COLLINGWOOD'S powerful unbeaten start to the season has continued with a polished 17-point win over a dogged Richmond.
The Tigers' quest for a first win continues despite pushing the Magpies harder than the scoreboard suggested in the 7.6 (48) to 4.7 (31) result at the Swinburne Centre.
TIGERS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats
The hosts had no answers early for Magpies co-captain Brianna Davey, who seemed to have brought her own clone to the match such was her prominence around the ground.
But as the game wore on, it was the class and hard work of Britt Bonnici (30 disposals, 10 marks) and Jamiee Lambert (25) who did most of the damage around the stoppages, despite Tiger Gabby Seymour's complete domination of the hitouts against Bella Smith and Sophie Alexander.
Collingwood's ball movement was magnificent at times; the players didn't get sucked into the contest, spreading well and allowing for clean disposal chains.
Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson would have been alternatively pleased and pulling his hair out from the second quarter onwards, as the Tigers' pressure and intensity hit an impressive top gear but was wasted with poor kicking and conversion inside 50.
Aishling Sheridan's strong start to the season continued with two goals, while at the other end, Tigers skipper Katie Brennan played her best game for the year, moving further up the ground than previously.
Former Olympic basketballer Tessa Lavey – in her first official game of football – had an impressive debut for the Tigers in defence, taking the game on and showing off a booming boot, while No.1 pick Ellie McKenzie's nous shone up forward.
Did I just do that?
Gabby Seymour had an unexpected moment of pure joy, with an unusual reaction after a mark inside 50. Thrilled with a rare contested mark win close to goal against powerhouse Magpie defender Stacey Livingstone, Seymour's shock was evident on her face, and she even celebrated with a fist pump. Unfortunately for the former volleyballer, Seymour sprayed her set shot, a common theme for the Tigers throughout the day.
A Magpie threat for years to come
Collingwood has been slowly but steadily turning over its list over the past few years, and has primarily focused on bringing 18-year-olds to the club through the draft, rather than mature talent. It's something that will hold them in good stead for the future, with the tenacity of winger Joanna Lin, the toughness of Tarni Brown (the pair both kicking their first goals) and the composure of defensive pair Lauren Butler and Jordy Allen on show.
It was a game of what might have been for Richmond, kicking 4.7 with several more shots either dropping short or spraying wide. Given the margin ended up being 17 points, with the Magpies held scoreless in the last quarter, the Tigers could have been much closer to that elusive first win. In the words of the coach, they just started their run from too far back.
"I thought it was a bit of an arm-wrestle in the first three quarters, where they really took their moments with class, and we shot ourselves in the foot a few times, to be fair – free kicks, a 50m penalty, missing some shots on goal. There's definitely lots of improvement, [but] today wasn't a celebration, it wasn't a win, we got beaten, but it was another step in the right direction." – Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson
"It was a bit of a slog for both teams. We knew Richmond were strong in the circle, their contested ball is actually really, really good, so we knew it would be tough. As the game broke open, we started to use the ball quite well. All in all, we'll take the win, we haven't been 3-0 before or had three straight wins, so we're happy we're starting the season off that way." – Collingwood coach Steve Symonds
As it stands, Collingwood have the marquee Saturday night timeslot against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium, while Richmond will face an old foe in Carlton at Ikon Park, with the Hosking twins set to meet for the first time since Sarah moved away from Jess to the Tigers.
RICHMOND 1.0 1.3 2.4 4.7 (31)
COLLINGWOOD 3.0 4.2 7.6 7.6 (48)
Richmond: McKenzie 2, Wakefield, Stahl
Collingwood: Sheridan 2, Davey, Alexander, Lin, Brown, Molloy
Richmond: Conti, Brennan, McKenzie, Lavey, Seymour
Collingwood: Bonnici, Lambert, Davey, Sheridan Schleicher
Crowd: Closed to public at the Swinburne Centre
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