A dominant return to the backline for Darcy Moore, and six goals to Jordan De Goey has helped Collingwood to a 18-point win over North Melbourne.
The battle of 17th v 18th played out as expected, with both sides turning the ball over regularly.
A scrappy first half was capped off by a bizarre deliberate out-of-bounds call against Cam Zurhaar, whose shot at goal sprayed off his boot.
North started brightly enough in the second half, but their lack of polish hurt and the weight of opportunity for Collingwood ensured the Kangaroos remain winless in 2021.
Here’s everything you need to know!
The difference: De Goey forward. Darcy Moore back
Sometimes the smartest move is the easiest and the Pies demonstrated that today, returning two of their best players to their preferred positions.
Darcy Moore, who was on 16 coaches votes after the first two rounds, was simply outrageous today, with 19 marks. His 28 disposals were also a career high.
Whilst for De Goey, it ended a turbulent week.
He was reportedly challenged by senior players over his effort following Collingwood’s disheartening loss to Gold Coast last week.
He also was ruthless criticised by AFL great Leigh Matthews on Sportsday as “not fitting” Dustin Martin’s “bootlaces”.
Aidan Bonar might think differently. The defender looked helpless in the first half as the Magpies isolated De Goey. Bonar went down with an injury late in the first half to cap off a dirty day.
The Moment: Mihocek flies high
If not for Shai Bolton’s screamer the night before, Mihocek would have been guaranteed a mark of the week award.
Mihocek’s mark also provided a momentum shift for the Pies, who were under threat from a Kangaroos fightback early in the third term.
The talking point: Where does this leave the Pies?
Collingwood has finally ended their winless streak, albeit in an unconvincing manner.
The question remains as to their 2021 aspirations.
Do they still believe they can make finals? Do they continue to play the kids?
Do they persist with youngsters like Beau McCreery and Ollie Henry over Will Hoskin-Elliot and Josh Thomas, who all had quiet games?
How Collingwood responds on the selection table next week will now become a point of focus.
Collingwood travel up to Sydney to take on the Swans in a tough assignment next Saturday.
The winless Kangaroos meanwhile travel to their second home in Tasmania to take on the Hawks.
Collingwood: 3.2, 8.6, 12.10, 14.10 (94)
North Melbourne: 2.2, 3.6, 8.7, 11.10 (76)
Collingwood: De Goey 6, Cameron 3, Mihocek 2, Pendlebury 2, Hoskin-Elliot
North Melbourne: Mahoney 2, Stephenson 2, Thomas 2, Zurhaar 2, Campbell, Lazzaro, Turner
Collingwood: Moore, De Goey, Crisp, Maynard, Grundy
North Melbourne: Hall, Goldstein, Mckay, Zieball, Menadue
Collingwood: Murphy (Concussion), Roughhead (head knock)
North Melbourne: Bonar (ankle)
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