SOMETHING rare is going on at Collingwood this season.
The Magpies have risen from six wins and 17th spot in 2021 to be just outside the top four on percentage – level with Fremantle and Brisbane – and three games inside the top eight with five rounds to play.
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Craig McRae's side travelled to South Australia on the weekend and banked an eighth straight win for the first time since they won 10 straight in 2012.
But it's not just about the wins, it's about the margins.
For the fifth time in 2022, the Magpies won by single digits when they defeated the Crows in the wet at Adelaide Oval to celebrate Scott Pendlebury's 350th game with a W.
Port Adelaide won seven games by less than 10 points in 2002, but then you need to delve deep into the record books to find the two other sides who have achieved the same feat.
Footscray did it in 1944. Carlton in 1914. Rare company.
Collingwood's eight-game winning streak has come from a cumulative margin of just 98 points. Only three other teams in history have won by less across eight wins – Melbourne in 1964-65, South Melbourne in 1932 and Carlton in 1937-38.
Since beating the Dockers in the wet at Optus Stadium in round 12, the Magpies have recorded two wins by four points (Carlton and Hawthorn), two by five points (Gold Coast and Adelaide) and one by seven points (North Melbourne).
The Pies are 7-1 in games decided by under two goals in 2022 – the most wins since 2015 – which is reflected by their relatively lean percentage of 106.2 per cent.
All the other teams in the top six have a percentage greater than 120, while seventh-placed Carlton (113.4 per cent) and eighth-placed Richmond (115.0) also have the Magpies covered.
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That percentage might ultimately cost Collingwood a top-four spot, but the black and white faithful aren't bothered by it.
From the lowest ladder finish in the club's history to back into September contention, it has been a stunning resurgence under the new regime at the AIA Centre.
Magpies' skinny margins in 2022
R5 - lost to Brisbane by five points
R11 - def Carlton by four points
R12 - def Hawthorn by four points
R15 - def Gold Coast by five points
R17 - def North Melbourne by seven points
R18 - def Adelaide by five points