COLLINGWOOD secured a deserved premiership and as its veterans, plus a young gun and lively small forward, stood up.
MAGPIES v LIONS Full Grand Final match coverage and stats
Darcy Cameron – 5
Played second ruck to Mason Cox, spending some time in attack as a marking target as well. Was pushed around a little bit by the Lions ruckmen, but took a few strong marks around the ground, including one in the fourth term when the game was on the line. Also finished with four clearances to go with his 19 hitouts.
Mason Cox – 5
Ran as first-choice ruck throughout and had a typically eventful Mason Cox game. Won a holding the ball free kick, but was promptly smothered by Zac Bailey, could be in trouble from the MRO for a bump (although Darcy Gardiner arguably led with his head). Gave away a free kick in the ruck to start the final term, but promptly ran into defence and intercepted the ball. Took a huge pack mark over Joe Daniher and Darcy Moore to lock the ball into attack in the final term.
Jack Crisp – 9
Crisp by name, and crisp by nature. Played arguably the most consistent four-quarter game of all the Magpies, whether that was out of the midfield, taking important intercept marks or pushing into attack. Landed a beautiful set shot from 50m on a sharp angle, before following up with a second after the half-time siren. Had nine disposals in the third term and finished with 25.
Josh Daicos – 7
Played on the wing and ran really hard throughout the game. Disposal was a little off at times, but endeavour and creativity could not be questioned, and some of his braver choices came off perfectly. Had four inside 50s in his 17 touches.
Nick Daicos – 9
His best was simply sublime. Set up De Goey's crucial late goal with the fastest hands seen on the MCG, while spinning in mid-air. Had eight to quarter-time, 19 at half-time and 29 for the game, and was a key linking player across the expanses of the MCG. Kicked the opening goal of the game and went close to another from the boundary line that was touched on the line.
Jordan De Goey – 7
After dominating the preliminary final, had a very slow start to the game, with just one touch in the first 20 minutes. But his second was a set-shot goal from 55m after the quarter-time siren, and he showed plenty of deft touches to bring his teammates into the game. Kicked a crucial late goal, an immediate response after Brisbane had briefly hit the front.
Jamie Elliott – 6
A patchy game from the silky forward, who was being well guarded by Brandon Starcevich for portions of the game. Had 14 and one behind, but took seven marks, the third most of his side, and had eight score involvements.
Billy Frampton – 2
Had a big task coming into the side to play the deep forward role, but was well and truly beaten by Harris Andrews, although the Lion wasn't able to have complete free rein to do what he liked. Two touches, one behind and three metres gained.
Jack Ginnivan – 4
Tried really hard throughout the match, never dropped his head nor stopped running, but it wasn't quite the magic 'Ginny' game we've seen in the past. Had a set shot from 45m in the second term, but tried to kick it around the corner and was too far away. Seven disposals and three score involvements.
Bobby Hill – 9
The 2023 Norm Smith medallist. Simply set the game alight in the first half with a career-high four goals. Took the mark of the day, sailing high over Starcevich before juggling it safely to the ground. Also set Scott Pendlebury up for an important goal in the third quarter. Had 18 touches and nine score involvements.
Will Hoskin-Elliott – 4
A quieter game for the new defender, who didn't quite find the space he usually enjoys. Worked his way into the game to finish with five marks to go with his 12 disposals, and also had five intercepts.
Jeremy Howe – 8
An incredibly important game from the veteran defender, who had to spend time on the last line of defence after Nathan Murphy's injury. Took some stunning intercept marks (and had seven intercepts for the game), with 24 disposals and nine marks.
Pat Lipinski – 4
The starting substitute, Lipinski came into the game early in the second quarter after Nathan Murphy suffered a concussion. Recorded 16 disposals as an inside midfielder, providing plenty of grunt around the stoppages and three clearances, but his disposal was poor at times.
Oleg Markov – 4
An eventful game for Markov, who very nearly signed with Carlton over the pre-season. Provided plenty of run off half-back, but was occasionally caught out the other way when Charlie Cameron burst free. Gave away an arguably soft 50m penalty to Hugh McCluggage, which resulted in a goal, but laid a very strong tackle on Jaspa Fletcher halfway through the last.
Brayden Maynard – 6
Was forced to play very deep alongside Howe after Murphy's injury, and unable to provide his usual drive out of defence. Shut down Charlie Cameron after half time, until Cameron broke free on the goal-line, dancing clear to kick what appeared to be the winner at the time.
Beau McCreery – 7
Was buzzing in his typical fashion early, setting Bobby Hill up for his first goal. Had an almost day in front of the sticks himself, with three behinds just sliding through on the wrong side of the post, but his pressure in attack was key to the win.
Brody Mihocek – 4
Struggled to have a dominant day in attack, with Darcy Gardiner really locking down well on the Pies tall. Did kick a stunning curling goal from the boundary, in general play, to take back the lead in the final minutes of the first term. Had four score involvements.
Tom Mitchell – 9
When all around were losing their heads, Mitchell's cool and calm disposal helped settle the Pies. A real workman's performance in the best way possible, put his head down and just did the work in the stoppages. Finished with 24 disposals, 13 tackles and seven clearances, and more than justified his signing over the off-season.
Darcy Moore – 5
Had a tough first half against Joe Daniher, particularly after Murphy went down, and he didn't have the freedom to peel off and intercept. Started to work his way on top of Daniher by the last quarter, but had just seven disposals and two marks.
Nathan Murphy – 2
Subbed off at quarter-time after suffering another concussion, Lincoln McCarthy's shoulder accidentally collecting Murphy's head as the two contested the footy. In the first term, had played as the deepest defender out of the square, and worked hard to be the third man across when required.
Scott Pendlebury – 9
As the heat began to wear down plenty of players around the ground, Pendlebury stood tall, dishing off perfect kicks, finding space where there had previously been none and providing a layer of calm to a frantic finish. His 23 disposals and six clearances were absolutely vital to the win.
Isaac Quaynor – 6
Wasn't really sighted in the first half, with his hands full with a variety of lively Brisbane forwards like McCarthy and Zac Bailey. Started to work his way to prominence in the second half, finding some room and some run to keep driving the Pies into attack, and featured in a few nice disposal chains in the fourth term.
Steele Sidebottom – 7
Provided plenty of drive on the wing, and excellent tackle pressure, if a little overexuberant. Nearly conceded a goal when he lost the bouncing footy in the sun, but it just drifted clear. Summoned all remaining energy in his legs to convert a 50m penalty with 4.40 left on the clock, kicking truly from 55m.
Craig McRae – 8
Had to make the tough call in bringing in Frampton for Dan McStay, and did it early in the week to minimise hype. Adapted on the run when they lost Murphy early, and stuck to his guns when the game was on the line – the Pies starting to wind the game down with eight minutes to go, taking the pace out of match and forcing Brisbane to generate all the speed. Ended his acceptance speech with the ultimate mic drop, announcing his wife had given birth earlier in the morning.