A wasteful Collingwood have survived a six-goal blitz from Sydney’s Sam Reid and another injury to Daniel Wells to eke out a seven-point AFL win at the SCG.
The Pies kicked four goals to one in the final quarter on Friday to move to 8-2 for the season with a 11.14 (80) to 11.7 (73) win.
Wells, who was playing his first match in almost a year, exerted plenty of influence before limping off in the third quarter, with what was believed to be a dislocated kneecap.
He kicked three of the Pies’ first four goals and finished their leading goalkicker.
Chris Mayne and Callum Brown kicked two goals in a minute and Reid’s brother Ben added another as Collingwood overturned a ten-point final quarter deficit.
Nick Blakey kicked a goal to slash the deficit to two before Mayne sealed the Pies’ win with his second major.
He initially kicked a behind, but was gifted a second shot from right in front because Sydney defender and co-captain Dane Rampe stepped over the mark for a 50-metre penalty.
The Pies had 16 more contested possessions and a massive 69-27 win in the hitouts with Brodie Grundy notching a career-best 64 and Adam Treloar racking up 38 touches.
Collingwood had just six goalkickers and Sydney five, as the teams fought out their third low-scoring SCG thriller in as many years.
Reid, who had booted just seven goals in his first nine games, marked and kicked with authority to notch the third six-goal haul of his career.
The Pies racked up 16 more inside 50s but inaccurate kicking meant they had to work harder to overcome a fiercely determined Swans side.
Brody Mihocek was the chief offender, kicking three behinds before booting his only goal, while Josh Thomas posted two minor scores.
The Pies found themselves behind at quarter-time for the first time this season despite having five more inside 50s.
They trailed by nine at the first change after Sydney kicked the first three goals, but hit back to lead by the same margin at halftime.
Sydney kicked the last three goals of the third quarter, outscoring the Pies 5.1 to 2.2 in the term to take an eight-point lead into the final quarter.
Ryan Clark did a superb tagging job on Pies star Steele Sidebottom, not allowing him a single touch in the first quarter, and just three by halftime and 13 for the game.
Lance Franklin, who had missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, took just under nine minutes to make an impact on the scoreboard.
He kicked a goal on the run from just inside 50 metres but touched the ball six times in the game, kicking two goals.
Meanwhile the first of the AFL coaching dominoes has fallen with Brad Scott to leave North Melbourne.
Scott’s last game in charge could be on Saturday against the Western Bulldogs, especially given his departure is now public.
It is a mutual decision by Scott and North, with the two parties keen for him to leave Arden St on good terms.
Scott is said to have initiated the discussion with the board several weeks ago.
The feeling is that the Kangaroos are further away from returning to power than they would like and after nearly a decade in the role, Scott’s time has come.
While there was no official word from North on Friday night, the only uncertainty about Scott’s departure now is when it will happen.