Injuries take toll as Magpies touch up reigning premiers Geelong

Thrill kings Collingwood stunned Geelong with a high-voltage display of attacking football on a night of carnage at the MCG.

Jeremy Howe suffered a potentially season-ending arm injury, and Tom Stewart is poised for a spell in the stands as well after being injured in the Pies’ dramatic 22-point win in front of 86,595 fans.

There are also concerns over Geelong key defender Sam de Koning (knee) and Collingwood enforcer Taylor Adams (foot).

The injury toll marred a high-scoring, nerve-jangling and at times spiteful encounter in which the Pies finished all over the tiring Cats, slamming home seven straight goals in the second half. It included two to super sub Reef McInnes.

The Pies ran the reigning premiers ragged in a performance that signalled they will be a force again in 2023.

Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott (left) and Tom Mitchell celebrate.Credit:Getty Images

Headlined by Nick and Josh Daicos, the Pies had the bulk of the best players on the field, while the Cats laboured in the second half as their 16-game winning run came to a screeching halt.

The Cats were slow starters last year so there should not be alarm bells after just one game, but the performance is a reminder just how hard it will be for Chris Scott’s men to defend their crown.

Slow chants of “Collingwood, Collingwood” broke out with minutes left as it became apparent the Pies would not be subjecting their fans to a heartstopping finish.

Play was stopped for several minutes in the third quarter after Howe crashed to the turf after a desperate attempt to spoil in a sickening collision with Tyson Stengle.

Though Stengle appeared to be the player in most danger contesting a ball sat on his head, it was Howe who was more seriously hurt.

The high-leaping backman fell with almost all his weight landing on his left arm. Writhing in agony with his legs shaking, Howe was clutching at the upper half of his left arm as he was being tended to by medical staff.

The injury was deemed graphic enough for Channel Seven not to show replays of the contest, while an odd hush broke out across the jam-packed stadium.

Jeremy Howe suffered a serious arm injury.Credit:Getty | The Age

Howe’s teammates broke from their huddle to wish their stricken teammate well before the motorised stretcher drove him off the field. Jeremy Cameron also showed his support in a mark of respect.

With his high marking and athleticism, Howe is a crucial cog in the Magpies defence. He played just 12 games in 2020-21 when the club tumbled down the ladder but was instrumental in their shock rise last year when he finished fourth in the Copeland Trophy vote count.

Stewart, one of the Cats’ most important players, hurt his right knee after landing awkwardly in the first quarter and was subbed out at quarter time. Though the extent of the damage is unknown, he is in doubt to face Carlton on Thursday night.

De Koning sent a scare through the Cats camp in the second term when his right knee appeared to buckle as he was jogging backwards with no player around him. He limped off the field immediately but was cleared to play out the game, though appeared proppy late.

Taylor Adams appeared to hurt his foot after making contact with Zach Guthrie as he attempted a kick, but, like de Koning, he also returned to the field.


Every major show needs a pantomime villain, and for those of the black and white persuasion Ollie Henry fit the bill perfectly. Playing his first game against his old club, Henry was given a hot reception from his former teammates and fans. Welcomed at the first bounce with the obligatory shove from Brayden Maynard, Henry was bowled over by the Magpies enforcer during the quarter-time melee. The theatre went up another level in the second term when he marked his first goal in the hoops by goading the Pies faithful as he was mobbed by teammates. He went from hero to zero moments later when, showboating with a certain goal beckoning, he was run down by Darcy Moore in the goal square metres from the Collingwood cheer squad. He could also have handballed to Brad Close. The tackle was reminiscent of Heath Shaw’s iconic play on Nick Riewoldt in the 2010 grand final replay. Henry kicked two goals to go with 14 possessions but his old club laughed last.

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