Collingwood players look dejected after a loss to Sydney in round one, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

COLLINGWOOD and Brisbane must defy history in their bids to win the 2024 premiership after making shock 0-2 starts to the season.

For the first time in VFL/AFL history, both grand finalists from the previous year have started the next season with two losses in their opening two games.

And the 0-2 hole has been historically difficult to overcome, although the Magpies may take some inspiration from their run to the 2018 decider.

Since 2000, only 20 of the 114 teams who have made an 0-2 start to a season have gone on to play finals.

Only three of those have reached the Grand Final; the Pies fell just short in the 2018 decider and Sydney did it twice (in 2006 and 2014), but neither club was able to go all the way.

Collingwood went down to Greater Western Sydney in Opening Round before losing to Sydney on Friday night, making Thursday night's encounter against St Kilda a must-win clash.


Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd told's Access All Areas on Monday that the Pies have issues in every part of the ground.

"I think their backline is playing like a team that is still in premiership mode, where they're sitting so far off their man. That might be an instruction, (but) they've got to tighten up," Lloyd said.

"Bobby Hill is a mile off the Norm Smith medallist who was applying pressure, dynamic, he's dropped off. (Lachie) Schultz has struggled to fit in in his first few weeks. Beau McCreery has got to get back to trying to lay 10 tackles and their midfield, apart from Nick Daicos, has looked pedestrian.

"Even though we all think they're a premiership side (and we say) 'they'll click, they'll click', they've got problems in defence, midfield and attack."

After giving up a 46-point lead against Carlton to begin their campaign, the Lions were beaten by Fremantle on Sunday, slumping to an 0-2 start ahead of a bye, with the Pies to visit the Gabba on Easter Thursday.

Harris Andrews leads Brisbane off the field after a loss to Fremantle in round one, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

In 2021, Brisbane started the season 0-2 and 1-3 and still managed to finish fourth, while the Lions were 1-2 last year before finishing second on the ladder and reaching the season decider.

Coach Chris Fagan is confident his team will rebound again.

"We've been zero and two before and made the top four," Fagan said.

"It's a long way away, but we just have to think clearly about what's going on and try and find some solutions.

"We will remain optimistic."

With 10 teams still to play their second games, Richmond is the only other 0-2 team so far.

The good news for both the Pies and Lions is the recent addition of Gather Round means they have an extra game to get their seasons back on track compared to previous years.

Meanwhile, four clubs have started with 2-0 records, with GWS, Sydney, Gold Coast and Carlton undefeated through their opening two games.

Bailey Humphrey celebrates a goal during the R1 match between Gold Coast and Adelaide at People First Stadium on March 16, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Since 2000, 112 teams have started 2-0, with 82 of those going on to make the finals.

The Suns are chasing their first September berth, but they have been in this position previously in 2016 and 2018 but missed the finals on both occasions.

Of the past 24 premiership teams, 15 have started 2-0, while 29 of the 48 grand finalists since 2000 also won their opening two games.

Each of the past three seasons has seen at least one team start 2-0 and make the decider; Collingwood (2023), Sydney (2022) and Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs (2021).