Magpies keen to kick on

Travis Varcoe says Collingwood aren’t getting ahead of themselves despite being nicely positioned for an AFL finals run-in with their eighth win of the season over GWS.

Nathan Buckley’s side had the Giants in hand for most of Sunday afternoon on the way to a 42-point victory which confirmed them in the AFL’s top four.

In reaching their bye at 8-3 in the win-loss, Collingwood have replicated their 2014 record.

But last season, following their eighth win came a loss of form that took them out of finals calculations.

This year, they’re determined to push on despite a challenging fixture list.

After a fortnight’s rest comes Fremantle (away), premiers Hawthorn, Port Adelaide (away) and high-flyers West Coast (Etihad) in a month that could define their season.

Should they win at least two, the Magpies will be bound for September.

Buckley, who earned his 50th win as coach against GWS, said their experience from last year would be beneficial.

“I don’t know if we’re playing better footy but I think we’re a more mature group, we’re a better team and we’re a better club than we were 12 months ago,” Buckley said.

“We’re developing week on week.

“The environment around the place is really solid, we’re not getting carried away one way of the other.

“(Against Fremantle) we’re looking forward to attacking that challenge to travel over to Perth and to see whether we can play our brand for four quarters and we’ll see where we get.”

One of the factors in Collingwood’s improvement is Varcoe, who moved to the club as part of the three-way deal involving Heritier Lumumba and Mitch Clark.

Varcoe gave the team a pass mark to this stage but said they have it all to do in the second half of the season.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good spot and it’s a good opportunity,” he told AAP.

“But there’s still a long way to go, everyone knows its a long season.

“We’ll enjoy it for what it is and then its back to the drawing board.”

Buckley said Varcoe had established himself as a key contributor already.

“I thought Trav was exceptional in the first quarter today and set the agenda with his pressure and then with his transition run,” he said.

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