Collingwood did the job against North Melbourne in Brisbane, but before that second half, they looked like a middle-of-a-run team.
This leaves me wondering: are they the real deal or are these cold Pies?
Ever since last’s year preliminary final, the Magpies have not proven if they are contenders or just making up the numbers.
They are going to miss their best midfielder, Steele Sidebottom, who was influential in the win over North with 23 touches, four clearances and a goal.
Collingwood are also heavily reliant on Scott Pendlebury and Taylor Adams, has gone under the radar in the All Australian conversation again, but after these three, who are the midfield options?
Brayden Maynard had 26 touches on Monday night, while Chris Mayne had 22, so the next midfield options are worrying.
The Pies looked unconvincing in ball movement, especially in the second quarter when there was turnover after turnover and they couldn’t capitalise on the Roos’ mistakes. If these same problems happen against a top-four side, they will be found out.
Their disposal efficiency for the season is 71.6 per cent, which is good, but they have not shown their elite ball-movement in most matches. Moreover, Mason Cox is crucial to their forward line, which is strange due to the fact he was in poor form before their last match.
Collingwood don’t seem to know who their number one forward is. With Cox playing his best in the last quarter against North, it was up to young Josh Daicos and the midfield to kick the goals earlier and finest forward on the night was young Trey Ruscoe with two goals.
Furthermore, with one goal from 11 inside 50s in the first quarter, how will Nathan Buckley’s men go in a final where sides like Brisbane and Saints will convert their inside 50s (even though Lions are inaccurate in front of goal)?
I can’t wait to see how Cox will go against Jacob Weitering, who has been in All Australian form with 1.4 intercept marks a game, this Sunday against the Blues.
The Pies relying on Pendlebury and Taylor Adams to win the midfield battle is like relying on gold in the Great Depression – it will eventually crash. So how will they fare against Patrick Cripps and Ed Curnow, who made Gold Coast’s midfield look like cones on Friday night?
Finally, all four teams the Pies have lost to, excluding the draw and loss to West Coast, are not top-eight sides.
To say they are a premiership contender is odd.