The AFLW made a very welcome return to Marvel Stadium for the first time in 2021, with Collingwood beyond impressive as they crushed any and all Roo resistance.
1. Are the Kangaroos flat track bullies?
Leading in to Round 4, the Magpies had come off a tighter than expected win against the win less Richmond while North Melbourne-Tasmania’s performance against Melbourne in a game for the ages lost them few friends despite falling short at Casey Fields.
A barn burner was expected, with the Roos warm favourites...how wrong that was!
After failing to kick a solitary goal and never looking like a troubling Collingwood, tough questions are surely being asked of the Kangaroos. Zero goals and eight behinds leaves a bad taste in the mouth mere weeks after they put eleven past stragglers Geelong. With the quality of personnel on their list, arresting the slide is possible – but it remains to be seen just what Darren Crocker can do to add a harder edge to his side.
2. Bre Davey is the spiritual leader of this Collingwood team
Normally a winning side will feature key performances rich in skill, pace and tactical nous. Davey has the ability to do this. What she also does that holds her above the fray is harder to quantify – sure contested possessions, rebound 50s, tackles and smothers tell part of the story, but it’s also an aura she exudes that both inspires her team to dive harder into battle and causes missteps and second guesses in opposition players.
It would be a difficult task to divvy up the votes for Best & Fairest among Collingwood’s best, but domineering Davey is a lock for the three.
3. Do the Pies have the weapons to match the big girls in finals footy?
If any game last year showed the world just how much Collingwood had progressed from once were easybeats to an exciting team on the cusp of something special, it was their semi-final clash to remember with the Kangaroos.
The hotly anticipated return game at a blockbuster venue lacked much of the verve of that match, but it showed just how dominant and intimidating the Pies can be, even against star-studded opponents.
Perhaps it’s due to their slower build to contender status, but outside of the black and white faithful, chatter about a potential “Flagpies” has been fleeting. Certainly Fremantle and Brisbane sit rightfully at the top of tree, but the sheer uncompromising and almost embarrassing way that Collingwood took apart the preseason fancies from Arden Street means that any discussion worth its salt has the Pies right up there with the Dees as next rung down.
They have an incredibly resilient and damaging midfield, versatile talls and team-wide belief...all the ingredients for a team to go far at the pointy end of the season.