#AFLEaglesPies: Collingwood Magpies Defeat West Coast Eagles In A Classic Elimination Final

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#AFLEaglesPies: Collingwood Magpies Defeat West Coast Eagles In A Classic Elimination Final
Collingwood Magpies Defeat West Coast Eagles In A Classic Elimination Final

It will go down in history as one of the great VFL/AFL finals, and Collingwood emerged from it victorious by a solitary point against West Coast!

According to West Coast coach, Adam Simpson in her Interview with Channel Seven

Well, Adam, this will be a little consolation. It was a great game of football.

Yeah, I’m sure Collingwood think that. I’m sure West Coast don’t. Look, it was, you know, another game against Collingwood that went down to the wire and unfortunately we didn’t take our chances. They took theirs and stuck at it all day. They deserve to win.

They double-teamed effectively, Nic Naitanui. It was an interesting use of Brodie Grundy. Wasn’t the main man against Nic Nat the whole match. How did you feel that worked out in the end?

I don’t think that was the deciding factor of the game. Yeah, look, the strategy is the strategy. You can’t do much about it. We’ve dealt with things like that before. I thought we didn’t take our chances in the second half. First quarter we got outplayed in our D50. [Mason] Cox hitting the first three [goals] and we missed a few opportunities. So, yeah, look, all those by-play issues we can talk about, but in the end we weren’t in front at the right time.

Your midfield started slowly and that was a factor obviously.

A: Yeah, I thought there was patches of really good play and patches of really good play from Collingwood. It just felt like opportunities were taken or not taken. Momentum changed, you
know, pretty often after quarter-time. Put ourselves on the back foot at quarter-time unfortunately. Like I said, we weren’t in front at the right time.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley spoke to Channel Seven after the game…

Congratulations. That is a famous Collingwood victory tonight.

It was. You know, you’ve got to enjoy that. We set ourselves for it. We think we’re able to execute what we wanted to for the most part and, you know, we enjoy the spoils this evening.

I know coaches typically don’t like ranking wins and that sort of thing, but that is one of your very, very best wins, Nathan, I’m sure.

The club’s, I hope so. I’m sure everyone back home would have enjoyed it. We definitely have.
It was hard-earned and, you know, we were pretty confident that we had the capacity. But you still need to execute.

You’ve been on the road for so long. That can have adverse effects. It can also have a galvanising effect. How have you tried to make sure it’s been the latter for you and your group?

Well, you just try and look for the positives and we now head back to the Sunshine Coast tomorrow. I think we’ve just been scheduled for 7:40 at the Gabba, I believe, on the Saturday [against Geelong in the First Semi-Final]. We know what that looks like going forward. We can only ever take the next step, so we focused on the things we can control and, yeah, we’ve still got a couple more steps to take.

Let’s talk about some of your set-up tonight which was superb. Your use of Darcy Cameron in particular and Brodie Grundy, just talk us through what your processes were there.

Well, Nic Naitanui was still an exceptional influence on the game. Five centre-bounce goals, largely through, you know, his efforts and the capacity to get the ball through the front. It’s one of the few parts of the game now that goes into even numbers and you can’t really get support. So we thought that we wanted to tag-team him a little bit. We thought Darcy was really good around the ground and we need to give ‘Brodes’ a chop-out. He’s been a warrior for so long, but I think maybe with a bit of support we can refine that extra 5-10 per cent through this period.

They dominated early, West Coast, the start of the last quarter with Brodie Grundy off. But you held your nerve and obviously in the end it paid off.

Yeah, look, I think both the guys, yeah, they shared their role, two of the 22 we felt contributed pretty well.

Let’s talk about some of the heroes at the end. The [Brody] Mihocek snap, that’s about as good a goal as you can kick in a precious moment.

Yes, and Jordy’s [De Goey’s] as well. They were low percentage goals, but we were able to finish and took advantage of that. We felt like we moved the ball pretty well for the majority of the night. We felt we got really good contest in front of the ball. That was an important part of getting the game on our terms.

You almost had a score there to make it a two-point ball game. The ball bounced on the line and then came back. I’m not sure if you were thinking this is the 2018 grand final all over again up the wing, but it was a big moment for both teams. Fortunately this time for Collingwood you had players in the road.

I know you’re a West Australian, so you can keep bringing that up if you like, but, you know, we’re in 2020 now. You know, we did enough to win the game. Obviously it was a very tight margin in the end. There’s still things there we can do better. That’s the coach coming out of me now. Look, we’ll enjoy this and, you know, I think you’ve got to enjoy your wins. We will do that, but we’ve got our sights set ongoing further.

So how do you enjoy this tonight? You go back to Joondalup where you’ve been based. From all reports, pretty comfortable there. As comfortable as you can be away from home.

Comfortable, that’s good. Everyone else was affronted. We enjoyed it, will go back, have a shower, try and get a bit cleaner than we are at the moment, then jump on the plane and head back.

Just on ‘clean’, I wanted to ask about that headline in the West Australian during the week, the ‘Dirty Pies’ headline. It referred to the quarantine situation of the game. Was there any upset from the Magpies’ point of view with that?

No. As I said, we focused on the things we can and got most of those – we got them right for the most part. You know, we’re looking forward to next week, mate.

Just on the season, obviously there’s still more of the season to come for the Magpies now, but it’s been an extraordinary effort. Not just from Collingwood, from everyone in the competition and, indeed, the leaders of the competition. It has been quite something, hasn’t it, to get everyone to this point?

Yeah, it has. I think it shows a lot of resilience. And everyone’s been doing it tough in some shape or form, right around the world, really, and right through Australia, Victorians in particular with the lockdown they’ve endured over the most part of the last three, four months. We feel like we’ve been very fortunate to continue working. We’ve lost some of our staff already and we’re going to have to make some hard decisions even further going forward. We really feel that. It’s a shout-out to all
our staff, whether you are back in Victoria or the Sunshine Coast at the moment, but we wanted to finish this season whole and we still intend to do that together, whether it’s in body or in spirit.

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