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Genuine contenders: Magpies are the real deal after downing Dees in MCG thriller


Collingwood are genuine premiership contenders.

That’s the realisation out of the MCG on Friday night as Craig McRae’s side did it again, winning a seven-point thriller in a typical see-sawing performance to extend their winning streak to 11.

Despite their dominance in recent months, the Pies hadn’t taken a big scalp and still had their doubters. However, those doubters will now be few and far between, with Collingwood playing incredible footy in a remarkable clash that the crowd on the edge of their seats from the opening bounce.

The Collingwood chant rang out across the ground in the aftermath, and they now have the respect of the competition.

That was despite Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca combining for one of the great performances in front of a 70,956 strong crowd, yet they’ll rue their missed opportunities.

The trio had 109 disposals altogether, yet the Pies withstood the onslaught and threw it straight back at Simon Goodwin’s men on the outside of the contest.

After labelling Collingwood a “one-trick pony” on Thursday, Magpies fans gave Ed Langdon a warm welcome after numerous early touches, but fans had more on their mind with 11 goals in the first quarter.

With 11 goals in the first quarter, it saw the total of both sides at half-time almost eclipse that of the Round 13 82-56 Collingwood defeat of Melbourne earlier this year.

“The standard is spectacular!” Gerard Whateley declared on AFL Nation in the grips of some of the best footy the league has been treated to this season.

The scoreboard and overall game style had the game in the balance, but the stats fans saw another picture at the main break. Melbourne led inside 50s 41-18, clearances 29-14, centre clearances 13-4 and contested possessions 87-64, figures very inconsistent with a 17-point margin.

But it’s been a key aspect of the Pies this year to exceed expectations and move the ball swiftly, and that’s what they did when the ball got to the outside.

The Magpies narrowed the stats sheet throughout the third term, and as they’ve done in their 10-game win-streak, kept themselves in with a chance.

In the Round 13 clash, Melbourne held a two-point lead going at the final break before conceding six goals to one in the final term. This time round, they were seven points up.

After another week of trade speculation, it was Jordan De Goey backing up last week’s best-on-ground performance with another scintillating performance to be a big reason of the Pies staying in the clash.

The 26-year-old fired early, and his toughness and ball use stood out all night to eventually collect 24 disposals (12 contested) and a goal.

Collingwood’s milestone man Jamie Elliot was also hot ahead of the footy, finishing with four important goals.

In his 150th game, Elliot laid a huge tackle on Jack Viney early in the last quarter, for which he was rewarded. He’d go on to goal and bridge the margin to just a solitary point.

“It has a similar aura to it… we’ve got another thriller,” Whateley exclaimed.

Ash Johnson would boot his third goal less than three minutes later to hand his side a five-point lead, but Ben Brown hit back straight away to have the 2021 premiers back in front.

One of the loudest roars of the night was reserved for when the Daicos brothers combined for yet another lead change in Collingwood’s favour, the duo already the club’s new favourite sons. But with 8.45 still on the clock, Melbourne would take 18 seconds to get back in front with an exit out the front of the centre clearance and a goal to Alex Neal-Bullen leading to the fourth lead change of the term.

The lead would change again when Ash Johnson goaled again, this time from a free kick, and there was an eery feeling around the ‘G that Collingwood would do it again.

“I can’t make sense… +30 inside 50s for Melbourne and they are behind,” Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton said in commentary.

As they’d done in their previous 10, Collingwood hung on and swarmed the footy in the dying minutes to never give the Dees another look.

In a remarkable turn of events, Collingwood now sits second on the AFL ladder, having leapfrogged Melbourne with just two home and away games to go.

That’s where they’ll finish the season, and after only locking in their top eight spot last week, they’re now destined to have a double chance in September.


Melbourne: 6.2, 10.7, 11.11

Collingwood: 5.0, 8.2, 11.4,


Melbourne: Fritsch 2, Brown 2, Petracca, Salem, Melksham, Pickett, Viney, Spargo, Langdon, Neal-Bullen, Sparrow

Collingwood: Elliot 4, Johnson 4, Mihocek 2, Lipinski, De Goey, J. Daicos, McCreery, Cox,


Melbourne: Oliver, Petracca, Gawn, Viney, Brayshaw

Collingwood: De Goey, N. Daicos, Elliot, Crisp, Lipinski


Melbourne: N/A

Collingwood: Hoskin-Elliot

Sports-News Collingwood Melbourne

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