On that one day in October, Collingwood storm home to claim the 2010 Premiership Cup.
After a dramatic and intense finish last week, Collingwood simply outgunned and outran a tired looking St. Kilda outfit.
Collingwood’s performance typified a ‘team effort’. Every player played their part. From Nathan Brown’s blanketing job on Nick Riewoldt to Dale Thomas’ extraordinary work rate, the pies dominated from start to finish.
This year’s Grand Final was always going to end in tears. For the long suffering and starved of success St. Kilda supporters, a premiership will remain a dream.
For Collingwood, there were winners all over the ground. Darren Jolly rightfully took advantage of a young Ben Mcevoy. Gardiner was a telling exclusion from the Saints’ line-up. Scott Pendelbury was his silky best, winning clearances and setting up play from the clinches. Always seems to have ample of time. While, he was a worthy Norm Smith medalist, Dale Thomas was stiff to miss out. Once again he backed up a superb Grand Final last week with another hard working and classy performance. Thomas’ ability to spread from the packs proved too much for a slow looking St. Kilda midfield.
On the other side of the fence, there will be some sore and sorry bodies tomorrow morning. Sadly for the Saints, the season was one game too many. Questions marks over players fitness seemed answered. Jason Gram struggled to generate run and was restricted to a stationary defensive role due to obvious injury.
Brendan Goddard in a loosing side was simply inspiring and courageous. Not only has he reaffirmed his position as an elite player in the game, he now poses a strong case as the best player in the league. In both Grand Finals he was the most influential player on the ground. His flexibility around the ground and the ability to raise his game to another level in clutch moments makes him the best player in the AFL. The brilliant Goddard, the never say die attitude of Lenny Hayes, Sam Fisher (before injury), Nick Dal Santo, James Gwilt, Clinton Jones and Sam Gilbert all tired hard for St. Kilda.
At the end of the day, Collingwood had far too many players who contributed. While, the Saints had few. Eddy, Peake, Dempster, Mcqualter and Mcevoy never fired a shot. These players are the Saints’ bottom five players. The Saints’ required significantly more effort and composure from them. Quiet simply, along with Milne, they were pathetic.
Under the leadership of Eddie Maguire, Mick Malthouse and eventually Nathan Buckley, the Pies’ juggernaut seems destined for more ultimate success. The team is still young and has plenty more improvement left.
Like Geelong, Collingwood’s full court press and impressive ability to spread and run in huge numbers will once again be imitated from the opposition.
Another season over. Another team crowned Premiers and another losers. But only this time their are more disgruntled loosers then winners.
The Collingwood army is out in force.
Collingwood: Dale Thomas, Scott Pendlebury, Nathan Brown, Nick Maxwell, Darren Jolly, Steele Sidebottom, Heath Shaw, Sharrod Wellingham, Dane Swan.
St. Kilda: Brendan Goddard, Dal Santo, Gilbert, Gwilt, Jones