With little to play for besides pride in the final two rounds, St Kilda was always going to find it tough to compete with a Collingwood side smarting from their first blemish of the season and spot in the top four to cement.
1. Saints leave it all to too few to carry the load
The Magpies entered this game with the favourites tag while the Saints continue to battle a late-season form slump. Despite this clear reality, the output of the vanquished side made for grim reading at quarter time. Of the 21 players who ran out for St Kilda on Saturday afternoon, eight of them failed to touch the ball in the opening stanza - six more only registered a solitary stat each.
As has been the story for a number of weeks, names like Patrikios, Smith and White showed more than mere glimpses of their prowess, however the next rung of players failed to impact the contest at either end of the ground.
Kate Shierlaw is one player who was gliding along the surface a month ago, kicking goals of the round for fun - her impact was almost neglible alongside others like Watt and Van Dyk. Sure it's hard when the other side links up well forward of the ball, but when Patrikios is able to win the ball 29 times and lead all comers for clearances, surely it's not too much to ask that the next players called upon have a dip.
2. Ash Brazill makes a successful return to the big time
After well over a year spent on the sidelines due to a ruptured ACL, the star Magpie and All-Australian slotted in well to the half back line.
Benched for a significant portion of the final quarter, Brazill managed nine disposals, three marks, two tackles and a pair of rebound 50s in her much awaited return that surely set smiles on the dials of the more than 2,200 fans in attendance.
When up and about Brazill has claims on being among Collingwood's top five players - a scary prospect for oppositions who were struggling to deal with the rest of the side to this point.
3. Pies make amends for loss to the Lions and have top spot in their sights
Victoria Park has been the happiest of hunting grounds for the black and white women of late. After making an unsuccessful detour to the Whitten Oval in Round 7 to face the pandemic-nomad Brisbane Lions, Collingwood's return to home turf coincided with a return to form.
Bonnici, Davey, Molloy, Sleicher and Lambert were near equal to or better than their best in 2021 as they toyed with St Kilda. Each of these parts make a whole who will no doubt cause the Adelaide Crows some headaches in the final game of the home and away season at Norwood Oval.
Make no mistake, the Pies are still up to their eyeballs in this premiership race despite some key names on the sidelines in Allen and Butler.