Lions into grand final as Pies charge ends Crows’ flag defence

Collingwood 8.5.53 d Adelaide 4.8.32

BEST: Collingwood: Lambert, Garner, Bernardi, Duffin, Molloy, Hope Adelaide: Phillips, Marinoff, Randall, Wallace

If you can’t make the finals, you may as well shape them, and that’s exactly what Collingwood have done.

Their season was effectively cooked four weeks ago, but the Pies’ form over the last month has been outstanding. They knocked off Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions, both premiership fancies before running into Wayne Siekman’s side.

Collingwood celebrate a goal in the final term.

Photo: Wayne Ludbey

The final challenge came on Sunday, when Adelaide, needing to win to make the grand final and keep alive their premiership defence, headed to Olympic Park Oval, facing a team of Pies, several of whom were likely playing for their football futures. Collingwood were in essence also a proxy side for the Brisbane Lions, who watched on from Queensland, needing the Pies to do the job to secure Brisbane a spot in next Saturday’s grand final against the Western Bulldogs at Ikon Park.

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