A top-two spot and home qualifying final could be up for grabs on Sunday afternoon as Sydney and Collingwood — two of the AFL’s most in-form teams — meet at the SCG.
The Swans (14-6, 127.5%) are in a strong position to host a qualifying final, especially after Brisbane’s inability to thrash Carlton after threatening to increase their percentage in a massive way. They’ve won six of their past seven games.
But the Magpies (15-6, 106.3%) can put themselves in Position A to finish in the top two with a 12th straight win and skip ahead of Brisbane on the AFL ladder.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
The Magpies were dealt a major blow just hours before the first bounce, with star midfielder Jordan De Goey a late withdrawal due to a hip flexor issue. De Goey has been in excellent touch since returning to the Pies side two weeks ago with 23 and 25 disposals respectively in wins over Port and Melbourne.
De Goey was replaced by Trent Bianco, with Callum Brown named the medical sub. There were no late changes for the Swans, who named Braeden Campbell as their sub.
This match gets underground at 3.20pm AEST from the SCG.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 503) from 3pm AEST.
Follow Sydney v Collingwood in our live blog below!
QUARTER BY QUARTER MATCH REPORT
Collingwood had the run early against the Swans but couldn’t put it on the scoreboard before a rare Scott Pendlebury error gifted Sydney the first of the match.
With the corridor kick coming unstuck, the Swans pounced before Lance Franklin unselfishly opted for the pass to teammate Isaac Heeney who nailed the first.
Dane Rampe had Sydney’s second later – his first goal since 2016 – as the home crowd really got going.
But when Jack Ginnivan pounced on a midfield turnover and went the barrel forward, Beau McCreery chased the footy down and got the hand pass over to Brody Mihocek who snapped truly from the square.
“Gee it was hard work for the Pies!” Commentator Brian Taylor said.
“Not sure why (Ginnivan) went the barrel… but they got the goal in the end.”
Mihocek appeared to cop a cork in the process of kicking the goal in worrying early signs for the Pies.
Tom Papley broke a tackle and got the crowd back to their feet with the Swans’ third goal of the day.
In more worrying signs, Brayden Maynard appeared to nurse his right shoulder after the Papley goal. He made his way to the bench only to be sent back into the action.
He then laid a big tackle and was slow to his feet when brought to ground by James Rowbottom.
The Pies dodged a bullet when Ryan Clarke’s goal was denied as the goal review showed the footy shaving the post.
While his brother Nick struggled to get into the action, Josh Daicos narrowed Sydney’s lead to eight points with a goal on the run from stoppage.
“You have to be accountable because if he give him that much room, he’ll kick the goal,” commentator Shaun Burgoyne said.
Young Ash Johnson beat two Swans to take a big grab 25m on the angle, but he couldn’t convert.
Down the other end, Franklin showed why he is the Swans’ marquee man as he roved and goaled on a tight angle.
“He’s the man they all come to see,” Taylor said.
The goal brought Franklin just one shy of the great Tony Lockett on 462 goals for the Swans.
Sam Reid had the chance to extend Sydney’s lead but pushed his set shot out on the full as the quarter time siren sounded.
Papley may have burned his teammate Franklin early in the second term, but Chad Warner made sure he lowered the eyes minutes later after breaking two tackles.
Franklin couldn’t pull in the mark on the arc, but Warner roved brilliantly and got the ball to Will Haywood who goaled from the square.
The Pies just couldn’t win the footy in their front half as Taylor said they were “getting a bit of a bath from the Sydney defenders”.
When Jack Crisp slipped over in the center square, the Swans gathered the turnover and found Logan McDonald.
But the youngster leaned back on it and missed to the near side.
Franklin couldn’t get the bounce when he snapped from the pocket as Collingwood just couldn’t get into the contest in the second.
It took a Jack Ginnivan goal from a high tackle free kick to give the Pies a sniff.
Paddy McCartin was penalized for the tackle and the controversial Collingwood forward slotted it to the boos of the crowd to narrow Sydney’s lead to 15 points.
“It’s immediately high from McCartin,” commentator Jude Bolton said.
“I believe the first one was around the throat. He’s got to go lower.”
But Ginnivan left the field moments later and headed straight to the rooms, leaving the Pies down to just two on the bench while medical staff struggled to stem Will Hoskin-Elliott’s nose bleed from earlier in the quarter.
If you can’t see the blog, tap here.