The Sydney Swans have beaten defending premiers Collingwood by 33 points at the MCG, to spoil the party for the Magpies at the MCG.

The home side edged in front after a three goal to two opening quarter, but the Swans kicked 13 goals to seven after quarter-time, and never looked threatened in the second half as they won 15.12 (102) to 10.9 (69) in front of 78,933 fans on Friday night.

Nick Daicos was again a star for the Magpies with 37 disposals, but his team did not have enough winners across the ground as Sydney set up chance after chance with marks inside 50.

Key forward Logan McDonald booted four for the Swans, while former Docker Lachie Schultz kicked two for the home side.

Collingwood is now 0-2, while the Swans go top of the ladder temporarily with their second straight victory.

Chad Warner starred in a Sydney engine room missing injured guns Callum Mills, Luke Parker and Taylor Adams, tallying 27 disposals, seven clearances and an equal career-best three goals.

Isaac Heeney was also influential in his midfield role with 29 touches, four clearances and two goals, while Errol Gulden (30 disposals) was busy and the Swans’ back-line stood up well on the rare occasions it was tested.

Ruckman Brodie Grundy split his ruck battle with Darcy Cameron and had the last laugh against another of his former clubs, having starred in the Swans’ opening-round win over Melbourne.

Key forward McDonald, who is out of contract at the end of the season, kicked two goals in each of the second and third terms before falling short of equalling his career-best tally when he missed a fifth shot in the final quarter.

A Collingwood AFL player pumps his fist after kicking a goal.

Nick Daicos was brilliant with 37 disposals and a goal, but there were not many other Magpies who had a win around the ground on the night. (Getty Images: AFL Photos/Dylan Burns)

Nick Daicos (37 disposals, seven clearances) and Scott Pendlebury (26, eight) found plenty of the ball in a losing battle for Collingwood, who were unable to give their forwards enough clean supply to kick a winning score.

Small forwards Jamie Elliott and Lachie Schultz (two each) were the only Magpies with multiple goals.

The result ended the Swans’ five-match losing streak at the home of football, which began with the 2022 grand final thrashing from Geelong.

Sydney had the run of play early but an efficient Collingwood attack kicked 3.1 from their first four forward forays to set up a narrow one-point quarter-time lead.

A large blue flag with the AFL logo on it and "premiers 2023" flies above the MCG, with Collingwood fans in the stands.

The Magpies’ 2023 premiership flag was raised at the MCG, but the celebrations were all for the Swans by the end of the game.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

The Magpies were never going to be able to sustain that ratio and Sydney temporarily opened the floodgates with six consecutive goals before half-time.

Their speed and work rate through the midfield was devastating to that point, but goals to Beau McCreery and Schultz just before the main break gave the Pies a lift.

Sydney put the result all but beyond doubt with 5.2 to 1.3 in the third term, pouncing on a series of Collingwood back-half turnovers as the lead ballooned to 41 points by the final change.

The desperate Magpies threw returning defender Jeremy Howe forward in the final term in the hope of sparking a comeback, but the move was to no avail.

Collingwood face another stern test in six days’ time when they face St Kilda, while Sydney will be favourites to continue their winning start to the season against Essendon at the SCG.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our blog.

Key events

That’s where we’ll leave it

Tom McCartin and Tom Papley celebrate with Sydney fans at the MCG.
The Sydney Swans will have a happy trip back to the harbour city(Getty Images)

That’s another big result early in the season, and it gives a lot of spice to some matches going forward for the Magpies.

The Swans will have a happy trip home, and hope they can get four goals every week from Logan McDonald.

Tomorrow we will be back with all the games, live blogging the action from go to whoa. Hopefully we will see you back then. Till then, I’m Andrew McGarry thanking you for joining us. Good night!

Magpies coach Craig McRae not sounding an alarm at 0-2

The Collingwood coach rejects suggestions they have been ‘shown the level’ in the competition. He points to the Swans and their performance, following on from the Giants in Opening Round.

” I think their pressure overwhelmed us at times,” he says.

