Collingwood jump Suns early for AFL win

·2-min read

Collingwood have overcome a week of injury and illness to jump Gold Coast early and grind out a 25-point AFL win.

The Magpies bounced the Suns with a seven-goal burst in the first term that proved a crucial buffer in their 17.13 (115) to 14.6 (90) victory on Sunday at the MCG.

After Monday's Anzac Day win over Essendon, the bad news started with star ruckman Brodie Grundy sidelined for three months with a knee injury.

Then a bout of illness - not COVID-19 - swept through the club, with Jordan De Goey and Will Hoskin-Elliott notable absentees from training.

But coach Craig McRae revealed post-match it was a lot worse, saying half a dozen players and a couple of assistant coaches had been in doubt.

"We're really proud of our performance. You don't see what goes on behind the scenes for a week - we've been scrambling all week to see what our best team is going to look like," he said.

"To be able to just re-set ourselves and put our eye on the prize ... kicking seven goals in the first quarter was just a fantastic start.

"It's just the man flu. It can be terminal for some, can't it?

"At one stage in the week I didn't want to answer the phone, because it was going to another text that someone's sick or we've got an injury. It was one of those weeks."

With Grundy out, Darcy Cameron and first-gamer Aiden Begg stepped up and worked hard in the ruck against Suns co-captain Jarrod Witts.

The Gold Coast big man dominated the ruck contests, and his in-form teammate Touk Miller was best afield, but they paid dearly for Collingwood's early onslaught.

"It was the six-minute mark to the 25th in the first - seven goals, largely off the back of our turnovers," said Suns coach Stuart Dew.

"We were able to peg it back to 12 points on numerous occasions, but it's too far.

"Footy's hard enough without giving a massive head-start."

Key forward Brody Mihocek starred for Collingwood, kicking four goals, while Jack Crisp, Pat Lipinski, Steele Sidebottom and Josh Daicos also excelled.

Mihocek led an attack that remains a work in progress, but was too good for the Suns defence.

Anzac Day medallist Jack Ginnivan impressed again with three majors, including a goal-of-the-year contender in the second term when he evaded three Suns opponents.

The Magpies now play Richmond - where McRae cut his teeth as an assistant coach - with the Tigers to regain superstar Dustin Martin.

"I'm glad Dusty's back. That's awesome," McRae said with a rueful grin.

Levi Casboult marked strongly and kicked four goals for the Suns, but he also missed some easy chances.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting