Side by side forever: Collingwood’s never-say-die spirit claims another opponent

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They’ve done it again. Ladder-leading, premiership favourites Collingwood showcased their famed, never-say-die resolve once again, with Steele Sidebottom’s behind with 21 seconds remaining pinching a pulsating one-point miracle against Adelaide.

Five days after sensationally overturning a 28-point deficit against Essendon on Anzac Day, the Magpies, in perhaps even more incredible fashion, completed another stunning rearguard fightback.

John Noble celebrates a goal with Nick Daicos during the Magpies’ stunning win.Credit: Getty Images

When Adelaide’s Chayce Jones slotted his second goal in a row early in the fourth term, Collingwood’s deficit was out to 22 points and, on the back of a five-day break, the match was as good as over.

But Craig McRae’s charges simply do not know how to concede defeat. Ash Johnson’s goal got the ball rolling, the brilliant Josh Daicos followed with another, and a full-blooded comeback was on.

John Noble’s goal on the run inside the last three minutes reduced the margin to one point. Soon after Johnson, deliberately, punched through a behind to tie the scores.

Sidebottom only needed one point after pouching a diving mark from 40 metres out, and he duly obliged.

Adelaide’s Chayce Jones and Magpie Steele Sidebottom compete.Credit: Getty Images

The Crows’ final roll of the dice was, fittingly chopped off by Collingwood skipper Darcy Moore in the dying seconds.

As brave as the Magpies’ comeback was, the fact of the matter is the Crows could have killed the contest early but their inaccuracy cost them dearly.

After Collingwood conjured the first five inside-50s without success, the ball lived down the other end virtually for the entire duration of the opening term.

The Crows, led by Rory Laird – who appeared fit following a calf scare during the week – used the corridor and an uncontested kick-mark method to chop up the Magpies and generate repeat forward-50 entries.

The visitors’ defenders, piloted admirably by Moore, were forced to work overtime. But they were also let off, Adelaide’s 3.6 first-quarter return leaving the door for a rearguard ajar.

Brody Mihocek celebrates a goal with teammates.Credit: AFL Photos

The trend continued in the second period as the Crows, despite their overwhelming territorial ascendancy, could only creep to 3.10.

Ex-Crow Billy Frampton overcame some early difficulties against Reilly O’Brien to neutralise the ruck battle in the wet as Collingwood made their charge in the second term.

Frampton slotted the Magpies’ belated first goal in the 12th minute of the second stanza via a ruck infringement free kick against O’Brien.

Jordan De Goey energised Collingwood with his brute strength on the ball, Tom Mitchell racked up the touches and the Pies regrouped, holding Adelaide goalless for the quarter.

Back-to-back goals to Brody Mihocek trimmed the deficit to six points at the half-time break as Izak Rankine and the always willing Brayden Maynard exchanged pleasantries during a heated scuffle.

Mihocek soccered through his third six-pointer – the first one scored all evening to the Cathedral End – before Will Hoskin-Elliott closed the gap to one point after his inspirational chase-down tackle of Tom Doedee.

Sloane replicated Hoskin-Elliott’s effort with a similar act, reeling in Beau McCreery and ending a run of behinds to put Adelaide in control before Jones’ individual 2.2 burst should have ended the Magpies’ resistance.

But it didn’t. It never does – not this Collingwood side.

Ben Keays was handed Nick Daicos duties and although the Brownlow Medal favourite arguably won the one-on-one honours, the Crows tagger wasn’t disgraced.

Daicos shrugged off an calf injury scare and was more than serviceable despite not quite touching the magical heights he has been seemingly at every week this season.

Brother Josh was enormous in the fourth-quarter fightback, while De Goey was an unstoppable force through the middle. It shows that Nick doesn’t need 40 every week.


Livewire Josh Rachele, who misfired with 0.3 in the first half to be one of errant Adelaide’s chief offenders, thought he had broken his duck early in the third term when he snapped one through.

But his celebrations were short-lived with the score review system revealing Collingwood backman Nathan Murphy managed to get a finger-tip on the footy with his desperate, outstretched spoiling attempt.

Later in the quarter, Rankine shanked an absolute sitter on the run which was emblematic of the Crows’ profligacy and kept the Pies in the hunt, and they capitalised grandly.

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