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Craig McRae on Brayden Maynard comments, what did he say, Collingwood Magpies, Port Adelaide, Ken Hinkley, top of the table

Collingwood coach Craig McRae hailed the resilience and never-say-die spirit of his charges after the Magpies produced their latest stirring comeback to stun Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

The epic battle between the ladder leaders and the second-placed Power lived up to its blockbuster billing, with the home side enjoying a hard-earned 17-point lead at the last change.

But, as they have done so many times under McRae, the Magpies dug deep to break Port hearts with a six-goals-to-three final term at Adelaide Oval.

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“They have an enormous will to win,” McRae said.

“I looked the guys in the eyes at three-quarter time and they know what they needed to do.

“I thought it was an outstanding game, credit to Ken and the boys, I think that was the best game we’ve been involved with this year, maybe even the past couple.

“I loved the build up to it, please don’t squash that, I loved the banter and the theatre of it.

“This was a great game of footy with an incredible outcome really.”

Jamie Elliott was the hero with two of his three goals coming in the dramatic final minutes of the intense clash.

“It’s a pattern of behaviour for Jamie,” the coach said.

Collingwood coach Craig McRae on Saturday.Source: Getty Images

“It’s just about moments … and we want to manage those moments better than the opposition.

“We practice it, but you can’t practice kicking a goal from the boundary line from 45m out when you’re down on the scoreboard.

“You’ve got to do that at the time and trust that you’ve done the work.

“Their spirit … it’s an incredible thing to have.

“We’ll nestle into this one … this is a big win.”

The much-hyped build-up to the clash was made a little spicier when Power coach Ken Hinkley touched on comments made by Brayden Maynard during his weekly press conference.

Maynard came in for some physical attention by Port players and was roundly booed by the crowd for daring to suggest that the Pies were “sitting on top of the ladder for a reason”.

“We shouldn’t get precious about comments – I wasn’t,” McRae said.

Collingwood Magpies Press Conference | 06:54

“I have great respect for Ken, enormous respect, and I admire what he’s been able to do with this team under adversity.

“I think we should embrace the theatre of footy and allow Brayden Maynard to just be himself, to be authentic.

“What’s wrong with that? That’s just him.

“Why would we put that in a box and say, ‘We better not say that because it might fire the opposition up.”

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