Star Collingwood defender Darcy Moore will likely miss the rest of the AFL season, with the Magpies confirming a serious knee injury for the All-Australian.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says he’s looking forward to seeing two of the competition’s premier ruckmen “go to town” on each other in Saturday night’s elimination final against West Coast.
Eagles big man Nic Naitanui overcame two knee reconstructions to be crowned this year’s All Australian ruckman.
Grundy was last year’s All Australian tap specialist and the duo’s battle at Optus Stadium on Saturday will be pivotal in the result of the game.
“I’m looking forward to seeing that, I’m pretty sure everyone else is,” Buckley said.
“I’ve got great respect for Nic Naitanui and what he’s been able to do. And his season this year has justified him as the All Australian ruckman.
“Our boy (Grundy) is a ripper. We couldn’t love him any more. He’s heart and soul.
“So the two boys will go to town on each other and I’m looking forward to the contest. It’s probably a bit of a sidebar to the contest as well, but a big one at that.”
Another key match-up will be the likely battle between Eagles defender Brad Sheppard and Collingwood X-factor Jordan de Goey.
De Goey’s last appearance in Perth was a match-winning five-goal effort in the wet against Geelong in Round 7. But he will face a tough battle against Sheppard, who earned his first All Australian jersey this year.
“He’s a very good player, an A-grade game changer,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said of De Goey.
“We like to think we’ve got a pretty good defence that should be able to match it. But he can turn a game in five minutes.”
West Coast have been bolstered by the return of Jeremy McGovern, Jack Redden, Jamie Cripps and Luke Shuey.
Collingwood recalled Chris Mayne and Darcy Cameron.
The Eagles thrashed Collingwood by 66 points in Round 8 this season, but the Magpies were without Scott Pendlebury and De Goey that day.