AFL 2019: Prelim Final Preview: Collingwood vs GWS

Eddie Langtree gives us his unique take on Saturday night’s Prelim Final.

Overview

As Dr Karl says, gambling is a tax on people who are bad at maths. The fact remains that these ubiquitous gambling sites are a good way to garner public opinion, or at least the gambling public’s opinion, so I guess we can exclude mathematicians. One site has Collingwood at $1.32 to GWS’ $3.20, so clearly the consensus is that Collingwood are favourites to go into a Grand Final against the similarly backed in Tigers. If gambling has taught us anything it’s that we should all put our respective houses the hands of the bookies this weekend and make a tidy 32% gain …….

Recent Meetings

Round 18 2019
GWS 19.8.122 def Collingwood 11.9.75
IN the last game between these teams Collingwood was handed a pretty fearful flogging to the tune of 47 points. GWS kicked seven consecutive goals in the first quarter, led by 43 at quarter time and then put the queue in the rack. Jeremy Cameron had a day out with six goals. Grundy got 48 hit outs and 31 disposals.

2nd Semi Final 2018
Collingwood 9.15.69 def GWS 9.5.59
In last year’s second-semi a wasteful Collingwood won by ten points, or more accurately ten behinds and should have won by more.

Talking Points

Toby Greene – Watching your team in a cut throat semi final with you on the sidelines due to an indiscretion would be like scratching your own eyes out. At least that will stop him doing it to someone else. Unlike Darryl Kerrigan, it looks like Toby Greene and GWS have used up all their avenues of appeal and Greene will be in stands. Greene has form here but it is hard to see how three different judiciaries could come to the same decision based on the evidence. I suppose when your rap sheet is that long, it’s just the vibe.

Forwards – GWS’ tall forwards have been strong this year, bolstered by the rise of Jeremy Finlayson, the flexible, unerring left footer. Add in Coleman Medallist Jeremy Cameron and Harrison Himmelburg and it’s difficult to cover. It’s hard for dashers like Howe and Moore to come off their men when the consequences can be damaging. Greene will be missed here as GWS most creative small forward.
At the other end of the ground, Collingwood’s multi faceted forward line with mid sized Stephenson, Elliot, Hoskin Elliot, presents a different challenge for the Giants. Reid and Mihocek as the talls are not big despite Reid no doubt having to provide cover in the ruck.

Rucks – speaking of which, despite Grundy running amok in the last game between the two, GWS have chosen to go in with a single specialist in the ageing Shane Mumford with Lachie Keefe and Adam Tomlinson as cover. This could be the last game at GWS for both of these with Mumford likely to retire (again) and Tomlinson linked to St Kilda and Collingwood. Maybe Mummy is planning on dealing with his opponent and single handedly bringing in the red card rule for next year – more than one way to skin this cat.

Taggers – DeBoer will go to Sidebottom, who has proven in the past to be taggable. Pendlebury can’t be tagged and Sidebottom’s disposal will hurt more than Treloar or Adams.

Outs – This is largely responsible for the odds mentioned in the introduction. Greene and Whitfield are bigger losses for GWS and much harder to cover than DeGoey and Greenwood.

Key Players

Brodie Grundy – 48 hit outs and 31 disposals the last time these teams played is telling. What is more telling is that Collingwood still lost. But GWS went in that game with Mumford and Dawson Simpson. Ben Reid will spend about four minutes a quarter in the ruck and big Mummy isn’t up to handling Grundy by himself on the MCG. Could be a solid hit out for Lachie Keefe.

Greene – A huge loss for GWS. A gifted protagonist who can turn games and upset oppositions. He is worth his weight in saffron. This is a gift to Collingwood. He is stiff to be missing based on that incident alone but form catches up with you.

Jaidyn Stephenson – with two finals and a VFL warmup under his belt after his ten week ban, Stephenson will be ready to go. Fresh and fast, he will rotate out of the square with Elliot and provide an interesting proposition for Phil Davis who will look to go to Mihocek but will be taken out of position.

Jeremy Finlayson – A successful season for the Giant is built on a mutli pronged forward line. Roughead will go to Cameron despite his six goals in the last game. Flynn Appleby started on Cameron for his only game this year and that was ill advised as it turned out. Finlayson will get Moore or Howe, both players who will take a chance to mark defensively and leave their man. This could be good for Finlayson.


Want a fan sided take on Collingwood’s Qualifying Final win? Then this is for you.

Fun Fact

Courtesy of the now legendary @sirswampthing

Prediction

This has got “backs to the wall” win written all over it. GWS, denied justice by the AFL overcome the odds and get a ticket to the big dance to take on Geelong. I had both houses on that not happening and I only own one. Can someone please tell my wife – I’ll be in … despair

It’s all pointing to Collingwood though. I’ll go with popular opinion and all the humanities students and Cert Four TAFE tradies, Pies by 22. If only I was silly enough to put my house on it.


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