Brodie Grundy celebrates a goal during the round13 match between Melbourne and Collingwood at the MCG June 12, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

MELBOURNE has snapped Collingwood's eight-game winning streak, knocking off the ladder leaders by four points in an MCG slugfest.

The Demons overcame both the Pies and their own goalkicking issues, clawing their way to the front in the third quarter and holding their nerve to close out the 8.18 (66) to 9.8 (62) victory.

DEMONS v PIES Full match coverage and stats

Collingwood – as is now tradition – put everyone on edge with two quick goals from Brody Mihocek and Nick Daicos in the final 90 seconds, closing the margin to four points with 26 seconds left, but Jack Viney (32 disposals) won his ninth and final clearance to bomb the ball to the safety of a vacant Melbourne forward line.


Viney was named Neale Daniher medallist as best-afield in the tough-fought win.

Returning Pie Pat Lipinski had cut the margin to one point at the start of the final term with his second goal, and the Dees appeared to blow chance after chance to create a buffer, kicking three straight behinds from set shots before Alex Neal-Bullen finally saluted.


Collingwood had jumped out to a three-goal lead to open the game, and for a moment it looked like there was a chance of a rout, but Melbourne steadied and held up the Pies' overlap run.

The Demons ended up with the final seven inside 50s of the first quarter, but kicked 1.3 with another Kozzy Pickett shot falling short.


Melbourne was certainly sharper going into attack in the first half than it was last week against Carlton, but it still wasn't at its very best, and the likes of Darcy Moore and Nathan Murphy made life difficult at times for the Dees forwards.

Bayley Fritsch was locked in an intriguing battle with Moore, the taller Pie occasionally having the edge overhead, but the Demons’ leading goalkicker proving difficult to beat on the lead and kicking 3.3.


Collingwood found it difficult to find room to move in attack at times, with Melbourne quick to run back and clog up leading lanes, forcing the Pies to enter inside 50 round the boundary.

Joel Smith completed his own seven-point play after a stilted opening 10 minutes of the third quarter, missing a shot from 40 but capitalising from 20 just a minute later to cut the margin to one point.


It opened the gates to release, if not a flood, then a creek in a low-scoring affair, while Reef McInnes had a moment he'd like to forget down the other end, missing his boot when running into an open goal.

As the game progressed, Collingwood seriously struggled with its forward structure. The Pies would finally get a fast break, only to find an attacking line stacked with Melbourne players, and they took just seven marks inside 50.


Adam Tomlinson received treatment on his hand and Viney on his shoulder, but both played the game out.

For the Pies, Moore spent some crucial final-quarter minutes in the rooms with a left ankle issue, while Jack Ginnivan was a late withdrawal due to load management and team balance.


An irresistible force meets an immovable object
It was a battle dictated by two of the three strongest backlines in the competition (along with St Kilda, in terms of points conceded), and played out as imagined. Both teams fell into the trap of bombing high into attack, much to the delight of the tall defenders, while opposing half-back flankers Christian Salem and Nick Daicos found plenty of the footy as the ball ping-ponged between the arcs.

Cristian Salem in action during the round 13, 2023 match between Melbourne and Collingwood. Picture: AFL Photos

Grundy's grudge match
Monday marked the first time former All-Australian Collingwood ruck Brodie Grundy faced his former side, after his sensational trade last year. After publicly pledging to take the opening bounce earlier in the week, Grundy started on the bench, perhaps in an attempt to catch Collingwood off-guard. His first big touch – an intercept mark 10m from the Pies goal – was greeted with concurrent boos and cheers from the opposing supporter bases. He kicked a crucial set shot in the third – towards the Collingwood cheer squad – to extend the lead to 12 points.


A very special day
Blue beanies were the order of the day as the football community celebrated the Big Freeze, helping raise funds for the FightMND foundation. Even the club mascots got into the act with specially sized beanies to fit their larger-than-life heads, while the goal umpires wore them throughout. Eric Bana, Tony Shaw and Tayla Harris were some of the highlights of the Slide, while both sides took part in a touching guard of honour for Neale Daniher as he left the field ahead of the first bounce.



MELBOURNE         1.4     3.8     6.11     8.18     (66)
COLLINGWOOD     3.1     5.4     6.5     9.8     (62) 

Fritsch 3, Viney, Smith, Grundy, Neal-Bullen, van Rooyen
Collingwood: Lipinski 2, Crisp, Harrison, Cox, Hill, McCreery, Mihocek, N.Daicos 

Melbourne: Viney, May, Fritsch, Salem, Petracca, Tomlinson
Collingwood: Mitchell, Pendlebury, Crisp, N.Daicos, Maynard

Melbourne: Tomlinson (hand), Viney (shoulder)
Collingwood: Moore (ankle) 

Melbourne: Nil
Collingwood: Jack Ginnivan (managed), replaced in selected side by Reef McInnes

Melbourne: James Jordon (replaced Charlie Spargo in the third quarter)
Collingwood: Oleg Markov (replaced Ash Johnson in the third quarter)

Crowd: 83,578 at the MCG