Watch AFL Live Collingwood Magpies vs GWS Giants Live Streaming Free 2018 AFL Playoff Seasons Finals Week 02 Online, match will be kick off at Melbourne Cricket Ground Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Saturday 15 September 2018 online, 19:25 pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Seven, Foxtell.
History says the losing qualifying finalist tends to win their semi final. Since the start of the decade, the losing qualifying finalists has won 12 of their 17 semi finals – Hawthorn becoming the fifth loser last night.
Teams that finish inside the top four generally end up in the final four. It tends to take something unusual for a qualifying finalist to lose two straight games and exit the finals in the second week. In the Hawks’ case, it was running into a team which ultimately was better than them through the home and away season on an underlying basis, and losinf key players both recently and earlier on in the piece.
Collingwood lost last weekend, while the GWS Giants won. The Pies’ loss was a close run thing, and it took an uncharacteristically physical effort from the Eagles (+16 in ground ball gets) in the fourth quarter for them to get over the line. The Giants’ win was not a close run thing, and one may argue it was one of the most comprehensive victories by one finalist over another in 2018.
If the two teams’ respective form carries over, it shapes as a high quality, aggressive, attacking game of football. For the right to a six day break, and a battering by a well-rested Richmond.
The Pies are unchanged for just the second time this year (the other times being Round 5 and Round 22), after its trio of returning players (Tyson Goldsack, Jeremy Howe and Adam Treloar) got through the qualifying final unscathed – each playing a critical role in Collingwood’s performance.
The Giants have made two changes, losing Josh Kelly to a meniscus tear and leaving Harry Perryman out of the team. In come Ryan Griffen and former Pie Lachie Keeffe. The latter would appear to have been selected primarily as a backup ruckman to Rory Lobb, who has the task of taming the man-god Brodie Grundy.
GWS beat the Pies at the MCG by 16 points in Round 2, but given it was so long ago how much can we really read into the game? It was the afternoon the Giants lost Tom Scully to a season-ending ankle injury, and the Pies lost Tim Broomhead to an ugly broken leg (don’t Google it).
GWS still had Jonathon Patton and Heath Shaw, and were playing Lachie Whitfield on a wing and Brett Deledio off half back. Collingwood have seen some changes too: Darcy Moore, Matt Scharenberg and Lynden Dunn were in the back six, and the forward line was 100 per cent small ball (as opposed to 90 per cent small ball).
The game itself was pretty even, the margin swinging back and forth all day, and the underlying performance of each team suggested the game was more or less a coin flip. In a lot of ways, it was a game between equals, though we didn’t realise it at the time.
As for tonight’s contest, markets are certainly subscribing to the long-term trend of top four finishers beating their lesser counterparts. Collingwood is a strong favourite, despite general and professional sentiment running counter.
For me, I see tonight’s game unfolding in a similar fashion to the Round 2 encounter in the aggregate: close all evening, with neither side able to streak its way to an advantage for a long period.
That’s because both teams map against each other well: both have strong and deep midfields, while Collingwood’s defence and GWS’ forward line are probably their weaker spots. Collingwood’s forward line lacks the names, but has been effective for most of the year; ditto GWS’ defence.
Collingwood looked all at sea in the first quarter against West Coast, unable to get their ground game going as the Eagles played in the air. GWS has the capacity to not just match Collingwood on the ground but exceed it, and with Zac Williams (probably my favourite player) back dishing from the half back line they’ve got part of the aerial game sorted too.
And for all of the talk about the Giants being the show ponies of the AFL, the team is sixth in the league for tackle rate (which adjusts for opponent time in possession), and is third for adjusted contested possessions (a proxy for ground ball gets). The Pies are seventh and fifth. Yep, it’ll be a battle of the midfields.
B: Maynard, Langdon, Crisp
HB: Howe, Goldsack, Varcoe
C: Treloar, Pendlebury, Phillips
HF: Hoskin-Elliott, Mihocek, De Goey
F: Thomas, Cox, Stephenson
FOLL: Grundy, Adams, Sidebottom
I/C: Sier, Aish, Mayne, Greenwood
EMG: Brown, Daicos, Madgen, Reid
B: Williams, Davis, Kennedy
HB: Haynes, Tomlinson, Buntine
C: Reid, Ward, de Boer
HF: Shiel, Himmelberg, Deledio
F: Taranto, Cameron, Greene
FOLL: Lobb, Coniglio, Hopper
I/C: Griffen, Keeffe, Whitfield, Langdon
EMG: Bonar, Cumming, Perryman, Lloyd
IN: Griffen, Keeffe
OUT: Perryman (omitted), Kelly (injured)