The West

Cometti: Comfortably my worst yet ...

The game was disappointing and the crowd stayed away.

Maybe they knew something.

Essendon killed Collingwood yesterday and surely handed Nathan Buckley the most disappointing two weeks of his coaching career.

Make no mistake, the gloom of yesterday's drubbing at the MCG is certain to hang over the Magpies until they get a chance at redemption in a fortnight's time.

But in the wake of a result like this, redemption is no certainty.

At times Buckley's men played like strangers on a prison bus.

More to the point, Collingwood missed the bus.

Because as good as Port Adelaide's loss was for Fremantle, it also had the potential to help the Magpies.

Had they won (and with Port Adelaide, Gold Coast and Adelaide squarely in the mix) they could have enhanced their position for a home elimination final.

Having said that, on recent form any top eight spot might be considered a bonus.

And on the assumption Essendon can't be thrown out of the finals again, we appear set up for a stirring finish.

Port's unexpected slide and Gary Ablett's injury, coupled with Collingwood's loss yesterday, haev given even an outrider with a handy percentage like West Coast a faint hope.

Perhaps the Eagles don't deserve it, but right now neither do Collingwood.

Buckley and Eddie McGuire look set for a difficult couple of weeks.

Yet as bad as all this is, can you imagine if Michael Malthouse and Carlton were performing as well as some thought they might?

The West Australian

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