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Magpies get their reward

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Magpies knock out Eagles

Collingwood has clinched a preliminary final berth after defeating West Coast.

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COLLINGWOOD 3.4 4.5 8.10 10.13 (73)
5.1 6.4 7.6 9.6 (60)
GOALS Collingwood: Thomas 3, Swan 2, Jolly, O’Brien, Blair, Pendlebury, Goldsack. West Coast: Darling 2, Hill 2, Cox, Kerr, Kennedy, Naitanui, McGinnity.
BEST COLLINGWOOD: Thomas, Reid, Jolly, Goldsack, Beams, Pendlebury. WEST COAST: Gaff, Kerr, MacKenzie, Glass, Shuey, Hill
UMPIRES J Schmitt, M Stevic, B Rosebury.
CROWD 65,483 at MCG.

COLLINGWOOD can, and has, played a lot better quality football than it did last night, and will certainly need to if it is to have any chance of winning the premiership.

But the Magpies can at least tick off the category headlined ''effort''. Because their semi-final win over West Coast last night was as gritty as anything they've produced in the past few years.

Caught Coaster: Eagle Matt Priddis is swamped by Magpies at the MCG last night.

Caught Coaster: Eagle Matt Priddis is swamped by Magpies at the MCG last night. Photo: Paul Rovere

This was one of those victories the fans will be sticking on the DVD player for years to come. Not necessarily for any individual highlights, of which there were few, but for the gut-busting, lung-crunching, wholehearted effort their boys produced to close down, then head, then hold off a side which had early on looked ready to teach them a lesson.

It was a Collingwood win out of the old Tommy Hafey mould, big on heart, and marked by its victories in those hard indicators of contested possession, clearances and tackles, wins which wore West Coast down.

Not that the Eagles were going to go down without one hell of a struggle. Collingwood hit the front only a tick over two minutes into the second half, but the most it would ever lead by was 17 points in a low-scoring scrap in which eight goals were kicked in the first quarter, then only another 11 for the rest of the game. West Coast looked more tired the longer it lasted but still managed to put three consecutive goals together to lead as late as eight minutes into the final term.

But that the Magpies had turned the tables at all was remarkable in itself given how the Eagles had shot out of the blocks for a 23-point lead, as if this were merely a continuation of last week's demolition job on North Melbourne.

The heroes were everywhere. Key defender Ben Reid was superb on Eagle forward Josh Kennedy. Tyson Goldsack tremendous again in a defensive forward role. Darren Jolly a tireless and effective virtual lone hand against West Coast ruck pair Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui, who were relatively subdued. Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams prolific in midfield.

For the Eagles, Andrew Gaff was a constant source of run, and veteran Daniel Kerr both classy and brave in equal measures.

Things couldn't possibly have started any more promisingly for the Eagles, four goals to the Magpies' zip after 15 minutes. Jack Darling had the first after a free kick against Heath Shaw for impeding his run. The second after a fumble by Collingwood veteran Chris Tarrant, with Patrick McGinnity a grateful recipient. The Eagles were dominant.

The Magpies appeared to have hit back courtesy of Andrew Krakouer, until the big screen revealed that Andrew Embley had already taken the ball over the line, and one of the season's more controversial video referrals wiped the score out. And Collingwood's frustration was compounded when Andrew Gaff speared another damaging pass to Josh Hill, who converted from a tight angle.

Gaff had a hand in the next, too, Kerr converting with ease on the run after being fed a handball by McGinnity, who was also doing plenty of damage. The situation was bordering on critical for the Pies.

Collingwood found something, though. First, the Magpies started winning the hard ball. Then they began to create scoring opportunities, at first squandered by Tyson Goldsack, among others, but then the ledger was gradually restored.

Some tackling heat forced Eagle Chris Masten to dish off a handball blind and in dangerous territory, a series of Collingwood handballs finishing with Harry O'Brien, who finally got his team on the board. The Pie pressure told again when Ben Reid chased down Luke Shuey. The turnover gave the Pies another chance, gratefully taken by Scott Pendlebury. The Magpies were starting to find space.

The ruckmen then exchanged goals, Cox thanks to a contentious free, Jolly working into space and getting on the end of a pass from Alan Didak right on quarter-time. West Coast still led, but Collingwood had had more of everything else, which would hold it in good stead when this game became a real arm wrestle.

Just under 22 goalless minutes elapsed in the second term after Dane Swan kicked the first of the quarter until Hill restored the Eagles' lead to 11 points just on half-time. Which made what happened immediately after the break in the context even more game-breaking.

It was Dale Thomas' third quarter which had the biggest single individual impact. Serviceable without being spectacular in the first half, he exploded into action, drifting down from a wing to find space to mark and convert an Alex Fasolo pass. He did it again barely a minute later, latching on to a loose ball.

Five minutes later, he struck again, Collingwood in that time turning a two-goal deficit into an eight-point lead.

Were that not enough, he then valiantly pursued West Coast's Will Schofield as the Eagle streamed into goal, at least planting enough of a seed of doubt in his opponent's mind to make him hurry and miss a rare opportunity. That sort of pressure began to play tricks on West Coast minds; Shannon Hurn shanking a kick-in out of bounds, and watching horrified as Jarryd Blair sent the ball back over his head for a goal, and the Pies' biggest lead.

It was going to be tough for the visitors from there. They gave it one hell of a crack, though, Darling's goal on the three-quarter time siren and two quick ones to begin the last term to Naitanui and Kennedy restoring hopes. But that proved something of a last hurrah.

Collingwood knuckled down and made West Coast pay the heftiest price for a spectacular miskick by Andrew Embley, which ended in a goal to Goldsack, restoring the lead.

What would be the killer blow came from Dane Swan, and in a way defined this win. Swan had dropped what should have been a regulation mark, but pounced on the spills, swinging on to his right foot and curling home the winner. Like his team, he wasn't right at the peak of his powers. But hitting a peak of effort is sometimes at least enough to help you live to fight another day.

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AFL 2016

Round 1
Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
BRI vs NTH 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:25ES
FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs COL 13:45MCG
RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
HAW vs STK 14:10AS
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs GWS 13:10ES
FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs STK 13:45ES
ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 13:10G
CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs NTH 15:20ES
PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
BRI vs COL 19:25G
RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs ESS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs HAW 13:45G
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
STK vs FRE 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
BRI vs FRE 16:35G
GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 13:10ES
RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:40G
FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
GCF vs STK 13:40MS
SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
ESS vs STK 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 15:20ES
BRI vs GWS 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs STK 19:25ES
GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
BRI vs PTA 19:25G
NTH vs STK 19:25ES
Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 19:50ES
Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CAR 13:45G
HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs SYD 19:25ES
PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
COL vs GCF 19:25ES
PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
BRI vs GEE 15:20G
ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
STK vs BRI 12:00ES
ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
View all

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