Taylor Adams – 9
Was a powerhouse through the midfield (36 disposals) and had a hand in 12 scores, combining with nine inside 50s. All all-round impressive game where he also won eight clearances in a dominating inside act with Scott Pendlebury and Brayden Sier.
James Aish – 6
Off to a Grand Final after his future looked uncertain going into the season. Polished across his 11 disposals, and also had a huge moment when he won a free kick for dragging down Dan Rioli 17 minutes into the third when the Tigers were on the charge. Another feel-good story for the Pies in 2018.
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Mason Cox – 9
The American Pie stamped himself into Magpie folklore with his best game for the season. After a quiet two finals, the big forward ignited in front of his parents – flown in for the occasion – with an enormous three-goal second quarter. Was a contested marking force with a personal-best haul of eight (11 marks all up), largely opposed to David Astbury, although his best was riding on the back of Trent Cotchin in the second term.
Jack Crisp – 9
An outstanding game. Was this week's unlikely goal-kicker with two in the first half including the game's third courtesy of a sharp hand pass from Steele Sidebottom, which helped set up the unbreakable half-time lead. Was particularly impressive with his disposal and drive. Led the game for metres gained with 551m.
Jordan De Goey – 8
While he didn't blow the stats sheet apart, made his 10 touches count with four goals. Gave Alex Rance and later Dylan Grimes a headache with his contested marking prowess and was too quick for Rance on the lead. Kicked the game's first goal and played managed minutes in the second half after rolling his ankle last week.
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Tyson Goldsack – 6
Continued to run the gauntlet in his third AFL game back from an ACL repair, this time against Jack Riewoldt. While the Tiger ended with five goals, the veteran Pie had the better start and was a big factor – along with Howe – in the first quarter. Riewoldt got him a couple of times in the air and on the lead, but Goldsack stood firm. If he isn't the feel-good story of 2018, he could be next Saturday.
Levi Greenwood – 8
An impressive game from the tagger. Won enough of his own ball and did the tough stuff with 10 tackles and 23 pressure acts and locked down successfully on Dustin Martin when he pushed into the midfield. Martin wasn't himself, but Greenwood didn't make life easy for him.
Brodie Grundy – 9
One of the most influential players on the ground. Destroyed Toby Nankervis in the ruck and around the ground, winning important hit-outs including one inside 50 late in the first quarter when he landed the ball with Taylor Adams, who fired off a handball to De Goey for the Pies’ fifth goal. Did it again in the third when he found Scott Pendlebury, who set up Brody Mihocek. Got to celebrate his own goal late in the fourth that ignited the crowd. Had 56 hit-outs in a devastating game.
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Will Hoskin-Elliott – 5
A quieter game from the former Giant, who went scoreless. Had just 11 touches, mainly uncontested, and spent time opposite Reece Conca. Didn't rotate as heavily through deep forward as usual and spent most of his time on the wing.
Jeremy Howe – 7
Faces a nervous week after trouble with his right hamstring in the third quarter. Came off late in the term and was treated in the rooms but was able to come back on and help out when Astbury went forward in the fourth. Was huge before that, picking up Martin when he drifted forward, and was influential with his spoiling and repelling out of defence.
It will be a nervous week for Jeremy Howe. Picture: AFL Photos
Tom Langdon – 7
Did his job as part of the Pies' underrated defence. Took Martin in the fourth when Howe was occupied with Astbury but the sting was largely gone out of the game by then. Won 24 disposals and continued to successfully play his role and stand up after the Pies' backline stocks were hit by injury this season.
Brayden Maynard – 6
Used the ball well off half-back for 17 disposals and had six intercept possessions. Also instigated an important switch using Chris Mayne nine minutes into the fourth after the Tigers got within 21 points that calmed everything down. A solid game from another unheralded member of the Pies' backline set up.
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Chris Mayne – 6
Played on the wing and got moving in the second half to finish with 20 disposals. Fought hard to lay nine tackles and have 20 pressure acts, and looms as another brilliant Collingwood story as he looks ahead to a Grand Final berth after being at his career crossroads last season.
Brody Mihocek – 5
The 2017 Port Melbourne premiership player has the chance to win consecutive medallions after making a forward line spot his own. Took a brilliant contested mark in the first quarter when he was being double-teamed by Jayden Short and Astbury, which led to him lining up for the Magpies' fourth goal. Ended with two goals and four marks after being opposed to Dylan Grimes.
What a debut season it's been for Brody Mihocek. Picture: AFL Photos
Scott Pendlebury – 8
If he was still suffering from the leg injury he picked up in the fourth quarter last week, he didn't show it. Had 24 disposals, 15 of which were contested, and won eight clearances while being a force at driving the ball inside 50. Notably set up Cox for his third with a perfect kick inside 50 in the third quarter. A smooth game from the skipper who now has a chance to win his second premiership medallion.
Tom Phillips – 6
Had Kamdyn McIntosh on the wing in a dual that probably ended up relatively even. Was more effective going forward, got the ball moving with 440m gained and laid six tackles in a decent effort.
Steele Sidebottom – 9
Continues to go from strength to strength after a thoroughly impressive season. Had the most disposals on the ground with 41, doing most of his work on the outside where he consistently hit targets and found his teammates in space. Also won five clearances and drove the ball forward with 545m gained. Like Pendlebury, now has a chance to add a second premiership medallion to his trophy cabinet.
Brayden Sier – 7
Had to shake off a corked leg from last week's win over the Giants, and while he had it managed time-wise (playing 79 of a possible 120 minutes) and when he was on the bench using heat therapy, still played his role. Won six clearances – four in the centre – and 10 of his 20 touches were contested. Brave and effective, he'll be desperate for his leg to free up even more this week.
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Jaidyn Stephenson – 6
Got his hands on it in the first 20 seconds to set up the first inside 50 of the game, although it quickly came back out again. But the young NAB AFL Rising Star wasn't deterred and continued on his merry way in one of the more impressive debut seasons in recent memory. Had 14 disposals and three inside 50s, and got to celebrate with the last goal of the game.
Josh Thomas – 5
Went goalless for the first time since round 20 but brought plenty of pressure and got involved in a handful of scores, including when he put on a burst of pace down the wing to set up De Goey for the first goal of the game eight minutes into the first term.
Adam Treloar – 7
An around-the-body goal 11 minutes into the fourth could be the most important kick of his career. In his third game back from double hamstring injuries, the midfielder (19 disposals), drove home the Pies' 13th major to give them some breathing room after the Tigers moved within 21 points. Along with Goldsack and Howe, has brought new life to the Pies' side after they all overcame physical setbacks to be a factor in September.
Travis Varcoe – 5
Went to half-forward against Dylan Grimes after starting on the bench and settled the nerves with the game's second goal 13 minutes in. Only had 10 touches but gave them spark and zip inside 50, getting involved in six scores all up.
Travis Varcoe started the game on fire. Picture: AFL Photos