Eighty-one days had passed since an AFL game was last played but there will have to be at least one more to celebrate a winner.
Flag fancies Collingwood and Richmond had to settle for a draw at the MCG on Thursday night in a 10-goal slugfest that saw both sides enjoy periods of domination.
It was just the second draw between the mighty clubs, with the first 103 years ago – arguably a fitting result in this unique, COVID-19-impacted season.
A desperate Chris Mayne lunge to spoil denied the Tigers a match-winning goal but tied the scores at 5.6 (36) apiece after Richmond looked likely to run over the top of the Pies in the second half.
There was a wild scramble at the Tigers' half-forward line with about a minute to go but it was Collingwood which had the final – albeit unsuccessful – chance to break the deadlock.
The Magpies kicked the only four goals of the opening term, yet the game was visibly turning even as Tom Phillips kicked his second goal and his side's fifth six minutes into the second quarter.
Slowly the reigning premiers worked their way into the contest, with their famed pressure spiking, after Collingwood expertly picked Richmond apart with 21 uncontested marks in term one.
In a brilliant start, Taylor Adams and young teammates Josh Daicos and Callum Brown combined for 28 disposals by quarter-time, including Adams winning six clearances.
None of that trio could maintain their torrid pace, as the Tigers' leaders awoke from their slumber.
Trent Cotchin and Bachar Houli were steadying presences from go-to-whoa, Dustin Martin was a solid performer, while Dion Prestia shook off a slow start to finish strongly.
Scott Pendlebury won a game-high 31 disposals and had good support from Steele Sidebottom, who kicked one of the Magpies' four opening-quarter majors.
COLLINGWOOD 4.1 5.3 5.4 5.6 (36)
RICHMOND 0.1 3.1 5.2 5.6 (36)
Collingwood: Phillips 2, Adams, Sidebottom, C.Brown
Richmond: Lynch 3, Bolton, Higgins
Collingwood: Howe, Pendlebury, Adams, Sidebottom, Phillips, Daicos
Richmond: Cotchin, Houli, Martin, Lynch, Prestia, Lambert