Collingwood has made a statement against the reigning premiers, taking down Geelong with a final quarter flurry in a frenetic clash.
The Cats looked to be on the verge of running away with the contest on multiple occasions, taking a lead of over 20 points on three separate occasions, each in a different quarter.
However the Magpies refused to go away, determined to keep the contest nerve-rackingly close as they did time and time again last season.
While Geelong controlled the majority of the clash throughout, once the fourth quarter began the momentum shifted entirely to Collingwood, blending relentless pressure with frenetic ball movement to dominate the final term.
The Magpies could seemingly do no wrong as it got down to crunch time, kicking five unanswered goals in the fourth as the ball remained locked in their forward half.
Geelong’s fate was sealed by a Jordan De Goey bomb from beyond the 50m arc, sending the crowd into an uproar with his third goal of the match.
The Daicos brothers were a game-breaking pair throughout the clash for Collingwood, with Nick starring with 35 disposals as he second season got underway, while Josh wasn’t far behind with 27 touches of his own.
The Magpies’ new recruits made sure to have an impact, with Tom Mitchell pairing two goals with 21 disposals, while Dan McStay was one of 10 Collingwood players to end the match with a major.
Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy was blown away by the improvements the Magpies have made to their game since last year.
“The running power of Collingwood was there for everyone to see last year but they weren’t quite good enough,” he told AFL Nation.
“They’ve fixed up their problems with clearance and contested ball, Tom Mitchell has been significant in that and they have started the season making a statement.
“There’s running power at Collingwood even early in the season.”
However, the victory is one that is marred by injuries, with both clubs seeing players go down with serious concerns.
Collingwood’s Jeremy Howe sustained a broken arm after a horrific fall from a contest with Tyson Stengle in the third quarter, an injury which rattled the entire Magpies squad.
“It’s heartbreaking you know, we go through so much together as AFL players and you ride the highs and the lows,” Collingwood skipper Darcy Moore told Channel Seven postgame.
“To see one of your closest teammates in a state like that is pretty distressing, and it’s pretty messed up that we then just have to forget about it and get on with the job… it’s a horrible part of our game.”
Geelong saw Tom Stewart exiting the game with a knee injury early on, while Sam De Koning looked to have a lower leg issue, however continued to play.
Collingwood will look to carry this momentum into next week’s match against Port Adelaide, while Geelong have their sights set on Carlton for a bounce back win.
Geelong: 6.0, 12.1, 16.3, 16.7 (103)
Collingwood: 5.3, 9.6, 14.9, 19.11 (125)