Your weekly look at last week’s round of AFL
COLLINGWOOD vs GWS
The penultimate games of the season, often bring the most exciting and dramatic football of the year. This was again the case at the MCG in the amazing clash between minor premiers Collingwood and the Greater Western Sydney Giants last Friday night.
In a low scoring but classic encounter, the Magpies held on to defeat the Orange Tsunami by the smallest of margins.
Collingwood securing an 8.10 (58) to 8.9 (57) triumph as a 97,665 strong MCG literally shook, such was the noise and celebrations when the final siren blew.
Collingwood was well served by Jack Crisp, veteran Scott Pendlebury and Jordan De Goey with 34 disposals and no less than 13 clearances.
In defence Isaac Quaynor, Nick Daicos and the big American Mason Cox as a ruck/forward were also telling. Daniel McStay was the Magpies only multiple goal kicker, before he came off at the last interval.
For Greater Western Sydney emerging superstar Tom Green, skipper Toby Greene (two goals), ball magnet Josh Kelly and Sam Taylor in defender were dominant.
Lachie Whitfield gave his usual run, Jesse Hogan was a presence up forward and Stephen Coniglio won this share of the ball
North Broken Hill export Isaac Cumming was solid, kicking a goal in the second quarter, and finishing with 14 touches including 12 kicks, seven marks and a couple of tackles.
BRISBANE vs CARLTON
Travelling up to the Gabba on Saturday night, Carlton bolted out of the blocks, kicking the opening five goals of their preliminary final encounter with Brisbane with an upset of epic proportions on the cards early with the Blues leading by 23 points at the first break.
From that point it was all the Lions, as they kicked 10 of the final 14 majors a waltzed on their way to an 11.13 (79) to 9.9 (63) victory.
The second quarter was pivotal, with Brisbane regaining momentum and kicked five unanswered goals.
In the 16-point win, half back Keidean Coleman was creative with 21 possessions and seven score involvements, while around the ball Josh Dunkley, Jarrod Berry, Dayne Zorko and Lachie Neale all were productive.
Connor McKenna gave plenty of drive from his wing, while big man Oscar McInerney was an important component in ruck.
The trio of Joe Daniher, McInerney, and Bordertown boy Lincoln McCarthy each kicked a pair of majors.
For Carlton, Sam Walsh continued his brilliant finals series winning a comfortable game-high 33 disposals.
The rest of the Blues better players were in defence, including Mitch McGovern, Jacob Weitering, Sam Docherty, Adam Saad and Nic Newman.
Captain Patrick Cripps and the returning pair of Harry McKay and Jack Martin each kicked two goals for the Blues.
Grand Final Preview
Saturday September 30
Collingwood vs. Brisbane Lions
First and second at the end of the minor rounds, the Collingwood Magpies in Craig McCrae’s second year in charge finished a gruelling 24 round regular season with 18 victories and the Lions finished with 17.
The Magpies averaged 93.13 points for a game during the minor round, while Brisbane were slightly higher, with 94.78.
Defensively, Collingwood were slightly better conceding an average of 12 goals a game, while the Lions, coached by Chris Fagan had an average of 77 points kicked against them.
These pure stats reflect the closeness of the two outfits and all the key point indicators suggest this should be an epic season decider.
Collingwood will need to find a suitable replacement for McStay, who has already been ruled out of the Grand Final with a knee injury. They also must make a big call on Taylor Adams who missed the preliminary final with a hamstring strain.
The Lions, however, are looking in a good spot. They will have to make a call on forward and three-time Hawthorn premiership player Jack Gunston, the only player who may force his way into their side from Saturday. He would need to pass a fitness test.
There are many capable of being game breakers on both sides. For the Pies, big games by Bobby Hill and Jamie Elliott will help their cause, while the trio of Charlie Cameron, McCarthy and Zac Bailey will be keys in attack for Brisbane.
Naturally the midfield battle is huge and the clash between Cox and McInerney in ruck will also be important.
There is not much separating these combatants, and it is expected to be a tight contest in front of a bumper crowd of 100,000.
Peter’s Prediction– Collingwood by three points.
PLAYER MILESTONES AND FAST FACTS
250 games – Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions)
150 games – Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
- Fifth AFL Grand Final – Jack Gunston (if selected) (Brisbane Lions), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) and Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)
- Josh and Nick Daicos (Collingwood) could become father/son premiership players, joining their father Peter Daicos who won the premiership in 1990. Previous VFL/AFL father/son premiership players: Ron Snr and Ron Jnr Barassi, Ted and Vin Brown, Jack and John Cassin, David and Travis Cloke, Jack and Geoff Collins, Ritchie and Ken Emselle, Jack and Jack Howell, Jack and Scott Howell (only triple generation), Peter and Paul Hudson, Bob and Bob Johnson, John and Josh Kennedy, Chris and Will Langford, Steve and Ted Leehane, Charlie and Wally May, Charlie and Charlie/Alby Pannm, George and Keith Rawle, Sergio and Stephen Silvagni, John and Peter Somerville, Doug and Geoff Strang, Bill and Len Thomas, Ken and Jamie Turner, Bill and Bill/Pat/Mick Twomey.
- Josh Dunkley (Brisbane Lions) could become a premiership player with two clubs (Western Bulldogs in 2016), becoming the 32nd player to have won a premiership with two clubs. The most recent was Isaac Smith in 2022.
- Josh Dunkley, Lachie Neale, Jack Gunston, Charlie Cameron (Brisbane Lions) and Tom Mitchell (Collingwood) are the players who will feature in an AFL Grand Final for two clubs.
- Scott Pendlebury and Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) played in the 2010 premiership and if they win on Saturday, it will be a 13-year span across premierships. Only two players have a premiership span in their career that is longer: Michael Tuck (1976-91) and Joel Selwood (2007-22). Thirteen years would equal Fred Baring (1911-24), Barry Davis (1962-75), Kevin Bartlett (1967-80), Francis Bourke (1967-80) and Tom Hawkins (2009/22).