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Pendlebury Relishing New AFL Midfield Role

Scott Pendlebury is relishing the chance to occasionally hunt, rather than be hunted.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley praised his captain after last week's big win over Fremantle, where Pendlebury went head-to-head with Dockers counterpart Nat Fyfe and blunted his effectiveness.

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Pendlebury also had more of a negating role earlier this season on young Carlton star Patrick Cripps.

Given the strength of the Melbourne midfield group, there will be plenty of potential missions for Pendlebury on Monday in the Queen's Birthday blockbuster.

"I've done a couple this year and I suppose it's more around the stoppage area and try to nullify guys," he said.

"Obviously it was made a little bit easier (last Sunday) by the fact that (Aaron) Sandilands wasn't rucking and he's fairly dominant in there.

"I really enjoy those roles, it's a change to learn from some of the really good, elite midfielders. 

"Again this week, there might be another role ... around stoppage, but then in transition it's just get after it."

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While the Dockers were at a disadvantage without Sandilands, the ruck duel on Monday looks far more intriguing.

Collingwood's Brodie Grundy and Melbourne's Max Gawn are the two dominant ruckmen in the league this season. 

"It's probably the No. 1 versus No.2 ruckman ... it's an exciting battle," Pendlebury said.

"The ruckmen do have a legitimate contest.

"Forwards these days rotate so heavily through the midfield, defenders pick up certain guys depending on where they go.

"Brodie versus Gawny will be a legitimate fight for that crown so to speak. 

"We all know I have Brodie at one."

AAP

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