THEY might be selling blond wigs at Collingwood's merchandise store by the end of the week.
Jack Ginnivan, the Magpies' bleached-haired cult hero, backed up his Anzac Day medal performance last week with another three-goal eye-catcher in Collingwood's 25-point win over Gold Coast on Sunday.
This one also included a goal of the year contender, with the long-sleeved small forward's second-quarter effort when he dodged past three players and snapped truly the highlight of a high-scoring and entertaining 17.13 (115) to 14.6 (90) shootout at the MCG.
MAGPIES v SUNS Full match coverage and stats
The victory was Collingwood's fourth of the season as the club continues its impressive start to life under new coach Craig McRae, while the result will increase the pressure on Gold Coast counterpart Stuart Dew, whose Suns have notched just two victories in the opening seven rounds.
In notching its highest score of the season, Collingwood had contributors everywhere: Brody Mihocek kicked four goals, Josh Daicos was excellent on the wing with two goals from 20 disposals, Patrick Lipinski had 30 disposals and Jack Crisp (28 disposals, one goal) was his consistent self.
The Suns were led well by midfield pair Noah Anderson (32) and Touk Miller (36 and two goals), while key forwards Levi Casboult (4.4) and Mabior Chol (3.0) were also hard working in attack to spearhead their team.
Gold Coast got off to a flyer with two quick goals, but it took the Pies little time to assert their dominance. They booted the next seven goals of the first quarter, with their key players getting involved.
De Goey started the run, before Darcy Cameron booted two, Mihocek soccered one through and Ginnivan got his day started truly after being bumped off the ball. A late goal to Mabior Chol cut the Pies' lead to 26 points at the first change.
The Suns' tall forwards continued to cause headaches in the second quarter. Casboult, having kicked the opening goal of the game, kicked the first two of the second term after strong inside-50 marks.
The Pies steadied with Mihocek also kicking two more of his own before Ginnivan's stunner, but the Suns kept within reach as their tall forwards – Casboult and Chol – again hit the scoreboard to bring the margin back to 21 points at half-time.
Again the Suns started the term well in the third, and would have gotten within seven points of the Pies if Casboult had kicked accurately for his fifth late in the quarter. But his miss was costly, with Ginnivan, Josh Daicos and Jack Crisp chipping in for goals to re-establish Collingwood’s 31-point lead at the final change. The Pies booted three in the final term to seal the win.
Ginnivan's highlights reel grows
He's been one of the most improved players in the AFL so far this season and Ginnivan added to his kitbag with a brilliant goal in the second term. Pinned up against the boundary line at the Punt Road end, the small forward coolly kept the ball in play and evaded one Suns defender. He then shrugged a tackle from the next oncoming opponent, before stepping around a third to bang through the goal from close range on his non-preferred left foot. Ginnivan has kicked 14 goals so far this season but that was his best, requiring skill, nous and composure amidst a jam-packed forward line.
Suns talls a dangerous threat
Gold Coast lost star forward Ben King for the season before a game was played due to his February knee injury, but the Suns' pair of key forwards proved quite a handful for the Magpies. Casboult and Chol combined for seven goals, with Chol also creating a couple of others for teammates across the day with his ground level skills. Chol arrived at the Suns via Richmond last year as a free agent while Casboult, after being delisted by Carlton, was picked in the rookie draft and the pair were perhaps Gold Coast's most vital across the contest in keeping in touch with Collingwood.
Ruck on the run
The Pies had to restructure their ruck plans with Brodie Grundy missing what could be the first of 10 to 12 weeks with a knee injury. It made for a debut for mid-season draftee Aiden Begg, who started on the interchange bench but came onto the ground in the first term and immediately brought plenty of leap into the centre bounces. Darcy Cameron also split his time in the ruck as well as up forward, where he booted two goals. Gold Coast ruck counterpart Jarrod Witts comfortably won the hitouts (45 to Collingwood's 17 total) on the day but the Suns didn't capitalise on that midfield work.
COLLINGWOOD 7.3 11.5 15.10 17.13 (115)
GOLD COAST 3.1 8.2 11.3 14.6 (90)
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Ginnivan 3, Cameron 2, J.Daicos 2, C.Brown, T.Brown, Crisp, De Goey, Madgen, McCreery
Gold Coast: Casboult 4, Chol 3, Ainsworth 2, Holman 2, Miller 2, Rosas
Collingwood: J.Daicos, Mihocek, Lipinski, Crisp, Pendlebury, N.Daicos
Gold Coast: Miller, Anderson, Casboult, Ainsworth, Rowell, Chol
Gold Coast: Budarick (ankle)
Collingwood: Reef McInnes (replaced in selected side by Callum Brown)
Gold Coast: Nil
Collingwood: Reef McInnes (unused)
Gold Coast: Jeremy Sharp (relaced Budarick in the fourth quarter)