Collingwood defeat Melbourne, Isaac Quaynor interview, crowd figure, Magpie army, press conferences, Brayden Maynard bump

Breakout Magpie Isaac Quaynor has described the atmosphere in his side’s ruckus Qualifying Final win over Melbourne as the “loudest” he’s ever heard Collingwood fans, saying he had an “out of body experience” late in the game.

The contrasting treatment from each fanbase – totalling a crowd of over 92,000 at the MCG – towards Brayden Maynard made it particularly unique.

After knocking out Angus Brayshaw from an ill-timed smother attempt early in the first quarter, Maynard was met with loud boos from Demons fans whenever he got the ball in the heated clash.

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But that response was opposed by the Magpie army with cheers for their much-loved bull, at times drowning out the rival jeers.

Speaking to post-match, Quaynor admitted there were moments on the field where he felt like a spectator watching on.

“It’s probably the loudest and the most into it I’ve ever seen them (Collingwood fans),” Quaynor said.

“Especially towards the end, I was like having an out of body experience, that was just unbelievable how loud they were.

“It’s pretty cool, every time ‘Bruzzy’ (Maynard) was getting it, the Melbourne fans were booing him, then the Collingwood fans were kind of overruling it.

“It was a pretty crazy environment.”

The looming MRO verdict on Maynard is set to be one of the big talking points from the footy world ahead of Collingwood’s preliminary final in a fortnight’s time.

A best-case scenario could see Maynard available to play in that prelim, while on the other side of the coin, he may cop a ban that prematurely ends his season.

Quaynor said he didn’t see the incident, but extended his thoughts to the concussed Brayshaw, saying “hopefully he’s OK.”

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And in igniting the fiery contest that was, Quaynor believes Maynard only further relished from the opposition treatment – both on and off the field including constant scuffles with Melbourne players.

“It definitely added a little bit of fuel to the fire after that, it got pretty heated,” Quaynor said.

“But ‘Bruzzy’ feeds off that stuff, he loves it. As soon as they started going at him, I was like: ‘Keep going at him, he loves it’.”

It came after Collingwood made a shock selection call this week to drop John Noble amid a selection squeeze despite him playing 83-straight games including every match this season and entrenching himself as a permanent member of Craig McRae’s back six.

Cameras caught the raw moments after Noble first learned of his axing as the running backman was consoled by teammates and his defensive cohort.

And though it mightn’t have felt quite the same for him, Noble was included in the Magpies huddle post-match when they belted out the song.

 “I mean, far out, it’s such a tough one. It’s just the hard nature of football and the cutthroat nature of it,” Quaynor said of Noble’s axing.

“I’ve played 83 games and John’s played 92, so we’ve played a lot of footy together.

“I really enjoy playing with him, so it was a tough call, but we all wrapped our arms around him.

“He was in the huddle singing the song, he’s helped us get to where we are, we all love him.

“We wish him the best and hopefully selection goes his way.”

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Quaynor on Thursday night continued his brilliant rise this year – that saw him get named in the 44-man All-Australian squad – including taking two crucial intercept marks in the fourth quarter when Melbourne was charging home.

Now a key staple of Collingwood’s stout defence, the 23-year old from East Doncaster admitted he’s proud of his personal progress in 2023.

“I think I’ve developed pretty comfortably, I feel like I’m heading in the right direction,” he said.

“Playing to my strengths, doing what I do and playing my role within our team defence and using my strengths on offence.

“Probably a little bit quiet early but I felt like towards the end I had to go for a few marks and luckily they stuck. It was just one of those moments and I was happy to be there when I was.”

Quaynor and Collingwood will now be dreaming big about what could be this September, in pole position ahead of a week off before hosting a preliminary final at the MCG.

While Maynard may be in doubt, the minor premiers appear set to welcome back Brownlow Medal contender Nick Daicos in what will provide an enormous boost in their bid to return to the grand final stage for the first time in five years.

It’s too early to even speculate who the Pies may play in that grand final qualifier, but they’re officially the first team to book in that date and progress to the final four.

“It’d be massive to have Nick in there, probably the best player in the comp. It’s a pretty handy in,” Quaynor added.

“I’m excited, got the week off to rejuvenate, get the body right, then we go again.”

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