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Record Anzac Day crowd looms as Pies make hot start

Silence as The Last Post sounds at the 'G Lest We Forget

IT'S STANDING room only in the MCC and general admission tickets have sold out in what looms as a record crowd for the Essendon v Collingwood Anzac Day blockbuster.  

FULL MATCH COVERAGE Essendon v Collingwood

Fans flocked to the MCG hours before the game's 3.20pm AEST start on a perfect autumn day in Melbourne. 

The record stands at 94,825, which was the bumper crowd tally at the first Anzac Day game between these two teams in 1995. That match ended in a thrilling draw. 

The moments before today's game were chilling, with the New Zealand and the Australian national anthems being played in eerie silence. 

WATCH Silence as The Last Post sounds at the 'G

Collingwood got off to a flyer in the opening term, with Jordan De Goey producing some party tricks, while Essendon's star recruit Dylan Shiel found plenty of the football and Jake Stringer booted his 200th AFL goal with a brilliant set shot from the boundary line.

The Bombers hit back late in the second and only 15 points separate the teams at the long break.