Scott, McRae AFL mates turned rivals

When Collingwood defeated Carlton earlier this season, Craig McRae received a free meal from Michael Voss, his ex-Brisbane premiership colleague turned coaching rival.

If his Magpies defeat Geelong in the qualifying final on Saturday, however, the guy known as "Fly" won't receive the same treatment from another Lions flag hero.

We have probably not spoken in a while, according to Cats coach Chris Scott.

"But if I didn't see him for ten years, we would be back to our old ways in just five.

"He has a contagious personality, and I greatly like what he and Justin Leppitsch have accomplished this season at that football club.

With the assistance of right-hand man Leppitsch, McRae has orchestrated Collingwood's extraordinary turnaround from second-last to the top four in his first season as coach.

They both played a significant role as Damien Hardwick's assistants in Richmond's most recent trio of championships.

They are currently attempting to build on that success with the Magpies, who are vying for a record-tying 16th AFL/VFL championship.