No respect? Eagles send ‘eerie’ reminder
West Coast might have felt like channelling their best impression of the late US comedian Rodney Dangerfield's famous catchcry 'I don't get no respect'.
Until Saturday night, that is.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE WHAT THE COACHES SAID
It's hard to think of a more "forgotten about" reigning premier heading into a title defence in recent seasons, with none of the 22 experts in the Herald Sun pre-season footy magazine tipping them to go back-to-back.
Many would be revising those predictions now after the Eagles knocked off the Magpies by 22 points in the much-anticipated Grand Final rematch.
And in an eerie reminder of that fateful September afternoon last year, the spectre of Dom Sheed loomed large again to haunt Magpie fans.
Sheed's third goal wasn't the final one of the game - as it was in 2018 - but when it came at the 19-minute-mark of the final term it effectively closed out a Collingwood challenge that flickered in the middle stages of the quarter.
The 'boos' of the Magpie fans for the man who was their Grand Final "villain" ended up being replaced by the 'cheers' of the Eagles fans.
Andrew Gaff made a stunning return to football, having a game-high 35 disposals in his first game back from the suspension that cost him a premiership medal. It came as the Eagles' engine room overcame the much-vaunted Magpie mids by sheer weight of numbers and effort.
That's four wins in a row for West Coast over Collingwood - including three at the MCG - which leaves Nathan Buckley's team with some soul searching.
Paddy Dangerfield - no relation to Rodney - is as confused as the rest of us.
Just moments after yet another contentious sliding rule decision - one that cost Collingwood a crucial second term goal - the Geelong star took to Twitter to express his frustration at the free kick against Tom Phillips after Jamie Cripps fell across him.
"Don't put your head over the ball kids," Dangerfield tweeted. "Lower and harder … na not anymore."
Phillips was penalised for making the play. To make matters even worse, players from both sides were confused by what had happened.
That meant Jaidyn Stephenson threw the ball back to his teammate, only to find the officiating umpire call a 50m penalty for not giving the ball back to Cripps.
"I couldn't have been clearer," the umpire yelled. Pity none of the players and most of the crowd saw it that way.
It might be the best goal assist of the season.
When Elliot Yeo stormed towards goal seven minutes into the final term, his kick skewed off and looked certain to go through for a behind.
But, in an ingenious act, Liam Ryan intervened by tapping the ball - inches from the behind line - back to Jack Darling in the goalsquare who slammed the ball home to put the Eagles in front by 19 points.
As the Magpies fought back midway through the term, Ryan then produced a spectacular grab, and with the subsequent 50m penalty, found Sheed, who nailed his third to all but close out the game.
WEST COAST 1.2 7.6 10.8 15.8 (98)
COLLINGWOOD 3.1 6.3 7.6 11.10 (76)
Goals: West Coast: J Cripps 4 D Sheed3 J Kennedy 3 J Darling J Petruccelle L Ryan O Allen T Hickey. Collingwood: J de Goey 3 A Treloar 2 B Mihocek D Beams J ElliottJ Thomas M Cox S Sidebottom.
Best: West Coast: Gaff, Sheed, Cripps, Hurn, Schuey, Kennedy, Sheppard, Jetta
Collingwood: Grundy, Howe, Adams, De Goey, Sidebottom, Treloar
Umpires: Simon Meredith, Robert Findlay, Craig Fleer.
Official Crowd: 60,878 at MCG.
GLENN McFARLANE'S VOTES:
3: Andrew Gaff (West Coast)
2: Dom Sheed (West Coast)
1: Jamie Cripps (West Coast)
BUCKLEY: WE CAN STILL GROW
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says his team is "thereabouts" but still has "some growth" left in it after being "out-grunted" by West Coast in the 2018 Grand Final re-match.
The Magpies started strongly and held an 11-point lead at quarter-time before the Eagles went up a gear and Collingwood could not go with them.
"We were out-grunted after quarter-time," Buckley said.
"It's been a bit of a consistent theme so it's something that we haven't been able to remedy. I thought that they got to work around stoppages and we weren't strong around stoppages in the first quarter but we were able to force some dirty exits and defend that pretty well and our game looked pretty good early but when the work-rate went up and when we needed to match that, we weren't able to."
Buckley said the Eagles were "cleaner inside" the contest and used returning onballer Andrew Gaff well, Collingwood struggling to limit his impact as he logged a game-high 35 disposals.
The Magpies finished with only 42 inside-50s, Buckley saying 21 scoring shots from them was not a bad result.
"We scored relatively well as a percentage of our entries," he said.
Collingwood now sits 1-2 ahead of a clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.
"We've got to continue to grind away and to work at finding the improvement that is in every team to be playing better football as the season progresses," Buckley said.
"We're playing some good footy but we've still got some growth in us.
The Magpies face a nervous wait for the match review assessment of Taylor Adams' late contact with West Coast's Luke Shuey during the second quarter of last night's Grand Final rematch.
In his first game back this year following hand surgery, Adams was late when crashing into Shuey at high speed on the wing.
- Chris Cavanagh
SIMPSON: GAFF WAS HUGE
Eagles coach Adam Simpson praised Andrew Gaff's first game back since his season-ending suspension from Round 20 last year, leading into Saturday night's return bout with Fremantle.
"He is one of our best players ... I think there was a bit of nerves from everyone with Andrew," he said. "We spoke to him about the love of the game and playing with your mates.
"The synergy was probably always going to be there. I think he got some footy early which was good for him, and how we match up our midfield now that Dom (Sheed) has elevated his performance.
"I am glad it is over ... next week is the Derby, so there will probably be a bit going on there. He's paid his dues, and now he is back with us."
Simpson said he didn't care his team had been underestimated by many football pundits leading into their title defence.
"It's a tough effort to come over here against a team in really good form, with a healthy list, and to get away with the win, we were really proud of our players.
"Obviously coming off a premiership, you would think there is some inner belief there, and (we were) a little bit unsure of where that was at, but tonight we saw it."
- Chris Cavanagh