Champion Data’s Daniel Hoyne believes Collingwood deserves more praise for their 60-53 Qualifying Final win over Melbourne.
While much of the post-game discussion has surrounded the Brayden Maynard-Angus Brayshaw collision and Melbourne failing to capitalise on an inside 50 differential win, Hoyne believes Collingwood’s performance – particularly early – has gone under the radar.
Hoyne believes Collingwood’s start, where they kicked five of the first six goals, was as good as they’ve looked all year.
“I think what’s been lost in the discussion around the Thursday night game is Collingwood’s performance,” Hoyne said on SEN Sportsday.
“Obviously, chat has surrounded the Brayshaw and Maynard discussion and then the Melbourne entry discussion and then the expected scores.
“But actually, what Collingwood did in the first 40 minutes of that game … I thought the way Collingwood played in that first 40 minutes, I haven’t seen Collingwood play like that for months.
“I thought that was close to as good a footy that they’ve played since the start of the year.”
Hoyne was impressed with how Collingwood was able to get on top of Melbourne in their two biggest areas of strength, defence and contest, early in the piece.
“We all know that there are two words that Melbourne is focusing on, defence and contest,” Hoyne said.
“For the first 40 minutes to be +10 in contested footy and completely take that away from them was significant.
“Their pressure, they had a 200 pressure rating in the first 40 minutes compared to Melbourne at 175.
“For Melbourne to have 18 inside fifties in 40 minutes and to score once only from a downfield free kick … in 18 minutes, that defensive performance was exceptional.
“To score 25 points to zero off turnover. We talk about the turnover game, all the time. That was exceptional against the number one turnover team for the entire season.”
Hoyne also singled out a few key Magpies who stood up when the game was there to be won.
“I just want to just give a significant shout-out to a couple of players because that first 40 minutes, that’s where the game was won. That’s why Collingwood are sitting back and favourites to reach a Grand Final,” Hoyne said.
“Taylor Adams’ finals record over the last five-six years has been exceptional. He had seven contested possessions in the first 40 minutes.
“Steele Sidebottom playing as a winger had eight contested possessions in 40 minutes. Unheard of for a winger.
“Then Jack Crisp, his finals record is superb as well, in the first 40 minutes of that game he had 10 disposals, three clearances and kicked a goal to kickstart things.”
He feels that Collingwood simply deserves more credit than they’ve been given for the crucial win.
“That was as close to a complete performance that I think deserves sort of a little bit more recognition and a little bit more praise than potentially what they have actually received,” Hoyne said.
“A lot of the talk has been, how did Melbourne blow it? But for Collingwood to get to a 27-point lead in that 40-minute period was absolutely exceptional on their behalf.”
The Magpies now enjoy the week off before setting up for a big home Preliminary Final against the winner of the Port Adelaide v GWS Semi Final.