Moore good news for Collingwood when Darcy was done; Essendon adds mentor; Geelong embraces ‘final fragrance’

It was feared he had suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, which would have resulted in knee reconstruction and a year on the sidelines.

Darcy Moore was on crutches after the win over the Gold Coast Suns, but revealed Monday he had escaped structural damage.

Darcy Moore was on crutches after the win over the Gold Coast Suns, but revealed Monday he had escaped structural damage.Credit:AFL Photos

“There is no structural damage to my knee that is significant,” Moore said.

“Thank you all for the messages of support. It’s really overwhelming and much appreciated.”

However, Moore does have hyperextension, bone bruises and what the Magpies said was “a capsule strain”.

He could still miss up to six weeks, but this still means he will likely return in time for the final. He will be inspected again later in the week.

The Magpies have jumped to sixth on the ladder after a five-point win over the Suns at Metricon Stadium. They host North Melbourne in the MCG on Saturday and look well placed to make it to the final in Craig McRae’s first year as a senior coach.

The Bombers add former St Kilda AFLW coach to their ranks

Marnie Vinalli

Former St Kilda AFLW head coach Peta Searle has taken on a part-time coaching development role at Essendon in their AFLW programme.

Peta Searle in St Kilda.

Peta Searle in St Kilda.Credit:AFL Photos

Searle will support and mentor the coaching staff and leadership group, including head coach Natalie Wood.

Searle was the inaugural Saints AFLW coach and joined the men’s club as a development coach in 2014, becoming the first woman appointed as an assistant coach in the AFL.

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“I am very excited to join the Bombers. They have been preparing for a long time and have been very thoughtful and thoughtful in developing the program with a lot of depth and layers that will be a great foundation,” said Searle.

“I look forward to working with Natalie and the other coaches, with a focus on development and learning.

“I am also excited to be working with the Players Leadership Group to provide mentors to coaches and players, ensuring a seamless connection between the two.”

Josh Mahoney, Essendon football general manager, said the appointment would ensure the development of coaching knowledge at the club.

Essendon’s AFLW coaching panel includes Natasha Hardy, Kirby Bentley and Brett Gourley as assistant coaches, and Jacara Egan and Gavin Urquhart as development coaches.

‘It has a final smell of sorts’: Cats embrace Demons’ blockbuster

Jon Pierik

Geelong star Zach Tuohy says Thursday night’s blockbuster against Melbourne at the GMHBA Stadium has a “final smell” as the Cats prepare to test themselves against the competition’s benchmark.

Tuohy stressed on Monday that two agonizing defeats to the Demons last season – in Round 23 after a rousing comeback in Melbourne was capped by Max Gawn’s goal after the siren that allowed the Demons to finish as minor prime ministers, and an 86-point thump when Gawn was dominant in the Preliminary Finals at Optus Stadium – have no bearing, but the Cats will be desperate to reinforce why they are an improved unit this season.

This clash pits the top two teams on the ladder against each other – they are also in the top two for time up front and are elite in several statistical categories – yet could be a grand final.

Max Gawn scored the winning goal against Geelong at the GMHBA Stadium last season.

Max Gawn scored the winning goal against Geelong at the GMHBA Stadium last season. Credit:AFL Photos

Skipper Joel Selwood (rested) and tree defender Sam De Koning (cork) return after missing out on Saturday’s 112 point mauling of North Melbourne, but defender Jake Kolodjashnij has a concussion and will miss.

Tuohy, the rebounding half-back, said the Cats were ready for another prime-time clash.

“It has a kind of final smell, this match. And this is why you play – to play against the best teams in games that have or could have significant impact,” he said.

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†[It’s not] pretty knockout, but we’re playing the reigning prime ministers, and probably the best team in the league. There’s a lot at stake.”

The top-of-the-table Demons have regained their groove since three consecutive defeats and, according to coach Simon Goodwin, will be boosted by Gawn’s faster-than-expected return. The Eredivisie skipper missed the past two weeks due to an ankle syndesmosis injury.

The Cats are second but just a percent ahead of Brisbane and Fremantle, while Carlton and Collingwood are just a game behind.

Coach Chris Scott has told his team to embrace the pressure that comes with taking on the prime ministers, stating it’s “good practice for when the heat kicks in later in the year.” [and] it’s a reflection that we’ve held out this year to be in a position where we’re seen as one of the contenders against the best team in the league.”

Tuohy said the Demons, who held the Crows to just 15 goals on Saturday in Adelaide, were the team to beat.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest it isn’t,” he said. “If anyone thought they were going to go unbeaten all season then clearly they haven’t watched football in the last 150 years – that’s not how the game works.

“The fact that they’ve dropped a few games says nothing about the caliber of the team that they are — they’re still the benchmark, and I suspect we’re probably going to be underdogs this week and rightly so, they rule premieres.”

Goodwin made a tactical change against the Crows and used Christian Petracca more as an attacker. Petracca had only scored nine goals from 40 tries en route to the game, but finished with three and was arguably the best on the field with 33 touches.

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