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2023 Toyota AFL Premiership
Collingwood v GWS Giants
Preliminary Finals •
58 8.10
Kennedy - Official Timekeeper Full Time
57 8.9
Magpies Won By 1
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    Follow every game of the 2024 Toyota AFL Premiership Season and Toyota AFL Finals Series, with access to all the live scores and stats.

    Live from 7.50pm AEST: Final teams in for Pies-Giants prelim

    The Pies have been the top side for most of the year, and the Giants are one of the hottest teams in the comp. Who will reach the 2023 Toyota AFL Grand Final?

    Josh Kelly and Steele Sidebottom compete for the ball during Greater Western Sydney's preliminary final against Collingwood on September 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    SUMMARY

    Four years on from a heart-stopping preliminary final in 2019, the Magpies and Giants will meet again at the MCG for a place in the Toyota 2023 AFL Grand Final.

    The two clubs have taken contrasting routes to this point; the Pies have been the best team all year despite some wobbles late in the season, while finals wasn't on the Giants' radar before a stunning late run that has seen them win nine of 11 games.

    06:07

    Both clubs play an up-tempo, chaotic style of football that should ensure a high-paced showdown in front of another sell-out crowd at the MCG.

    Collingwood v Greater Western Sydney at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST

    NO LATE CHANGES

    SUBSTITUTES
    Collingwood:
    Jack Ginnivan
    Greater Western Sydney: Xavier O’Halloran

    Where and when: MCG, Friday September 22, 7.50pm AEST

    WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR? 

    Round 9: Collingwood 18.12 (120) defeated Greater Western Sydney 7.13 (55) at the MCG

    The only meeting between the two sides this year was probably the lowest point of GWS's season, a 65-point thumping at the hands of the Magpies at the MCG. Without skipper Toby Greene, the Giants were smashed all over the ground by the Pies, who were led by an arguably career-best performance from ruckman Mason Cox. The American was one of seven multiple goalkickers for Collingwood and clunked nine marks to go with 19 disposals, while star Pies Nick Daicos, Tom Mitchell and Jordan De Goey all had more than 30 possessions. There was little to get excited about for the Giants, who left the MCG that Sunday afternoon looking anything but the premiership contender they are now.

    08:20

    THE STATS THAT MATTER

    Collingwood
    The Magpies will seek to replicate the advantage in scoring efficiency that ultimately set up their hard-fought qualifying final win over Melbourne. The Pies rattled on four goals to the Demons' one in an opening-quarter burst that proved the difference in the seven-point win at the MCG. Melbourne dominated time in forward half for the remainder of the game, but Collingwood generated 15 scoring shots from just 37 inside 50s, compared to the Demons' 18 shots from 69 inside 50s. The power of Darcy Moore (11 intercept possessions v Melb), Isaac Quaynor (nine) and Jeremy Howe (eight) will be key as the Pies seek to shut down the Giants' forward line of Toby Greene, Jesse Hogan and Jake Riccardi.

    Jeremy Howe and Darcy Moore celebrate after the qualifying final between Collingwood and Melbourne at the MCG on September 7, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    Greater Western Sydney
    The power, toughness and dynamism of the Giants' midfield group was laid bare in a stunning 11-minute burst against Port Adelaide last week. From the three-minute mark of the second term to the 14th, the Giants turned a three-point deficit into a 28-point lead and they would have put the game to bed had they kicked straight late in the term. Led by Tom Green, Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward and ruckman Kieren Briggs, the Giants demolished one of the best midfield groups in the competition. By half-time, the Giants were +17 in clearances, +18 in contested ball and +78 in disposals, with seven of their nine goals from the half coming from stoppage. Numbers like those show a glimpse of what GWS is capable of on the ball, meaning Collingwood's midfield will need to be on high alert.

    Josh Kelly and Jed McEntee in action during the semi-final between GWS and Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on September 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR… 

    Collingwood
    The spotlight was firmly focused on rugged Magpie defender Brayden Maynard for several days after his late hit that knocked out Angus Brayshaw in the opening minutes of the qualifying final. Maynard was eventually cleared of a three-game suspension during a marathon Tribunal hearing, but the pressure will return in spades on Friday night ahead of a likely match-up with superstar Giant Toby Greene. Maynard was clearly the best of the Pies' medium defensive options for Greene when they last met but there will be nowhere to hide in front of a packed MCG. It's just the sort of occasion he would usually relish, but has a rollercoaster of emotion taken a toll?

    Brayden Maynard during a Collingwood training session at Olympic Park Oval on September 15, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

    Greater Western Sydney
    One man who wasn't part of the round nine meeting between the two sides could be the Giants' biggest player on Friday night - literally. Kieren Briggs has arguably been the best ruckman in the competition since returning to the senior side after that loss to the Magpies in May and looms as a major threat to Pies pair Mason Cox and Darcy Cameron. Briggs led a dominant Giants midfield group in their win over the Power and should he overcome a sore shoulder, looms as a major threat on Friday night.

    Kieren Briggs and Scott Lycett compete in the ruck during the semi-final between GWS and Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on September 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    PREDICTION

    Collingwood by four points. In a game set to be played at breakneck pace, the Pies' home crowd advantage and extra week of rest will be telling. The Giants will make them fight for every inch, though.

