AFL 2022 Collingwood stats: Pure Footy reveals Craig McRae blueprint

Collingwood has risen from 17th to eighth with an exciting blueprint from new coach Craig McRae. And the key players in the surge will surprise you. WATCHThere was one hint in Collingwood’s disastrous 2021 season that things could turn around quickly at the Pies.Despite finishing 17th with just six wins, the Magpies’ percentage of 85.6 was better than the three teams above them on the ladder.But it would have taken a gambler to suggest they could produce the kind of footy they have over the past month.Champion Data analyst Daniel Hoyne revealed on Pure Footy, the weekly AFL data analysis show exclusive to heraldsun.com.au, that new coach Craig McRae had created a clearly recognisable game plan that was unique in the AFL.WATCH A NEW EPISODE OF PURE FOOTY ABOVE“They are so aggressive in how they move the ball from behind centre … to be so strong without the footy and being so aggressive with it, is a massive tick for Craig McRae and what Collingwood are doing,” Hoyne said, adding the key players to executing the plan weren’t the biggest names at the club.“They are the No.2 team in the competition this year at winning the ball back between the arcs. That’s them, they make it a really crazy, high-speed high intensity game in that area of the ground, and one player in particular I wanted to highlight in the past month is Nick Daicos – he’s had 25 intercepts in the past month between the arcs, that’s clearly No.1 in the competition.”Hoyne also sung the praises of Brayden Maynard, who was ranked as the second-best player on the ground on Queen’s Birthday by Champion Data.Maynard is the third-best player in the AFL at defending defensive one-on-one contests this season, losing just 11 per cent of his 27 contests.“He’s just such a competitor, so hard to play against, he can play on talls or smalls – he’s such a weapon,” Hoyne said.Also on this week’s episode, Hoyne and North Melbourne premiership star David King analyse why Simon Goodwin “isn’t telling the full truth” about what’s going wrong at Melbourne, the one area Carlton has to improve, the biggest improvers in the AFL and more.