Brodie Grundy versus Nic Naitanui is one of the marquee match-ups of the footy season and both Dermott Brereton and Kane Cornes believes Grundy’s fourth quarter efforts last night helped get Collingwood over the line.
The Pies overran the Eagles in the fourth quarter, kicking 2.6 to 0.1, and Brereton believes that while Naitanui got the points early, the big man, coming off an ACL tear, just ran out of steam.
“To win against the tide, against the in-form team of the competition on the road when your recent form is bad, things have to go right,” he told SEN’s Crunch Time.
“Brodie Grundy versus Nic Naitanui. Naitanui I thought beat Grundy soundly in the shoulder to shoulder ruck contests, but Grundy eventually ground him down.
“Naitanui hasn’t had enough game time under his belt over the last two weeks. In the end, Grundy was up against a lesser opponent when Naitanui needed a rest.
“His endurance won the day in the ruck by the end of the game.
“I think Naitanui is struggling with his endurance by the end of the game, which is understandable.”
Naitanui hasn’t played more than 65 per cent game time at Optus Stadium in his last 11 games at the venue and the numbers once again backed that up
“I looked at his numbers in the last quarter. He played 17 minutes of about 30. He had two disposals and three hit-outs,” Cornes said.
“You look at Brodie Grundy he played about 29 minutes in the last quarter. He had 15 hit-outs, seven disposals, four tackles and two clearances."
Naitanui played 68 minutes of 120 last night as he continues the grind of regaining his match fitness, while Grundy played 109.