HomeSports NewsMatthew Lloyd says Collingwood's 'astonishing' late-game execution not simply down to luck

Matthew Lloyd says Collingwood’s ‘astonishing’ late-game execution not simply down to luck

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has lauded Craig McRae for “astonishing” coaching that has seen Collingwood continually execute in the fourth quarters of tight matches.

McRae’s Magpies have become the masters of fourth-quarter comebacks and did it again on Sunday, breaking Carlton hearts by overcoming a 25-point deficit to shatter the Blues’ finals dream while securing a top-four spot of their own.

Collingwood’s run of close wins sees it with the lowest percentage of any team inside the top eight, with the ninth-placed Blues and 11th-placed Port Adelaide boasting a better percentage.

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While some have downplayed Collingwood’s season as a lucky run that will see the team regress to the mean next season, Lloyd believes there is a method to the Magpies’ madness.

“Collingwood has Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and guys like that who have been there (in big games). Carlton don’t have that and this is the reason Collingwood under Craig McRae handle things,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.

“This has to be scenario-based training. I’m not sure (Carlton coach) Michael Voss potentially has gone to the lengths of what Craig McRae has. Astonishing coaching from Craig McRae, and that’s why I think he’s the coach of the year.

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“I’ve heard of scenario-based training, but for a team to execute the way they are, this isn’t luck. This is actually from their training and how clear they are.”

Collingwood finished the home-and-away season in fourth position with a 16-6 record and will face minor premiers Geelong in the first week of the finals in a fortnight.

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