West Coast vs Collingwood - The rivalry

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Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 22, 2017
AFL Club
Deserves a thread of it's own now. I suppose they have been rivals in some shape or form during each others existence. But particularly after this year and the finals, there can be no doubting that now. When the Eagles have won the flag the Pies have been a constant thorn in the Eagles feather. Of course it stems back before 92, as these sides played out that famous drawn final at Waverley where Peter Sumich had the chance to send West Coast through to a Preliminary final after the siren shooting for goal with his side trailing by a point. Of course he missed the kick and the scores were level thus forcing the replay, but you get the picture that there were massive stakes on the line where two powerhouse clubs kick started an enormous rivalry which would take shape as the years progressed.

West Coast got smashed in the replay and 1990 wasn't to be their year. But it was only a matter of time before the Blue and Gold spread their wings flying high and mighty, allover Australia. When the West Coasters did break through in their first and famous premiership success they did fall on the way to the powerful Black and White army. They led the Magpies by 31 points in the 3rd term on a water bogged Subiaco. But the Pies clawed there way back holding the Eagles goalless from that point on kicking the final 5 goals of the game, and the winning point virtually as time expired. Collingwood prevailed in a heart stopper ending the Eagles winning streak which had got their season back on course after starting in very slow fashion. 8.15 to 8.14.

In 1994 the Eagles ventured to the MCG in wet and miserly conditions, a setting fitting for round number 13, an unlucky one for the Eagles. WCE was top of the ladder, and Collingwood 8th. A theme that would play out again in exact fashion later on in the finals. Collingwood held firm from start to finish and the Eagles maintained striking distance going into the last. But they couldn't match the Pies tenacity with a breakout game from an unknown player in Andrew Tranquilli, saw the Pies run out 37 point winners. Brett Heady starred for the Blue and Gold matching Tranquilli's feat with 6 of his own, the only real shining light in a disappointing Road loss.

Eagles fans need no reminding of the finals match at the WACA, a game which had strong resemblance to the 2018 Qualifying Final which took place. The game was once more a home qualifier for WCE, and they had the exact same half time score. West Coast led the Pies by 24 points going into the final change before Gavin Brown decided to go berserk in the last. A dropped mark at the end with seconds to go by Mick McGuane would have saw him lining up after the siren to snatch an improbable win for the Black and White army. Had it, bounced off his chest, lost it. The Eagles survived by 2 points earning themselves a week off, and a home prelim final with Melbourne { very interesting }

1995 - The Eagles trailed the Pies at the MCG in round 2 by 20 points. Jason Ball kicked the winning goal for the Eagles in the dying stages giving the Eagles a 4 point win. Who would have thought it would take the Eagles 23 years later to once again defeat Collingwood at the same venue. They won there as Premiers, and the next win came when they were on their way to becoming Premiers and then to be the Premier. Remarkable.

The Eagles had some other good wins at Vic Park during the 1990's. Like in 1993 after trailing by 26 points at quarter time. And a tough hard fought 16 win in 1997. The next big game between the two came in 2002. John Worsfold's newly appointed reign as WCE's Coach, just his second game in charge, up against old Mentor and coach in Mick Malthouse. The game was a classic where West Coast had a young lad who went by the name of Chris Judd flexing a muscle or two with his fast pace and ability to sprint off the mark. He finished the game with 19 disposals as well as a very nice goal in his debut game. Not a bad way to open your AFL account by debuting at the G against Collingwood. The Pies dominated the first and the 3rd as the Eagles took honours in the 2nd and last. 8 Brodie Holland Goals put paid to the Eagles hopes and a one point Collingwood win left bragging rights to the old Master in Malthouse.

2003 and one of the best opening terms a team has played in many a year. The Eagles went haywire in the first piling up a big score very quickly. The Eagles found themselves with a 29 point quarter time break leading 7.5 to 3.0, with many of those goals coming in the opening minutes. The Pies did get the last two of the quarter keeping themselves in it. At 3 quarter time it was all to play for and just two points in it, and the Pies even found themselves in front during the last. But 6 more Eagle goals saw the West Coast boys once more steady the ship and run out 16 point winners at Docklands in a round 7 classic.

2005 and West Coast walked into the MCG as top of the table side against bottom placed Collingwood. It was David vs Goliath as the 8-0 Eagles looked down on the Black and Whites foreseeing a convincing win. What they didn't see was that the Black and White spirit always go into a fight backing themselves in, never shying away from a battle always looking to get down and dirty. Collingwood had just a miserly one win for the year and found themselves trailing by two goals at the first change. The match, like many epic tussles between the two past, present and future took on a momentum swing as the Magpies piled on 6 goals to two in the 2nd term. Another momentum swing as this time it was the Eagles with a 6 goal to 2 third term left them in charge with a quarter to spare. 7 final quarter goals to the Eagles 2 completed a famous upset as Black and White spirit reigned heavy with Collingwood winning by 23 points.

In 2006 on a Saturday night Subi showdown the Eagles and Pies met with Collingwood going into the duel as league leaders with an impressive 5-1 record. West Coast matched that, and found themselves in 3rd place. The match was another classic between the two sides with West Coast leading by 11 at quarter time and 20 at half time. As they do, Collingwood rallied booting 7 goals to the Eagles three in the 3rd leading by 2 with a quarter to play. The Eagles were facing a second straight defeat after Paul Hasleby condemned WCE the week before at the end to win it for Freo by 5 points. But as West Coast do, they found another gear at home kicking 5.6 to 3,2 getting the job done on their home floor winning by 14 points { 16 in the 2018 final, premiership years }

Judd starred with 3.3 and 32 possessions.

The return game had a familiar theme to it like another WCE premiership year, going back to 1994. Similar scorelines, similar patterns. The Eagles led at qtr time but after a big second quarter by the Black and Whites Collingwood always kept them at bay. 2 goals in it at quater time, much like the 1994 game, and another big Collingwood 4th quarter saw them run out winners, by 37 points. 19.13, to 13.12 { In 1994 it was 18.13 to 12.12 } at Etihad

2007 the game once more took a similar pattern to the year before with the game being played under lights on a Saturday night at Subi. the match was an epic arm wrestle with Collingwood leading narrowly in the first and and second before WCE edged in front by a nose with one quarter and all to play for. A cameo role from Wirrapanda up forward saw WCE get the chocolates and win 12.15, to 11.9, a hard fought two goal victory { 12.14 was the score kicked in the 2018 final vs the Pies, on a Saturday night }

The next fixture was the famous 2007 final which went to extra time. I will touch up on that one later, as well as more history both past and present between the famous Black and White's, and the mighty Blue and Gold.

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