COLLINGWOOD v GWS GIANTS
MCG, Saturday 0750 PM
The Magpies qualifying final was decided by ‘bursts’ of play. One of the issues that Collingwood need to address in this match is their slow start which left them trailing at quarter time. A 6 goal second quarter shows that the Magpies can switch it on but they will have to be careful against the Giants. Whilst they didn’t put up a huge score against the Swans, GWS generated plenty of scoring opportunities and they will be dangerous when they start converting them into goals.
On the opposite side of the coin the Magpies then conceded 5 goals in the final quarter in a match where the lead changed 11 times. One of the big positives in this match will be the home crowd. If GWS get rolling they will doing it on their own with almost no crowd support behind them.
The decision to rush back Brodie Grundy into the side paid handsome dividends for the Magpies with the ruckman’s 48 hitouts dominating the Eagles pair of Vardy and Lycett. Adam Treloar’s comeback from a double hamstring injury was successful with 24 disposals against the Eagles. He will play a crucial role in the Magpies battle with the Giants elite midfield.
GWS GIANTS (W)
The Giants didn’t explode at any point against Sydney, they simply kept scoring whilst the Swans struggled to record their lowest score in 30 years. You’re not going to win many games after under 9s with a score of just 4.6 (30) and 10 scoring shots.
Whilst Phil Davis put in a heroic performance to shut down Lance Franklin, the Magpies attack doesn’t rely on a single key forward. Collingwood had seven individual goal scorers against the Eagles whilst the Swans had just three. For comparison the Tigers had eight individual goal scorers against the Hawks. A multi-pronged attack is far more dangerous.
The knee injury to Josh Kelly appears to almost certainly rule him out of this final, with the midfielder tearing his meniscus against the Swans. Leon Cameron was rewarded for playing his recovering stars, rushing Deledio, Greene and de Boer back into the side for the elimination final.
STATS THAT MATTER
- The Giants kicked 16 behinds (3 rushed) for 10.19 which leaves plenty of room for improvement. The positive of course is that they are generating plenty of attacking opportunities which is a common theme in the finals so far for wasteful teams.
You would rather see the Giants missing their shots than struggling to take them in the first place. GWS had 63 inside 50s and 19 more shots which actually takes some of the shine off their 49 point win…the Swans avoided an absolute bloodbath.
- Love him or loathe him but Toby Greene was the difference in attack for the Giants. The small forward kicked 3 goals and whilst his performance has been overshadowed by his studs first mark in the last quarter he will be one of the keys for GWS in this match.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Punters will remember the Giants played at the MCG last year in the preliminary final against the Tigers. The home ground advantage will certainly be with the Magpies in this match which is the opposite of what Collingwood experienced against the Eagles in the final quarter last week. Home support in finals really makes a big difference.
The market has the Magpies as strong favourites to win at the MCG. This appears to ignore the fact that GWS ripped Sydney apart in their elimination final despite some completely wasteful kicking for goal. The Magpies are a completely different beast to the Swans and played in the most competitive of the finals in week one. Whilst the 16 point margin suggests the Eagles cruised home, the Pies were right in the contest until the final siren.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
Collingwood by 23
BEST BETS: Collingwood 1-39 (2.10), Total points over 158.5 ($1.88)