Nick Daicos celebrates a goal during round eight, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

NICK Daicos was born for nights like this.

With the game on the line, it was the 21-year-old who slotted the winning goal with a minute left to sink the arch enemy Carlton and launch Collingwood back into the top eight on Friday night.

And by then, the Magpies superstar with the famous black and white pedigree had proven to be the difference, amassing 32 disposals, 16 contested possessions, seven tackles, seven clearances, six inside 50s, 626m gained and two goals to claim the Richard Pratt Medal following a standout performance.

The Magpies not only reclaimed the Peter Mac Cup but emphatically dispelled any concerns the premiership hangover is still hovering somewhere, by banking the 12.13 (85) to 12.7 (79) win in front of a record home and away crowd of 88,362 between these two sides.


With Jordan De Goey and Tom Mitchell both missing due to injury – and Adam Cerra returning for Carlton – Craig McRae adjusted his midfield mix and not only matched the Blues’ more fancied midfield department, but beat them. Collingwood laid a whopping 34 more tackles and recorded a massive 23 more inside 50 entries.

Yet despite those sizeable stats wins, it came down to big moments late between two sides who have mastered the tight finishes across the past 24 months – Collingwood has now won 19 games by single digits under Craig McRae.

Matt Cottrell did what he has done twice already in 2024 –  kick important set shots in red time – and he did it again to level the scores.


That was after evergreen champion Scott Pendlebury had calmly slotted a goal in one of many crucial moments late. The 36-year-old was enormous, limiting the influence of Patrick Cripps around stoppage while also finishing with 23 touches, eight tackles and six clearances.

BLUES v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

Enter a dancing Daicos, weaving through traffic at the Punt Rd end to cement a famous victory on a ground where his famous father Peter used to do some of his best work.


Before the game started all 46 players, both coaches and every umpire gathered in the centre before the opening bounce for a moment’s silence to take a united stance against gender-based violence in Australia.

Minutes into play, Brayden Maynard launched a long-range bomb from outside 50 for the first goal of the game, after Zac Williams conceded the first of two free kicks against Jamie Elliott, which cost Carlton two early goals.

But the Blues looked far more potent in attack early. Tom De Koning threatened in the air. Harry McKay kicked three goals in all different ways across the first 30 minutes, including an opportunistic snap for his third, before reigning Coleman Medallist Charlie Curnow finally found some room off Billy Frampton to pluck a big pack mark and convert his first. Slow starts have been a problem for the Magpies in 2024, but it wasn’t the reason they were behind at the first change.

Beau McCreery came off the ground following a gruesome incident where the South Australian copped a knee to the jaw early in the second quarter. He was swiftly subbed out of the game due to concussion, with debutant Lachie Sullivan entering the game halfway through the second quarter. That moment coincided with a change in the game.


Harvey Harrison kicked an important goal just when they needed one. Then Sullivan joined the ‘first kick, first goal’ club minutes after entering the game. Suddenly, Collingwood’s two most inexperienced players had provided the Pies with an injection of energy. Mason Cox then made it three in five minutes with a towering mark and silent salute that reduced the margin to two points. When Pat Lipinski got on the end of the hard work of Will Hoskin-Elliott and Harrison, the Magpies led and were being rewarded for superior intent, with Schultz making it five in a row just before half-time.

Matt Owies ended that streak early in the second half after Maynard was penalised for a contentious dangerous tackle. The game meandered for more than 10 minutes, befor Owies kicked a textbook front and square goal to reduce the margin to under a kick with his third goal of the night. Game on. Curnow outmuscled Moore in a crucial one-on-one, turned and found McKay deep to put Carlton back in front and momentarily in control.

Collingwood was held goalless across the third quarter, despite five shots at goal and the majority of possession at the city end of the ground. But they didn’t have to wait long in the final quarter. Bobby Hill threaded the needle from the boundary 40 seconds into the quarter, before Will Hoskin-Elliott capitalised on a half chance.

De Koning responded again with two goals in four minutes, but it wasn’t enough to upstage the reigning premiers. This side has its mojo back and will take some beating across the next few months. So much for that premiership hangover.

Sparky delivers on debut
Lachie Sullivan had never played in front of a crowd of more than a couple thousand people until Friday night. Ten weeks after being signed via the pre-season supplemental selection period to put his career as an electrician on hold, the 180cm midfielder handled the step up in level, entering the game in the second quarter after Beau McCreery was subbed out of the game. Moments later, the former Footscray captain kicked his first goal from his first kick. Sullivan finished ten disposals, eight score involvements – two more than any other player on the ground – five tackles and four clearances to help cover the absence of Jordan De Goey and Tom Mitchell at the MCG.


New home and away record for Carlton v Collingwood
When Collingwood ended Carlton’s campaign by a single point in 2022, a record crowd of 88,287 people crammed in on the final Sunday of the home and away season. That was the goal on Friday night. And they beat it, but only just. 88,362 turned up for a brilliant battle between two old enemies. The all-time record is 121,696 in the 1970 Grand Final, during a different time for capacity. Carlton’s all-time home and away record was 91,571 against Essendon in 2000.

Williams subbed out
Carlton defender Zac Williams struggled to contain the dangerous Jamie Elliott on Friday night before being subbed out of the game in the third quarter. Michael Voss explained post game that it was due to a glute concern with the former Greater Western Sydney half-back in doubt for next Thursday night’s game against Melbourne.


CARLTON                  5.4     6.5     9.7     12.7 (79)
COLLINGWOOD        3.2     8.4     8.8     12.13 (85)

McKay 4, Owies 3, Curnow 2, De Koning 2, Cottrell
Collingwood: N. Daicos 2, Elliott, Cox, Harrison, Sullivan, Schultz, Lipinski, Maynard, Pendlebury, Hill, Hoskin-Elliott

Carlton: Newman, McKay, Walsh, Acres, Owies
Collingwood: N. Daicos, Pendlebury, Crisp, Noble, Lipinski

: None 
Collingwood: McCreery (concussion)

:  Matt Kennedy replaced Zac Williams in the fourth quarter
Collingwood: Lachie Sullivan replaced Beau McCreery in the second quarter

Crowd: 88,362 at the MCG