MELBOURNE, VICTORIA - APRIL 29: Toby Nankervis of the Tigers and Brodie Grundy of the Magpies compete for the ball during the 2018 AFL round six match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs great Robert Murphy has compared the Tigers’ emergence in 2017 to Collingwood’s breakout 2018 season.

After finishing 13th the year prior, Richmond made significant changes to their football department and coaching staff, while Damien Hardwick altered his leadership style, famously leading the Tigers to their first flag in 37 years.

Similarly, the Pies finished 13th in 2017 and conducted a mid-season review of the entire club, changing the coaching personell around Nathan Buckley. It has vastly shifted Collingwood’s culture, who have shot up to second place on the ladder after 16 rounds this season.

And Murphy says he is seeing deja vu unfold, with Collingwood following a similar path to Richmond’s.

“I’ve got a really good hunch with Collingwood because I think the same thing happened with Richmond the year before,” he told SEN Afternoons.

“In the off-season they were derided, ridiculed and it’s all about when the coach was going to get the flick.

“They used that to protect that gang mentality of the team and the club of ‘it’s us against the rest of the world’.

“Two thirds of the way through the season, all of us and myself included, we’re all with Collingwood now and inside they’re like ‘don’t forget, they’re not with us. It’s us against them.’

“I think you watch them play and they’ve got that magic of ‘us against the world’, they’ve been able to harness it and protect it.”