Bobby Hill celebrates a goal during the match between Collingwood and Kuwarna (Adelaide) at the MCG in round 10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FROM 0-3 to third spot on the ladder before the end of Autumn. 

Collingwood might not end the first weekend of Sir Doug Nicholls Round inside the top four, but the Magpies have dug into the old playbook again, defeating Kuwarna by four points in a thrilling finish at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. 

MAGPIES v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

And it came down to three big moments late.

First, Isaac Quaynor produced a brilliant smother at centre-half-back. Then Nick Daicos hit the target on the run, before Jordan De Goey calmly slotted the winner with two minutes to play to help secure the 12.6 (78) to 11.8 (74) win. 

The Magpies have now beaten the Crows by less than a goal in their past four encounters – and five of their past six games – to extend their winning streak to nine games against Adelaide and make it seven games without a loss after a shaky start to their premiership defence. 


Although the Crows will feel like they should have won, after Izak Rankine nearly won the game off his own boot with a stunning NAB Goal of the Year contender. 

In a fortnight where the game stops to pay tribute to the contribution made by First Nations people, Kuwarna's Indigenous star put the Crows back in front late with a brilliant dribble kick from the boundary, then burst down the wing in the dying seconds to put his side back inside 50 only to be called for running too far in a contentious moment that will be debated for days.


Rankine couldn't have done much more, finishing with a career-high 30 disposals, 16 contested possessions, eight inside 50s, seven clearances – all in the second half –  and 692m gained, before limping off after the final siren with a suspected hamstring strain. 


Nick Daicos was enormous from the first bounce, reaching quarter-time with 15 disposals and six clearances to his name, before finishing with 40 disposals for the fifth time in his 57-game career, 22 contested possessions, a career-high 14 clearances and six tackles in another masterclass.

Kuwarna has recovered from 0-4 to still be in contention, but it should be returning to South Australia with a major scalp after being the better side for much of the game, but wasted a plus-nine inside-50 count.  


Scott Pendlebury continued to show no sign of slowing, kicking the first goal of the game and two by quarter-time, plus two goal assists. He finished game No.393 with another 30-disposal haul next to his name. 


The Magpies dominated most of the opening half, kicking six unanswered goals from the 28th minute mark of the first quarter until the 12th minute of the second quarter. 

But just when the game was slipping away from the Crows, Elliott Himmelberg ended that run early in red time, before Darcy Fogarty and Josh Rachele kicked two more majors in red time to reduce the margin to under two goals before the main break.


Will Hoskin-Elliott didn't emerge after half-time due to a hamstring injury, rearranging a makeshift forward line that was already without Brody Mihocek, Jamie Elliott and Beau McCreery for a second consecutive week, after losing Jeremy Howe early last Sunday.

McInnes exited 15 minutes later due to concussion.


Amid an arm wrestle, where the Crows kept responding and wouldn't allow the reigning premiers to put a buffer in the game, Noble streamed through the centre and launched a bomb from beyond the arc for a moment to savour in his milestone game. 

But the Crows responded again.

With their season on the line, Rachele kicked the first goal of the last quarter, before Mitch Hinge ran around the back of Walker and launched a kick from 55m out that went over the back fence and reduced the margin to one straight kick. 


Kuwarna almost got there in the end, but they didn't, even despite the brilliance of Rankine. 

The masters of the tight finish did it again. Collingwood has now won 20 games under Craig McRae by single digits, including 16 by a straight kick or less. 

The premiership defence is well and truly alive.


Irishman faces old mob
Collingwood was bitterly disappointed when Mark Keane decided to return to Ireland at the start of 2022, despite having a year to run on his contract. When he chose to return to Australia at the start of last year when Fischer McAsey retired during the pre-season, the Magpies had just signed Billy Frampton and still had Nathan Murphy in defence. Adelaide didn't pick Keane until the second Showdown in round 20, but he has played 14 of 15 games since and proven to be great value after being signed as a rookie. Frampton wasn't wanted at West Lakes and has since become a premiership player at the Pies and an even more important figure in 2024, given the retirement of Murphy. Both Keane and Frampton were impressive again on Saturday and have become permanent fixtures at AFL level.

Mark Keane in action during the match between Collingwood and Kuwarna (Adelaide) at the MCG in round 10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Milestone man fires
John Noble became the first player recruited via the Mid-Season Rookie Draft since it was reintroduced in 2019 to play 100 games on Saturday. The West Adelaide product has regained his spot in Craig McRae's best 23 this year after watching on last September. Noble made a massive impact against the Crows, amassing 29 disposals, 11 marks and 535m gained. While Marlion Pickett is the most famous mid-season recruit after winning two premierships with Richmond, Jai Newcombe was included in the All-Australian squad last year and Sam Durham is building nicely, Noble has been a huge success after being overlooked until the age of 22.


Pie ruled out after concussion
Eight days after the Jeremy Cameron incident at GMHBA Stadium, Reef McInnes was taken off the ground halfway through the third quarter after he copped a knee to the head. The young Pie staggered to his feet but didn't immediately come off the ground. Minutes later he took a strong contested grab, until Collingwood's doctors reviewed the vision and sent him down the race for a concussion test. McInnes was ruled out shortly afterwards, putting the forward in the League's 12-day protocols.


COLLINGWOOD     4.2     8.2     11.4    12.6 (78)
ADELAIDE              3.1     6.3     8.5     11.8 (74)

Collingwood: Pendlebury 2, McInnes 2, De Goey 2, Schultz, Richards, Noble, Hill, Hoskin-Elliott, Crisp, 
Kuwarna: Rachele 2, Fogarty 2, Walker, Sholl, Murphy, Himmelberg, Cook, Rankine, Himmelberg

Collingwood: N. Daicos, Pendlebury, De Goey, Crisp, Noble, J. Daicos
Kuwarna: Rankine, Dawson, Crouch, Hinge, Keane, Soligo

Collingwood: Hoskin-Elliott (hamstring), McInnes (concussion)
Kuwarna: Rankine (hamstring)

Collingwood: Harvey Harrison (replaced Will Hoskin-Elliott in the second quarter)
Kuwarna: Ned McHenry (replaced Lachlan Sholl in the third quarter)

Crowd: 63,925 at the MCG