Collingwood have put an off-season of tumult behind them to hold off arch-rivals Carlton by 21 points in a fast-paced AFL clash at the MCG.
Inspired by dynamite forward Jordan De Goey and defender Darcy Moore, the Magpies carved through a leaky Blues defence while their own back-half stood up admirably.
Collingwood survived multiple challenges from Carlton on Thursday night but the Magpies’ 30-point lead early in the second quarter proved enough as they won their first game of the season 16.10 (106) to 13.7 (85).
The Blues dominated the third quarter and had opportunities to push in front but simply could not penetrate a Moore-led Collingwood defence.
Carlton dominated the term with 17 inside-50s to the Magpies’ eight entries as the ball was camped deep near the Blues’ goal for extended periods but were unable to capitalise on the dominance.
On the other hand, Collingwood were far more efficient going forward with their 48 inside-50s to the Blues’ 60.
Moore’s duel with Carlton’s Harry McKay was a must-watch, with the All-Australian defender one of the best players on the ground despite the Blues spearhead slotting four majors.
De Goey again showed that when he is on song Collingwood rarely lose as he set the game alight with four first-half goals.
Fellow forward Brody Mihocek popped up with three goals, including the sealer late in the final term.
The underrated Jack Crisp had a career-best night with 36 possessions for the Magpies, while All-Australian Taylor Adams was also outstanding.
Collingwood do have an injury concern with dynamic forward Jamie Elliott subbed out of the game in the second quarter with a suspected ankle injury after kicking two early goals.
His replacement Trey Ruscoe put in a serviceable cameo with a vital goal in the last quarter which broke a spirited Blues run.
Former Greater Western Sydney speedster Zac Williams made a hot start in his first game for the Blues but his impact waned as the contest wore on.
Jack Martin was Carlton’s best with three goals, while Michael Gibbons bobbed up with some goal-of-the-year contenders.
The Blues, who entered the season full of hype, again slump to a 0-2 record which they have done every year since 2013.