It would be extremely difficult to mount any sensible agreement that Collingwood could reverse their current slump in Perth on Friday night against the only top four team to win last week, West Coast Eagles.
Between 1994 and 2000, the Eagles won ten games in a row against the Magpies, and the expected win in Round 17 will take the current sequence of wins to five – all in the last two seasons.
The much underrated Adam Simpson, who has won more than 70 per cent of the games he has coached in four of the six years he has been at the helm, has recorded eight wins in the 11 games his team have played against the Magpies, including the last-gasp win in last year’s grand final.
This record is second only to the doyen of current coaches, Alastair Clarkson, who has a 12 out of 13 win ratio against Buckley.
West Coast Eagles smashed Fremantle in the local derby last week, restricting them to just two goals for the game, and will play the Magpies at the same venue, backed by an even more partisan crowd this week and with ruckman Nic Naitanui back in full flight and ready to take on Brodie Grundy, who has been the only shining light for Collingwood in the last three weeks.
Chris Masten this week will equal the games played tally of two former favourites of the Eagles fans who defected to the East Coast: John Worsfold and Quinton Lynch.
Worsfold is currently coaching Essendon who are making a charge for the final eight, and Lynch took up the free agent option and moved to Collingwood in 2013 with limited success, playing 18 games and scoring nine goals in his only year at the Magpies.
The versatile Elliott Yeo – who tagged one week and was tagged the next – will match the playing career of Beau Waters while at Collingwood.
Steele Sidebottom – who is still getting plenty of touches of the football but with much less effect – will join Syd Coventry, Tarkyn Lockyer and Shane O’Bree and move into the Top 20 game players of all time at the Magpies.
Coventry, the elder brother of VFL legend Gordon, originally signed to play for St Kilda but opted to stand out of football for 12 months so that he could join his brother at Collingwood – a much easier club to get to from Diamond Creek in 1922.
The decision paid dividends as in his 13 season, 227 game career, he captained Collingwood for seven years, including the four premierships in a row between 1927 and 1930.
His standout year was the first year of the four-peat, 1927 when he won the Brownlow Medal, Collingwood’s best and fairest and was best afield in the grand final.
He still remains the only premiership captain to win the Brownlow Medal in the same year. He again won Collingwood’s best and fairest in 1932.
Tarkyn Lockyer, a West Australian from North Albany, still remains at Collingwood as the Midfield Development coach. He debuted at Collingwood in 1999 against Fremantle and retired in 2010.
O’Bree was a contemporary of Lockyer, joining Collingwood from Brisbane in 2000.