AFL: Collingwood star Jack Crisp says Magpies searching for ‘DNA’

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Collingwood star Jack Crisp saw his 10-year consecutive games streak flash before his eyes but says he accepted last week’s relegation to the sub role as part of the Magpies’ hunt for “chemistry”.

Crisp said Collingwood was still looking for consistency after showing glimpses of its best in a hot-and-cold performance against Hawthorn where it salvaged a five-point win.

He said Scott Pendlebury suspected he had broken ribs as the Magpies await scans following the former captain’s awkward second-quarter collision with Josh Weddle during the five-point win.

“He’s just quite sore, he’ll get some scans today and we’ll find out what the go is in the next day or two,” Crisp said on Monday.

“I don’t really know, he’s just going off a gut feel that there could be (broken ribs). He’s had it done before, so I think he’s aware of what’s going on.”

In Pendlebury’s favour ahead of Collingwood’s next clash against Port Adelaide is the Magpies’ 12-day break courtesy of their opening round appearance.

Crisp said it was a great chance to continue “knuckling down on a few fundamentals” as the reigning premiers continue to search for answers for a 0-3 start to the season.

Despite back-to-back wins the Magpies have continue to lag behind in key statistical areas which underpinned their flag tilt in 2023.

They have gone from the third-best to third-worst side in conceding points from turnovers over the first five rounds, while they have slipped from sixth to 15th on the proportion of defensive 50 possessions converted into inside 50s.

Crisp insisted the form slump wasn’t a question of hunger.

“It’s definitely still there. We spoke about it all pre-season … it’s definitely there, we’ll find a bit of continuity I think and we’ll get the chemistry going,” he said.

“Now we’ve got a great chance to reset coming into the bye, so we’ll train pretty hard over the next week and come out ready for Port Adelaide.”

Shifted to the sub role for the round 3 win over Brisbane, Crisp said the decision from coach Craig McRae had come as a “shock” and did not deny the thought of his consecutive games streak ending was front of mind.

The 30-year-old has now played 219 games in a row and is closing in on Adem Yze (226) and record-holder Jim Stynes (244).

“100 per cent, it’s 10 years of not missing a game, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it, I’m sure a lot of the other blokes were thinking about it as well,” he said.

“I’m grateful it still goes on, and I’ll just have to make sure I put my best foot forward to keep playing four quarters of football.

“Honestly, it was a bit of a shock, but I’m happy to play any role to the coach needs. We’ve got a lot of great players – it’s hard to fit them all into one team, so everyone’s going to have to chop and change their role at times.”

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