1. Pies' pre-bounce woes
Collingwood's win was all the more meritorious given the battering it took even before the opening bounce. Star midfielder Dayne Beams withdrew first with a quad injury, replaced by debutant Josh Thomas. Then things got even worse when an ill Heath Shaw was unable to complete the warm-up and joined Beams on the sidelines. Key defender Jack Frost took Shaw's spot, taking the Magpies' number of first-gamers to three (the third, Sam Dwyer, started as the substitute).

2. Bodies crash, phones bash
Fans at Etihad Stadium were treated to a terrific contest, as players from both teams attacked the football with frantic pace and physicality. The heat transferred to the coaches' box too, with Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley venting his frustration after a free against Travis Cloke in the first quarter by slamming his phone into the desk in front of him, sending shards of plastic flying.

3. Thomas the hero and villain
Kangaroos small forward Lindsay Thomas had the home crowd in raptures early, booting three of his four goals in the first quarter. But a mistimed bump that resulted in a head clash with Collingwood defender Ben Reid halfway through the third quarter raised the ire of Magpies players and supporters. While Thomas was booed and heckled for the rest of the evening, Reid spent the remainder of the match off the field with concussion, adding to the Magpies' injury concerns ahead of next week's clash with Carlton.

4. Cloke gets one back on rival Thompson
North Melbourne defender Scott Thompson earned three Brownlow Medal votes in round 21 last season for keeping Magpies spearhead Cloke goalless. The pair resumed hostilities on Sunday, and the Collingwood big man gained some revenge. He booted four goals, and outpointed the close-checking Kangaroo several times in marking contests. On one such occasion during the third quarter, the Collingwood big man gave Thompson a mouthful, only to miscue his shot for goal.

5. Thomas' clearance work no laughing matter
Josh Thomas may share his name with a well-known Australian comedian, but his work at stoppages was serious business. The diminutive Queenslander had seven clearances amid his 18 disposals in a promising debut. The opportunity had been a long time coming for the 21-year-old, whose three previous seasons on the Magpies' list were blighted by injury.