Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury celebrated game 200 in style, starring for the Magpies as they cruised to a 69-point win against Gold Coast Suns on Saturday night.
Starting the match inside the forward 50 before drifting back to midfield, Pendlebury finished with 35 disposals and booted three goals, with two of those coming during an inspired opening-quarter performance.
Jamie Elliott (five goals) and Jesse White (four) also performed brightly for the Pies alongside defender Marley Williams (33 disposals), while Steele Sidebottom returned from injury collecting 32 touches.
The 20.12 (132) to 9.9 (63) victory in front of a Metricon Stadium crowd of 16,440 ensured the Pies snapped a two-game losing streak to keep within swooping distance of the top four.
Taking a 23-point lead into quarter time – their biggest first-term lead since Round 15, 2014 – Collingwood survived a spirited Suns’ fightback midway through the second quarter en route to their fifth win of the season.
The Suns kicked four goals within six second-quarter minutes, including three from Charlie Dixon, to come within 10 points of the visitors.
But two late goals from White restored Collingwood’s advantage back to their first-quarter lead at the main break.
Collingwood restricted the Suns to just two behinds in the third term, kicking five unanswered goals to stretch their lead to 55 points at three-quarter time.
Tom Nicholls kicked the opening goal of the final quarter for the Suns, but the Magpies responded with five-straight majors to extend their advantage beyond 80 points before goals to Alex Sexton and another to Nicholls gave the injury-hit Suns a small ray of light to finish off a disappointing 11-goal defeat.