Magpies beat GWS, boost AFL finals hopes

Shayne HopeAAP
Collingwood held on for a gritty 11-point win over GWS on Sunday - their fifth successive victory.
Camera IconCollingwood held on for a gritty 11-point win over GWS on Sunday - their fifth successive victory. Credit: AAP

Craig McRae has relished the chance to take a deep breath after Collingwood survived a late scare in an 11-point victory over GWS that put them a step closer to an AFL finals berth.

The Magpies triumphed 11.22 (88) to 12.5 (77) at the MCG on Sunday, reclaiming a top-eight spot with a fifth straight win.

It came amid the controversy around Jordan De Goey's latest off-field drama, which first-year coach McRae admitted had been a distraction for Collingwood during the build-up.

Woeful inaccuracy in front of goal almost came back to bite them, with the Giants piling on seven last-quarter goals to the Pies' two in front of 30,804 fans.

A 37-point margin at the final change was cut back to 10 points when Toby Greene kicked his only goal with more than four minutes left on the clock.

At that stage, GWS had kicked four goals in 10 minutes and were mounting a serious challenge.

But the Magpies tightened up around the contest in the dying stages to make sure of a result that gave them a 9-5 record and continued the Giants' (4-10) tough year.

"It'd be nice to be able to win a game and put the feet up on the bench but it's not our story at the moment," McRae said.

"I'm really proud of the players' ability to galvanise themselves this week and support those that have been under fire, if you like, and then come out and execute.

"For three quarters of the game we were proud of our efforts."

The De Goey distraction didn't show on-field as Collingwood's midfield got on top for the opening three quarters in dreary conditions.

Taylor Adams (24 disposals, six clearances) was influential against his old side, while Nick Daicos (25 disposals), Steele Sidebottom (26) and Josh Daicos (23) also effective.

Ruckman Darcy Cameron finished with two goals from 17 disposals to go with five clearances and 23 hit-outs, underlining his importance after signing a new three-year contract with the Magpies.

Jesse Hogan kicked a game-high four goals for the Giants, including two in the final term as the visitors threatened to pull off a remarkable comeback.

Co-captains Stephen Coniglio (31 disposals, four clearances) and Josh Kelly (26, three) lifted around the ball in the final term but the damage had been done.

Collingwood were clear winners overall in contested possession (137-124), clearances (37-28) and inside-50s (62-50).

"They could've put a lot more scoreboard pressure on us and we acknowledged that but (their inaccuracy) gives you an opportunity, so you've got to take that," Giants interim coach Mark McVeigh said.

"We know if we go away from the style we're trying to continue to coach, it hurts us.

"They were good enough to be able to do that (to us) and we were lucky at times."

Controversy arose in the final quarter when Collingwood defender Darcy Moore was penalised for a deliberate rushed behind in a decision that left teammates bemused.

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