Collingwood has triumphed by 28 points in its first game of the 2024 VFL season, defeating Sandringham at RSEA Park.

A typically windy day was presented by Moorabbin as the Pies travelled to the bayside venue for the first time in 33 years, with Sandringham kicking with the wind in the first quarter.

The Zebras got on the front foot with the first five goals of the game, however debutant Jack Hutchinson soared late in the first term and kicked truly to get the Pies on the board.

Three quick goals in the second quarter swiftly reduced the margin for the Pies as they controlled the centre of the ground through quick hands and hard forward running.

The Pies controlled the second half, kicking the opening three goals of the second term, while also withstanding the Zebras' attacking efforts to run out victors.

Harrison stars in the forward half

Harvey Harrison was everywhere in the opening game of the year, applying pressure in the forward half and getting involved in many of the Pies scoring opportunities. His smother early in the second term lead to an Ash Johnson goal, before a beautiful set shot tucked up on the boundary later in the quarter gave the Pies their first lead for the game.

Conditions favour the wind  

A blustery afternoon greeted the two sides at RSEA Park, with it evident that the conditions would play a major role in the contest even before the first bounce. The Pies found it hard to stop the Zebras’ deep forward entries as the home side got off to a hot start, however it was then Collingwood’s turn in the second quarter to use the wind to their advantage. Both sides kicked five goals with the wind in the first half, however it was the Pies two against it that gave them the buffer at half time.

Midfield group gels

The Pies fielded a new-look midfield on Friday with Jack Bytel, Lachie Sullivan and Ned Long all making their Club debuts. The trio, alongside second-year player Ed Allan, were involved in many of the Pies’ forward entries, with their quick hands a feature of all of their games. Long in particular, who stands at 194cm tall, frequently extracted the ball from stoppages, while also laying a massive 15 tackles for the day. Bytel ran hard on the wing all day, while Sullivan's ball-winning abilities have quickly translated in Collingwood colours as the SSP recruit amassed 28 touches and six clearances.

Noble’s run a feature in defence

John Noble’s sixth career VFL game was a strong one as the defender racked up the ball all day across the half back line. Noble had 19 disposals to half time and was one of the side's main distributors off half back, using his dash to create space for teammates. The 26-year-old amassed 29 disposals for the match and was a big influence on the win.

The Pies will travel up to Brisbane next week for a Good Friday clash with the Lions.

SANDRINGHAM              5.3     5.4     7.12     7.13     (55)
COLLINGWOOD     2.1     7.7     8.5    12.11     (83)

Sandringham: Caminiti 2, Heath, Hastie, Hall-Kahan, Garcia, Butler 
Collingwood: Richards 3, Glover 2, Carmichael, Harrison, Hutchinson, WIlson, Kennedy, Johnson, Purcell