Collingwood have revived their top-two hopes with a pulsating one-point AFL win over West Coast in an epic grand final re-match at Optus Stadium.
The Magpies lost defender Darcy Moore to a hamstring injury in the opening term, and trailed by 18 points at the 10-minute mark of the third quarter of Friday night’s blockbuster.
Collingwood turned the match on its head from that point on, keeping West Coast scoreless for the next 43 minutes.
Final-quarter goals to Brody Mihocek and Jordan De Goey got the Magpies back to within one point, and Collingwood hit the lead with a series of behinds.
West Coast forward Jack Darling had the chance to put his side ahead with two minutes to go, but his 50m set shot from the boundary line didn’t register a score.
Collingwood’s 11.12 (78) to 12.5 (77) win saw them leapfrog West Coast into second spot on percentage, with both sides boasting 11-5 records.
The Magpies, who had entered the match off two straight losses, would have slipped two games adrift of second spot if they had lost to the Eagles.
Collingwood won the inside 50m count 20-5 in a final-quarter onslaught.
Mihocek booted four goals and took 10 marks in a stand out performance, with five of his marks contested.
Mason Cox kicked three goals, and could have had more if not for some simple dropped marks.
Adam Treloar tallied 39 disposals and seven clearances.
The ruck battle between Nic Naitanui and Brodie Grundy made for intriguing viewing.
Both players had their moments, with Naitanui dominant early, and Grundy influential late.
Naitanui finished with 14 disposals, 28 hitouts and 11 clearances, while Grundy had 22 possessions, 31 hitouts and six clearances.
Both sides suffered an injury blow in the opening term.
Moore injured his left hamstring, while Jamie Cripps damaged a groin while unleashing a snap.
The injury to Moore is particularly worrying given his recent history of soft tissue problems.
Magpies skipper Scott Pendlebury (finger) and James Aish (shoulder) finished the game with injury concerns.
Eagles goalsneak Jarrod Cameron booted four first-half goals, but he was kept quiet in the second half by debutant John Noble.
The opening term featured six lead changes as both sides put an emphasis on attack.
Cameron booted three goals for the term, while Jack Darling nailed two courtesy of strong marks.
But the Magpies had plenty of firepower of their own, with Cox and Mihocek booting two goals apiece.
Cameron booted his fourth goal midway through the second term to help West Coast open up a 15-point lead.
Collingwood were able to hold in the third quarter when West Coast threatened to blow open the game.
And when Mihocek and De Goey booted a goal within a minute of each other in the final term, the margin was just one point but the Magpies had all the momentum.