Collingwood have set up an exciting race for AFLW finals qualification with an impressive 29-point away win over Brisbane on Saturday.
The Magpies dominated from the opening whistle, out-muscling their opponents with their strong run and carry to run out 5.13 (43) to 2.2 (14) victors.
With no spectators in attendance at Brisbane's Hickey Park due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Collingwood were relentless against Lions, who have now slumped to their second straight loss of the season.
The win elevated the Pies into second spot in Conference B, equal with Melbourne and Carlton ahead of that pair's Saturday night match.
While Collingwood coach Stephen Symonds wasn't keen to talk finals just yet ("the old cliche, we're taking it week by week"), he praised the "super" performance of his midfielders against one of the strongest teams in the league.
"We knew Brisbane would be really hard at the contest ... we put the bit between the teeth and wanted to show we were up for it," Symonds said.
The midfield was led by a best on ground performance from Brittany Bonnici (26 disposals), with excellent support from Brianna Davey (22 disposals) and Stephanie Chiocci (18 disposals, 6 marks).
Chloe Molloy was well held compared to her usual standards, with a second quarter goal her main cameo in the match.
The only disappointment for the Magpies was their wastefulness in front of goal. Sarah D'Arcy was a key target for Collingwood inside 50m, but her final tally of 1.4 did not do justice to the influence she had on the match.
After starting the season in hot form, the Lions lost their first match of the season last week by 18 points to Fremantle.
Coach Craig Starcevich bemoaned the "listless" performance from his team that, despite a strong third quarter, was well behind in general play for most of the game.
While noting the lack of home town atmosphere without any spectators, Starcevich said it was no excuse.
"We were shell-shocked by the opposition who were hungrier, and had more energy early in the game, and we played catch up after that," Starcevich said.
The win is Collingwood's third in a row against Brisbane, with the Lions' last victory coming in the inaugural 2017 AFLW season.
Collingwood's first and only win of 2019 came against Brisbane, knocking the Lions out of Premiership contention.
Australian Associated Press