Pie Pendlebury’s AFL leadership praised

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury led by example on Friday night, but the same could be said of his entire week.

Pendlebury tallied 30 disposals against St Kilda, helping power his AFL side to a 74-point win at the MCG.

The fact the 27-year-old got on the park was remarkable, given he suffered an ankle injury in round two.

The effort Pendlebury put into his rehabilitation left a major impression on teammate Jack Crisp.

“Mid-week he was absolutely no chance I thought,” Crisp said.

“But the amount of recovery he did to get up and play was pretty inspiring.

“His leadership on the field and off the field is fantastic.”

Pendlebury and coach Nathan Buckley were tight-lipped when asked about how close the gun midfielder came to missing the clash.

But Buckley highlighted how much trust he had in Pendlebury to make the right call on Friday night.

“You never count him out,” he said.

“If he’s your skipper and as professional as he is, you know he’s going to be doing everything in his power.

“He’s not going to compromise the team by making a poor decision on his fitness.”

Buckley admitted he treated players differently when it came to playing with a niggle.

“Some blokes if they’re 90 per cent fit, you wouldn’t support them,” he said.

“Some guys are 75 per cent and you would, because they’ve got the capability and the mentality to be able to handle it.

“Pendles is one of those guys.”

Dane Swan was also dominant in the one-sided match, helping himself to a staggering 15 Inside-50s.

“Swanny’s still building … but that was a very solid game by him. I’m not surprised to see him do it,” Buckley said.

Travis Cloke was another standout in the rout, booting five goals.

The key forward registered four behinds, but Buckley was impressed by the way he refused to “drop his head at any stage”.

“Technically there’s some things that Clokey can go away and work on,” he said.

“But his effort was first class. At no stage did he allow the goal-kicking issues to affect his contest.

“There’s times when that has been the case.”

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