COLLINGWOOD slumped to a new low in its disastrous AFL season as another error-riddled display led to a 24-point defeat to Gold Coast at the MCG.
The Suns celebrated a rare trip to the home of football by using its wide expanses to their advantage, often drawing on their superior speed to set up attacking forays.
An energetic midfield unit led by Hugh Greenwood (26 disposals and 12 clearances), Touk Miller and Brandon Ellis set the platform for the impressive 12.7 (79) to 7.13 (55) victory and the visitors’ spread of contributors was particularly important.
Reigning best-and-fairest winner Sam Collins led a resolute backline as Josh Corbett (four) and Ben King (two) headed a list of seven Suns goalkickers.
Brody Mihocek (four goals) and Josh Daicos (27 disposals) fought hard for Collingwood and Jordan De Goey had 16 disposals and six clearances on return from a week out with concussion.
De Goey spent most of the first half in the midfield and was thrown forward late as coach Nathan Buckley tried to find a matchwinner.
But he missed a crucial set shot in the final term and the Magpies were ultimately outclassed in a fifth consecutive defeat that has resulted in their worst start to a season since 2005.
The disappointing showing was witnessed by just 24,397 fans in fine conditions on Saturday afternoon.
Plenty has been made of Collingwood’s poor foot skills throughout 2021 and the trend continued against the Suns for a side featuring eight players with fewer than 15 games experience.
One moment in the shadows of half-time summed up the Pies’ first-half fortunes as Ellis’ kick to the top of the goal square floated through a pack of four Collingwood players and four Suns for a goal.
That score made it 4.1 to 0.5 for the term as Gold Coast turned a one-point deficit at quarter-time into a 19-point advantage by the main break.
Collingwood ramped up their pressure at the start of the third quarter and dominated territory as a result.
The numbers were bound to translate into scores at some stage and goals to Mihocek – his third – and Daicos got them back within a kick.
Fourth-gamer Nathan Murphy took a spectacular and courageous mark running back with the flight of the ball but for every punch thrown by the Magpies, the Suns threw one back.
Best-afield Greenwood showed his aerial skills with a big mark and goal before three-quarter time and Corbett’s converted free kick at the start of the final term set Gold Coast on the path to victory.
(C) AAP 2021
GOLD COAST 2.2 6.3 9.3 12.7 (79)
COLLINGWOOD 2.3 2.8 5.11 7.13 (55)
Goals: Gold Coast: J Corbett 4 B King 2 D Swallow 2 B Ellis C Burgess H Greenwood I Rankine. Collingwood: B Mihocek 4 B Grundy J Daicos J Noble.
Umpires: Jacob Mollison, Robert O’Gorman, Nick Brown.
Official Crowd: 24,397 at MCG.