Collingwood’s Remarkable Comeback Secures 42-Point Victory Over Port Adelaide

Despite a rocky start to their 2024 season, Collingwood has demonstrated that they remain a formidable force in the AFL, staging a remarkable comeback to defeat Port Adelaide by 42 points at the MCG on Saturday. The Magpies, who were 0-3 at the beginning of the season, have now balanced their record at 3-3, just in time for their next big game on Anzac Day.

The game commenced with Port Adelaide asserting early dominance, racing to a 31-point lead by the end of the first quarter. However, the Magpies quickly turned the tables with an explosive performance that began late in the first half, culminating in a sequence of eight unanswered goals that spanned both sides of halftime.

The pivotal moment came in the second quarter when Collingwood’s forward line sprang to life. Key players including Will Hoskin-Elliott, who ended the game with 22 touches, 13 score involvements, and two goals, and Darcy Cameron, who provided a strong presence in the ruck with 25 hit-outs, 18 disposals, and seven clearances, were instrumental in this turnaround. Their efforts were complemented by Nick Daicos, whose 30 disposals and significant metres gained contributed to the team’s momentum shift.

In a stunning second quarter, players like Brody Mihocek, Patrick Lipinski, and Hoskin-Elliott each contributed crucial goals. Mihocek’s accurate set shots and Lipinski’s quick succession goals were critical in erasing Port Adelaide’s early lead. By halftime, Collingwood had not only neutralized Port Adelaide’s advantage but had also taken the lead, setting the stage for a dominant second half.

Port Adelaide, arriving in Melbourne with a 4-1 record, failed to regain their early game form after halftime. Collingwood’s relentless pressure resulted in the Magpies extending their run to eight consecutive goals early in the third quarter, effectively sealing the game as they continued to outplay Port in most facets of the match.

Port Adelaide struggled significantly, as evidenced by their lagging in key performance indicators; they were behind in contested ball by 41, inside 50s by 19, scoring shots by 17, and disposals by 50. This match raised concerns about Port Adelaide’s ability to contend with top teams, as their earlier victories this season were against teams that had not made the finals in 2023.

For Collingwood, beyond the statistics, the match served as a resurgence of their trademark mojo, with performances that reminded fans of their championship pedigree. Lachie Schultz, a recent addition to the team, also found form, contributing two timely goals.

Adding to the drama of the match, Port Adelaide’s Jason Horne-Francis, who had a standout performance in the first half, had to leave the field late in the game to have his hamstring assessed, casting a shadow over his availability for upcoming matches.

This victory not only revitalizes Collingwood’s season but also sends a strong message to the rest of the league: the reigning premiers are far from finished. As they prepare for the upcoming Anzac Day clash, their performance against Port Adelaide will undoubtedly serve as a psychological boost.