Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade reckons Travis Cloke will get special treatment from umpires in Saturday’s AFL clash after complaints from Collingwood that the forward “gets nothing” from officials.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley didn’t hold back after their five-point loss to Richmond last weekend, issuing a “please explain” to the AFL umpiring department over what he claimed was Cloke’s rough treatment when it came to free kicks.
Cloke received one free kick against the Tigers last Sunday and conceded four.
It took his season tally to 11 free kicks for and 13 against.
Eade was just as forthright as Buckley when asked on Friday whether Collingwood’s bold claim would influence officiating in Saturday’s clash at Metricon Stadium.
“Yeah I do, because the squeakiest wheel gets the most oil,” he told reporters.
“I know from experience you do that, you get a spike, that’s not consciously, that’s just the way of the world.”
Gold Coast’s defence is already on high alert in the absence of Steven May (suspension) and Rory Thompson (injury).
Henry Schade – who gives away 22kg to Cloke – is expected to match up with the Magpies spearhead with the equally inexperienced and undersized Jack Leslie as back-up.
Schade and Leslie boast a combined total of six AFL games’ experience.
“We’ve got to be careful again because a few of our players are undersized,” Eade said.
“We’ve got to have support from other players around, get a third man in.
“Players have got to be prepared to leave their opponent to support.
“It’s really a big ask for them.”
Gold Coast pulled off a boilover five-point win over the Pies in the corresponding match last season after superstar Gary Ablett went down with a shoulder injury.
And it seems the second-last Suns would need to produce a similar miracle for the injury-hit hosts were to topple the seventh placed Collingwood on Saturday.
The Magpies (4-3 record) may have had a last-round hiccup against the Tigers but ex-Collingwood coaching director Eade reckoned he liked what he saw from the Pies to date.
“They’ve probably only had a couple of down games, so I think they’ve been pretty consistent,” he said.
“I think they’ve had a better run with injuries (than last year), which has helped them.”