The 2023 AFL finals series is here.
As we swing well and truly out of home and away mode and into the cut-throat environment of finals footy, the matches start to become more magnified.
We have taken a close look at the Preliminary Finals to deliver a Rivalry Rating and all the history involved with the two clubs in the spotlight.
See the Collingwood v GWS rivalry rating below:
Rivalry Rating: 6/10
Two clubs at opposite ends of the historical spectrum. The Magpies from the old Carringbush, with all that history, against a club in just its 12th season, borne perhaps not from a focus group as comedian/writer Danny McGinlay once suggested on a Western Bulldogs banner, but certainly from data and analytics that suggested a new frontier to be won.
Having said that, the Giants punch well above their weight and are an outstanding football club who play an entertaining brand of football, so this should be a fun match-up in front of a frenzied and one-eyed crowd.
The Giants went through a period between 2017 and 2020 where they won six games out of seven against the Pies, and one of them was especially memorable.
The 2018 Preliminary Final.
Pretty much everyone was hoping for a Magpie win on a wet night at the MCG to pave the way for a dream Richmond-Collingwood Grand Final.
But the Pies lost their way and fell behind by 33 points early the final quarter, having kicked just three goals to that stage. But then came the charge and they came storming back, dominating the game thereafter but falling four points short at the final siren.
Given the Giants were without key movers Toby Greene and Stephen Coniglio, it was an incredible win.
Taylor Adams: One of the first of the “can’t keep them all” casualties of the Giants. He played 31 games for the Giants in their first two seasons before moving to the Pies where he has since played 175 games. Has tweaked a hammy however and sadly, won’t be out there on Friday night.
Adam Treloar: See above. He departed two years later, choosing the Pies over Richmond because he thought they were closer to a premiership. Didn’t the Tiger fans let him know about it after the 2017 premiership. Treloar now plays for the Western Bulldogs after a messy departure from Collingwood.
Heath Shaw: 173 games for the Pies including that smother in the 2010 Grand Final. Part of one of the most famous families at Collingwood, he moved to the Giants in 2014 just as they started their rise, and he played 152 games for that club before retiring at the end of 2020.
Lachie Keeffe: 40 games for the Pies until the end of 2014 before a prolonged absence from the game after testing positive to taking an illicit substance. He joined the Giants in 2018 and has played 70 games in charcoal and orange.
Collingwood hosts GWS in the Preliminary Final at the MCG this Friday night from 7:50pm AEST.