As part of our Mongrel Player of the Finals Series Award, Trent Adam Shields has taken on the duty of allocating each player in every final a score out of ten.
Here are his player ratings for the destruction of Collingwood at the hands of the Cats.
 Jack Henry – 6
Seems unfair that Henry would be so far down the list of Geelong players for the night after 12 touches at 92%, five intercepts, five score involvements and seven assured marks, but with the ball spending most of the night at the other end of the ground that was the reality for the Cats impenetrable defence.
 Harry Taylor – 6
The Cats veteran staved off retirement for at least another week as he handled the few Collingwood forward thrusts with ease. A very effective, but rarely required eight disposal and four-mark outing.
 Jake Kolodjashnij – 6
Like fellow backmen, Henry, Taylor and O’Connor the Cat number 8 was scarcely required in this one, but on the rare occasions he was called on performed the job admirably, winning possession 13 times, spoiling twice, and winning his only one o one contest.
 Lachie Henderson – 9
The Cats veteran has turned back the clock this season with a series of excellent performances, culminating in a stunning finals series to date. Prowling the backline and plucking in an equal game-high 14 marks, two contested, Geelong look very secure when it is in his vicinity as nineteen disposals at 85% suggests.
 Mark Blicavs – 8
I’ve often wondered if left alone in one position to dominate would Blicavs be more valuable for Chris Scott than under his current guise as a jack of all trades type. I don’t have the answer either for that matter, but what I can report is that whatever he touched last night turned to gold, whether it was playing the defensive goalkeeper role and repelling the irregular Collingwood forward forays, showing Grundy a clean set of heels in the ruck, or driving the ball forward with speed to one of Dangerfield or Hawkins. Fourteen disposals, six marks (two contested) was a fine return from an important player.
 Tom Stewart – 8
The AA is back in his best form after an indifferent season affected by a nasty shoulder injury, Stewart patrolled the backline with impunity, picking off fourteen marks, of which three were intercepted, and winning each of his three one on one contests. A season-high 26 disposals at an eye watering 93% indicative of a tremendous game.
 Mitch Duncan – 9
Brutally unlucky that Dangerfield submitted a masterpiece otherwise would have been the best afield. Singled out by Buckley pre-game and assigned Greenwood, he left him in his wake early and torched the Magpies with 30 high quality possessions at 87%, along with game-highs for score involvements (10) and goal assists (3).
 Joel Selwood – 7
The inspirational Geelong skipper entered the game under the massive cloud of finger surgery earlier in the week, and while the expected finals physicality never fully eventuated, providing welcome respite, the causal onlooker would never have noticed an issue as he flung his body into harm’s way as he has done 307 times before. A record tenth Preliminary Final appearance beckons now, and Brisbane had better be prepared for a player who will give everything until his final breath to will this team over the line. A nice intercept mark and goal from a wayward Maynard kick in an exclamation mark on a game that included 18 hard won possessions and a gritty four clearances and tackles.
 Sam Menegola – 8
Starting slowly with only four disposals in the first, Menegola quickly found his feet and contributed a further 15 touches through the middle half on the way to 23 for the game. Seven score involvements and a well taken goal after he ran hard to create space for Duncan to deliver in the last another very good outing in an outstanding year to date.
 Luke Dahlhaus – 7
The 2016 Bulldog Premiership player has struggled in recent times, but found this match more to his liking racking up seventeen touches at will, seven score involvements, two goal assists, a cheeky little side footed pass to Hawkins the best of them, and a running goal as the spearhead returned the favour with a clearing handpass.
 Gary Rohan – 7
Another Cat with a dubious finals record, while this encouraging performance will not eliminate the bad memories, it will certainly provide the confidence to go into next week’s cutthroat preliminary final against the Lions with a point to prove. The sheer weight of ball streaming forward gave Rohan ample opportunities, and after he started sticking them in the second term, didn’t stop, ending up with eight strong marks, and while he didn’t hit the scoreboard, his 13 touches tallied up 313m as the three pronged marking forward structure looked extremely dangerous.
