Collingwood’s Tim Broomhead has has suffered a suspected broken leg against GWS at the MCG.Greater Western Sydney have claimed an impressive win over a brave Collingwood at the MCG but both AFL clubs are counting the cost of the brutal contest.
Serious injuries to the Magpies’ Tim Broomhead and Giants’ Tom Scully marred the thrilling 16-point Saturday night win in front of 33,941 fans.
Broomhead suffered a broken leg and Scully a suspected fractured ankle in the first quarter, with both stretchered from the ground and taken to the Epworth hospital.
Darcy Moore added to Nathan Buckley’s injury concerns, failing to appear in the second half due to a hamstring strain.
The gallant Pies led by 11 points early in the final term but the Giants finished a gruelling contest strongly to secure a 15.5 (95) to 12.7 (79) win – just their second victory at the ground in the club’s history.
GWS midfielder Stephen Coniglio was outstanding with 27 possessions and three goals and co-captain Callan Ward led the way with 29 possessions.
Both sides suffered significant losses before the match, with Collingwood tall forward Ben Reid (hip) and Giants livewire Toby Greene (hamstring) late withdrawals.
The loss of Reid, in particular, was a huge blow for Collingwood, who were already without suspended big man Mason Cox.
But the Pies’ intensity was much better than what was on offer in last week’s season-opening loss to Hawthorn.
“It goes down as an ‘L’ (loss) … a very different looking one but still the same letter,” Buckley said.
“There’s a contrast between that performance and last week but it’s our challenge to keep producing that and not the round one (effort).
“But it showed a lot of pluck, a lot of endeavour and discipline.”
The coach confirmed Broomhead had suffered a clean break of the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg after he smashed into a goalpost attempting to get his boot on a loose ball.
In other concerning news, young Magpies forward Kayle Kirby was taken to hospital after he collapsed during a VFL practice match being played at the club’s nearby headquarters.
Buckley reported Kirby had suffered “some form of irregularity in his heartbeat” but was in a stable condition.
The heavy injury toll at the MCG marred an otherwise entertaining contest.
The Giants looked set to break the game open when they stretched a five-point quarter-time lead to 17 points early in the second quarter.
But Buckley’s men did well to weather the storm, with ruckman Brodie Grundy – the only Magpie left on the ground more than 192cm tall after halftime – a key factor.
Opposed to Rory Lobb, Grundy starred with 20 disposals, 45 hitouts and two goals to go with his imposing physical presence.
The Giants’ only win at the MCG in 12 previous visits came against Melbourne in 2014.
“This time last year we probably would have lost that game,” GWS coach Leon Cameron said.
“That’s the improvement that I’ve seen in the guys … that will win to win when it’s not working their way.”