COLLINGWOOD has won 10 – yes, 10 – matches in a row, toughing out yet another close contest against Port Adelaide to win by six points on Saturday afternoon.
It's now nearly season over for the Power, who can't be accused of lying down in the last quarter, toughing it out till the final siren in the 13.10 (88) to 12.10 (82) result at the MCG.
Jase Burgoyne picked one hell of a time to kick his first AFL goal, nailing a set shot in the final two minutes to cut the margin to six, but a free kick and 50m penalty to Collingwood soon took the sting out of the game.
The game started in contentious circumstances, with a free kick paid against Nick Daicos, who was continually elbowing Travis Boak in the back.
MAGPIES V POWER Full match details and stats
Boak converted before a centre bounce had been completed, but Port then didn't enter its inside 50 until the 11th minute of the quarter.
It was a topsy-turvy first term, the Power dominating uncontested possessions and piling on five straight goals, before the at-times messy Pies closed the gap to 12 at the first break.
The Jack Ginnivan high tackle debate looks set to continue after holding the ball was paid against the livewire Pie in the second term after a high tackle by Robbie Gray.
While fans rose from their seats in anger, the man himself seemed unfazed, kicking the next two goals to snatch back the lead and receiving warm applause every time he returned to the goal-square in front of the Magpie army.
At one stage, Ginnivan had three goals from four disposals, finishing with eight touches for the game.
After Port Adelaide was held goalless in the second quarter, it started the third with a bang, moving the ball quickly and efficiently to score a goal through Zak Butters in the first 23 seconds.
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But fluid passages of ball movement were few and far between for the Power, Collingwood far more efficient when going forward as Will Hoskin-Elliott sprang to life with two in the third quarter.
Jeremy Finlayson was outpointed in the ruck contests but excellent at ground level, Connor Rozee found plenty of the footy, while Ollie Wines had 30 and five clearances in game 200, sharing the milestone with skipper Tom Jonas.
Darcy Byrne-Jones received treatment on a right ankle injury but played out the game, while Pies playmaker Taylor Adams was subbed out at half-time with a groin issue and Jeremy Howe finished with a hip complaint.
The return of De Goey
De Goey led all-comers in the first quarter with eight touches, despite having had three weeks on the sidelines with a quad complaint. His decisions and disposals were rusty, but he worked his way into the game nicely, booting two goals either side of the quarter-time break. Playing primarily in the middle, De Goey recorded 23 and five clearances to be one of the Pies' best.
Port's talls fail to launch
The Power tall trio of Charlie Dixon, Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades were well-held by Collingwood's defence, with Sam Powell-Pepper the most dangerous of his side's forwards. Darcy Moore, Brayden Maynard, Nathan Murphy and Jeremy Howe were very disciplined, regaining control after the Power kicked five straight goals at the start of the game.
Don't forget about the 'other' Daicos
For all the love given to NAB AFL Rising Star hot favourite Nick Daicos, the form of his older brother Josh on the wing has been somewhat overlooked. Josh shook off a fairly slow start (earning his first disposal around minute 20) to continually send the Pies into attack, finishing with a team-high 26 disposals, seven marks and 659m gained.
COLLINGWOOD 4.3 7.5 11.8 13.10 (88)
PORT ADELAIDE 6.3 6.6 8.9 12.10 (82)
Collingwood: Ginnivan 3, De Goey 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Elliott 2, Johnson, Cox, Cameron, Carmichael
Port Adelaide: Boak 2, Powell-Pepper 2, Butters 2, Finlayson, Marshall, Amon, Dixon, Georgiades, Burgoyne
Collingwood: J.Daicos, De Goey, Pendlebury, Maynard, Cameron
Port Adelaide: Rozee, Butters, Wines, Powell-Pepper, Byrne-Jones
Collingwood: Adams (groin), Howe (hip)
Port Adelaide: Nil
Collingwood: Josh Carmichael (replaced Adams at half-time)
Port Adelaide: Willem Drew (unused)