    One point in it: Pies down Giants in a classic to grab GF berth

    An absolute classic preliminary final has been played out with neither side leaving anything in the tank

    Brayden Maynard reacts on the final siren of the preliminary final between Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney at the MCG, September 22, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

    COLLINGWOOD has successfully surfed the orange tsunami all the way to the Grand Final, holding on for dear life to beat a gallant Greater Western Sydney by just one point.

    The game was in the balance right up until the final siren, keeping the crowd of 97,665 on the edge of their seats as the Giants bench urged their teammates to run forward at all costs.

    But the Pies threw as many numbers as possible around the ball, clogging it down in the middle of the ground in a reversal of the preliminary final between the two sides from four years ago.

    MAGPIES v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

    Josh Daicos found some rare space on the wing in the final few seconds, securing the 8.10 (58) to 8.9 (57) win as the MCG literally shook, such were the crowd celebrations on the final siren.

    08:18

    The Giants had got out to a 17-point lead early in the third term, but playing their third final in three weeks, struggled to maintain their ballistic gamestyle for all four quarters, finding a second wind late (and a Jesse Hogan goal) to push the Pies all the way to the finish.

    Collingwood clung onto its one-point lead for six minutes and 18 seconds, including a game-saving mark from Steele Sidebottom after Toby Greene's snap was on-line.

    03:57

    It was a typically fiery start, with the pressure ratcheted right up. Collingwood's fans set the tone early, drowning out that famous GWS song as the players ran out with a "Colllllllllllingwooood" chant.

    The Pies kicked the only two goals of the first quarter, capitalising on a slight edge in inside 50s as the Giants backline settled into the game.

    01:00

    The second quarter has been when GWS has put teams to the sword this finals series, and while it wasn't quite as ballistic as last week's efforts against Port Adelaide, the Giants were able to pick their way through Collingwood's full-ground zone with relative ease.

    First it was Toby Greene, then Tom Green, and then the skipper set up Isaac Cumming and suddenly, after being goalless in the first term, the Giants took a 10-point lead into half-time.

    00:36

    GWS even kicked the first of the third, making it five straight goals, before Collingwood finally steadied enough to hit a target inside 50, a former Giant in Bobby Hill ending the Pies' 62-minute goalless streak.

    Collingwood rediscovered its drive off half-back, opening up the game through Jeremy Howe, Scott Pendlebury and Isaac Quaynor, with Jack Crisp and Pat Lipinski also lifting in the middle.

    00:33

    Substitute and fan favourite Jack Ginnivan's first touch – a wild shot on goal at the start of the fourth term – was greeted with a wall of noise, the lively small replacing key forward Dan McStay (knee) at three-quarter time.

    Sam Taylor and Jack Buckley were simply superb in defence for the Giants, with Lachie Whitfield running hard all game off half-back.

    De Goey does it all – until he can't
    Just 10 minutes into the game, Jordan De Goey had three clearances himself, such was the fervour in which he attacked the ball. He kept the Pies in the game in the first half and was instrumental through the middle in the third term as the team made its charge. But the matchwinner was stuck on the bench for the final minutes, unable to rotate onto the ground as the play was on the other side of the field. It didn't matter, and De Goey sprinted onto the field after the final siren, grinning from ear to ear.

    02:57

    Turns out it's easy being Green(e)
    The Giants' first-half lead was built on the back of outstanding work by skipper Toby Greene and young gun Tom Green. Greene was allowed far too much latitude for a player of his agility and smarts over the first two quarters, often lurking around a player who had taken a mark and receiving a handball. The bullocking Green controlled proceedings in the middle and, while his influence waned, was the Giants' best. 

    00:51

    Cox the finals matchwinner. Again.
    The Giants had drawn level courtesy of a 50m penalty and Sam Lloyd goal, and it was the Pies’ turn to push for the lead. Mason Cox has more than his fair share of outstanding finals performances under his belt, and he locked away another big moment with 14 minutes left. He led hard to take a strong mark, and converted from 45m, running straight at Sam Taylor to engage the Giant with some trash talk. One trip to the bench to replace a torn jumper later, and throw in a USA chant, and the Pies took the lead and were never headed.

    00:34

    ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS

    COLLINGWOOD                        2.2     2.6     7.7     8.10     (58)
    GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY    0.3     4.1     6.9     8.9    (57) 

    GOALS
    Collingwood: McStay 2, Crisp, Hill, Elliott, McCreery, Mihocek, Cox
    Greater Western Sydney: Greene 2, Green, Cumming, Riccardi, Brown, Lloyd, Hogan 

    BEST
    Collingwood: De Goey, Crisp, Pendlebury, Quaynor, N.Daicos, Cox
    Greater Western Sydney: Green, Greene, Taylor, Whitfield, Hogan, Coniglio 

    INJURIES
    Collingwood: McStay (knee)
    Greater Western Sydney: Nil 

    SUBSTITUTES
    Collingwood: Jack Ginnivan (replaced McStay at three-quarter time)
    Greater Western Sydney: Xavier O'Halloran (replaced Ward in the fourth quarter) 

    Crowd: 97,665 at the MCG

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