NOW THAT'S how you put a difficult fortnight behind you.

Off-field controversies have besieged Collingwood, which couldn't even fall back on the team's form, given a pair of losses dampened what was a bright start to this strangest of seasons. 


Throw in Jeremy Howe's potentially season-ending injury and it's been a rough period for Nathan Buckley's team, which has designs on the premiership. 

None of it mattered in Sydney on Friday night as the new-look Magpies roared out of the blocks with five of the first six goals to put an impotent Hawthorn line-up to the sword. 

00:25 Mins
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Son of a gun gets Pies off to dream start

Will Kelly kicks his first goal with his first kick in the AFL

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The Hawks' response never came and the match was effectively over by half-time, with Collingwood posting an 8.11 (59) to 3.9 (27) victory that temporarily propels them inside the top four. 

Hawthorn has never scored fewer points in Alastair Clarkson's 16 seasons in charge – a significant low point even with the shorter quarters in 2020 – but it's not a new problem. 

MAGPIES FLEX THEIR MUSCLES Full match coverage and stats

Adam Treloar (35 disposals, six clearances, 526m gained) was outstanding in his second game back from injury, running rampant through the midfield all night in a typically electric display. 

He found an ally in usual forward Jamie Elliott, who proved a clearance machine after Buckley injected him into the centre, while Darcy Moore (21, nine intercept possessions) regularly chopped off the Hawks' rare forward forays. 

Elliott and fellow forward Jaidyn Stephenson both had new roles, with the Pies instead choosing to play taller with Brody Mihocek (four goals), Mason Cox and first-gamer Will Kelly all doing their bit. 

00:41 Mins
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Injury concerns for two young Pies

Will Kelly and Matt Scharenberg both leave the field with injury concerns late in the match

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It was a largely putrid night for Clarkson's men, with debutant Will Day (16) one of the few bright spots.

James Sicily (28, 14 marks) was busy in defence and Tom Mitchell (33) was prolific but Hawthorn's ball movement continues to be stagnant and they are getting little out of their forwards.

The Hawks have slumped to 3-3 ahead of a round seven date with struggling Melbourne. 

00:23 Mins
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Gunston with the breakthrough goal

Jack Gunston finally kicks a goal for the Hawks late in the fourth

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Elliott the midfielder
We all heard the pre-season buzz about Jamie Elliott – fresh from rejecting Brisbane's advances after seriously considering a move north – spending more time in the middle. Nathan Buckley's increasingly flirted with Elliott in at the centre bounce in recent rounds but it was more than a flirtation on Friday night against Hawthorn. Elliott rewarded his coach with an excellent first half, when Collingwood set up its comfortable victory. No one won more than Elliott's four clearances to half-time and he had 13 of his possessions by then, too. He thrived at the bottom of packs with his quick hands and might become a new weapon in the Pies' famed onball brigade. 

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley and Jamie Elliott. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Patton's pure emotion
Hawks fans' hearts was in their mouth as recruit Jon Patton hobbled from the field in the first term on Friday night. They had even more reason to be nervous when Patton hunched over on the bench and broke down in tears. The 27-year-old has already undergone three knee reconstructions in his repeatedly interrupted career, so there was naturally concern – in the heat of the moment – he might need another one. Hawthorn football boss Graham Wright allayed those fears and tipped Patton to miss only one or two weeks with what was instead a right hamstring injury. That seems optimistic but either way, you couldn't fault the ex-Giant for his outpouring of emotion. He just hasn't had a decent run at it since emerging as one of the game's best forwards across the 2016-17 seasons. 

00:32 Mins
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Hawks forward left devastated after another injury

Jonathon Patton breaks down on the bench after another injury rules him out for the rest of the match

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Will-ing performances on debut
There was plenty to like about Collingwood's son of a gun Will Kelly from the moment he trotted to the 50m arc and banged through the game's opening goal. The numbers didn't do him justice as he competed well in the air and worked hard. Kelly's definitely worth persevering with as a forward after being drafted as a defender, although he came from the field in the final term with an elbow injury. Another Will, Hawthorn's Day, was even more impressive with his sharp decision-making, sweet kicking skills and toughness for a kid who is rake thin. Atu Bosenavulagi was better than them both, winning possessions at will (usage intended) – and making them count. In a new-look Magpies line-up with fresh faces and some players in different positions, Nathan Buckley needs to find a way to keep Bosenavulagi in the side. It was a tougher night for the fourth debutant, Hawk Josh Morris, but it was hard to make an impact in attack in a brown and gold uniform.

COLLINGWOOD     5.1     6.5     7.8     8.11     (59)
HAWTHORN           1.0     2.1     2.2     3.9     (27)

Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Kelly, Cox
Hawthorn: Smith, McEvoy, Gunston 

Collingwood: Treloar, Moore, Mihocek, Elliott, Wills, Pendlebury
Hawthorn: Sicily, Mitchell, Smith, Morrison, Day

Collingwood: Kelly (left elbow), Elliott (shin), Scharenberg (ribs)
Hawthorn: Patton (right hamstring)