For the first time in a few years, the Pies are piping hot at the MCG. They got off to an absolute flyer and if not for wayward kicking, could have had a game winning margin at quarter time. They smashed the Giants all over the park in a blistering first quarter, at one stage having 18 inside 50’s to three. But they weren’t able to translate their dominance onto the scoreboard and a 22 point lead at quarter time flattered the Giants.
But as always in the AFL, if you don’t put your opponent to sword, it can come back to bite you on the backside. This was the case with the giants kicking four second quarter goals, and if not for a red time goal to Jordan De Goey, they could have only trailed by the barest of margins. It was a cracking second half that ebbed and flowed with Collingwood ultimately getting the job done by 10 points. Which is a lot closer than the Giants deserved to be.
Jordan De Goey is a match winner.
All year De Goey has shown that he is capable of turning games on its head and at three quarter time the game was on a knife edge and begged for someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck and make it theirs. And that’s what he did.
His pace off the mark and ability to pick up the path of the ball was excellent. Add in his great marking overhead and it makes him a very troublesome prospect for any defender in the AFL. His conversion in front of goals needs work but he has that “x-factor” every team is looking for.
Lachie Whitfield’s All-Australian Selection was no fluke
The talented defender from GWS had a very consistent year and it was no surprise to see him in the All-Australian side at the end of the home and away season. But in both finals this year he looked on a different level. He carved the Swans up last week and if not for his dash and delivery off half back, I think the Giants would never had gotten back into this game. He had 31 disposals at 74% efficiency, eight marks and eight rebound 50’s in what was an outstanding display of work rate and gut running.
Steele Sidebottom is the Pies talisman.
It is no secret that Steele Sidebottom is an elite midfielder in the AFL but I honestly believe he is also the best player at Collingwood. Pendlebury is a Rolls Royce and is an absolute star and Treloar is one of the hardest running players in the comp, but I feel like Sidebottom is the perfect balance of both. He oozes class and runs all day and I believe that his super consistent year was a big reason why Collingwood excelled. If the Pies’ are to have any chance of beating the Tigers on Friday night, he needs to have a big one.
Collingwood’s’ unconventional forward line just keeps getting it done.
Honestly, if you had have asked me who Brody Mihocek, Josh Thomas and Jaidyn Stephenson were at the end of last season I would not have been able to tell you. Yet these 3, along with Will Hoskin-Elliot, Mason Cox, Travis Varcoe and Jordan De Goey have turned into a very potent and unpredictable forward line.
Jaidyn Stephenson rightly won the Rising Star with 34 goals in 22 games having been a revelation in his first season. Brody Mihocek is a great size, works extremely hard up the ground and has a pretty good conversion rate in front of the sticks. Then you add in the monster that is Mason Cox and you have a forward line that will give any defence headaches.
Ryan Griffen deserved a better send off.
After 257 games over 13 seasons, 162 goals, two Best and Fairests winner and All-Australian in 2013, Ryan Griffen was a genuine star whose body robbed him of 300 plus games. He was taken pick 3 in the 2004 National Draft from South Adelaide, SA, and debuted the next year. It didn’t take him long to announce himself playing 17 games in his debut year.
He was an outstanding one on one defender who had a lethal right foot that started many of the Dogs attacks. After moving into he midfield he established himself as a hard running, contested ball beast. He then moved to the Giants at the of the 2014 season where injury plagued his career and he chose to retire after the Giants loss to Collingwood. It’s not anyone’s’ fault that he didn’t get the send of he deserved, but it was a sad way to see a genuine star finish his career. Thank you Ryan!
SECOND SEMI FINAL
COLLINGWOOD 3.6 4.9 6.12 9.15 (69)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.2 4.2 7.3 9.5 (59)
Collingwood: De Goey 3, Thomas 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Mihocek, Varcoe
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio 2, Griffen, Himmelberg, Lobb, Cameron, Langdon, De Boer
Collingwood: De Goey, Sidebottom, Howe, Treloar, Maynard, Adams, Langdon, Phillips
Greater Western Sydney: Whitfield, Coniglio, Lobb, Shiel, Williams, Davis
Greater Western Sydney: Davis (shoulder)
Umpires: Chamberlain, Findlay, Ryan
Official crowd: 72,504 at the MCG