 Gryan Miers – 7
You may not have picked it up if you’d only listened to Ch 7’s harebrained commentary, but apparently Miers has a peculiar kicking style. Irrespective of that amateur analysis that was repeated up to a dozen times, you can correspond that Gryan by virtue of mention had a very good game, and his creative ball use set up Hawkins for his first shot at goal, and he also ran hard to get on the end of a dinky Ablett pass to goal in the first term as well.
 Mark O’Connor – 6
The Ch 7 team appeared fixated on the rather menial observation that Irish footballers can kick the ball well, if only the sweeping job cuts across AFL this year had extended to the commentary box we’d all be in a better place. Anyway, O’Connor like most of his fellow defenders had little to keep them occupied throughout the night, but did catch the eye with an audacious centred ball that delicately dropped into the lap of Mitch Duncan to set up another forward movement.
 Tom Hawkins – 8
The Coleman Medallist put behind the disappointing outing against Port Adelaide early in this one as he systematically tore the previously reliable Roughead to shreds. Out thinking, out bodying and out working his opponent to deliver an impressive stat line of four goals, an equal season-high seventeen possessions, nine marks and two goal assists, including a cleaver little handball to Dahlhaus to open the second term after Dangerfield had split the pack.
 Sam Simpson – 7
Son of former player Sean, who represented the club with distinction including in the 1992 Grand Final, Sam bears more than a striking similarity with the way he plays and moves. Somewhat surprisingly preferred to mainstay Tom Atkins, Simpson made his mark early with several telling touches, none better than a contested mark, sidestep and exquisite delivery to Hawkins for his first.
 Rhys Stanley – 7
Went into the match facing the daunting task of trying to limit the dominance of Grundy, but with the big Magpie seemingly hobbled, was able to do as he liked which included drifting back into the hole down the line to mark unattended and drifting forward after centre bounces twice in the first term, one of those marking unopposed and kicking truly. Finished with fifteen touches, 13 hit outs, four clearances, five marks and six score involvements, all apart from HOs well above his season average.
 Patrick Dangerfield – 10
As Billy Bob wildly exclaimed in Varsity Blues, ‘A ten, a <censored> ten’, and no other rating would suffice for one of the finest games the Geelong and Adelaide champ has played in his distinguished career. Nineteen disposals, two contested marks, four goals, three clearances and a world record for collateral damage about knocking over packs like he was a ten-pin bowling star. His game was even more impressive when you consider he is so strong, and his attack so fearsome that several of those marks were only not considered contested by virtue he had already broken free of physical contact by the time the ball arrived. Two imperious banana goals from deep in the Akermanis pocket were the icing on a very satisfying but unfinished cake for the as-yet uncrowned superstar.
 Cameron Guthrie – 8
The recently awarded AA bounced back from a quiet night last week against Port with an excellent match in the Semi-Final. Matched against Pendlebury, he simply worked harder over the course of the evening collecting five clearances, seven score involvements, and twenty-seven disposals, only behind Duncan as the most prolific on the ground.
 Zach Tuohy – 7
Fan fact, Zach Tuohy is Irish, despite being in his tenth season this was an in-depth as Luke Darcy was willing to reach whenever the smooth moving utility gathered the ball. A smart set shot from 40m out after a free kick in the first term got the Cats going and his contributions thereafter wasn’t required to be above twelve tidy touches at 75% including four score involvements.
 Brandan Parfitt – 8
The young Geelong midfield tyro was again a prime mover in close, following up a terrific first final with another seventeen touches, six score involvements and a monster game-leading nine tackles – if not for poor execution in front of goal where he missed two gettable opportunities he could’ve moved even higher up the best finals player leader board.
 Gary Ablett – 6
For some unknown reason, online discussion seemed to suggest Ablett’s position in the team for next week was uncertain. While the hirsute gent with the shuffling hips is not the player he was in 2009, or even 2018 does anyone really think that the next cab off the rank in the Geelong production line can match the precise delivery into the forward line which netted two first term goal assists? For mine seven score involvements from just ten touches is more than enough evidence that the most consistent superstar since Jason Dunstall and Leigh Matthews fully deserves his chance to finish an extraordinary career on a high – or at least on an AFL field carried off by adoring teammates.
