just minutes before the opening bounce.
"Whenever you lose players from your spine you've got to adjust, but to the players' credit they dug really deep," coach Brendon Bolton said.
"I was pleased all game that they dug in with limited rotations and some injuries.
"They gave their all."
Fears Plowman had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury were quickly allayed, Bolton reporting he has some bone bruising and medial ligament damage.
All three players will have scans to determine how long they will be sidelined.