“We didn’t hold it in when we needed to, and we didn’t clear it (the ball) when we should have.

“The reality is that we’ve played two really good teams early in the season. We’ve got a whole lot of improvement left in us.”

McRae said aerial power and defensive 50 were problems for the Pies.

“Where we turned the ball over … and the fact we gave up 7.5 from turnovers in that area.

“They (the Swans) looked better in transition than us, at the moment.”

The dreaded “premiership hangover” has been raised, and quickly batted away by the Collingwood coach.

“That’s a natural thing to say, but that’s not the way we think,” he says.

“To get better every day, that’s been our mantra for two years.

“Our system has been really strong – we’ve got to get back to trusting in our system.

“We’re not standing still here, there’s a lot of time to go (in the season).

“We’re here to qualify (for the finals).”

Good start, but early days for Swans

Surely the Swans are early contenders for the flag this season with the performance they’re having against the reigning premiers today.

– Adam

Well Adam, you’d certainly prefer to be in John Longmire’s coaching shoes than Craig McRae’s right now, but it’s also fair to say that both teams the Swans have played (Melbourne and Collingwood) have issues.

The fact that Chad Warner, Errol Gulden and Isaac Heeney are all firing in the midfield is a big plus for Sydney, especially given that they have the likes of Callum Mills and Luke Parker to come back at some point.

The next five games for the Swans are Essendon, Richmond, West Coast, Gold Coast and Hawthorn, before the first Battle of the Bridge against GWS in round eight at the SCG.

That’s a nice space to be in, but come back after the Giants’ game and see where things stand.

Stat of the day?

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Logan McDonald speaks after the game

Sydney Swans forward Logan McDonald has had probably the game of his career so far, with four goals and 11 score involvements.

He’s spoken to Channel Seven after the game and was keen to spread the praise across the forward line:

We are a dangerous forward line. We are not relying on one person to kick goals. I was lucky to get on the end of a few tonight. It is so much fun playing forward. We are happy for each other and celebrating the small things.

Questions for Collingwood after tough start to 2024

Collingwood captain Darcy Moore walks off with his team after a loss at the MCG.
It hasn’t been the best of starts for the black and white(Getty Images)

The first thing that has to be said is that Collingwood could hardly ask for a tougher schedule to start 2024.

GWS in Sydney, followed by a confident Swans side made it clear that the Magpies would have to earn every goal.

But aside from the fact that they have been outplayed and out-pressured in the first two games of the season, the defensive woes stand out early doors.

Last year, Collingwood’s defence conceded an average of 73.3 points a game on the way to the minor premiership and then the flag.

After two games of 2024, however, the Pies are averaging 108 points a game in defence. And they are scoring an average of 75.5 points a game. Craig McRae will need to shift that fairly quickly.

But beyond the scoreline are the same issues identified before this game – the marks inside 50, 19 for Sydney against nine for the Pies; the turnovers (72-66), and although the home side won contested possessions, they could not turn that into shots on goal or goals themselves.

Eight less scoring shots, and those shots were under more pressure. There’s a fair bit of work to be done here for the Pies.

And next up? A running St Kilda side at Docklands, followed by the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba in the grand final rematch. 

Big win for Sydney

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Full-time: Sydney Swans beat Collingwood by 33 points

The Pies grab another late one at the end through Lachie Schultz – not sure if John Longmire would be that happy with Collingwood’s trio of majors at the end.

But Sydney take the points, and they go to 2-0, after wins over Melbourne and Collingwood. 

Darcy Cameron kicks another goal for the Magpies

Q4, 1:31 remaining: Fair to say the edge has gone out of the game at this point, but Collingwood is still pushing out there. They kick down the wing following a stoppage, and it ends up with a mark to Darcy Cameron. He kick’s Collingwood’s ninth. The lead is back to 39.

Josh Daicos gets a late goal for Collingwood

Q4, 3:37 remaining: The “Sydney!!!” chants are ringing around the MCG, this isn’t the way the Magpies or their fans would have seen this going.

