ST KILDA coach Brett Ratten has conceded his two-headed ruck tag team "didn't work" against dual All-Australian big man Brodie Grundy on Saturday.
PIES HIT THEIR STRAPS Full match coverage and stats
Ratten hoped having both Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall would be an advantage for the Saints, but they mostly had no answer for the AFL's best ruckman.
Grundy was arguably the best player afield with 20 disposals (12 contested), seven hit-outs to advantage, five score involvements and three clearances in Collingwood's 44-point triumph at the MCG.
He rucked almost solo – recruit Darcy Cameron provided some support – with neither Ryder nor Marshall able to match the Pie's impact.
Ratten said there would be times this season when St Kilda selected just one of Ryder and Marshall.
"They lowered their colours to Brodie Grundy, which many people will do this year, but I thought he gave them first access to the ball a bit," Ratten said.
"Today, we thought it was an advantage to take two high-quality ruckmen against one of the best in the comp and it didn't work.
"He was too good in that role and we probably didn't get any bang for buck with them as a forward as well.
"You can sometimes not dominate in the hit-outs, but if they kick a goal or two each you sort of say, 'OK, they've played another part of the game', but we didn't get that today."
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley lauded Grundy's latest great performance but shied away from giving his opinion on where he rates against fellow ruckmen in the past three decades.
The 26-year-old won the Magpies' club champion award and earned All-Australian honours in each of the past two seasons before signing a monster seven-year deal in January.
"All I know is he's playing great footy for us, and really consistent footy," Buckley said.
"To have won our ‘B and F’ (best and fairest) a couple of years in a row, in really good seasons for the football club, stands as testament on its own.
"But he's still a relatively young ruckman in ruckman terms, so he's been able to perform pretty well pretty early in his career as a ruckman and he's still got a lot of footy in front of him.
"That's why we signed him to such a long deal."
Midfield star Adam Treloar (calf) and forward-ruck Mason Cox (knee) played in Collingwood's reserves scratch match on Saturday and could force their way into the seniors next week.
"If he's fit, he'll be in contention," Buckley said of Treloar. "'Ads' moved pretty well today."