22/04/2024

Tom Green's hard yards on track are clearly showing on the field. (Image: Joshua Davis)

GWS talked the talk all pre-season, but walked the walk as they reaped rematch retribution following a comprehensive 32-point victory over Collingwood at the ‘Showground for Livestock’.

Unlike the preliminary final, this game started hot, an eight-goal first quarter was kick started by Brody Mihocek, whose snap from 45 metres set off proceedings.

Callum Brown returned fire, kicking two of his own, including a 55-metre bomb to open GWS’ account, while Collingwood responded, taking ascendancy in the game via their forward pressure. 

Darcy Cameron and Bobby Hill were the recipients of this hard work, kicking Collingwood’s second and third goals.

GWS broke through Collingwood’s set-up via quick ball movement, including some fantastic handball chains through the Lachies, Ash and Whitfield.

Brown kicked his third in this sequence, with birthday boy, Brent Daniels, kicking his first, doing so in fashion from outside 50. Cadman had some nice moments, including a big pack mark which he converted for his first of the season. 

Entering Quarter Two up by eight, GWS’s defensive structure forced Collingwood to ask more questions as they couldn’t find their targets. Frustratingly for GWS, they weren’t able to impact the scoreboard either, despite Jesse Hogan’s best efforts linking the defensive and forward 50s with some strong marks overhead.

Collingwood’s Beau McCreery broke the deadlock, nailing Stephen Coniglio in a tackle and winning a holding-the-ball free kick, which he converted from 50 metres, right on the boundary.

GWS started to see some reward, with Tom Green’s nailing a set shot from 40 metres, amid a 20-disposal first half. Hogan followed suit and was rewarded for his efforts, kicking his first goal, his second coming minutes later.

Collingwood and GWS would trade goals in the back end of the quarter, Daicos’ remarkable snap goal the pick of the bunch. 

In this flurry, Callum Brown kicked his fourth goal, which Brent Daniels followed up, by kicking his second and breaking the pattern, just before halftime.

Throughout this latter period in the quarter, Callan Ward left the field with an AC injury, despite seemingly wanting to go into the next contest. Ward wouldn’t return in the quarter and was subbed off between the halves.

More AFL News:

‘It’s a long journey’: Hardwick prepared for maiden Suns campaign

Harry’s redemption as Blues complete chaotic Lions comeback

Grundy, Heeney fire Swans to comfortable victory over scrappy Dees in Opening Round

Leading 65-46 at the main break, GWS had already beaten their score in last year’s preliminary final, a score that would remain largely similar until Hogan gave debutant, Charlie Dean, the slip en route to goal number three, and GWS’s third-in-a-row.

Aptly, Toby Greene made it a four on the trot, with Cadman making it five, as the lead stepped out to 36 points. 

John Noble was activated as the substitute following this, Tom Mitchell with his nine disposals and one goal moved to the back of the bench.

Collingwood was briefly able to put plaster on a faultline, yet Josh Kelly compounded Collingwood’s issue, his first goal coming from his 23rd disposal.

At this time Collingwood was leading the inside-50 count 49-36, yet GWS’s defensive structure was still proving too good to breakthrough. Collingwood’s inaccuracy, 6.13, at three-quarter time, wasn’t strictly due to poor goalkicking, but a lack of quality shots at goal.

Mihocek started the fourth like he did the first, kicking the opening of the quarter. GWS followed suit kicking the next two, Hogan’s fourth goal was immediately followed by Brown’s fifth, his new career-high.

Daniels’ celebrations continued into the 4th quarter, as he added a third, then a fourth, to his tally.

A late blooper saw Whitfield hand Bobby Hill a free shot at goal following a 50-metre penalty where Whitfield seemingly forgot to stand, despite the umpire’s best efforts.

Nick Daicos, Jesse Hogan and Toby Greene all briefly pulled up lame, yet all continued to play out the game.

About Author