Collingwood are into the Grand Final where they will play… we won’t find that out until tonight but I suspect it will be St Kilda. Last night the Magpies had an easy win over Geelong. Earlier in the week I said that Mark Thompson’s ‘mind-games’ smacked of desperation when he talked about the other finalists being jealous of Geelong, and I was proved correct.
Collingwood was a far better team last night and while it would be unlucky of me to predict victory in the Grand Final, I do think that they will be very difficult to beat. Last night the Magpies pace made Geelong look very slow and the Collingwood pressure made the Cats’ passing look inept. Despite Gary Ablett getting a lot of possessions he really didn’t have much influence on the game as he would always be kicking or handballing to a team-mate under pressure, who would inevitably turn the ball over to a Collingwood player.
Too many Geelong players went missing last night. Tom Hawkins was useless in the ruck, while James Podsiadly played like a VFL player.
One thing I found interesting is that the Collingwood team only had two players, Alan Didak and Ben Johnson, playing last night who were from our 2002/2003 losing Grand Final teams. Of the other players still at the Magpies from those years, both Leon Davis and Simon Prestigiacomo were omitted from the side because of injury, while Josh Fraser was overlooked. Shane O’Bree retired earlier in the season. For the Collingwood team to have changed so much over the last seven years and to still be regular finalists is amazing. I wonder whether Leon, Presti, Josh and Paul Medhurst will still be at Collingwood next year. I think that Fraser will be traded to another team for sure, while I think that Leon may stick around. I cannot see any of those guys being able to force their way into the team next week, especially since Tyson Goldsack, who replaced Leon at the last moment last night, played very well. Neon Leon isn’t known for playing well in finals and the Grand Final is not the place for him to try to get some finals form.
I think that St Kilda will easily beat the Bulldogs tonight but who knows. I thought that Collingwood vs Geelong would be a close match.