Allen and Darling dazzle Pies
Five goals each for Jack Darling and Oscar Allen was the hallmark of West Coast's 27 point win over Collingwood at Optus Stadium on Friday night.
Darling helped turn the game with four straight goals in the second term to help lift the home side from a sluggish start that saw them trail by 15 points at quarter time, while Allen kicked a career high five majors in the 16.7 (103) to 11.10 (76) in front of 54,159 fans.
The under fire Pies burst out to an early lead before losing key players Jordan De Goey (concussion and broken nose) and Jeremy Howe (hamstring) to hamper their progress, Darling's cameo and an improved midfield performance helping the Eagles overcome their wounded opponents.
The injuries to De Goey and Howe come at a bad time for the Magpies, who are now 1-4 and are also without star midfielder Taylor Adams for at least another nine weeks.
West Coast suffered their own major blow during the week when Liam Ryan was cut down by a stress reaction in his shin that could sideline him for up to eight weeks.
Defender Tom Cole suffered a horrific clash of heads with teammate Josh Rotham late in Friday's match and will be assessed for concussion.
Collingwood bucked the odds to beat West Coast by one point in last year's elimination final in Perth, and their spirited opening quarter would have given their fans optimism of a repeat result.
Ruckman Brodie Grundy drifted forward to boot two goals from two strong marks, while defender turned forward Darcy Moore added one himself to give the Magpies the momentum.
But the game turned dramatically from that point on courtesy of Darling's second-quarter rampage.
And with Allen also plucking a series of strong grabs, Collingwood's defence wilted.
The margin blew out to 41 points at the final change, with a three-goal fightback from Collingwood early in the last quarter proving too little, too late.
Moore booted 3 majors for the Magpies, while Darling and Allen shared ten between them for the winners and Dom Sheed added further nightmares for Collingwood fans with three straight goals in five minutes in the third term to put the game out of the Pies reach.
Alex Witherden made a great start to life as an Eagle, the former Lion with 30 disposals while Andrew Gaff (38 disposals), Jack Redden (37) and Liam Duggan (36) all found plenty of the ball.
Collingwood faces a season defining clash against Essendon on Anzac Day next Sunday, while West Coast face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium next Saturday.
IMAGE: The Age.