Howe: Goldy’s return lifted Magpies
COLLINGWOOD defender Jeremy Howe has hailed the return of Tyson Goldsack, but says the team need the veteran to back it up this week if it is to stay alive in September.
Less than six months after rupturing his ACL during Collingwood's final pre-season game in March, Goldsack's comeback was one of the positives to emerge from the Magpies' qualifying final loss to West Coast in Perth on Saturday night.
The defensive stalwart was considered a shock selection for the trip west and was not given an easy assignment for his return against Eagles' sharpshooter Josh Kennedy, who was also back from a spell on the sidelines with a hairline fracture in his shin.
Despite the 16-point loss, Goldsack's influence was not lost on Howe, who said the Magpies needed him to stand up again in Saturday's sudden-death semi-final against the Giants at the MCG.
"It's remarkable to say that he tore his ACL only five months ago,'' Howe told the Collingwood website.
"So to come back off two VFL games and then to be able to perform the way that he way that he did, it was just exceptional.
"He is just one of those blokes that you love playing with, I think everyone walks taller when he's out there.
"For him to get through the game is really good and we're going to need him to back it up next week again.''
Goldsack was one of three Magpies returning from injury alongside Howe, sidelined since Round 19 with a corked thigh, and Adam Treloar from double hamstring surgery for the Eagles' clash.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said Goldsack had justified his selection and hoped for more against the Giants.
"He has put in an enormous block of training and now he has got to butter up, he has got to butter up again,'' Buckley said.
"Kennedy had missed a lot of footy as well, that was probably part of the decision.
"I thought he stood up and was a large part of the reason why we were in a winning position at three-quarter time.''
Howe admitted the atmosphere in Perth had been "full-on", but hoped the home ground advantage at the MCG would give the Magpies an edge against the Giants.
"I'm looking forward to playing at the 'G in front of a home crowd next week,'' Howe said.
"We'll dust ourselves off, already looking towards next week and hopefully get the result then.
"Fortunately we have got the second chance, we need to win three games to get the great result in the end.''