COLLINGWOOD has delivered a stunning blow to West Coast’s finals hopes with an incredible 45-point victory at the MCG on Saturday.
In premiership captain Shannon Hurn’s 300th game, the Eagles barely offered a yelp, conceding the first eight goals of the game before eventually going down 14.6 (90) to 6.9 (45).
MAGPIES v EAGLES Full match coverage and stats
Acting captain Steele Sidebottom led from the front with 33 disposals and a goal, while Jordan De Goey also impressed with 34 touches and a game-high 518 metres gained.
The match was an arm wrestle early, with both sides struggling to score in the first term.
But the Magpies eventually overwhelmed the Eagles with quick and daring ball movement, kicking four unanswered goals to stun Adam Simpson’s men.
The Pies continued where they left off to start the second term, winning the opening centre clearance and hitting up Brody Mihocek, who converted to extend his side’s lead.
West Coast’s lack of pressure was alarming, allowing their opponents to continually move the ball forward with ease through the corridor.
Collingwood continued to pile on the goals until Jamie Cripps finally kicked the Eagles’ first major at the 20-minute mark of the second term.
But the Pies would not relent, adding another two majors to enter half-time 50 points up.
Remarkably, West Coast won the inside 50 count in the first half (25-22) but was plagued by inaccuracy, kicking 1.5 to Collingwood’s 10.1.
It was Déjà vu in the third term, with Mihocek again kicking the opening goal of the quarter after a costly Eagles turnover in the middle of the ground.
West Coast managed to keep Collingwood goalless for the rest of the term, but only managed one goal itself.
There was never any chance of an unlikely comeback, despite the Eagles kicking four goals to win the final quarter.
Ginnivan celebrates first goal in style
It’s been a disappointing season for Collingwood this year, but the development of some of its younger players will have Pies fans excited for the future. One player to watch is Jack Ginnivan, who kicked his first AFL goal in style at the MCG. The Magpies were surging with the first three goals of the game, and Ginnivan capped off a dominant opening term with a long range bomb from outside 50. The 18-year-old celebrated with a massive fist pump before being mobbed by his teammates. There were similar scenes in the fourth term when Isaac Quaynor also managed to kick his first goal.
Eagles’ finals hopes in jeopardy
West Coast will be bitterly disappointed to put in such a poor performance for Shannon Hurn’s 300th game, but the result was also potentially very costly for its finals chances. While the Eagles still sit comfortably in the top eight for now, they are set to play premiership contenders Melbourne and Brisbane to finish the season alongside an intriguing derby clash against Fremantle. Given West Coast’s poor percentage and worrying form, finals is suddenly far from certain for Adam Simpson’s men.
Sidebottom leads from the front
Collingwood’s decision to rotate the captaincy for the rest of the season following Scott Pendlebury’s leg injury promised to offer an intriguing preview of who the Pies’ next skipper could be. Steele Sidebottom took the reins on Saturday, and put his hand up for the top job with an impressive performance. He was particularly influential in the second term, when he collected 11 disposals at 100 per cent efficiency to put the Eagles to the sword. Taylor Adams and Jeremy Howe will hope to make a similar impact when they take the captaincy duties in coming weeks.
COLLINGWOOD 4.1 10.1 11.4 14.6 (90)
WEST COAST 0.4 1.5 2.7 6.9 (45)
Collingwood: Elliott 2, Mihocek 2, Bianco 2, Hoskin-Elliott, Sidebottom, Ginnivan, Cameron, Thomas, Grundy, Quaynor, Noble
West Coast: Cripps 2, Yeo, Darling, Kennedy, Sheed
Collingwood: Sidebottom, De Goey, Crisp, Grundy, Maynard
West Coast: Gaff, Sheed, Waterman, McGovern, Naitanui
West Coast: Nil
Collingwood: Nathan Murphy (unused)
West Coast: Mark Hutchings (unused)