Collingwood is in good shape and ready for the biggest test in football – Richmond at the MCG on Friday night in the preliminary final.
Coach Nathan Buckley said after the slogging 10-point semi-final win over Greater Western Sydney that the Magpies are looking forward to the challenge presented by the Tiger juggernaut despite having just six days to prepare.
Richmond will enter the blockbuster clash having not played for 15 days.
"We know what our break is, they know what their break is and we're looking forward to the challenge," he said.
"It's not something we worry about too much. I reckon the boys are looking forward to playing.
"Another day that they won't have to wait is pretty good, I reckon."
It was a low-scoring affair against the Giants, with the several downpours in the hours before the game leading to greasy conditions at the MCG.
Yet Buckley believed it wasn't as physical as it could have been.
"There are games that are taxing and wearing, but I think we had enough control of the game that we didn't have to run our guts out. We still worked hard, but we were reasonably efficient with what we did," he said.
"The GPS and different things will tell the story, but I thought we were efficient and that was a good sign for us."
Richmond defeated the Pies by 43 points in round six and by 28 points in round 19, and Buckley is realistic about the task ahead. But also optimistic.
"They've been the best team since the last one to two months before last year's finals and they finished top this year. Everyone's waiting for them to fall over, but they're not going to fall over. They have to be beaten.
"We believe they can be beaten and our best footy will stack up, but talking about it and doing it are two separate things."
The basis for his optimism is a midfield that's flying.
Adam Treloar was superb against his former club with 29 disposals, including 12 in the final term when the Pies surged again. It was just his second game back after a long-term hamstring injury.
Steele Sidebottom had 31 and was also outstanding, while skipper Scott Pendlebury (25) and Taylor Adams (24) were also major contributors.
"We feel like our midfielders, particularly insiders are in pretty good nick," he said.
He also praised defender Brayden Maynard for his shutdown job on Toby Greene with the mercurial Giant limited to nine possessions and no score. It wasn't just his work on the night that impressed Buckley, but his preparation during the week.
"I thought he won the contest convincingly," Buckley said of Maynard.
"He was set for the match-up pretty early in the week, I told him not to tell anyone and he tells the world.
"He's building some confidence, based on hard work and healthy respect for the competition he plays on. He does the work and is becoming a really important member of our back six."
Still, Buckley said his backline could have kept GWS to even less than the 59-point final score.
"I did say in the box at the end, 'can you be dissatisfied with a finals win?' I don't think you can, but we can play better than that," he added.
"We didn't get it perfect and we will learn from that."
The Pies came out of the game well on the injury front. Forward Jordan De Goey kicked three goals despite rolling his ankle in the first term, while impressive young midfielder Brayden Sier ran the game out well despite suffering a corked leg.