After one of the club’s greatest finals performances, Collingwood have suffered one of their most embarrassing defeats.
The Magpies crumbled to a 15.10 (100) to 5.2 (32) loss against the Geelong Cats at the Gabba on Saturday evening, ending their finals campaign.
Collingwood could only muster one goal and one behind in the opening three quarters, with Geelong racing to a 73-point lead just after three-quarter time.
Not since the 1960 Grand Final have the Magpies entered halftime with only one scoring shot. It was also Collingwood’s second-largest halftime deficit in an AFL finals match.
Despite a brief resurgence from the Pies in the final 16 minutes, the result was already well beyond doubt.
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On Fox Footy, Melbourne great Garry Lyon bluntly called it “one of the most embarrassing loses in finals history.”
“That is as comprehensive a belting in a half of footy, let alone in a final, as we’ve seen in 2020,” Lyon said.
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St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt argued the Pies were “absolutely exposed, particularly in the mental side of this contest.”
“They just haven’t shown up, pretty simply,” Riewoldt said.
The Cats dominated possession throughout the one-sided contest, while the Magpies could only manage five marks inside 50.
Geelong veteran Patrick Dangerfield and tall forward Tom Hawkins slotted four majors each — the entire Collingwood side managed five.
Dwayne Russell told AFL Nation: “That’s the best performance I’ve seen the Cats put together this year.”
Sports reporter James Mottershead tweeted: “Unfortunate way to end the season, but the Cats were far too good. Well played. Complete domination.”
Sydney Morning Herald journalist Vince Rugari posted: “All that talk about what colour shorts Collingwood should wear and they end up having them pulled down. Tough break.”
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Ironically, when these two clubs faced off during the regular season, Collingwood had held the Cats to just 35 points.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Geelong coach Chris Scott admitted his side were close to their best in the must-win semi-final.
“We had a lot of confidence that we could build on the way we played this year. And I thought we played OK last week without getting near our best, and today we were pretty close to our best,” Scott said.
“I think there’s a resolve within our group to find a way to try to play better and if we do that we will be hard to beat.”
Meanwhile, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley conceded “it was as comprehensive a loss that you are going to see.”
“Geelong were far too good. They deserve the win and they deserve to be a couple of wins away from where we wanted to be,” Buckley told reporters.
“You are not going to see a game that one-sided very often.
“At some point it looked like our players clearly had lost their hope to get the result.”
Geelong have qualified for their fourth preliminary final in five years, and will take on the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba next weekend.