 Jed Bews – 8
Son of former skipper Andrew, Bews have become a valuable member of the backline, showed on several occasions last night his line breaking ability and was neat with twelve disposals, hitting up teammates down the line after calmly collecting four intercepts.
 Jack Crisp – 6
The Collingwood defensive leader was a solid performer all night, and along with Elliot probably his sides best. 13 disposals and team highs with five tackles, six marks and seven score involvements reflective of his willingness to put in until the final siren.
 Jordan Roughead – 2
The former Bulldog premiership player was rag-dolled by Hawkins in this game, the Coleman Medallist took out his frustration on the no frills full back with Roughead only able to order to record one spoil and lose 100% of the one on one contests he attended. His seven disposals were distributed at 100% but none resulted in a score involvement as much an indicator of the Geelong pressure as the Collingwood ineptitude.
 Jack Madgen – 3
Robust back pocket Madgen started brightly breaking the lines with his first two disposals and wrapping up Hawkins in a big tackle on the half-forward line to keep the ball in the Magpies attacking zone. However, like most of his teammates his confidence waned, and he was prone to errors there on exemplified by an opportunity for an inside 50 where he hit up opponent Henderson unchecked.
 Brayden Maynard – 3
Nothing went right for the Collingwood defender and his career year ended on a sour note as it appeared almost every goal Geelong kicked went through him to some degree. At one point Maynard burst through the line and looked to attack long, but booted it to a lone Blicavs, then late in the third he unceremoniously dumped Brandon Parfitt forcing the umpires to give a free kick after he’d earned a boundary throw in, then in the last he gave away a free to a sprawling Dangerfield for this fourth. Only nine touches – a season worst, well down on his average of 18.5 a low point in an otherwise excellent year.
 Darcy Moore – 4
The high-flying Collingwood star was beaten but not disgraced as sheer weight of numbers overwhelmed him and his embattled defensive line after one of the most lopsided midfield battles gave the Cats carte blanche on access to their forward line. Starting stoically, he was able to quell a forward thrust and spoil Stanley then smother the follow up, before things quickly turned pear shaped and he ended the quarter kicking out on the full after a behind. Just ten disposals but a competent four marks including two contested had him a long way from their worst.
 Isaac Quaynor – 4
The youngster was relatively assured in his second final, finding targets where his teammates often missed. But only nine disposals and 169m not enough to dramatically change the direction of the match, although his five tackles were handy.
 Jaidyn Stephenson – 3
For the majority of the game the only positive thing about Stephenson’s game was his decision to revert to a customary short-sleeved jumper, however he was able to eke out a pretty good highlight deep into the final term when he coolly slotted a set shot from outside 50m deep on the boundary line. Three is generous for an insignificant goal, an important off-season beckons for the Ron Evans medallist.
 Levi Greenwood – 1
There is no way to sugar coat this, after a fantastic performance last week keeping the dangerous Tim Kelly under wraps, Greenwood ran out of steam badly in this one, only able to collect four touches, and none in the first or final terms. His opponent meanwhile was one of the very best on the ground as he played as though he was alone.
 Josh Daicos – 4
Upon reviewing the match notes it’s very difficult to come to the conclusion for any Collingwood player that they were just not good enough, and so it is the same for Josh Daicos. A breakout season notwithstanding, he was poor against the Cats, four tackles and a slick pass to Mihocek for a goal assist in the last quarter little consolation.
 Will Hoskin-Elliott – 1
The long limbed utility always looks like he has potential to do far more than he delivers, but in this game he was just invisible, well apart from at the start of the last when he indiscriminately ran over the line after being out marked by Stewart again. The ensuing 50m penalty set up another Dangerfield goal, just three disposals in a woeful showing.
 Brody Mihocek – 6
This rating is based more on sustained effort and ultimately finishing as his team’s lone multiple goalkicker rather than impact on the game. A nice finish after a scything Daicos pass, and then a neat snap after Crisp bustled the ball forward from a scrimmage the two high points in a game where despite the big forwards best intentions the Cats were just too many to compete with.
