The two other top teams are St. Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. Both have been hot and cold this season. The dangerous thing for either Collingwood or Geelong (their Grand Finals opponent) is that both St. Kilda and the Dogs are peaking at the right time. This was seen in St. Kilda's handling of the pressure of the first finals game, defeating Geelong (St Kilda 12.11 (83) d. Geelong 11.13 (79)). This win earned them a week's extra rest to freshen their legs and analyze the opposition. Looking back on the season, in round three St Kilda 10.9 (69) defeated Collingwood 4.17 (41) to show they have what it takes to stop the dominant teams. But again, in round 16, Collingwood 15.10 (100) came back to defeat St Kilda 6.16 (52). In round 13, St Kilda 10.10 (70) defeated Geelong 6.10 (46). The experts are saying that St. Kilda will be too good for the Western Bulldogs this Saturday night at the MCG. But don't dismiss the Dogs' confidence after a great win against a slick Sydney Swans last week.
So what are the tips?
A determined Collingwood will just beat Geelong. A fresh St. Kilda will be on fire over the Western Bulldogs. In the Grand Final, Saturday 25th, look out for Collingwood. Their professionalism has been a standout in the past few seasons.
Get along to the official AFL Grand Final church service on Wednesday 22nd from 1pm. For ten years, the service at Scots Presbyterian, Melbourne, has been an opportunity for people to see the AFL Premiership Cup, wear their club scarves and, more importantly, reflect on something bigger than the Grand Final. Why not join the Collingwood Chaplain to chat about the finals at Scots Church, cnr Collins and Russell in the Melbourne CBD. Sausage Sizzle starts at 11.30am with the service 1pm to 1.40pm. Not only will Brendan Nottle, the Collingwood Chaplain, be taking part, the main speaker is Manchester United Chaplain John Boyes. John will share about "Losing, Winning and Life." The success and failure of the season will be put into perspective as John talks about the frustration of failure, the superficiality of success and the call of Christ.