Jeremy Howe makes startling Darcy Moore claim as concerning Collingwood detail emerges

Collingwood have struggled in 2024 winning just eight of their 15 games.

Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe believes Darcy Moore is playing below his best in 2024 but says the skipper would be the first to put his hand up and admit his form of late hasn't been good enough. The Pies have won just two of their last five games, leaving them with a record of 8-5-2 for the season and find themselves on the cusp of dropping out of the top eight.

Last week, Collingwood were beaten by 11 points by the Gold Coast Suns. Craig McRae’s side found itself trailing the Suns by 26 points at three-quarter-time, before storming home to take a late lead before being edged out late. It was a stark contrast to the corresponding fixture last season where the Pies dominated the game from start to finish in a 120-42 demolition job.

Pictured left Darcy Moore and right with Jeremy Howe
Jeremy Howe says Collingwood skipper Darcy Moore “would put his hand up” and own his recent underwhelming performances. Image: Getty

The loss to the Suns has led many to question if the Pies have lost their "aura" and Moore was heavily criticised for his poor defensive positioning in crucial moments. Kangaroos dual premiership legend David King highlighted Moore's positional and decision-making mistakes at the back for Collingwood during their poor run of form earlier in the season. And the problem reared its ugly head against the Suns, with the Collingwood skipper having just 11 touches and one intercept mark for the entire match. Former AFL player Kane Cornes backed up King's criticism about his positional awareness, arguing that Moore frequently gets his "timing wrong" and that it was on show for the world to see against Gold Coast.

"I reckon he plays one good game in every six," Cornes said about Moore on Nine's Sunday Footy Show. "I know that sounds harsh, but as a leader of this footy club ... I just see it far too often. Darcy Moore disappoints me. I've got to be honest about Darcy Moore, the premiership skipper... Too easy to play against.

"He just gets his timing wrong. He just can't afford to have genuinely awful games like he did yesterday as the skipper of that club." But Howe believes it isn't fair to pin the blame for the loss and says as a team they aren't playing well enough.

"He’d put his hand up and say he’s not playing his best footy, but also as a team, we’re not playing the best footy either," Howe told Fox Footy on Tuesday. “If we’re playing a lot more consistent footy and our pressure is not fluctuating as much and we execute the fundamentals, I think we all look like we’d play better footy.

"Darcy’s not on his own — we continue to support him. His Monday to Friday work is unbelievable and he’s still leading really well, so, like I said, he’s probably not playing the best footy as he has, but he’s still contributing to the group."


In recent seasons Collingwood have been somewhat of the AFL comeback kings. They have been a team where in the fourth quarter they are a force to be reckoned with, but in 2024 they have failed to replicate their past dominance late in games.

Since 2022, the Magpies have won half of their games that they have trailed at three-quarter-time (14 of 28). But in 2024 they are just 2-4 in that scenario and that largely comes down to not winning enough contested possessions and getting inside 50s.

This season Collingwood ranked 13th in the competition for points against, 14th for contested possession differential and 16th for inside 50 differential. The general consensus is Collingwood have lost their aura of invincibility and Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown believes McRae is growing increasingly frustrated with the state of affairs at the club.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Craig McRae, Senior Coach of the Magpies speaks with Nick Daicos of the Magpies on the bench during the 2024 AFL Round 08 match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at The Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 03, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown believes coach Craig McRae is growing increasingly frustrated with the state of affairs at Collingwood.

“I’m just putting something on the table here, I can sense a sense of frustration from Craig McRae,” Brown said on Fox Footy's On the Couch on Monday night. “After their performance on Saturday, we know what happened a couple of weeks ago against North Melbourne where they just got over the line, I’m sensing an underlying frustration coming out of Collingwood from the coaching staff, especially Craig McRae.

“He’s got a steeliness about him at the moment, he’s not sort of a jock to the press conferences anymore… they’re just starting to roll the dice too much for me... I think they’ve got quite a few problems going on."

Starting with Essendon on Friday night, Collingwood faces an important run of fixtures. But fortunately for the Pies, seven of their final eight home-and-away matches will be played at the MCG, with just one interstate trip to Sydney in Round 22.