Nick Riewoldt says Collingwood should have suffered a “10-goal defeat” based on Friday night’s stats but they have continued to find a way to win and now sit level at the top of the table.
In Melbourne at the MCG, the reigning premiers dominated every stat except tackles and goals on the night – +93 in clearances, +22 in possessions, +20 in clearances and +24 finishes inside 50s.
The Demons had 10 goals by half time and were sitting pretty with a 17 point lead.
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But the “ridiculously fit” Collingwood will not be denied a remarkable 11th straight victory – the first time they have won the title in 60 years.
“It’s crazy,” praised Gary Lyon of Fox Footy.
“This football club is the only thing they’re doing here for ages – I can’t remember anything like it.
“All the numbers we could throw at you, it shouldn’t have been close, but they came from behind … and they came out and won.
“You could be forgiven for thinking… ‘sooner or later we’re going to drop one’. But nup. They refused.
“The best part is yet to come.
“They’re on a journey; there’s a movie about it—the scenes we’re witnessing.”
Incredibly, the Magpies had 21 of just 41 kicks inside 50s and an accurate 15.6 kicks.
Nick Riewoldt was full of praise for the way Collingwood pulled off the win.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said.
“In 50, contested possessions, clearances and all the numbers when you think about who will win the game – Collingwood should have lost by 10 goals!
“Their agility kept them in.
“These last wins have been built on the confidence that went into the weekend.
“Professionalism, they were so disciplined in those last minutes that they took the oxygen out of the game.”
Fox Footy’s Jonathan Brown said an 11th win “shows he’s not lucky now”, but Nathan Buckley warned the best was yet to come.
“The scary thing is that there are so many contradictions in this group. As they did in the second half, the ball and clearances are now dominant compared to the rest of the competition.
We talk about the bottom six should be good – (Josh) Carmichael is playing well, (Nathan) Murphy, (Ash) Johnson, (Bow) McCreary, (Jack) Ginnivan and (Trent) Bianco have come in. As a sub – those players are all contributing.
Collingwood are now one game behind Melbourne in second place and have games against Sydney and Carlton ahead of the finals.