Magpies skipper Scott Pendlebury celebrates as the final siren sounds on Friday night. Picture: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images
Magpies skipper Scott Pendlebury celebrates as the final siren sounds on Friday night. Picture: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

Pies skipper lauds sportsmanship of beaten Tigers

MOMENTS after Collingwood stunned the AFL on Friday night, Richmond stunned the Magpies with their sportsmanship.

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has praised the Tigers for offering their support immediately after Friday night's preliminary final boilover.

As they were leaving the field, Pendlebury said Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, captain Trent Cotchin and others were telling their opponents to make the most of grand final week.

The reigning premiers were red-hot favourites, but Collingwood produced one of the all-time great finals boilovers to win by 39 points.

"That was unbelievable, to be in their situation - they would have been heartbroken, but to come out of themselves and offer us some support was unbelievable," Pendlebury said.

"They had every right to be dirty and go back in themselves ... they should be so proud of that.

"We have 17 guys who have never been in it. They were probably in a similar position last year."

Immediately after his post-game media conference, Hardwick also went into the Collingwood rooms to congratulate Magpies players and rival coach Nathan Buckley.

Pendlebury said even though they thought they were a chance, Collingwood still needed to produce something special to upset the Tigers.

Damien Hardwick and Nathan Buckley shake hands before the game.
Damien Hardwick and Nathan Buckley shake hands before the game.

Even Pendlebury's wife Alex wasn't sure pre-game that they could do it.

"Everyone thought we were a chance, but you can't really pick against Richmond," he said.

"Even my wife said, 'This is going to be a tough one tonight, you can't really pick against Richmond' and I was like, 'Well you are, because you're my wife, so you're going for Collingwood.'"

Pendlebury is also sure they have not played their grand final a week early, saying one of the Magpies' traits this year has been their ability to re-set after every game.

"It is such a big win ... in a prelim," he said.

"They're such brutal games of football, but there's no doubt in my mind that we have another effort in us and that wasn't our grand final last night."

Pendlebury also admitted it was yet to sink in what they achieved against the Tigers.

The skipper expects Jeremy Howe, who suffered a jarred ankle against Richmond, will be in no doubt for the grand final.

One of the highlights of the night was the Magpies fans chanting "USA, USA" as American import Mason Cox tore the game apart in the second quarter.

"It's happened a few times this year already, but not as loud as last night," Pendlebury said.

"Coxy was fantastic - the way he imposed himself on that game of football, it really caused some headaches for them."

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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