Taylor Adams – 9
Collingwood's best player and would have likely won the North Smith Medal had the Magpies won the game. Was inspirational at times with his tackling and ability to pressure the opposition. Kicked a clever goal in the third term, as he ended the afternoon with 31 disposals (18 contested), nine clearances and five tackles.
James Aish – 3
The defender had very little impact on the game, with just seven touches. Aish did lay five tackles, but the Magpies needed more from their running half-backs when the game was on the line. The argument could have been made to leave Aish out of the side for Ben Reid or even Darcy Moore, if he was passed fit.
EAGLES SOAR IN THRILLER Full match coverage and stats
Mason Cox – 5
Just one touch in the first half but set the MCG alight with his first goal of the day at the start of the third term which came as he took a towering pack mark in front of Tom Barrass. His presence became greater the longer the game went and the big American had the opportunity to put the Pies back in front late in the game but his kick from distance drifted across the face.
Jack Crisp – 7
Crisp stood up as well as any Collingwood defender on the ground, finishing with 25 disposals and nine marks. Provided important rebound from defence overlap run through the middle of the ground. Showed composure late in the game by trying to keep the ball out of the Eagles' hands by waxing with Steele Sidebottom when their side had the lead.
MATCH REPORT Sheed gets Eagles home in a Grand Final classic
Jordan De Goey – 8
Has developed a reputation as a big game player and did not disappoint on Saturday. Often played as Collingwood's deepest forward, kicking a wonderful goal in the first term by busting through a Jeremy McGovern tackle and snapping from the boundary. His third goal came from outside 50 to give Collingwood a two-goal lead at the start of the fourth term. Had 14 disposals and was a constant threat every time he went near the footy.
Tyson Goldsack – 5
Renewed hostilities with Josh Kennedy and kept him to one goal in the first half. Goldsack did as well as he could against a much taller opponent, but the Eagles forward managed to get into the game in the second half as he pulled down 11 marks. Goldsack had a crucial spoil on Liam Ryan when he looked to be out in space in the fourth term which could have decided the contest, but it was not to be.
Levi Greenwood – 4
Rather than pushing into defence, Greenwood started on Elliot Yeo and frustrated the Eagles star to keep to just 11 disposals in the first half. As Luke Shuey's influence grew, Greenwood was switched onto the Norm Smith Medal winner and couldn't do much to contain him.
Brodie Grundy – 5
Was unusually quiet in the first half, but started to started to impose himself more on the game in the third term. Finished with 49 hit-outs – much more than Scott Lycett and Nathan Vardy combined – but had the ball just 10 times. When he's at his best, Grundy wins 20 or more disposals and for some reason he could not do it on the day.
Will Hoskin-Elliott – 5
Took a fabulous mark against Jack Redden and then kicked a dead-eye set-shot from the boundary line in the first term as Collingwood were up and about. Couldn't quite find the distance against a strong wind with a set-shot after the siren in the third term which registered no score. Had 18 disposals but no real game defining moments.
Jeremy Howe – 6
Played through the pain of an ankle injury after being injured in last week's preliminary final. Kept Jack Darling quiet early in the game but could only watch on as the Eagles forward imposed himself on the contest in the third quarter. Took a couple of important relieving marks in defence late, but was not at his best.
Tom Langdon – 9
Langdon was magnificent and rivalled Adams as Collingwood's best player. The defender finished with 23 disposals and seven marks (three contested) as he constantly put himself where the ball was to try to intercept or impact aerially. A wonderful full-length smother on Kennedy to deny a forward 50 entry epitomised his commitment to his side.
WHEN BANNERS GO BAD No pre-game cheer for Pies
Brayden Maynard – 5
Left the ground for a brief moment in the second term after feeling the affects of a big Liam Ryan hit but returned to the ground soon after. The defender spent time on Ryan and Willie Rioli and put great pressure on with his seven tackles. However, Maynard offered little offensively and the Pies probably needed someone to step up in that regard.
Chris Mayne – 8
What a career turnaround for the former Docker. Mayne was superb against the Eagles, despite having just 15 disposals. Laid a whopping 14 tackles and took four marks (one contested) to be among Collingwood's best players. His game was defined by his defensive moments with a crucial ground ball win in the middle of the ground in the first half and a wonderful intercept mark in front of Darling in the fourth quarter.
Brody Mihocek – 5
The mature-age forward spent time trying to contain McGovern early in the contest and he did that job well in the first half. Took his moment and delivered a key goal at the start of the fourth term with a snap around the corner and did not look overawed. In the end, McGovern's influence became important so he gets docked a few points.
THE MOMENT Sheed kicks the impossible
Scott Pendlebury – 6
The skipper had 12 disposals (seven contested) to half-time and as always he had time with the ball in his hands. Ended the game with 20 disposals but never really had a key influence on the game. Had five clearances, but others like Adams and Brayden Sier shaded him for impact.
Tom Phillips – 6
Had a shaky moment when he mistimed a handball to Scott Pendlebury over the top in defence in the first term, but regained his composure after that. Provided a great outlet for the Pies on the wing in several pressure cooker moments and gained 438m on the ground – the fourth highest on the field. Spent time on Chris Masten and beat him.
TEN THINGS WE LEARNED De Goey's star rises
After a stellar finals series, Sidebottom's impact was minimal on Grand Final day. Had Mark Hutchings for company who wore him like Gary Payton used to do to the players he was guarding on the basketball court and had just nine disposals in the first half. Moved to full forward in the latter stages of the third term but could never really get going. His best moment came with the handball that set up De Goey's third goal at the start of the fourth term.
Brayden Sier – 7
The youngest Magpie on the ground was excellent on the big stage with 21 disposals and seven clearances. Thrives in congested situations and his 14 contested possessions embodied the type of game he played. One of Collingwood's most consistent four-quarter performers.
WOODY'S SHATTERED Buckley comforts Magpie runner
Jaidyn Stephenson – 6
Set the MCG alight with two goals in the opening term, with a terrific left foot snap in not much space underlining his talent. The NAB AFL Rising Star winner then capitalised on a Tom Cole fumble and burned his way into an open goal soon after. From there, though he was very quiet with just nine touches for the match.
Josh Thomas – 4
Ran down by McGovern in the first quarter when trying to kick for goal and boost Collingwood's lead. Limped off the ground in the fourth quarter to receive some treatment on his lower leg but returned to the ground. Unfortunately missed two chances to put Collingwood in front late in the third term with left and right foot snaps.
Adam Treloar – 8
The midfielder had 14 touches to half-time and did his best work in traffic. Had 26 touches (14 contested) by the end of the game to go with five clearances. Looked dangerous when given space but with the game bottled up, particularly late, he could not quite breakaway. Still a top game as he worked tirelessly to lay 11 tackles.
Travis Varcoe – 7
Had his sister's name Maggie written in permanent ink on his shoulder tape and sent the crowd into raptures to kick the first goal of the game. It was a wonderful moment as his teammates mobbed him after a tough few weeks following the passing of his sister. Laid a big tackle on Lewis Jetta in the second term, and then chased down Rioli in the third. May have had just 11 touches, but his impact was far greater than his stats suggest.
Coach: Nathan Buckley – 7
Had the game on his side's terms but, like how the game played out in round 17 when the teams met at the MCG, couldn't find a way to keep the Eagles out of the game. Collingwood struggled for defensive match-ups when Vardy was thrown forward, while Buckley maybe could have put De Goey on the ball earlier in the game. But that's being nit-picky. The AFLCA Coach of the Year would have been proud of his players.