Injury-hit Collingwood grinds out victory over Sydney Swans at the Gabba

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Collingwood has survived a massive scare brought about by its woeful inaccuracy in front of goal and lost three key players to injuries in a tense nine-point win over Sydney at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Adam Treloar, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Isaac Quaynor all failed to finish Thursday night’s match, as the Magpies almost kicked themselves to a third straight defeat.

Brayden Maynard was also treated for a shoulder complaint but returned to play an important role in defence, as Nathan Buckley’s men recorded an important 6.14 (50) to 6.5 (41) victory.

The triumph in Brisbane came after a horror end to the Magpies’ time in Perth.

Despite beating Geelong in their first encounter in Perth, they lost to the resurgent West Coast Eagles and then fell to Fremantle, while the club was left embarrassed when it copped a hefty fine for coronavirus protocol breaches.

Hoskin-Elliott had his right knee accidentally stepped on against the Swans and had the same leg caught under an opponent’s body during the first quarter.

He has bone bruising and possible structural issues, with further tests to determine the full extent of the damage.

Treloar went to the dressing room with a mystery ailment at three-quarter time and Quaynor was taken off the field on a stretcher with a right ankle injury late in the final term.

Collingwood dominated clearances (19-7) and forward 50 entries (32-11) in the first half but managed just 2.10 to the Swans’ five straight goals and trailed by eight points at the main break.

The weight of numbers eventually told late in the match as the Magpies reclaimed the lead with three third-quarter goals and they held sway in the final term, despite being three players down on the bench.

Despite being injured, Treloar starred with 25 disposals as Steele Sidebottom (17 disposals), in his second match back from suspension after breaching the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols, again underlined his importance in the absence of injured captain Scott Pendlebury.

Taylor Adams (29 disposals) was another prime mover and tall forward Ben Reid was one of six individual goal kickers for the Magpies in his first AFL match since last year’s preliminary final loss to the Giants.

Jake Lloyd (25 possessions) was Sydney’s most prolific ball winner but the Swans had few winners in an undermanned midfield that was well beaten.

The result hung in the balance until Josh Daicos (25 disposals) evoked memories of his mercurial father Peter and nailed a goal with a superb checkside kick near the boundary line in the final few minutes.

AAP/ABC

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