Collingwood star Nick Daicos has revelled in copping a heavy tag from Sydney Swans players, saying the tactical ploy allows the Magpies to “manipulate the opposition”.
Daicos drew heavy attention in the opening quarter as the Swans sent specialist tagger Ryan Clarke to curb his influence on the contest.
However, after a quiet start, the 20-year-old exploded in the final quarter, picking up 10 of his 25 disposals in the period as Collingwood kicked away.
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As Clarke and other nearby Swans attempted to rough up Daicos, his teammates came in and remonstrated, sparking a wild brawl between the two teams.
“We love it when I get a tag,” Daicos said after the game.
“We think we can manipulate the opposition, get a one-versus-none, so it’s a good thing for us.
“I’ve always got my teammates’ support, which I love. There was plenty of banter, but all good fun.”
Collingwood coach Craig McRae was impressed by how his side stood up for their young teammate.
”We want to be a team who does that,” he said.
“I’ve said this often, if someone comes at us we want to go back at them, but within the rules.
“I was really pleased. Last week was the same. The week before someone comes at us and there’s a flying of the flag, but there’s not an overstepping of the rules of the game.
“We don’t want to be undisciplined, but we stand up for each other.”
McRae said the attention given to Daicos was not too dissimilar to other superstar players early in their careers.
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“You go back in time and every great player has had to go through this, and some go through it for longer,” he said.
“This is his lot right now. He’s a second-year player going really well and oppositions want to take that away.”
Collingwood’s win over the Swans secured its spot at the top of the ladder, four points adrift of Melbourne, St Kilda, Brisbane and Port Adelaide.
The Magpies will host the GWS Giants at the MCG next weekend with the hope of retaining top spot.
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