Second Semi Final – Collingwood v GWS: Pies move on (Floreat Pica Society)

by Dave Nadel

So we were playing GWS in a Semi Final. Last time we played in a final series, the Giants were in their second AFL season and had finished bottom of the ladder. Five years later they are playing in the third consecutive finals series and have quite a few more players with finals experience than we do.


72,500 spectators attended the match. I would guess that 70,000 of us would have been Magpie supporters. There was about as much Orange visible in the crowd as you would see at a St Patrick’s Day march in Falls Road, Belfast. Clearly the crowd was going to be a factor for the Pies. Non-Victorian AFL fans complain about Victorian home ground advantage, but in this case the advantage was not due to AFL deals. If GWS had finished third and we had finished seventh, the match would have been held on the Giants’ pocket handkerchief in outer Sydney and we probably would have had a crowd advantage there as well!


It turned out to be an exciting match and close in the second and third quarters. However if the Pies had shown any efficiency in front of goal in the first quarter it would have all been over at the first change. Collingwood jumped GWS from the first bounce. Josh Thomas goaled in the first minute and Stephenson kicked a point even before that. Before Cameron kicked the first of his and the Giants’ two points for the quarter at the 14thminute mark, Thomas had kicked another goal and Phillips and De Goey had kicked points. Phillips’ and De Goey’s points (like Stephenson’s) could all easily have been goals. Three further Collingwood points followed before Will Hoskin-Elliott kicked a goal just before the quarter time siren. The Magpies had dominated the quarter with most of the possessions and most of the play in their forward zone. The quarter time score was 3.6 to 0.2. It could very easily have been 7.2 to 0.2


Josh Thomas’ first quarter was his best, but I thought he had a fairly good match with a point and a goal assist to add to his starting goals. All up it was a good night for our previous offenders. Lachlan Keeffe, Josh’s partner in crime at that moment of madness at the St Kilda Festival all those years ago, now plays for the Giants and was one of their better defenders.


The Second quarter was a reversal of the first. This time GWS was the team that scored in the first minute. They were beating the Pies for possessions. Before the match I considered that one of Collingwood’s advantages was that in Brody Grundy we had one of the two top ruckmen in the League while GWS’ Rory Lobb wouldn’t have been in the top twenty. By the end of the game that would have been an accurate call but in the second quarter Lobb was more than holding his own against Brody.


In this quarter much of the action was in the Giants’ forward half. They kicked four goals and we only equalled their goal tally when Jordon De Goey kicked a goal in the final five seconds of the quarter. De Goey had given us all a scare, when he limped off with a slight ankle problem during the first quarter. Fortunately it was not serious and Jordan seemed unhampered for the rest of the game. In the second quarter the fitness scare related to Braydon Sier. He also limped off, appearing to be in much more difficulty than De Goey had been. The ABC reported that Sier had a hamstring problem. I was sitting with (amongst others) Jim K (see DR report) who was told by MMM that Sier had a corky. Fortunately the ABC was wrong and MMM had it right. By the last quarter Braydon had recovered from his corky and was playing well. If it had been a hammy we wouldn’t have seen him next week.


By half time the Pies were literally ahead on points 4.9 to 4.2.


Collingwood began the second half by conceding the lead in the first five minutes with goals to Coniglio and Cameron, who I felt were the two Giants who gave the Pies the most difficulty in the match. The rest of the quarter was something of a wrestle with Collingwood gradually getting the momentum back with goals to De Goey and Mihocek. The three-quarter time score was 6.12 to 7.3. So we led by three points and the start of the last quarter was going to be crucial.


But the last quarter was wonderful. The crowd became involved and the chanting of Co–lling–wood was really intimidating. Travis Varcoe kicked an inspirational goal followed by fine goals by Hoskin-Elliott and De Goey. Five minutes into the quarter and we were ahead by 21 points, probably a winning margin in such a low scoring match. Despite a GWS goal Collingwood maintained its momentum and would have won by more than the final 10 point margin if they had not attempted to prematurely run down the clock about five minutes from the end. Inevitably there was a turnover and a wholly unnecessary Giants’ goal. I really hope that they don’t try this against Richmond whose forwards are far more efficient and ferocious than GWS!


Final score: Collingwood 9.15, GWS 9.5


You will have to wait until the Horsburgh Medal Function on October 6 to find out my three votes but they will come from the following ten players (listed here in alphabetical order)

Taylor ADAMS. Lots of tackles, lots of kicks and probably the bravest player on the field. If only he didn’t turn the ball over so often.

Jordan DE GOEY. Our most productive forward in this game and for much of the season and much bigger and tougher than he originally appears.

Will HOSKIN-ELLIOTT. Two goals and ten marks, Will never wastes a possession.

Brodie GRUNDY. Probably won the match in the last quarter after underperforming in the first half.

Jeremy HOWE. Key defender. Back to his pre-injury form and took a characteristic screamer in the second quarter.

Brayden MAYNARD. Tagging performance of the year. Took the highly fancied Toby Greene right out of the game.

Scott PENDLEBURY. Solid Captain’s game. I didn’t realise that he had had 25 possessions until I read the stats on Sunday morning.

Tom PHILLIPS. He has had a wonderful season and his 29 possessions were an important part of our victory.

Steele SIDEBOTTOM. Top possession winner and involved in everything. I assume that he is an unbackable favourite for the Copeland.

Adam TRELOAR. Has got his timing back after looking terribly underdone against West Coast last week. Played a major role in the match winning final quarter.



See also:

Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: wrap of the Semi Final

David Wilson’s love for Jeremy Howe’s high mark


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great report Dave. Who’d have thought we’d be in the prelim after we lost to GWS earlier in the year?
    If we can make the most of early opportunities on Friday night anything’s possible. Would be great to see Collingwood v Melbourne GF. Bring back the good old fashioned class war !

  2. Sound as ever, D Nadel.

    Pleasing to read such a wide range of plausible vote-winners.
    All have a good case.

  3. Jim Kesselschmidt says

    Graet report Dave. It was a damn cold night getting down to 4 degrees. I’m still thawing out. Apparently Collingwood missed 11 set shots for goal. If good kicking is good football then….

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