Rugby League

Collingwood in danger of missing the AFL finals

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Collingwood remain in real danger of missing finals for the first time in eight years after Sunday's loss to Adelaide at the MCG.

The Magpies now sit outside the top eight on percentage after a nightmare run of form that has seen them lose five of their last six and face the prospect of not continuing their season into September for the first time since 2005.

Collingwood looked good for a top four berth earlier in the season, but they have faded badly in recent weeks and the defeat to Adelaide saw the Crows leapfrog Nathan Buckley's side into the top eight.

Injury list

The Magpies have had to suffer a lengthy injury list for most of the season, star midfielder Dane Swan, the 2011 Brownlow medallist, has been ruled out for a month to add to the problems suffered by the likes of Luke Ball and Jamie Elliot.

Captain Scott Pendlebury however has stated that the poor form of the club can not simply be attributed to their injury woe, with the skipper refusing to blame a lack of seniority in the sides line up as their downfall.

The defeat to Adelaide has placed utmost importance on next week's clash with Port Adelaide. Port currently sit fifth on the ladder having led the competition for much of the season before suffering a similar fade out to that of Collingwood.

Star forward Travis Cloke has stated that Collingwood will play next week's game as if it were the grand final and issued a public backing for coach Buckley.

"I don't know why people are questioning Bucks. It's disappointing" he said. "I still think we're going to have a crack at finals this year. Don't wipe us off."

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Winnable run

Despite their struggles, a place in the top eight is still firmly within their grasp. Following the clash with Port Adelaide, the Magpies continue their run home with winnable games against West Coast Eagles, Brisbane Lions and Greater Western Sydney.

They finish the home and away season with a clash against reigning premiers and bogey side Hawthorn at the MCG. Buckley and co will be hoping to have a finals place secured ahead of a fixture they have struggled with in recent times.

With just five rounds to play, the race for finals is becoming increasingly tighter with more twists ahead. Voted the most supported club only a matter of weeks ago, Collingwood will have to pick up their form if their to avoid disappointing the competition's largest fan base for the first time since 2005.

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