PORT Adelaide has capped a brilliant home and away season, grinding Collingwood into the Gabba turf to win by 16 points on Monday night and secure the minor premiership.
After conceding the lead in a neck-and-neck battle early in the third term, Port put the foot down with three straight goals before holding on to win 9.7 (61) to 7.3 (45).
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It is their first minor premiership since the club won the flag in 2004.
Port's win means it will host Geelong at Adelaide Oval in a qualifying final.
Collingwood now has the arduous task of travelling to Perth for an elimination final against a West Coast outfit that is unbeaten at Optus Stadium in 2020.
Brisbane will host Richmond, while St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs will round out the first week of finals, with venues and timeslots to be confirmed.
WHO PLAYS WHO The four finals match-ups have been confirmed
Port will go into its match with the Cats full of confidence, methodically outlasting the Magpies.
They beat them around the stoppages – including a whopping 14-4 advantage at centre clearances – and then were able to pin the ball in their forward half for repeat entries.
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Tom Rockliff (30 disposals and 10 clearances) and Robbie Gray (25 and seven clearances) were the midfield architects, while Dan Houston was magnificent at half-back, with 14 of his 24 disposals intercepts.
With Charlie Dixon held to just one goal, Ken Hinkley's team were well served by Brad Ebert and Steven Motlop who kicked two apiece among seven goalkickers.
Pendles’ record-breaking night
It should come as no shock, but in his record-breaking 314th game for Collingwood, Scott Pendlebury starred. The Magpies' skipper, who eclipsed Tony Shaw's mark, dominated around the stoppages early, with four clearances in the first term and a lovely give to Adam Treloar for a goal. Pendlebury also set up goals for Levi Greenwood and Jordan de Goey, finishing with 23 disposals and seven clearances.
A frustrating player to watch for Geelong and Port fans over his 182-game career, mercurial Steven Motlop gave us a bit of everything against the Pies. After kicking a goal with his only disposal in the first half, Motlop kicked a jaw-dropping checkside goal in the third term as Port extended its lead. With little room to work in, the half-forward threw the ball on to his right boot and somehow got enough purchase to send it through post high from 30m out, giving his team an 11-point cushion. He then executed a brilliant switch of play in the final term that led to a Todd Marshall goal. Motlop is coming right just in time for October.
Has Stephenson done enough?
After being recalled for the match, it was a big chance for Jaidyn Stephenson to press his case to play finals. But the former NAB AFL Rising Star winner struggled to make the most of it. Apart from a clever right foot snap early in the third quarter to give his team the lead, Stephenson did little to impact. He finished with eight disposals, including a couple of costly turnovers, and will now be under pressure to hold his spot to play the Eagles.
COLLINGWOOD 2.0 4.0 6.1 7.3 (45)
PORT ADELAIDE 2.2 5.3 8.7 9.7 (61)
Collingwood: Mihocek 2, De Goey, Elliott, Greenwood, Stephenson, Treloar
Port Adelaide: Ebert 2, Motlop 2, Dixon, Duursma, Marshall, Powell-Pepper, Rockliff
Collingwood: Adams, Pendlebury, Crisp, Daicos, Quaynor,
Port Adelaide: Houston, Rockliff, Gray, Ebert, Jonas, Byrne-Jones
Port Adelaide: Nil