Nathan Buckley and Scott Pendlebury during the round one AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

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.”