Runaway minor premiers Geelong have come from behind to avoid an upset loss to Collingwood and secure a berth in the AFL preliminary finals.

The Pies led at every break but the Cats hit the front with 80 seconds on the clock and stayed there for an 11.12 (78) to 10.12 (72) victory in front of 91,525 fans at the MCG.

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Max Holmes kicked the winning goal but it was Gary Rohan who stood up throughout the night and late in the game.

The former Sydney Swans player kicked three goals and laid on the crucial assist for Holmes’ winner in the goal square.

“Geelong have won through to a prelim in one of the best finals you will ever see,” Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw said.

Jeremy Cameron also kicked three goals for Geelong, with Brad Close snaring two and Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins kicking one apiece.

“(Collingwood) gave it absolutely everything and we just got there in the end,” Cameron told Channel 7.

The Cats will host Melbourne or Brisbane at the MCG in two weeks’ time, while the Pies will feature next week against Fremantle or the Western Bulldogs.

Geelong young gun Tom De Koning praised his side for adapting after Jake Kolodjashnij was substituted out of the game in the first half due to a knee injury.

“That was unfortunate that Kolo went down but Mark (O’Connor) came on and filled a role, he did a great job,” De Koning said.

He conceded the Cats – who finished two games clear of the field on top of the ladder – had a lot to work on before the preliminary final.

In a horror blow for Collingwood, Taylor Adams suffered what appeared to be a suspected serious groin injury in his return from a similar injury.

Jordan De Goey offered some hope for the Pies with a stellar 26-disposal, two-goal effort that also featured eight clearances and a goal assist.