That’s all we have for you tonight
Thanks for joining us tonight as Collingwood made the AFL Grand Final with a one-point win over GWS Giants.
Please join us tomorrow for our next live blog as Brisbane and Carlton play off in Brisbane for the other spot in next Saturday’s grand final.
Thanks again and see you all tomorrow.
Magpies have the numbers to thwart Giants
By Greg Baum
There were the giants, and there were the Giants. In a titanic contest, the team of the season prevailed over the team of the moment. The Magpies had their army, but the Giants had their tsunami, and they made for a mighty preliminary final match.
After Jesse Hogan’s goal 19 minutes into the last quarter, neither team scored even another behind, and that suited the Magpies just fine. Giants captain Toby Greene might have won it for his team with an outrageous banana snap in the dying moments, but Steele Sidebottom was where he has always been for the Magpies, on the line. It was that breathlessly close.
Nick Daicos and Toby Greene.Credit: AFL Photos / Getty Images
GWS were comically outnumbered everywhere in and around the MCG except where it counted, on the emerald greensward. There, the Magpies’ fabled extra could not make themselves felt for more than a half as the Giants silted up Collingwood’s patent running game and looked set to elbow their way into the grand final.
Giants fume over late concussion test for Daniels
Giants coach Adam Kingsley and his side are angry about a medical call to send midfielder Brent Daniels for a late-game head injury assessment, effectively ruling him out for the final minutes.
Kingsley revealed Daniels was forced to take a head injury assessment test with five minutes left in the game which he “passed easily”.
Connor Idun hurts after losing the preliminary final.Credit: AFL Photos
“I haven’t seen the incident but from what I’m led to believe, it didn’t warrant having to take him off the field,” Kingsley said.
The Giants missed his run in the vital final minutes of the game.
“That hurt us, we missed his leg speed and overlap run,” Kingsley said.
Kingsley wants his players to build in their achievements in 2024.
He was hurting after the loss and knew his players would be hurting for a while as they digested the loss.
“We were one point off a grand final,” Kingsley said.
He wants the Giants to come back better next year.
“We need to make sure we maintain that level and improve on it,” Kingsley said.
“Entries were pretty similar. I felt like they had passages and we had passages. Neither of us were finishing our work.
“In a one-point game, it could go every way. You look at every single play and wonder if you could have done better. Could we have saved a goal? Saved a point or held our territory better?
“Our boys will replay all the moments in their heads for a long, long time but that is the nature of preliminary finals.”
Adams will go down to the wire
McRae also refused to rule out Taylor Adams overcoming his hamstring injury to play in the grand final.
But he admits it will go “down to the wire” as to whether Adams has had enough recovery time to play.
The Magpies will give him as much time as they can.
‘Take every bit of it in’: McRae
Collingwood coach Craig McRae has told his players to embrace the occasion of AFL Grand Final week and he has also praised his club’s fans for dragging his side over the line.
“The message after the game was smell it all, take it all in and embrace every single bit of it,” McRae said.
Magpies coach Craig McRae.Credit: Paul Rovere
“Take every bit of it in. The parades, the training, the crowds – there will be a hurricane going on around you and we just need to sit in the middle of it.
“We have one to go. I know we celebrated hard and there will be certain sections who will want to judge that but our whole story for two years has been bring the fans along with us.
“I’m talking to the fans now. We don’t win this game without their support. 97,000 people thank you so much.
“Magpies Army dragged us over the line and we love you so much.”
McStay could be unlucky admits McRae
By Roy Ward
Magpies coach Craig McRae won’t rule out Dan McStay just yet but admits it looked like he will miss the grand final with a knee injury.
McStay was hobbled in the second half and eventually subbed out, McRae said he wasn’t sure on the terminology but it is an “MCL or something like that” – if it is an MCL, it would be a knee injury.
Daniel McStay.Credit: Getty Images
“I don’t want to put a definite decision on it but, at this stage, I think he might be unlucky and miss out,” McRae said.
“We will wait and see.
“Until you really know, you just put your arms around him and show love and support. That will play out pretty quickly I’d think.”
He declined to talk about any potential replacements for McStay.
“Can I stay right here for now? I think I’m going to stay right here,” McRae said referring to keeping his mind on this win.
Howe praises Cox
Magpies utility Jeremy Howe has put a spotlight on the influence of ruckman Mason Cox in his club’s one-point win over GWS Giants tonight.
Cox kicked a crucial second-half goal and came up with a game-high 27 hitouts in the win.
Masox Cox reaches for a mark against the Giants.Credit: AFL Photos
“I have to give big Mason Cox a shoutout as his influence around stoppages like centre bounce,” Howe told Fox Footy.
“Finals are all about momentum and trying to get the ball going your way and he is incredible, gets to so many contests so it’s great to see him perform, especially at the pointy end of the year.
“We know what he did a long time ago but I feel like our resurgent form in the second half of the year, he has been a big part of that.”
Howe can’t wait for the season decider to come around.
“It’s been five years so my last taste of it and hopefully, this time we can go one better,” Howe said.
Your view: Who wins the flag?
Daicos on the grand final and McStay
Nick Daicos spoke with Fox Footy post-game.
When asked about making the grand final, he said he can’t wait for Saturday and to “bring it on”.
He also was asked about the health of Dan McStay who was subbed out with what looked like a lower leg injury.
Nick Daicos.Credit: AFL Photos
“I spoke to him briefly. I don’t think they know the full extent yet,” Daicos told Fox Footy.
“Obviously, shattering as you don’t want to see anyone injured in the preliminary final. Dan played such a massive game and role for us tonight.
“I hope he is out there for us next week.”
Daicos also had empathy for the Giants, many of whom were in tears post game, and he also felt he had got through the game fine after a long time out injured.
“I saw the Giants boys after the siren and while you are so stoked to go through to the grand final, we went through that last year so I could relate to them,” Daicos admitted.
“I’m so happy we are through but now want to reset emotionally, physically and get ready for next week.
“It’s one thing to qualify, it’s another thing to perform next week.”
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