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Digby Beacham’s AFL Preview: Grand Final


Collingwood v Brisbane, MCG, 12.30pm

For the bulk of the 2023 season, Collingwood have been the flagbearers. Their undeniable belief and ability to extract themselves from a hole in the course of a match has set them apart from most and left them primed to win the club’s first flag since 2010.

But if there is one team (if you can reconcile with its mediocre MCG record) capable of stopping the Magpies in their tracks, it is Brisbane. We have seen it twice this season … in fact in all three encounters in the Craig McRae era. In simple terms, Collingwood have been unable to put the clamps on Brisbane, who have kicked 52 goals in the three victories.

None of those games however were at the MCG where Collingwood are most comfortable. McRae’s men haven’t been at their best in the two finals to date, yet enter this decider as favourites. The return of Nick Daicos last weekend was telling and with Darcy Moore marshalling a defence that is seriously miserly at its best, the Magpies can have their noses in front when it matters most.

VERDICT: Collingwood 1-39 points


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