Sydney v Collingwood player ratings: Jordan De Goey, Nick Daicos

Even at 36 points down in the third quarter, you wouldn’t dare to write off Collingwood.

And like they’ve done so many times this season, Craig McRae’s Magpies came storming home to almost pinch the preliminary final.

But there was to be no miracle comeback on Saturday as Sydney booked its place in the Grand Final against Geelong.

Some of Collingwood’s biggest stars were well below their best as the Swans took the initiative from the start with the opening four goals.

That lead allowed Sydney to keep Collingwood at arm’s length for most of the afternoon but with the Magpies’ accuracy — and Sydney’s at-times wastefulness — the game was well and truly alive in the final term, as the Pies made a late charge.

But Sydney held on in a thriller, to set up a showdown with the Cats on the last Saturday in September.

Sam Landsberger and Scott Gullan rate every player from the victorious Swans and vanquished Magpies.

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Originally published as AFL Preliminary Final player ratings: Who starred and who flopped in Sydney v Collingwood