We are well under five minutes to go, it’s been eight goals to two since half-time, and the Collingwood comeback has not eventuated.

Make that eight goals to three, as Josh Daicos converts a set shot from a holding the man free kick. But it’s only tinkering at the edges of the scoreline here.

Heeney goal puts Sydney lead beyond 50

Q4, 8:40 remaining: The Sydney game plan is pretty simple, and effective. Put on the pressure, force the turnover, spring forward and set up another goal.

They do it again, and Isaac Heeney gets on the end of it. He kicks another, Sydney by 51, and …


Time running out for Magpies

Hi Andrew, my hubby has ‘written off’ the magpies 😂, but I’ll be happy to see them come back if they can! Upsets all round! Cheers 😊

– Christine

Christine, I’m still not game to give this one away with half a quarter to go. You don’t put a line through Collingwood … but everything has to go right from here for the home side for them to have a shot.

Sydney get another goal from Wicks

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Q4, 12:00 remaining: It’s tiny margins here – the Swans were under huge pressure in their back 50, it could have been a holding the ball. Not given, the Swans break downfield again, it ends up with a mark to Sam Wicks inside 50 from a kick from Isaac Heeney. Wicks kicks it, the Swans lead by 46. Brilliant play.

Swans answer through Hayden McLean

Q4, 13:19 remaining: Sydney is under pressure here, but did Collingwood let them off the hook there with Mihocek’s miss?

They move down the wing, Gulden uses his left foot again Hayden McLean misses the mark but gets the free for holding.

He kicks it! Sydney by 40. That could be crucial.

Collingwood get an early goal to close the gap

Q4, 15:30 remaining: The Magpies are pushing the Swans here! the pressure is rising. They go down the near wing, Jeremy Howe takes a big mark, wheels and finds Bobby Hill, who turns and sets up Jamie Elliott inside 50.

He kicks the goal! Pies fans celebrate!

And now another chance! They go inside 50 and Brodie Mihocek marks on the line next to the post, but he runs around and misses the shot. Swans by 34 

Three quarter-time: Sydney 41 points in front of Collingwood

The siren sounds with a mark to Brodie Grundy on the wing after a clearing kick. That’s a five goal to one quarter for Sydney, and they go into the final change well in control.

No one is writing off the Magpies, much less at the MCG – but the 2024 version is yet to prove they can pull off one of their trademark ridiculous comebacks.

They will believe they can do it, but will the Swans run out of petrol, or can they shut this down in the final quarter?

Jamie Elliott answers for Collingwood!

Q3, 0:51 remaining: Well THAT was crucial! The Magpies needed a goal before the siren, and they got one by turning the pressure on the Swans, got the ball back on the wing and an excellent pass to Jamie Elliott, who marks and kicks one.

Swans by 41.

Pies miss, Swans hit the target

Q3, 1:48 remaining: Collingwood had a chance there, the ball went to Nick Daicos, he fumbled it and then was tackled. It was called for over the shoulder, which looked a little generous.

But the Pies star goes back to kick from 40 – and he pulls it wide!

And again Collingwood gets caught in the back half, a kick under pressure rebounds and Chad Warner ends up with another mark inside 50.

He converts, and the Swans lead by 47 points in the shadows of three quarter-time!

Sydney do it again — McDonald kicks his fourth for Sydney

Q3, 5:00 remaining: At the risk of repeating myself, Collingwood are proving themselves their own worst enemies here. Another period of Sydney pressure, the Magpies try to go downfield, the kick is too low, and is chopped off, it comes to Errol Gulden, and his left foot finds Logan McDonald on the behind line.

A review confirms the mark, and McDonald runs around and kicks his fourth – Swans by 42!

Isaac Heeney puts Swans six goals in front!

Q3, 6:56 remaining: The problems keep coming for Collingwood – now it’s the marks inside 50. The Swans are switching the ball around to find the right angle for a kick inside 50, this time it’s Isaac Heeney. That’s 13 marks inside 50 to 3. Heeney kicks another, and Sydney leads by 37!