Garry Lyon has torched Collingwood’’s decision to bench captain Scott Pendlebury for the start of the second quarter in their semi-final loss to Geelong.
Patrick Dangerfield starred in attack as Geelong advanced to a fourth preliminary final in five seasons with a 68-point annihilation of Collingwood on Saturday night.
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The Cats held the Magpies to a record-low one scoring shot in the first half and were never challenged in the 15.10 (100) to 5.2 (32) semi-final victory at the Gabba.
Geelong burst out of the gates to leave Collingwood shellshocked, leading by 22 points at quarter-time.
So it was particularly perplexing to see Pendlebury riding the pine when the second quarter started.
In commentary for Fox Footy, Melbourne great Lyon slammed the call to bench the Collingwood captain.
“You’re looking for a sign early, you’re looking for something to try and turn this around. It just didn’t come. It got worse and worse the longer it went,” Lyon said at half-time.
“No-one is lighting the fire. They go in at quarter-time, they are 22 points down, Every statistical indicator…. will tell you they are in a world of pain. Seven or eight minutes at quarter-time to take a deep breath.
“You need leadership, your best players in the coalface.
“This is what happens at the start of the second quarter when you are 22 points down, your captain is sitting on the bench and the ball goes up in the middle of the ground.
“The man who you want in the middle is not there, Geelong get the centre clearance and kick the ball down and the bloke who is tearing the game to shreds crashes the pack and kicks the goal.
“It can’t be a message. The ball goes back to the centre, guess what he still is on the bench. Guess what? Another goal.”
Lyon said the decision from Nathan Buckley was “bullshizen.”
“Why do players run off after they kick a goal having been on the ground for three and a half minutes at the start of the game. It’s bullshizen,” he said.
Insane numbers behind Collingwood’s capitulation
Geelong had 15 scoring shots to one in the first half, including three that hit the post.
It was just the second time Collingwood had managed only one first-half scoring shot in 2567 VFL-AFL matches, having registered the same tally in the 1960 grand final.
Collingwood midfielder Taylor Adams fought on with his left arm strapped after it was accidentally kicked when his smothering attempt on Rhys Stanley went wrong.
Adams had 17 disposals and four clearances, and was one of few Magpies who could hold their heads high by full-time.
Jamie Elliott kicked Collingwood's only goal before three-quarter time, with Brody Mihocek kicking two of their four in the final term when the result was already beyond doubt.
The result means the top four will fill the preliminary spots for just the second time in the past six seasons, with Geelong to take on second-placed Brisbane.
Dangerfield crashed packs, created scoring opportunities for teammates and kicked four goals himself, including a pair of stunning banana kicks from the boundary line, in an influential display.
He was far from alone, with Cam Guthrie, Sam Menegola, Tom Stewart and Mitch Duncan all on a long list of strong contributors in a dominant performance by the Cats.
Coleman Medal winner Tom Hawkins kicked four goals and captain Joel Selwood had 18 disposals just eight days after finger surgery, while retiring champion Gary Ablett came off the bench to set up two important early goals.
Geelong led by 54 points at half-time and produced staggering numbers by the final siren in winning the contested possession (106-85), uncontested possession (250-110), mark (134-46), clearance (34-21) and inside-50 (46-30) counts.
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