So long, Colliwobbles
The Magpies’ 20-year premiership drought is over. Collingwood players were soaking up the sweetest feeling in AFL today after their 56-point annihilation of St Kilda in the Grand Final replay.
The nervous tension expended in last week’s draw proved to help the Magpies. Today they moved with confidence and precision.
The Pies blew away their cobwebs in last week’s draw. It proved a blessing in disguise as the Pies finally executed on their game plan.
Their goal-kicking yips weren’t as bad this week – evaporated into thin air, although key forward Travis Cloke failed to boot a goal.
The Pies’ runners were in full flight, as Alan Didak, Brent Macaffer Steele Sidebottom and Sharrod Wellingham all booted two goals.
Early in the first term, when Saints skipper Nick Riewoldt had the chance to boot a major in the goal square.
In a desperate act, Heath Shaw chased Riewoldt and smothered the Saint champion’s kick on the line. A point was ruled.
It was a herculean effort from Shaw, and from that moment, the Magpies never looked like losing. They had already kicked two goals and the Saints only scored a measly point.
After the fierce intensity of the first 10 minutes died down, Collingwood made better decisions, were more fleet-footed and were more accurate.
It was in the third quarter when the Magpie faithful unleashed a deafening roar, which seemed to engulf the MCG until the final siren.
The Pies could smell victory after building a 40-point buffer over the Saints in the third quarter.
Magpies president Eddie McGuire fought back tears, when he realised that the Pies would clinch their first premiership in 20 years.
Scott Pendlebury was steady all day, winning the Norm Smith Medal.
The Saints didn’t even pick up a single vote in the Norm Smith Medal voting. Pendlebury dominated the voting, followed by Steele Sidebottom, Dale Thomas, Dane Swan and Darren Jolly.
There were a flood of tears in the aftermath, as Magpies coach Mick Malthouse and his boys realised the enormity of the win.
It was the perfect ending for Malthouse, who endured humiliation after engaging in a sledging match with Saint Stephen Milne back in April.
Malthouse’s public shaming proved the catalyst for the season, as the Pies gradually built power throughout the home-and-away season.
It’s often times of adversity that triggers champions to surge towards incredible feats.
And for Malthouse, the unsavoury Milne incident was the trigger that thrust Collingwood to the top of the ladder.
The boys finished it perfectly in the Grand Final replay – with no sign of the Colliwobbles.
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