Crisp stays durable amid Magpies' injuries

Jack Crisp's durability has been a big factor in Collingwood's defence this AFL season.
Jack Crisp's durability has been a big factor in Collingwood's defence this AFL season.

Amid the injury carnage in Colingwood's defence this year, Jack Crisp is the glaring exception.

The half-back is now fourth among current AFL players for consecutive games, racking up 94.

He has not missed a senior match since round 18 in 2014, his last season at Brisbane.

The 24-year-old has played all 88 games at Collingwood and has become a backline mainstay.

The Magpies' bad run of injuries has hit their defence particularly hard, with Lynden Dunn and Matt Scharenberg needing knee reconstructions.

Jeremy Howe should return from badly-corked thigh for Saturday's qualifying final against West Coast, but Ben Reid and Darcy Moore are also sidelined.

While Crisp's streak has gone largely unnoticed, a couple of his friends are onto it.

"I get a few reminders from a couple of mates - every time someone has an injury or a week off, they send me a message saying 'you're moving up, you're moving up'," Crisp joked.

"I do what I can here, but a lot of credit goes to Kevin White and the strength and conditioning guys.

"Maybe my genetics are alright, I don't know.

"I'm just thinking 'I hope it's not me next'."

Collingwood's bad run with injury this year and the fact that Crisp is a running defender means he has also spent a lot more time on the field.

"Even the last round against Freo, I spent a total of about two minutes on the bench and I was just absolutely knackered," he said

"My body keeps backing up - I'm really proud, really happy."

But for all their well-documented personnel problems, the Magpies keep prevailing.

The game system that coach Nathan Buckley spruiks has them in their first finals series since 2013.

Crisp and his fellow backmen face another big test at Optus Stadium against an Eagles attack that will welcome back key forward Josh Kennedy.

"It's going to be a big job, whether it's stopping Kennedy and (Jack) Darling in the air - but then it comes to ground, they have (Jamie) Cripps, who's in some good form," Crisp said

"Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan and then Mark LeCras as well, it's a dangerous forward line, but we think we'll be able to hold up alright.

"We've shown we can do it all year, under all circumstances, but now it's crunch time."

Australian Associated Press