It took until the dying minutes of the game for the West Coast Eagles to overcome a spirited Collingwood Magpies in the 2nd Qualifying Final. It was the second trip to Perth for the Pies in as many weeks, and they proved that they are not overawed at the prospect of playing in front of nearly 60,000 hostile fans in the cauldron of Optus Stadium. There were a dozen lead changes over the course of the game and it could have gone either way as time ticked down. Both sides were spent, but it was Lewis Jetta who danced on a dime to put the Eagles in front when it mattered – five minutes out from the final siren.
West Coast Eagles vs Collingwood Magpies (Optus Stadium)
STATE OF PLAY:
The Saturday clash between West Coast and Collingwood is a top four battle of two teams that have been hit hard by injury during the season but have come through in pretty good shape nonetheless.
A solid crowd of around 24,000 filtered into a sunny Metricon Stadium in anticipation of an excellent game of football between the up and coming Gold Coast Suns and the visiting Collingwood Magpies. With positions tight for a Top Eight finish, a Gold Coast win would set them up with a real chance to play Finals for the first time in their short history, while Collingwood was looking to consolidate a Top Eight spot and possibly challenge those in the Top Four.
Round 20 milestones include:
250 games: Gary Ablett (GC)
200 games: Ted Richards (SYD), Brent Stanton (ESS)
150 games: Bryce Gibbs (CARL), Daniel Merrett (BRIS)
100 games: Dennis Armfield (CARL), Chris Mayne (FRE), Tyson Goldsack (COL)
50 games: Phil Davis (GWS), Jack Gunston (HAW)
50 club games: Danny Stanley (GC)
Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth
In Round 13 these two teams met in what was a top of the table clash. Collingwood knocked the West Coast Eagles off their top of the ladder perch in a bruising encounter, winning by a slender three points in what many thought was a preview of the Grand Final. Both teams have had a horror patch over the last couple of months, the Eagles having the worst of it and sliding way down from the top of the Ladder to sixth position. Collingwood had no trepidation about the trip west, having not lost a game there since 2007. Dubbed the “House of Pain” by opposing coaches due to the loud roars of parochial hometown fans, Patersons Stadium was packed to the rafters with supporters hoping to see another thriller.
Mick Malthouse, fresh from coaching Collingwood to the 2010 AFL Premiership, had little or no time to relax afterward as he began preparations for the Australian team to play against Ireland in the International Rules Series.
Cameron Ling (GEEL), striking Collingwood's Leigh Brown: assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point) and body contact (one point), equaling five activation points, a classification of a Level Two offense, 125 demerits and a one game suspension. He accepted, reducing the penalty 25% to 93.75 demerits and a reprimand with the demerits held over toward his future record.