June 25, 2024

Craig McRae, the coach of Collingwood, revealed that two words jotted down on his whiteboard played a crucial role in inspiring the team’s remarkable comeback against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

The Pies managed to overturn a 31-point deficit to secure a 123-81 victory at the MCG. This win marked their third consecutive victory after a challenging 0-3 start to the season as reigning premiers. McRae described the two words he wrote down before the game as simple yet impactful: “style points?” with a question mark.

The coach who led the team to victory in the 2023 premiership emphasized the importance of ignoring external criticism and irrelevant statistics. He stated that while there may be critiques from the broader football community about performance and rankings, what truly matters is the process of qualifying and securing points in each match.

He emphasized that there are only four points at stake in each game, not “style points.” Therefore, the focus should be on getting the job done regardless of external perceptions. Despite a challenging start where the Power dominated the first quarter, the team rallied, led by Pat Lipinski’s four goals and Jordan De Goey’s 27 disposals.

The Power’s scoring was limited to just four goals after halftime. While last year’s premiership-winning team has achieved success, they recognize that their work is not yet complete.

Moving forward, Collingwood’s schedule presents various challenges. They are set to play against Essendon followed by a significant match against rivals Carlton. Subsequently, they will host West Coast, then face Adelaide before traveling west to play Fremantle.

Coach McRae emphasizes that the team has outlined their path to reaching the finals, aiming for 14 wins as the target. He emphasizes that this goal is their primary focus at the moment.

Collingwood’s next match is against Essendon in the traditional ANZAC Day clash at the MCG, which is anticipated to be a pivotal game for both teams. Collingwood currently sits in 11th place on the ladder, while Essendon is in seventh with four wins.

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