 Josh Thomas – 6
Thomas was a bright spark for the Magpies across the game, with a distinct lack of four-quarter performers, he was one who was present for the full game time. Saving his out of sorts Skipper several times with composed hands, Thomas was able to provide run and carry in several positive links for the Magpies finishing with three score involvements among his 14 disposals.
 Jamie Elliott – 7
The Magpie small forward was their best on a black night for the club, providing a target in the ill-fated first quarter with several strong leading marks along the wing and then showing dash and poise to crumb a throw in and record their only goal for three quarters. Three score involvements, two tackles inside 50, and a game-leading six clearances were a good return from a player starved of opportunity.
 Mason Cox – 2
The US big man was unable to repeat his heroics from last week’s thrilling elimination Final win, and finished this one with just four disposals, two good marks albeit a long way from goal where he is most dangerous, and a rather nasty blow in the solar plexus courtesy of an unforgiving Blicavs as he bravely backed into a marking contest.
 Jordan De Goey – 4
The Collingwood talisman ended up with 14 disposals, usually enough to make an impact, but was not able to create any electric moments in this game. An opportunity to kick start the night in the first term where he made space and marked out wide on the 50m line was followed up with one of the worst kicks on goal for the year as the ball sailed almost at right angles ten rows into the crowd.
 Brodie Grundy – 3
Most footy fans are hopeful that a footnote to the Magpies 2020 season is that a serious injury hindered the form of star ruckman Brodie Grundy throughout the campaign and that careful management and perhaps remedial surgery will leave him ready to soar again in 2021 and beyond. However as that is not the case right now, we can only judge based on what we saw, and it was not pretty, the two-time AA was comprehensively beaten by two part-timers and rendered ineffective in a game set up for him to dominate. A nice goal at the beginning of the last, only the Magpies second of the night was a very small plus.
 Taylor Adams – 6
A brave performance from the Collingwood AA widely expected to win his first Copeland Trophy. From what looked to be a serious lower arm injury midway through the first term, Adams was able to come back on and claim seventeen possessions (including 11 contested) on 308m gained, an equal team high five tackles and four clearances. Ran out of help.
 Scott Pendlebury – 5
The Collingwood skipper and games record-holder was nominally matched up to Cam Guthrie and was worked over by a more committed outfit throughout the night. Strangely hurried Pendlebury found himself in the unfamiliar situation of snapping the ball wildly for turnovers when he had more time and handing off to Thomas in trouble again when he had other viable options. His best moment was a sublime right foot spot for Elliot, after again selling Thomas into a wall of cats, but unfortunately Elliot missed.
 Adam Treloar – 5
The industrious Magpie midfielder tried in vain throughout the night and came up short, 50% down on disposals, marks and metres gained, he finished with four tackles and never gave up despite the overwhelming odds. One moment in the second term when there was still a flicker of hope, Treloar was streaming through the centre with leading Mihocek in his sights, rather than drop it in front for him to take the mark on the lead, the ball was lobbed high and to his right where Henderson was easily able to work him under the ball to take the intercept grab.
 John Noble – 2
After such a composed performance last week, especially with his superb set shot on goal, Noble turned in a classic shocker at the Gabba. Like many of his teammates, he was chasing tail from the onset, in this case newly promoted Sam Simpson who handed out an old-fashioned thrashing. On the rare occasions that he was able to get his hands to the ball he flittered away any advantage, only one of his paltry six disposals classified as effective.
 Darcy Cameron – 3
The Collingwood second ruckman had a torrid time in the first, getting confused and not following Stanley forward who should have had two goals from uncontested marks, and then inexplicably dropping a chest mark on his own well within goal scoring range. A strong contested mark from a Darcy Moore kick out late in the game notwithstanding, was a non-factor.
 Chris Mayne – 2
The former Docker was a shell of the player the AFL world have come to begrudgingly respect last night, the trademark hard running sadly lacking, and his and fellow wingman Josh Daicos’ 16 combined disposals roundly smashed by the contribution from their cat counterparts, Duncan and Menegola with 53. The one possible shining light was his tackling continued to flourish with four recorded.
So, how did we go? Anyone too high? Anyone too low? You know where to let us know – in the comments below, or on our socials. Cheers
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