Nick Daicos breaks 26-year-old Nathan Buckley record, makes history in AFL masterclass

It’s Nick Daicos’ world and we live in it.

The Collingwood junior set a host of club and AFL records in his team’s 18-point loss to the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

Daicos and Jack Crisp were by far Collingwood’s best and almost managed to get the injury-plagued Magpies over the finish line.

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But a classic masterpiece from Marcus Bontempelli (38 possessions, two goals) helped the Dogs to rally in the final quarter, scoring five goals and conceding none to secure the decisive 15.10 (100) to 12.10 (82) victory.

Daicos was in excellent form, especially in the first three quarters, finishing with 32 possessions and two goals.

He was particularly impressive in close games, recording 16 clearances and 27 contested possessions in the game.

The 21-year-old broke club records in both statistical categories, surpassing Nathan Buckley’s previous record of 15 saves set in 1998.

With his 27 contested touches, Daicos also surpassed Steele Sidebottom’s 2018 record of 26.

But the records didn’t end there. Daicos also became the fastest player in V/AFL history to record 30 possessions against all 17 other clubs, reaching the milestone in just 59 games.

SportsbyFry wrote on X: “Video game numbers from Nick Daicos last night.”

Stats guru Swamp tweeted: “Since 1999 there have been 12 instances of players scoring 22+ contested possessions, 13+ clearances and 2+ goals in an @AFL game. Nick Daicos did it in 3 quarters.”

Daicos was involved in some controversial moments during the game.

Despite the referees’ strict enforcement of this rule, he somehow evaded a free kick for holding the ball and was elbowed by Taylor Duryea, which will likely earn the Bulldogs defender a fine.

But despite his record-breaking performances, Bontempelli gave Daicos a hard time in the final quarter and the Dogs captain recorded 14 possessions, four tackles, five clearances and a goal in the final period.

Bulldogs striker Sam Darcy scored the game-winning goal from the defensive end – although his father Luke Darcy did not seem particularly impressed – but could come under scrutiny for an ugly collision with Brayden Maynard.

After a slow start to the season by his standards, Daicos has now hit his stride and will once again be a contender for the Brownlow Medal if he stays on the field and maintains his strong form.

The Pies will also need him at his best. The reigning league leaders are in 8th place (6 wins, 4 losses, 2 draws) and could fall out of the top 8 if Fremantle or Gold Coast win their games this weekend.

The Magpies went into the game with a battered midfield missing Scott Pendlebury (arm), Jordan De Goey (abdominal) and Tom Mitchell (foot), and a weakened attack line without Brody Mihocek (thigh), Jamie Elliott (vascular), Mason Cox (concussion/knee), Will Hoskin-Elliott (thigh), Joe Richards (foot), Reef McInnes (concussion) and Dan McStay (knee).

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