COLLINGWOOD has moved to outright second on the AFL ladder after defeating a wayward Melbourne by 41 points in the annual Queen’s Birthday clash at the MCG.
The polished Pies were never seriously challenged in a 15.8 (98) to 7.15 (57) win that gives them a four-point buffer over third-placed GWS ahead of their mid-season bye.
Jordan De Goey, Jaidyn Stephenson and Will Hoskin-Elliott each booted three goals, Adam Treloar starred in the midfield and Brodie Grundy split the points in a much-anticipated ruck battle with fellow All-Australian Max Gawn.
It is 16th-placed Melbourne’s fourth-straight loss and they are yet to beat any of the top eight sides this season.
Star recruits Steven May and Jake Lever at least got through unscathed and were solid in their return from long-term injuries.
On a day when most of their problems were self-inflicted, the Dees lost Sam Frost to a concussion when he clashed heads with teammate Christian Salem in the opening minutes.
Both men were cut open and needed stitches but while Salem was able to return to the ground, Frost was ruled out after quarter-time.
Things only got worse from there with the Demons, who controlled the contested possession and clearance battles, repeatedly fluffing their forward entries and scoring opportunities.
Mitch Hannan hit the post while playing on when he should have lined up for goal, Charlie Spargo badly shanked his kick from the forward pocket and both Jeff Garlett and Tom McDonald looked to avoid taking set shots.
At the other end of the ground, Collingwood’s forwards were doing just about everything right.
De Goey added to his highlight reel with a brilliant curling soccer goal, while Stephenson went one better with a soaring mark on the back of Marty Hore for his second major.
The Magpies held a 21-point advantage at the major break and extended that to six goals at three-quarter time.
Goals to Sam Weideman and Hannan kept the game alive early in the final term but the air went out of the Demons’ tyres when the badly out-of-form McDonald sprayed another set shot.
Young Magpie Brayden Sier (23 disposals, nine tackles) impressed in his first game since last year’s grand final although Mason Cox, recalled at the expense of Ben Reid, was quiet.
Both teams have the bye next weekend.
The Magpies could welcome back Taylor Adams (groin) and Jamie Elliott (hamstring) for their clash with the Western Bulldogs on June 23.
© AAP 2019
COLLINGWOOD 3.5 6.8 11.8 15.8 (98)
MELBOURNE 1.2 3.5 5.9 7.15 (57)
Goals: Collingwood: J de Goey 3 J Stephenson 3 W Hoskin-Elliott 3 A Treloar B Grundy B Mihocek J Thomas M Cox S Sidebottom. Melbourne: S Weideman 2 C Petracca C Spargo J Garlett J Hunt M Hannan.
Best: Collingwood: W Hoskin-Elliott J Stephenson A Treloar S Sidebottom B Sier T Phillips. Melbourne: M Gawn C Oliver A Brayshaw S May.
Official Crowd: 74,036 at MCG.