AAP AFL

Pies mark Sidebottom’s 200th with AFL win

By AAP Newswire

Collingwood showed what they think of Steele Sidebottom with their grinding 16-point AFL win over Essendon at the MCG.

Sidebottom kicked a massive goal in the last quarter of his 200th game and was chaired off the field after the 12.6 (78) to 9.8 (62) win on Sunday at the MCG.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley usually does not put too much weight on player milestones, but he said this one was big for the team.

"I can't understate the significance of Steele's milestone," Buckley said.

"Mick (Malthouse) always said 'don't count the games, make the games count' ... but I don't know, for whatever reason, this one was really significant."

Collingwood retained second spot with their seventh-straight win, while the Bombers are now two games plus percentage outside the top eight.

It was a brutal clash in bleak, wet conditions and there was a significant injury toll.

Will Hoskin-Elliott (shin) and Flynn Appleby (hamstring) added to Collingwood's long casualty list.

After losing forward Orazio Fantasia pre-game with a groin injury, Essendon coach John Worsfold said they ran out of legs in the last quarter after Jake Stringer (calves), Travis Myer (calf) and Patrick Ambrose (hamstring) were all hurt.

Nathan Buckley said they put it on their tall players, including Mason Cox, Brodie Grundy and Brody Mihocek, to lift after Essendon were dominating in the air.

Then captain Scott Pendlebury capped his best-afield performance with a massive last term, while Jordan De Goey kicked three crucial second-half goals.

Essendon led by seven points early in the last quarter before Collingwood rallied.

Bombers veteran Brendon Goddard gave away a free and a 50m penalty and Sidebottom took full toll.

His booming goal put the Magpies back in front - the eighth and final lead change of the match.

While Worsfold praised Pendlebury for his last quarter, he said the Bombers' top midfielders also did everything they could.

"We just ran out of legs, really, in the end," Worsfold said.

"(Dyson) Heppell and (Zach) Merrett were outstanding throughout the game, hanging in there.

"They had to carry a massive workload.

"McGrath really ran himself into the ground - those guys had given everything.

"They paid a price in terms of how hard they had to work."