Suns burn Pies to heap more pressure on Buckley

Collingwood’s dismal start to 2021 has taken yet another dismal turn, falling to a ferocious Gold Coast outfit by 24 points, heaping further pressure on Magpies coach Nathan Buckley.

The Suns outplayed, out-marked (146-98 marks) and outworked (403-371 disposals) a slow and sloppy Magpies outfit who have now fallen to 1-6 – their worst start since 2005.

In their only trip to the MCG this season, the win was the Suns’ first at the ‘home of football’ since Round 12 2017 against Hawthorn.

Brandon Ellis (35 disposals, 16 marks) led the charge for the Suns while Touk Miller (34 disposals, eight marks) and Hugh Greenwood (25 disposals, 12 clearances) were instrumental in the middle while Josh Corbett booted four while clunking six marks inside 50.

It only took a matter of 15 seconds for the Suns to put their stamp on the game as Chris Burgess booted the opener following superb work from the Gold Coast midfield.

Despite the Suns being well-ahead in disposals (111-93) and marks (40-24), the Magpies had the lead at the end of the first-term thanks to Brody Mihocek’s double.

However, the offensive would end there and the Suns would take advantage of Collingwood’s lack of pressure and flat defence, kicking 4.1 to 0.5 in the second-term to open up a 19-point halftime lead.

At the beginning of the second, there was a much-needed response from the Magpies and after a Josh Daicos snap, the lead was back to four points.

The Suns were able to withstand Collingwood’s early resurgence, kicking three of the last four of the term and maintaining their three-goal lead heading into the final-quarter.

Corbett put the dagger in the Magpies’ hopes of a second-half comeback kicking three last-quarter goals to seal Gold Coast’s third win of the season.

ELLIS RELISHES FAMILIAR SURROUNDS

The last time Brandon Ellis was at the home of football it was the 2019 Grand Final, celebrating a second premiership for the Tigers.

Today, he was one of the few Suns players to be familiar with the MCG surrounds and relished every moment, putting in his best performance in a Gold Coast jersey – tallying 35 disposals and taking an astonishing 16 marks.

Ellis, alongside the superb in-and-under work of Hugh Greenwood and Touk Miller, will only help take this team up the ladder as they search for their maiden finals appearance.

Buckley’s Pies have lost six of their first seven games this season. Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

PUNCH THE BALL

It was the goal which summed up the Magpies first-half.

In the final stages of the second-term, Brandon Ellis’ centring kick towards goal from around 60 metres out found its way through a forest of Magpies defenders, including the taller bodies of Jordan Roughead and Brodie Grundy and somehow bounced in for a goal.

Simply, it was an unforgivable blunder which sucked the life out of the already despondent and crestfallen Magpies faithful.

MIHOCEK SOLO-EFFORT

For much of the day it was Brody Mihocek vs Gold Coast.

As marquee men Darcy Moore and Jordan De Goey failed to impact the game in attack, Mihocek was the one and only act up forward for the Magpies’ uninspiring front six.

The 28-year-old booted their first three of the game and ended up with four for the game while showcasing his superb workrate around the ground – reeling in 12 marks for the afternoon.

PIES: 2.3, 2.8, 5.11, 7.13 (55)

SUNS: 2.2, 6.3, 9.3, 12.7 (79)

D’URBANO’S BEST

PIES: Mihocek, Daicos, Pendlebury, Noble, Quaynor

SUNS: Miller, Ellis, Greenwood, Bowes, Corbett, Powell,

GOALS

PIES: Mihocek 4, Daicos, Noble, Grundy

SUNS: Corbett 4, King 2, Swallow 2, Burgess, Rankine, Ellis, Greenwood

VENUE: 24,397 @ MCG

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

D’URBANO’S VOTES

3: Brandon Ellis (GC)

2: Touk Miller (GC)

1: Hugh Greenwood (GC)

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