MELBOURNE spoiled Collingwood's homecoming with a dominant display in a lopsided contest at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Demons controlled the play virtually from ruck Lauren Pearce's first hitout to stroll to a 17-point win, 3.8 (26) to 1.3 (9), in the first AFLW game at the Magpies' spiritual home.
To compound the Magpies' party woes, the traditional rivals condemned them to their lowest score, the previous worst being 1.5 (11) against Carlton in the opening game of the inaugural 2017 season.
It also equalled the competition's most meagre total, the Pies now sharing that dubious honour with Greater Western Sydney.
Collingwood captain Steph Chiocci dismissed the unwanted tag.
"I couldn't care less to be honest. If we win a game and we kick 1.1 and they (opposition) don't kick anything, we win. Obviously, we would like to be kicking goals and winning games," she said.
"We need to address a few things. I thought our last quarter was good, but it was just a little too late."
The crowd was stunned into silence as Collingwood didn't score for two quarters until Sarah Dargan gave them something to cheer by kicking the first goal off the ground midway through the last term.
Pies coach Wayne Siekman is maintaining the faith despite a 0-2 start for the third consecutive season.
"We're a young team learning and as long as we see some progression each week that we're learning. The ladder for us is irrelevant because if we get what we're doing right and keep improving, then the results will take care of themselves," he said.
Melbourne controlled the contest with the tireless work of Elise O'Dea and Karen Paxman in the midfield duels.
Kicking into the breeze in the opening quarter, the Demons matched Collingwood for intensity and then opened up play with superior handball and kicks that found targets.
The Magpies' defence was under pressure even with the wind at their backs in the first and third terms. And the visitors would have been further ahead but for sterling work of Pies backs Ash Brazill and Brittany Bonnici.
Melbourne had nearly double the possessions in the first quarter but couldn't capitalise on that dominance on the scoreboard. But it was to be a pointer to the absolute dominance of the visitors.
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With the breeze behind them, the Demons again monopolised the ball in the second quarter, but couldn't find the target after Paxman ran up her fourth missed shot, though three of them were under the pump from opponents.
Not surprisingly, it was O'Dea who showed the way as she pounced on the ball spilling from a stoppage and posted the opening goal of the game late in the second term.
Melbourne's second breakthrough came in unusual circumstances after Bonnici won possession in the centre at the restart – but thumped it 50m the wrong way.
From the boundary throw-in, the Demons compounded her woes when Hanks found Pearce on the lead. And the big ruck ran around to open up the angle and slot the goal to give the Demons a 14-point half-time buffer.
When the home team couldn't "buy" a goal with the wind in the third quarter, the contest was effectively over.
Did you see that?
It was a howler on what was a forgettable Saturday afternoon for Collingwood.
After being smashed in the midfield takeaways, Bonnici finally won the spilling ball ... and promptly kicked it the wrong way.
To compound the error from the 50m wrong-way kick, the Demons took possession at the throw-in for Hanks to find resting ruck Pearce who slotted Melbourne's second goal shortly before half-time.
"Mistakes are a part of footy. We had a chat about it as a group, we thought our second quarter was really poor as a whole, it wasn't just Brit's incident, it was across the board," Chiocci said.
Another Pearce shows the Demons the way
Melbourne ruck ace Pearce continues to go from strength to strength with another dominant display.
So often, her precise hitouts released midfield stars O'Dea, Paxman and Lily Mithen to put Collingwood's defence under siege.
"She's just a competitor, whether on the basketball court that she did for years and now on the footy field. She just wants to fight for everything and she's a mobile, versatile ruck," Demons coach Mick Stinear said.
And Mithen chimed in: "As Mick said, she's just a great competitor. You love playing with her because you know her work is as good in the air and on the ground. Her follow-up work is second-to-none."
Work in progress
The Demons are developing a potentially potent forward set-up with No.1 draft pick Hanks combining with Aliesha Newman to prove more speed and crumbing nous.
And Tegan Cunningham underlined the importance of her key post work with three contested overhead marks in the third quarter.
"Tegan has put so much work into her game in the off-season. She didn't play in the VFLW, she was working on her game every week. And that third quarter, to be able to give us a genuine contest in particular was brilliant," Stinear said.
"For Tyla last week, it took her half to adjust coming off an injury. But we're starting to see her class and to have those smarts and the speed."
Another worry for the struggling Magpies
Collingwood will sweat on medical scans for vice-captain Emma Grant, forced out of the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter.
Grant had her arm in a sling after the game and it's feared she has damaged the AC joint in a collision for the ball after sprinting off the centre square.
"We'll have some tests on Monday. As vice-captain of a young team, you need as many leaders out there as you can get. As she's vocal out there and to lose that. I'm not making excuses, but to lose that with a young side," Pies coach Wayne Siekman said.
"It was good having the quick turnaround and the girls were brilliant during the week. The key for us was to be stronger around the ball. And our defensive game to allow the opposition to only score one goal, I was really pleased with our group." - Melbourne coach Mick Stinear
"I actually commended our backs for the amount of pressure they absorbed today. We can take positives from that, but, like last week, with the contested possessions, we were easily beaten." - Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman
Collingwood heads west to play Fremantle at Fremantle Oval next Saturday afternoon. Melbourne is on the road too, playing Brisbane at Hickey Park on Sunday afternoon.
COLLINGWOOD 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.3 (9)
MELBOURNE 0.2 2.4 2.5 3.8 (26)
Melbourne: O'Dea, Pearce, Hanks
Collingwood: Brazill, McIntosh, Rowe
Melbourne: L Pearce, O'Dea, Mithen, Paxman, Emonson, Cunningham
Collingwood: Emma Grant (shoulder)
Umpires: Broadbent, Burns, Bailes
Crowd: 7228 at Victoria Park