Collingwood has done the unthinkable, winning their 11th game straight in yet another thriller at the MCG.
The 15.6 (96) to 13.11 (89) result was yet another nailbiter for the 2022 Magpies, who have become the masters of the heart-stopping victory. The Pies have gone undefeated since round 9 and claimed eight of the streak by less than 10 points.
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The streak is the longest since the club’s 14-game run in 2011 but an absolute shock after a horrible season in 2021 – 17th-placed finish that saw Nathan Buckley’s tenure as coach end and significant boardroom upheaval.
What a difference a year makes.
Despite the close results, it’s clear it’s no fluke as the Magpies have firmed into premiership contention and now sit second on the AFL ladder, behind only Geelong on percentage — although the Cats play St Kilda on Saturday night for a chance to move a win ahead in the minor premiership race.
Speaking after the result, the Fox Footy team were blown away.
Demons great Garry Lyon said: “This football club, what they’re doing here now, it’s one for the ages, I can’t remember anything like it.”
Lions champion Jonathan Brown added: “The belief now, it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The belief they’ve grown out of these close games, it’s not luck now. They train themselves and they believe in themselves in those situations late.”
Lyon said the result “doesn’t make sense”, as the Magpies were behind on disposals (409-316), contested possessions (161-139), clearances (52-32) and inside 50s (65-41) and yet still claimed the victory.
Fans were blown away by the result.
The Guardian’s Antoun Issa posted: “We are not pretenders. We’re the real deal.”
Presenter Nat Edwards wrote: “What a quacking final quarter of football from the Pies. Pressure out of this world.”
Radio presenter Andy Maher said: “You just gotta laugh, dip your lid and embrace the utter madness of it all.”
Nine’s Paddy Sweeney added: “This is off the charts. And if it’s a slice of what’s in store come finals, bring on September.”
Footy great Jude Bolton commented: “Sensational game of footy. Dug so deep once again the Pies. Huge win against the reigning Premiers. 11 in a row.”
Broadcaster Daniel Garb noted: “Collingwood’s pressure has been incredible. Seven of their last eight wins before tonight may have been narrow victories against bottom eight sides but they built up the most valuable thing in sport in that run – momentum.”
Journalist Jack Hudson added: “Heart, pressure and just raw hunger. Collingwood is unbelievably impressive.”
Former footy star Robert Shaw posted: “Next level footy… Pies into 2nd spot.”
There was no shortage of spite during or after the match either as fans revelled in comments from Demons star Ed Langdon.
“They’re sort of all duck, no dinner in a sense. If they’re playing fast footy on their terms they’re a very hard team to stop,” Langdon said earlier in the week.
“They’re a bit of a one-trick pony at times, so hopefully we can dampen the way they want to play and off the back of that go out and offensively play the way we want to play.”
Ducks were all over the tweets after the game, while the players made sure they let Langdon know they’d heard his comments.
Pies came from everywhere after Brayden Maynard smashed Langdon early in the game.
“There’s his duck dinner right there,” commentator Luke Hodge said.
“They’ll come at him all night,” Brian Taylor added.
“It’ll be interesting to see how Langdon deals with that. He’s normally out on the wing … he’s going to be looking over his shoulder,” Hodge said.
Speaking to Maynard after the match, he revealed the Pies had made it personal.
“We did use it as a source to look back on because I feel like Ed Langdon sometimes speaks in the media and doesn’t realise what he’s actually saying,” Maynard said. “When I got that first tackle on him, I let him know about it.”
This does not seem to be a Collingwood side you want to get on your bad side.