The AFL Prelim Finals were runaway contests as the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood cemented their spots in the final at the MCG next weekend.
Pies Snap Richmond MCG Winning Streak in a Big Way
Collingwood crushed Richmond 97-58 as they ran away with the game in the second term and never looked back, snapping a lengthy Richmond home winning streak at the MCG. The Pies midfield and attack fired while Richmond couldn’t shake tackles and pressure when they had the footy. Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams, and Jack Crisp were all over 30 disposals, Levi Greenwood and Chris Mayne surprised for 19 tackles combined and forward Jordan De Goey (4 goals) and Mason Cox (3) led the Pies attack. The big American Cox was dominant as a forward marking target, while ruck Brodie Grundy had 56 hitouts and helped the Pies dictate play.
Richmond’s Dustin Martin was hobbled by injury, and only Jack Riewoldt (5 goals), and Trent Cotchin (25 disposals) were near their best. All-Australian Alex Rance struggled along with the rest of the Richmond backline as they couldn’t contain Cox and De Goey. Richmond’s repeat flag hopes ended a game short of the final.
Eagles Dominate Melbourne
The second prelim final was much like the first, except the favored team was the dominant one. The West Coast Eagles won at home 121-55 as the Melbourne Demons got off to a slow start and didn’t kick a goal until after halftime. Jack Redden and Dom Sheed led the Eagles in disposals while the Josh Kennedy/Jack Darling forward pairing produced 7 goals. Mark LeCras and Jamie Cripps combining for 6. Redden led the tackle count for the Eagles and their entire backline kept Melbourne out of the game.
Angus Brayshaw and Clayton Oliver got plenty of the footy for Melbourne but only Jake Melksham had multiple goals (2), and Max Gawn was able to dominate in the ruck like Grundy did for Collingwood in their prelim final.
Collingwood is seeking their first flag since 2010, and they are in their first final since 2011. West Coast made the 2015 final and last won a flag in 2006.