Jordan De Goey returned from a 10-round absence in style as Collingwood survived some nervous moments to beat Gold Coast by 22 points and book an AFL finals berth on Monday.
At last we have the teams, we have the date, and Round 2 is about to kick off with Richmond playing Collingwood at the G.
While no player on either side is due to bring up a traditional milestone, stats wise, there is plenty to celebrate about this blockbuster game between the Tigers and the Magpies, even if we won’t be at the ground to cheer them on.
It will be the 212th meeting of the clubs with Collingwood still having a 28-game ascendancy, although the last four meetings have been split 50-50.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has a slightly better overall win-loss ratio than his Richmond counterpart, but in coach-versus-coach encounters Damien Hardwick leads 7-5. Hardwick is the third most experienced of the 11 current coaches who are part of the top 100 coaches of all time.
Among the players, Magpie Scott Pendlebury’s game will not alter his status as a top three game-player at Collingwood, but it will improve his position in the elite top 100 game-players, where he will move from equal 76th with Luke Power (Brisbane and Greater Western Sydney) and Don Scott (Hawthorn) to equal 74th with Michael O’Loughlin and Chris Langford.
No doubt O’Loughlin (Sydney) and Langford (Hawthorn) lined up on each other in the three seasons that their careers overlapped (1995-97). Both were champions who played in premierships and made All Australian teams. O’Loughlin also won a best and fairest and topped the goal-kicking at Sydney twice while Langford captained the Hawthorn team.
Collingwood’s only other top 100 game-player who is certain of a game against the Tigers is Steele Sidebottom, who will move into outright 17th position on the Magpies’ top 100 game list by eclipsing Ben Johnson, a 2010 premiership player. Johnson gave the Magpies good service in his 235-game career between 2000 and 2013.
At Richmond, all of their eight Tigers top 100 game-players would be expected to take the field. Of these, Jack Riewoldt should move into 11th place and within striking distance of the all-time top ten at the club by passing dual premiership players Vic Thorp and Percy Bentley.
Others to advance up the list are Bachar Houli, who will join former captain and dual premiership winner Allan Geddes on 182 games in the yellow and black, and Nick Vlastuin, who will match Chris Naish’s tally of games at the club. Naish’s son Patrick debuted for the Tigers last year.
Both teams boast six top 100 club goal-scorers, including at Richmond AFL elite top 100 goal-scorer Jack Riewoldt. Riewoldt is locked into number four on the Richmond top 100 list and 26 on the AFL all-time list and is a long way from moving higher on either list.
Further down the list, however, Shane Edwards and Trent Cotchin are both capable of improving their position. For Josh Caddy and Jason Castagna – who are equal in the 80s in both goals and position on the top 100 list – every goal will be valuable.
One goal would also change the position for four of the five Magpies top 100 goal-scorers expected to play: Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Jordan de Goey and Josh Thomas.
If he takes the field, Jack Crisp will continue his record on never missing a game in the six years he has been at Collingwood. His consecutive run, which currently stands 123 games, commenced with his last six games at his former club Brisbane and is the only current run of games over the 100 mark.