Suns consign Pies to fifth-straight defeat

·3-min read

Collingwood slumped to a new low in their 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 goal kickers.

Brody Mihocek (four goals) and Josh Daicos (27 disposals) fought hard for Collingwood, while 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 but lacked spark and was thrown forward late as coach Nathan Buckley tried to find a matchwinner.

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.

"We thought we could be better than we are at the moment, but having said that, I think we've been favourites for our last four games and I don't know on what basis," Buckley said.

"We couldn't defend them as well as we would've liked and that's largely where our greatest improvement needs to come from.

"We've built our DNA on defending really well and clearly going forward has been an area of improvement, but maybe in focusing on that we've lost the DNA of defending the ground really well.

"They were able to move the ball through us a lot more easily than we would've liked."

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 second term as Gold Coast turned a one-point deficit at quarter-time into a 19-point advantage by the main break.

The Pies ramped up their pressure in the third quarter and got back within a straight kick, but the Suns responded to the challenge.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew was pleased with his players' ability to build on the previous week's strong win over Sydney as they improved their season record to 3-4, putting them within touching distance of the top-eight.

"We were able to turn the tide within a game and it just felt mature," Dew said.

"We're still young but I think it shows the belief in how we want to play the game.

"Our strength to deliver on that today is pleasing for our footy club."