Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has thrown his support behind coach Nathan Buckley, stating the decision to bench the midfielder for a long period in the third quarter was nothing more than “unfortunate”.
Pendlebury sat on the bench for around 12 minutes straight during the third quarter, a period in which the Saints dominated the Pies and effectively won the game.
The 29-year-old said the benching was just one of those things that happen, and said Buckley wasn’t to blame for the mishap.
“It wasn’t coach-driven, or I wasn’t dragged or anything,” he told the Seven Network.
“It was just one of those unfortunate things that can happen in football.
“It was actually … I just happened to start the third quarter on the bench and for one reason or another – the rotations – we just couldn’t get someone off in the first seven or eight minutes.
“The play was on the outer wing, so I just couldn’t get on and I did a 10-12 minute stint like I normally do, come off, and then it’s just one of those things.”
It was a move that originally frustrated Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling, who couldn’t believe Pendlebury’s situation.
“Can I say if there wasn’t an injury to Scott Pendlebury … I can’t believe that he’s sat 14 minutes on the bench in the third quarter in a game that was there to be won,” Ling said on radio 3AW.
“That is unbelievable. The bloke’s a star. Get him on the ground. You’ve got to have your captain and your superstar on the ground … unless he is injured.”