Elliott’s high five sends Pies into top four
Jamie Elliott booted five goals for the first time in four years as Collingwood's revamped small forward-line helped keep the club's top four hopes alive with a dominant 66-point win over Adelaide.
The Magpies produced another stunning on-the-road success on Saturday night, with Elliott turning on his best game for years and Jeremy Howe dragging down another mark of the year contender.
The victory lifted the Magpies' percentage to 117.8 per cent, with coach Nathan Buckley buoyed by the club's late surge towards the finals.
"We want to finish (in the) top four," Buckley said.
"Our part in that is winning games and winning them as well as we possibly can."
"We've got Essendon in six days' time, we need to narrow our focus on that and execute the footy we're capable of and building towards whatever September looks like for us."
Buckley revealed young Magpie Brayden Sier won't be banned for playing a game of social basketball under an assumed name - "Phil Inn".
Instead, he has been fined $5000 and must engage in community work one night a week for the rest of the year.
"He's still part of our campaign and needs to get back on track, train well, play well in the VFL next week and continue to push to be a positive impact on the rest of our 2019 campaign," Buckley said.
Darcy Moore is a serious to return against Essendon on Friday night, but Jordan De Goey is more likely to be back in the firstweek of the finals.
Collingwood's third highest score of the season validated the Pies' forward restructure change since Mason Cox's season-ending eye injury against Gold Coast in Round 20.
Elliott has been the Magpies' most-used target inside 50 in each of their past two matches.
"It was good to kick straight," Elliott said after his 5.2 effort.
"We didn't take the off (the pedal) like we did against Melbourne last week. That was a more rounded four-quarter performance."
Elliott said he can't wait for Jordan De Goey to return from injury - either in Friday night's final round clash with Essendon, or in the first final - as well as Jaidyn Stephenson, who completes his suspension at the start of the finals.
"I can't wait for him (De Goey) and Stevo to get back into the side," Elliott said.
"We'll be even more dangerous then."
Howe, who took another towering mark over teammate Brodie Grundy, said Elliott's performance had come off the back of hard work after a frustrating run with injuries in recent seasons.
"It's a great reward for effort for him (Elliott) because he works so hard," Howe said.
"I think the good thing about our forward line is that it is just so flexible that each bloke gets a lick of the ice cream … and it is good to see 'Bill' (Elliott) get on the end of a few."
Of his big grab, Howe said: "A couple of the boys were pretty impressed with it, I'll have a squiz of it after the game.
"We came over here and wanted to finetune our game, we've treated the last two games as finals.
"We had one focus to systematically break their offence down and as an 18, on field, I felt like we did that for the majority of the night."
While the Magpies are hitting form again ahead of the finals, last night was a crushing blow for Adelaide, which suffered its heaviest loss at the Adelaide Oval.
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